DAISY News

Current DAISY News items are posted below RSS. A list of Archived News items is also available.

The DAISY TechWatch October 13th, 2017 Issue Now Available
2017-10-13

The latest issue of the DAISY TechWatch News Brief has been posted to the DAISY Consortium website.

Ace by DAISY EPUB Accessibility Checker in Public Beta
2017-10-11

Ace, by DAISY is now in public beta. Read further details on this exciting development on the Ace announcement at Inclusive Publishing.

The DAISY TechWatch August 8th, 2017 Issue Now Available
2017-08-08

The latest issue of the DAISY TechWatch News Brief has been posted to the DAISY Consortium website.

Check Out DAISY Consortium's Annual Report for 2016
2017-07-25

The DAISY Consortium's 2016 Annual Report is now available as a microsite! Look around and share 2016 highlights. We would like to thank all our Members and Friends for their continued support!

The DAISY TechWatch July 14th, 2017 Issue Now Available
2017-07-14

The latest issue of the DAISY TechWatch News Brief has been posted to the DAISY Consortium website. Enjoy! 

The Accessible Books Consortium website now available in Spanish and French
2017-07-08

The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) is a private/public partnership led by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It includes organizations that represent people with print disabilities such as the World Blind Union (WBU); libraries for the blind; standards bodies, and organizations representing authors, publishers and collective management organizations.

ABC website is now also available in Spanish and French.

Changes to Australian Copyright Law Increase the Amount of Accessible Information
2017-06-25

Australia signed the Marrakesh Treaty, an international agreement that will help an estimated 285 million people worldwide have greater access to books published in accessible formats, in June 2014.

 

Disability advocates in Australia are now celebrating the passage of the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Bill.

 

This bill removed the final barrier to implementing the Marrakesh Treaty as it removes restrictions on the ability of Australians to import legally-produced audio and braille books without the specific permission from the publishers.


“The Treaty allows organisations that represent print disability communities, in ratified countries, to make accessible copies of works without having to ask permission from the rights-holders. It also permits the cross-border exchange of accessible format books both between organisations and directly from an organisation to an individual,”  said Vision Australia General Manager for Advocacy, Karen Knight.

 

More information is provided on the Vision Australia website.

Benetech Establishes Global Certified Accessible Program
2017-06-22

Benetech, the leading software for social good nonprofit, in conjunction with Dedicon, Royal National Institute of Blind People, and Vision Australia, today announced Global Certified Accessible.

 

This program is the first third-party ebook verification program for accessible content. Global Certified Accessible supports publisher efforts to meet or exceed accessibility requirements set by K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions. Today’s announcement comes on the heels of a six-month beta program with participation from industry leaders spanning educational, academic, professional, and trade publications.

 

Global Certified Accessible ensures students unable to read standard print due to blindness, low vision, dyslexia, or a physical disability have equal access to the same content as their peers.

 

The program has a global footprint in order to serve students around the world. Benetech developed the certification standards and serves as the lead certification provider for North America.

 

Dedicon provides certification for mainland Europe, Royal National Institute of Blind People for the United Kingdom, and Vision Australia for Australasia.

 

“The importance of electronically published books continues to grow, but many ebooks lack core accessibility features that students require, falling short of procurement requirements and student needs,” said Jim Fruchterman, founder and CEO, Benetech. “As the nonprofit operator of Bookshare, the largest online library of accessible books, Benetech is well suited to offer a Global Certified Accessible program that not only gives procurement offices the confidence that comes with third-party certified materials but also allows publishers to serve a larger addressable market.”

 

Global Certified Accessible is part of Benetech’s Born Accessible initiative, which encourages the education community to request accessible digital content and engages the publishing community to produce content that is accessible from the moment it is created. As a result of the recently released EPUB Accessibility Specification 1.0 and the growing demand for accessible materials, leading publishers and educational institutions are increasing their support for accessibility as a business and a classroom imperative.

 

Ingram Content Group’s VitalSource® and CoreSource® will include the accessibility ratings for eTextbooks from publishers participating in the Global Certified Accessible program as a part of their metadata and catalog feeds through Bookshelf®, VitalSource’s content-delivery platform.

