Current DAISY News items are posted below . A list of Archived News items is also available.
Today, the technological challenges faced by people with low vision are considerable. But fortunately, so are the opportunities that are available for accessible information. And the great news is that there are lots of exciting developments just around the corner that enhance the world for people with low vision. And what will the world look like in 2025? One thing is sure: lots of things will have changed! The question is, what and how? These themes will be explored at the Better Together Conference in June.
Meet the speakers:
- Humanoid robot Pepper
- Hector Minto, Sr. Technology Evangelist for Accessibility at Microsoft
- Kiran Kaja, Technical Program Manager at Google
- George Kerscher, DAISY Consortium
- Martijn Aslander, stand-up philosopher
- Steve Watson, Elsevier
and many more...
- Accessible content
- Accessible images
- Exciting technologies
- Sharing information
Meet the best experts at network tables:
- Exclusive insights
- Future technology and beyond
Be there (The Hague, Netherlands) on June 28th, 2017. Register today.
The kickoff meeting of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Publishing Business Group was held in London on March 13th. This group is the place where former International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) members – now TPI (Transitional Publishing Industry) members and other interested W3C members will meet and lead the evolution of the EPUB standard. The technical level work will be organized by the W3C Publishing Working Group.
The meeting was hosted by HarperCollins and led by the new co-chairs of the Publishing Business Group, Rick Johnson (VitalSource, USA) Cristina Mussinelli (AIE, LIA, Italy) and Paul Belfanti (Ascend Learning, USA).
One of the main topics discussed during the meeting was the setup of the Publishing Working Group. More information is provided on the European Digital Reading Lab website.
Each year, Learning Ally offers two endowed scholarship awards for outstanding students with print and learning disabilities. The recipients of these awards are role models and inspiration to students throughout the country. Applications are now being accepted.
Mary P. Oenslager Scholastic Achievement Award is for Learning Ally members who are completing undergraduate or graduate degrees and are blind or visually impaired. More information is available on the Learning Ally website.
Marion Huber Learning Through Listening (LTL) Award is an award for high school seniors with learning disabilities.
The top three winners from each program receive a $6,000 scholarship award and participate at a national celebration. Additional information is provided on the Learning Ally website. Applications must be submitted online no later than May 31, 2017. For more information please contact naa@LearningAlly.org.
Speakers at this seminar include, but are not limited to:
- Dr. George Kerscher, President of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), Chief Innovations Officer of the DAISY Consortium
- Bill Kasdorf, Vice President & Principal Consultant, Content & Media Solutions at Apex CoVantage
- Rick Johnson, Vice President of Product Strategy at VitalSource Techologies and board member of the IMS Global Learning Consortium
- Sue-Ann Ma, Product Manager of Benetech Labs
- Jonathan Thurston, Head of Accessibility Product Management at Pearson
- Ronald Dutton, E-Text Production Manager at AMAC
Topics that will be covered include:
- Ushering in the born accessible era
- Center for Accessible Materials Innovation (CAMI) research overview and EPUB production
- A tool for creating accessible EPUB
- Digital Image and Graphic Resources for Accessible Materials (DIAGRAM) on accessible graphics and image description
- The importance of choosing your platform and distribution channel – reading system evaluation
- Accessibility certification
To ensure you do not miss this unique opportunity to interact with the leading experts in the field, register now!
Registration is $100 (regular registration), and $25 (student registration with valid student ID).
For further information please visit the NFB EPUB event page, or contact Ryan Pugh at rpugh(at)nfb.org
Join us for the 6th annual M-Enabling Summit June 13-14, 2017 in Washington, DC.
The M-Enabling Summit Conference & Showcase is dedicated to promoting accessible and assistive technologies for senior citizens and users of all abilities. It's an annual meeting place for all who create and contribute accessible ICT products, services, and consumer technologies.
With its theme of “Making Connected Things and Services Accessible for All”, the 2017 M-Enabling Summit will provide a platform for empowering technologies and focus on next-generation innovations and breakthroughs for users of all abilities.
Bringing together professionals, corporations, service organizations, the M-Enabling Summit is an all-inclusive conference and showcase featuring innovative technology, mobile applications, connected devices, and services for more than one billion users worldwide.
The 6th edition of the M-Enabling Summit Global Conference and Showcase will be held on June 13-14, 2017 at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel, in Washington, D.C, with the IAAP, The International Association of Accessibility Professionals Pre-Conference Briefing Session on June 12, 2017. Register online today.
The 32nd Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, also known as the CSUN Conference, was held at the San Diego Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel February 27th - March 4th, 2017.
Each part of the CSUN program was available for download on the DAISY Consortium website as a navigable DAISY 2.02 publication in addition to the HTML and EPUB files.
The finalists for the 2017 Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing have been announced. The six short-listed organizations come from all corners of the globe.
The ABC Award recognizes two categories: publishers and project initiatives. The winners in each category will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held at the London Book Fair on the evening of Tuesday, March 14, 2017.
The six finalists are:
- Picsterbooks, South Africa
- SAGE Publishing, U.K.
- VitalSource Technologies, U.S.
Project initiative category
- Jisc, U.K.
- Tata Consultancy Services, India
- Tiflonexos, Argentina
More information is available on the ABC website.
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is holding the "On the Way Forward for an Egyptian Ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty" Symposium on February 12th from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm. The conference is organized by the Digital Talking Book Section (BA Library Sector) in cooperation with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Section on Libraries Serving Persons with Print Disabilities (LPD) and the World Blind Union.
The symposium aims to bring together relevant stakeholders from Egyptian library and visually impaired communities with appropriate government, parliamentary, and legislative leaders to come up with an Egyptian solution to the lack of accessible books and educational resources for the blind and visually impaired people in Egypt.
More information is available on the Bibliotheca Alexandrina website.
DAISY Consortium is pleased to announce the incremental release of Tobi, the next-generation open source multimedia production tool.
With Tobi, users can produce books with full text and audio, conforming to both the DAISY 3 and mainstream EPUB 3 (Media Overlays) specifications. Tobi is unique as it allows adding accessibility enhancements, such as image descriptions, to the mainstream EPUB 3 publications.
Version 220.127.116.11 comes with localization updates for users of the French version. Many thanks to European Digital Reading Lab for the translation.
To learn more about Tobi and to download the latest version, please visit the Tobi project area at http://www.daisy.org/tobi/.
For more information about the features and bug fixes, please visit the change log at http://www.daisy.org/tobi/change-log.
The Tobi team would like to thank all contributors and supporters for their continuous support.
The vision to align Publishing and Web technologies to create a new roadmap for the future of publishing became official today. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) have combined organizations. W3C is the global standards organization that develops foundational Web technologies such as HTML, CSS, SVG, XML and WCAG. IDPF developed the EPUB standard used globally for accessible ebooks and digital publications.
George Kerscher, Chief Innovations Officer for the DAISY Consortium and President of IDPF since 2010 commented, "By combining our organizations, we not only align our technology roadmaps but also accelerate the adoption of content that is natively accessible and device-friendly for all types of publishing, whether you are reading on the Web or offline."
The full press release is available on the W3C website.
Version 1.10 of the DAISY Pipeline 2 is now available for download. The following alternative packages are proposed:
- for Windows users (exe file, 63.4 MB)
- for Mac OS X users(dmg file, 109.8 MB):
- for Linux users (zip file, 48.3 MB)
All distributions include the new graphical user interface (GUI), all conversion scripts, and a native command line tool (CLI).
If you have any problems or identify some bugs, please report them to the Pipeline team using our issue tracker on GitHub: https://github.com/daisy/pipeline/issues.
For details, please refer to release notes: https://github.com/daisy-consortium/pipeline-assembly/releases/tag/v1.10.0.
User documentation is now available on a new project website: http://daisy.github.io/pipeline/.
The website's content, including developers' documentation, will be further updated in the coming months. Feedback is always appreciated!
The Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA, Canada) patrons can now listen to a sample of an audio book before they check it out. The CELA catalogue features three-minute audio samples of all of their books. Each title in their catalogue has a new link called “Listen to a sample” which allows patrons and library staff to preview titles by selecting the link to hear a short three-minute sample from the book. Player buttons allow to pause, stop and increase or decrease the volume of the sample. More information is provided on the CELA website.
The U.S. Access Board held a public briefing on the ICT Final Rule. The effective date for enforcement and compliance with the new Final Rule will be January 18, 2018; 12 months from the day it was published in the U.S. Federal Register.
At the upcoming event eBooks and EPUB Accessibility on March 23rd, 2017, speakers will discuss how the accessibility specification can help achieve greater ease of access. The latest updates to EPUB will also be discussed.