 

By doing so, procurement offices and school districts will be able to easily identify and prioritize third-party certified, accessible eTextbooks from publishers who choose to participate. “VitalSource is excited to help accelerate the adoption of accessible publishing,” said Rick Johnson, VP of Product Strategy, VitalSource®. “As a global solutions provider, receiving accessibility certifications from Benetech and their global partners is a logical choice. As publishers increase their ability to produce content that provides access to all students, having a trusted source that can certify their accessibility will provide a welcome level of transparency to all involved.”

 

Education leaders, publishers, and partners champion Global Certified Accessible:

 

Los Angeles Unified School District

 

Kari Tapie, Instructional Technology and Assistive Technology Program: “It’s imperative that educational institutions prioritize accessible content that serves all students equally. Benetech’s Global Certified Accessible program is a critical step in ensuring educators and procurement offices can confidently source ebooks that meet or exceed accessibility mandates.

 

Elsevier

I look forward to the day when all publishers make their books accessible as a first decision and not as an afterthought.” Elsevier Alicia Wise, Senior Vice President Global Strategic Networks: “At Elsevier we’re committed to making sure that all our users get maximum benefit, insight and understanding from our online content. And so we are very pleased to pilot Benetech’s Global Certified Accessible program. Our academic ebooks are born accessible and ready for wide, global dissemination. The program results will help us to continue to refine our accessibility features so that no user is without access. It’s so important for all of us within the information, data, and publishing industries to work together to advance accessibility.”

 

HarperCollins Publishers

 

 

Tracey Menzies, VP Production and Creative Operations “Benetech is providing an invaluable service by formalizing the specifications for accessibility within ebooks.

 

In establishing a set of criteria by which publishers and other partners can create and measure their ebook files, Benetech is spurring the industry forward towards the common goal of providing students with accessible content.”


Harvard Business Publishing


Harvard Business Publishing Denis Saulnier, Managing Director, Product Design & Delivery, Higher Education “Every publisher should strive to make their content as accessible as possible. The first step is getting an accurate snapshot of compliance. Benetech’s certification process is invaluable in identifying areas of improvement and helping to prioritize work. We’re proud to be partners in this initiative.”



Macmillan Learning


Rachel Comerford, Director of Content Standards: “Participating in the certification program has given Macmillan Learning the opportunity to better understand the needs of students in the accessibility community and ensure that the products that we create provide students with the best possible learning experience. Certification provides us with confidence that we’re producing quality products and allows our customers to have confidence that the product they’re purchasing is truly accessible for all students.”

 

Penguin Random House

 

Liisa McCloy-Kelley, VP Director Ebook Product Development & Innovation: “Our goal at Penguin Random House is to bring our authors’ stories and ideas to readers wherever they are and in whatever format they want to read. That includes ensuring that our titles are readily and easily accessible for people with reading disabilities and for classroom use. Together with Benetech, we have identified opportunities to improve our content-development processes and the accessibility of our ebooks, as we continue to better understand and address the needs of this community.”

 

Apex CoVantage

 

Bill Kasdorf, VP and Principal Consultant: “This is a watershed moment for accessibility. Benetech has long been a leader in fostering ‘Born Accessible’ publishing. Its development of the certification standards for the Global Certified Accessible program brings long-needed clarity to the process of creating and procuring properly accessible publications.

 

Our partnership with Benetech in this program enables Apex to guide our many publishing clients to integrate accessibility into their workflows so that their publications can be truly born accessible.”

 

Amnet Systems

 

Aashish Agarwaal, CEO and Founder: “Benetech’s development of the certification standard for the Global Certified Accessible program is a major milestone for accessibility, Benetech and the publishing industry. Certification will assure students, teachers, libraries and others of the work and quality that has gone into these certified books. Benetech’s development of the certificate standards brings much needed clarity to the process of creating and procuring accessible content. Amnet is proud to have partnered with Benetech in this program and looks forward to helping our publishing partners integrate accessibility into their workflows to ensure that over time their publications can be ‘born accessible.’”