This event will be hosted under the auspices of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access to Education, Public Information, and Commerce (CENA), with financial support through the Non-Visual Accessibility Initiative grant from the State of Maryland.
National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute
200 E. Wells Street
at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, MD 21210
Please register on the NFB website.
The IDPF Membership has unanimously approved EPUB 3.1 as a Recommended Specification, by a vote of 72 YES to zero NO votes.
The EPUB 3.1 revision introduces a new accessibility specification and an accessibility techniques document. Developed as part of EPUB 3.1 to provide guidance on making EPUB publications accessible, these new documents are designed to be equally applicable to older versions of EPUB 3. More information is provided on the IDPF website.
As part of work towards combining IDPF with W3C, initial charters have been drafted for the anticipated new W3C Publishing Business Group and W3C EPUB 3 Community Group.
These drafts were prepared in collaboration with co-chairs of the IDPF EPUB Working Group, W3C Digital Publishing Interest Group as well as IDPF and W3C leadership. They may be further refined. Comments are solicited from all IDPF and W3C members and others in the publishing community.
The intention is to have "starter" charters in place at the time the combination is effective (anticipated in January 2017). Once these new groups are operating, they may further revise their charters as part of establishing their own processes and work plans. More information is provided on the IDPF website.
DAISY Consortium is pleased to announce the latest incremental release of Tobi.
With Tobi, users can produce books with full text and audio, conforming to both the DAISY 3 and mainstream EPUB 3 (Media Overlays) specifications. With Tobi, users can add accessibility enhancements, such as image descriptions, to the mainstream EPUB 3 publications.
Version 2.6.1 comes with incremental improvements requested by DAISY members and essential bug fixes. It introduces the new cleanup rollback feature for reversing the last cleanup operation. Furthermore, Tobi 2.6.1 brings more robust recording as well as new keyboard shortcuts for moving the audio cursor forward and backward by a larger time interval. Users can adjust settings in System Preferences.
Also, "aria-details" property is implemented for linking the external Diagrammar image description document. As a part of WAI-ARIA 1.1, "aria-details" has been approved as W3C Candidate Recommendation.
To learn more about Tobi, please visit the Tobi project area at http://www.daisy.org/tobi/.
For more information about the new features and bug fixes, please visit the change log at http://www.daisy.org/tobi/change-log.
For providing feedback, suggestions, and bug reports, please go to http://www.daisy.org/forums/tobi.
The Tobi team would like to thank all the contributors and supporters for their continuous support.
DPub-ARIA defines a WAI-ARIA module encompassing properties specific to the digital publishing industry. This allows an author to convey user interface behaviors and structural information to assistive technologies to enable semantic navigation, styling, and interactive features. More information is available in the blog post DPUB-ARIA 1.0 is Released as a Candidate Recommendation.
Please send implementation information or comments by January 27th, 2017.
The DAISY Consortium is pleased to announce the incremental release of Obi, the popular open source navigable audiobook creation tool.
Obi produces books conforming to the accessible EPUB 3, DAISY 3 and DAISY 2.02 specifications.
Version 3.9.1 comes with localization updates for users of French, Spanish, Finnish and Portuguese language versions. Many thanks to the following organizations and individuals for the translations:
- European Digital Reading Lab for French
- Spanish National Organization of the Blind (ONCE) for Spanish
- Hannu Tiihonen for Finnish
- Vitor Ferreira for Portuguese
Please visit the Obi project area to learn more about Obi: http://www.daisy.org/obi/.
Download Version 3.9.1 from http://www.daisy.org/obi/download/.
The DAISY Consortium would like to extend special thanks to all contributors for their valuable feedback and support.
Vashkar Bhattacharjee of Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) in Bangladesh has been awarded by Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as a person with disability for his outstanding contributions and support to the activities of inclusive ICTs. His contributions include the production of digital talking books and making the relevant skills and technology available for the people with disabilities. More information is provided on the YPSA website.
The ABC is inviting nominations for the 2017 Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing. This award recognizes outstanding leadership and achievements in advancing the accessibility of commercial e-books or other digital publications for persons who are print disabled. Detailed information is available on the ABC website.
Deadline: December 15th, 2016
Event: Better Together
Focus: Working together towards accessible information for people with low vision.
When and where?: Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 (The Hague - The Netherlands).
If specialists and experts tap into their combined potential, they can produce something that's greater than the sum of the parts. This is Dedicon's inspiration and goal for the Better Together Conference.
Advances in technology and media are making a significant contribution to realizing this mission. But which solutions offer the best potential? This is why the Better Together Conference will have three tracks, in which together we’ll explore developments now, tomorrow and in the future. Read more and submit your abstract today.
Join DIAGRAM Center's newest webinar, Accessibility Metadata for EPUB and the Web, and hear about the latest in accessibility metadata which can help people search and find accessible content.
- Title: Accessibility Metadata for EPUB and the Web
- Date: December 12, 2016
- Time: 12-1pm Pacific Time
- Presenter: Madeleine Rothberg, WGBH NCAM
- Cost: Free
Link to register: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/g25n9c1ix56t&eom.
The Japan DAISY Consortium, in collaboration with Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities and The Nippon Foundation, will co-host an international symposium on Digital Textbooks Accessibility to learn about international trends and discuss how we can ensure access to inclusive education in Japan.
- Date and time: November 18th, 13:30 to 16:30
- Venue: The Nippon Foundation Headquarters
- Language: English and Japanese (Simultaneous Interpretation)
- Information Support: Japanese Sign Language, Japanese Captions and English Captions
Hosting Organizations: Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities, The Nippon Foundation and Japan DAISY Consortium.
For registrations in English, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For Japanese registration, please visit: http://kokucheese.com/event/index/429614/
Draft Program (will be updated)
13:30 - Opening
Moderator: Misako Nomura, Chief of The Secretariat, Japan DAISY Consortium
Yasunobu Ishii, Senior Program Director, Disability and Child Welfare Team - Social Innovation Program Division, The Nippon Foundation; Junji Fukumo, Executive Director, Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities.
13:45-14:00: Keynote by Hiroshi Kawamura, Steering Committee Chairman, Japan DAISY Consortium/Vice President, Assistive Technology Development Organization
14:00-14:30: “How to achieve ‘born accessibility’ of digital textbooks. The Dutch model.” Maarten Verboom, Chief Executive Officer, Dedicon, the Netherlands
14:30-15:00: “Providing Educational Content Today, Tomorrow, and in the Future." Brad Turner, Vice President, Global Literacy, Benetech /Bookshare, USA
15:10-15:30: "EPUB Accessibility Conformance and Discovery Specification: The Baseline for Educational Publishing." George Kerscher, Chief Innovation Officer, DAISY Consortium/President of IDPF, USA
15:30-16:25: Panel Discussion - Learn from the approach in England, Norway and India.
- Richard Orme, Chief Executive Officer, DAISY Consortium, UK
- Arne Kyrkjebø, Head of Development Department, Norwegian Library of Talking Books and Braille, Norway
- Avneesh Singh, Chief Operating Officer, DAISY Consortium / Co-Chair, EPUB 3 accessibility working group, India
16:25-16:30 Closing by Hiroshi Kawamura
6:30-17:30 Business Card and Information Exchange
More information is provided on the event website.
- Event: EPUB Accessibility Symposium
- Date: Nov 17th (Thursday)
- Time: 15:00-17:30
- Venue: Asukanoma, Japan Education Center, Jinbocho, Tokyo
- Host: Japan Electronic Publishing Association (JEPA)
- Co-host: Japan DAISY Consortium
- Registration fee: 3000 yen (Free for JEPA member)
Program (will be updated):
- Overview of the DAISY Consortium: Hiroshi Kawamura (former President of the DAISY Consortium)
- Future of Accessible Digital Publishing by the Combination of IDPF with W3C (with Japanese translation): George Kerscher (President, IDPF /Chief Innovation Officer, DAISY Consortium)
- Avneesh Singh (Chief Operating Officer, DAISY Consortium /Co-Chair, EPUB 3 Accessibility Working Group)
- Makoto Murata (JEPA CTO)
More information is available on the event website.
The ABC is now inviting nominations for the 2017 Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing. This award recognizes outstanding leadership and achievements in advancing the accessibility of commercial e-books or other digital publications for persons who are print disabled.