 

Dedicon

 

Maarten Verboom, Directeur: “Dedicon welcomes the co-operation with outstanding international partners in the advancement of accessible publishing. As a producer of accessible information of the first hour, Dedicon encourages publishers to adopt accessibility guidelines. We are confident that this program will enable publishers in reaching accessibility. Certification gives publishers recognition of their successful effort to achieve equal access to information for all.

 

And organizations that use information, such as schools, libraries, and local governments, now have a great tool to reach a common goal: equal rights for all through accessible information.”

 

Royal National Institute of Blind People

 

Steven Tyler, Head of Solutions, Strategy & Planning “RNIB is committed to ensuring the fullest access to the written word along with creating a world where blind and partially sighted people, and those with print impairments, can access what they want at the time they want it in a format they can read.

We are working closely with publishers in the UK to establish appropriate business models and standards, in line with Benetech, that secure this future. Working in partnership with the publishing industry, we want to take advantage of the revolution in standards that is finally here and for which we have worked hard to attain – building accessibility into mainstream standards marks the beginning of a new chapter; we now have to ensure that we bring these standards to life in a way that works for the end user and is sustainable for the industry.”

 

Vision Australia

 

Karl Hughes, Production Manager “Vision Australia has a strong commitment to accessibility, working in partnership with Australians who are blind or have low vision to achieve their greatest potential through education, employment and independence. To do this, we work with publishers, educational institutions, government and others to provide printed materials and other information in alternative formats. We are pleased to cooperate with leading organizations from around the world to offer this Global Certified Accessible program. Our aim through this service is to support those publishers and others that are striving to provide accessible materials, and provide feedback and formal recognition of the quality and efforts made to ensure their products are ‘born accessible.’”

More information is posted to the Benetech blog.

W3C Publishing Summit 2017
2017-06-15

The inaugural W3C Publishing Summit will show how publishers are using today's Web technologies, including EPUB, to make their publications more effective and their workflows more efficient. Learn about things you should be doing now to improve your products and processes. Discover developments coming soon that you need to be aware of; and what is coming next in web publications, EPUB, and the overall Web Platform that can support your workflows.

 

Come to the W3C Publishing Summit to join this critical conversation as publishing industry leaders cover issues and innovations you need to know about to navigate the avenues of global digital transformation.

 

The W3C Publishing Summit will be co-located with W3C’s main annual meeting, TPAC, so attendees will have the opportunity to network with Web developers and technical experts, including access to a solutions showcase demo area. More information is available on the W3C website.

DAISY TechWatch: June 11th, 2017 Issue Published
2017-06-11

Enjoy the latest issue of the DAISY TechWatch news brief, now posted to the DAISY Consortium website. Our main goal is to inform DAISY Members and Supporters about new e-reading technologies and related developments.

Free EasyReader App for iOS Now Available
2017-06-08

Dolphin Computer Access has launched EasyReader for iOS. Users can adjust text size, colors and contrast, and add speech to text-based books and newspapers. Choose from thousands of audio books available immediately. Readers with dyslexia can read using dyslexia friendly fonts and colors with perfectly synchronized text and audio.

 

Access 21 digital libraries in 70 countries, including popular accessible library services Bookshare®, NFB-NEWSLINE®, RNIB Bookshare, Legimus, NLB and Vision Australia. More information is provided on the Dolphin Computer Access website.

Rebranded: Accessible Books Consortium Global Book Service
2017-06-01

The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) has launched its rebranded "ABC Global Book Service" (previously known as the TIGAR Service) that enables libraries for the blind in different countries to exchange books in accessible formats.

 

Prior to the Marrakesh Treaty being implemented in a country, such cross border exchange of accessible books could only happen with the authorization of the copyright owner. Where libraries for the blind are in countries that have implemented the Marrakesh Treaty, this service now enables the exchange of books to happen without such authorization. This makes the whole process more efficient.