Two awards will be presented; one to a publisher and one for an initiative. In making its final decision, the selection panel (comprised of various organizations working in the field of accessibility) will consider the extent to which the following elements are present in each nominee’s work:
- an organization-wide commitment to making content available in accessible formats
- accessibility standards built into production systems to make books accessible on, or close to, publication date
- collaboration with partners in the supply chain to ensure that accessibility is maintained in delivering the product to the print disabled end-user
- innovative practices established to advance the accessibility of e-books and digital publications for persons who are print disabled
You may nominate either your own organization/company or a third party anywhere in the world, and ABC encourages nominations of companies, organizations or individuals based in developing or least developed countries. The two awardees will be presented with trophies at the annual awards event held at the London Book Fair on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.
Please submit your application by Thursday, December 15, 2016 through the London Book Fair website.
The DAISY Consortium is pleased to announce the latest release of Obi, the popular open source navigable audiobook creation tool. Obi produces books conforming to the accessible EPUB 3, DAISY 3 and DAISY 2.02 specifications.
Version 3.9 continues to address the important needs of DAISY members. It achieves higher performance with the introduction of a separate set of 64-bit installers to utilize better capabilities of 64-bit systems and comes with an option to increase efficiency for screens with higher resolution.
Version 3.9 presents new features such as cleanup rollback for reversing the last cleanup operation, more information in phrase and project properties for advanced users and enhancements to on-the-fly phrase detection.
Also, the release comes with several new configurations and personalization options for much better integration with members' production workflows.
For example, Configurable English fonts and waveform channel colors as well as options to show cursor time in the stop state. Also, a warning message dialog option before proceeding with section manipulation and much more.
New Obi also comes in Portuguese! Thanks to Vitor Ferreira for translations!
Please visit the Obi project area to check out the full list of features and important bug fixes: http://www.daisy.org/obi/.
Download Version 3.9 at http://www.daisy.org/obi/download/.
The Obi-Tobi team is committed to enriching Obi with new features to keep it abreast with new technologies and making it more suitable for the large worldwide user base.
The DAISY Consortium would like to extend a special "thank you" to all contributors for their valuable feedback and support.
Voting on a proposed merger of the IDPF with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) by IDPF members is underway. On October 13, 2016, IDPF Board of Directors approved the proposed plan for submission to the members, with a recommendation that members vote to approve. The transactions are expected to be completed by early 2017 (subject to the member vote as well as to final approvals by IDPF Board and the W3C Director).
All IDPF member organizations in good standing are entitled to vote in this election via their designated Primary Representative. Voting will be open through November 4, 2016.
“We believe that the proposed combination of IDPF with W3C represents the best path forward to pursue our chosen mission to foster an open accessible digital publishing ecosystem by promoting adoption of EPUB and advancing the Open Web Platform across all fields of publishing,” said IDPF Executive Director Bill McCoy. “We are excited about the prospect of giving our members a unique opportunity to be part of an expanded publishing engagement in W3C, as Web technologies are clearly the universal enabling platform for content creators and distributors of all kinds.”
Since the initial announcement six months ago, IDPF has engaged in a variety of information sharing and outreach efforts with its members and the industry. More information is provided on the EPUBZone website.
Learn how to use the Orton-Gillingham approach to help your students dive deeper into the writing process! Both reading and writing involve constructing or composing meaning. Academy of Orton-Gillingham Fellow David Katz has put together an informative session to give you hands-on strategies that can easily be recreated into the elementary, middle school, and high school curriculum.
Note: This course is not a certification course in Orton-Gillingham. It is a writing course helping you use the OG approach in the classroom.
More information including Course Syllabus and registration are provided on the Learning Ally website.
The Marrakesh Treaty obliges those who ratify it to create copyright exceptions to allow visually impaired people or authorized entities (libraries and other organizations) to make accessible copies of copyrighted works without asking permission from the rightsholder.
As of October 19th, twenty-five countries have ratified the Treaty, and many others will be looking to amend national copyright law to bring the Treaty into force domestically. A key focus of the Treaty is to enable the cross-border exchange of accessible files for use by those with print disabilities.
The one-hour event "What Does the Marrakesh Treaty Mean for Publishers?" at Frankfurt Book Fair on October 21st at 3 pm will explain the Treaty and what this means for the publishing community. Attendees will hear from experts about the Treaty and from the Accessible Books Consortium about the TIGAR service which was established for publishers and authorized entities to facilitate the cross-border exchange of accessible files.
- Carlo Scollo Lavizzari, International Publishers Association
- Richard Orme, DAISY Consortium
- Jim Russell, Accessible Books Consortium
Entry is free, but registration is essential.