 

"This ground-breaking Treaty is great news for people with print disabilities around the world who will have access to many, many more books. And for our libraries, each accessible version we can acquire through international exchange, means less duplication of effort and more choice for our users! Thank you ABC for the systems and processes that facilitate this exchange for us." - Margaret McGrory, Vice President, Canadian National Institute for the Blind.

 

More information is provided on the Accessible Books Consortium website.

CNIB Calls for Federal Accessible Book Production Strategy
2017-05-30

As National AccessAbility Week progresses, CNIB is calling on the federal government to develop a long-term plan to fund and produce more accessible books in Canada.

 

"Thousands of new books are published in Canada each year, but as someone with sight loss, I can only access a fraction of them," said Diane Bergeron, CNIB's executive director of national and international affairs. "That's not accessibility – it's exclusion. And it has to change."

 

More than three million Canadians live with a physical, visual or learning disability. For these Canadians, books in accessible formats such as audio, braille and electronic text represent a lifeline to literacy. They are critical to their participation in education, employment, and community life.

 

However, Canadian publishers are not required by law to produce their books in accessible formats. Only a small percentage of all published trade books are available in these formats – most produced by CNIB and only partially funded by federal grants. More information is provided in the CNIB press release.

DAISY TechWatch: May 30th, 2017 Issue is Now Online
2017-05-29

Read the new DAISY TechWatch, now available at http://www.daisy.org/techwatch-2017-05b. Learn how to convert EPUB to Braille with EasyConverter, discover the new features of the KNFB Reader and more.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day: Collaboration is key
2017-05-18

The target audience of the Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is the design, development, usability, and related communities. These communities build, shape, fund and influence technology and its use. While people may be interested in making technology accessible and usable by persons with disabilities, they often do not know how or where to start. Awareness comes first. Collaboration should follow.

 

Dolphin Computer Access, a UK based assistive technology company and DAISY Friend, has been working with another DAISY Member, Swiss accessible book library SBS (Swiss Library for the Blind, Visually Impaired and Print Disabled) to deliver the platform behind their new reading app; aimed at the SBS blind, visually impaired and print-disabled user base.

 

SBS Leser Plus, a free app available on devices running the iOS operating system, will enable SBS library members to access and read a range of content designed to meet their visual needs. Users can choose colours, text size and highlights to suit their individual preferences, and built in speech along with VoiceOver and braille display compatibility ensures access for all levels of sight.

 

SBS Leser Plus is powered by Dolphin’s EasyReader software, which has been exclusively designed and developed in house by Dolphin Computer Access and personalised to meet SBS’s needs. Under Dolphin’s “Your library app, powered by Dolphin EasyReader” program this is the first time that EasyReader has been used by a third party library provider for their own proprietary reading app, and marks a significant move forward for both organisations, as well as those who will benefit from the service.

 

Flavia Kippele, CEO of SBS, said “We are enthusiastic about the app: it is reliable and easy to use. And what is best: the collaboration with Dolphin was extremely pleasant and fruitful.”

 

Dolphin Sales Director Steve Bennett, explains more. “Our EasyReader software makes accessing reading materials even easier, by offering a direct interface to library content rather than having to navigate to a website. By choosing EasyReader as the platform for their app, SBS are giving their library users flexibility in terms of device and location, as well as an easier route to their considerable stock of accessible books.”

 

SBS Leser Plus is available now on iOS, exclusively to SBS library members. Any third party queries regarding the “Your library app, powered by Dolphin EasyReader” program should be directed to Dolphin Computer Access at their Worcester Head Office. More information is provided on the Dolphin Computer Access website.

White Paper - "e-Accessibility in a Connected World"
2017-05-16

BrailleNet announced the publication of their 2017 White Paper published in partnership with G3ict entitled e-Accessibility in a Connected World.

 

This White Paper picks up and builds on the topics addressed at the 10th European e-Accessibility Forum, held on May 30th, 2016 at the Cité des Sciences in Paris. Over 180 professionals, association members and scholars from around the world gathered on this occasion to discuss the potential of the Internet of Things to bridge the digital divide. Nine of the conference speakers and one further expert, all actively involved in e-Accessibility or the Internet of Things, accepted our invitation to update their opinions and points-of-view expressed on this occasion in order to shape a review on this topic.

 

Enjoy this publication and attend the 11th European e-Accessibility Forum on the topic of e-Accessible Culture. For more details and to register your place, visit http://eaf2017.braillenet.org/en.

EU compromise = better access to books for blind and other disabled people
2017-05-12

The negotiators of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached a compromise on draft legislation to implement the Marrakesh Treaty in the European Union. The objective of the proposals, made by the Commission as part of the ongoing modernization of the EU copyright law, is to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, have other visual impairments or are otherwise print disabled. The deal will be now subject to the formal approval by the two EU co-legislators.

 

Following the political compromise, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: "I am delighted that EU copyright rules will now be adapted to allow visually impaired and people with reading disabilities to access a wider range of reading material in the EU and in third countries that they can use for their education, work and entertainment. I am particularly pleased that our Digital Single Market strategy creates more social inclusion. And I am also confident that this compromise today will pave the way for a rapid ratification of the Marrakesh treaty by the EU”.

 

More information is provided in the European Commission press release.

eBook Production: Upcoming Training Sessions in India
2017-05-07

The DAISY Consortium in partnership with Bookshare announced the dates for “Advanced training in e-book production." This three-day workshop will be held May 15th to May 17th, 2017.

 

For the benefit of our friends from East India, the workshop is being conducted in Ranchi, Jharkhand.

 

The workshop will cover:

  • Introduction to DAISY
  • Tools for reading DAISY content
  • Basic structuring of a Word document for DAISY Production
  • Use of Save as DAISY
  • Introduction to Tobi
  • Introduction to Jutoh
  • Adding metadata to an EPUB
  • Introduction to Sugamya Pustakalaya and Bookshare

 

Who should attend:

 

This workshop is specially designed for those organizations and individuals who are interested in e-book production for distribution to people with print disabilities, librarians serving the blind and print disabled, educators, as well as production staff of government organizations involved in design and production of textbooks.

Coordinator: Satyajit Sing [Resource Centre head – Sight Savers, Ranchi, satyajeet06(at)gmail.com] register on or before May 8th, 2017.

Products and services to be made more accessible in EU
2017-05-01

Key products and services such as phones, e-book readers, operating systems and payment terminals, will have to be made more accessible to people with disabilities under draft EU rules.

 

The Internal Market Committee amended and approved the rules, which would apply only to products and services placed on the EU market after the directive comes into effect.

 

Internal Market Committee rapporteur, Morten Løkkegaard (ALDE, DK), said: “Accessibility is a precondition for persons living with disabilities to enjoy equal participation and therefore to play an active role in society. To this end, it is vital to ensure smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. With greater accessibility for people with disabilities, we get a stronger Europe, which is not just a goal for politicians but also for businesses, which the European Accessibility Act will encourage to innovate with more accessible products and services.”

 

More information is available on the Global Accessibility News website.

Webbox3 to be launched at Sight City 2017
2017-04-19

Solutions Radio from Delft, Netherlands will proudly present version 3 of its renowned Webbox during the forthcoming Sight City in Frankfurt! Solutions Radio will launch Webbox3 for the European market.

 

What is Webbox3?

Webbox3 is a plug and play, very easy to operate multi-media device for the reading disabled. This online (DAISY) player with audible prompts enables access to a wealth of information and entertainment. It offers immediate reading pleasure (talking books, magazines and newspapers) and a rich offering of information-on-demand. Choices are made by listening to the audible prompts and pressing OK to select.

 

What is new?

Its sleek new modern design and larger tactile buttons! Moreover, it is battery powered and finally truly portable.

Besides Wi-Fi, an internal USB port for 4G connection to Internet is now possible. Of course, there are more novelties, which we would love to show to you in person.

 

If we would say: it's a radio that also reads emails, we would not be joking!:-) Come to Sight City and see for yourself!

 

What is the same?

Owners of Webbox2 need not fear. The content offered on both versions, for the time being is identical and fully compatible.