Presentation: DAISY in Higher Ed

Original Author(s): Gaeir Dietrich, Sam Ogami, Jayme Johnson
CSUN March 2009 Presentation: "DAISY in Higher Education" 

Abstract: Information about DAISY: What it is. How to use it. Tools to play it with. Where to get it. Also, information about the DAISY in Higher Ed Working Group.


  • Gaeir Dietrich - Co-chair DAISY in Higher Ed Working Group
    • Acting Director High Tech Center Training Unit (HTCTU)
  • Sam Ogami - Co-chair DAISY in Higher Ed Working Group
    • AT Expert CSU Office of the Chancellor
  • Jayme Johnson
    • Web Accessibility Specialist HTCTU


  • Information about DAISY
    • What it is
    • How to use it
    • Tools to play it with
    • Where to get it
  • Information about the DAISY in Higher Ed Working Group


  • Digital
  • Accessible
  • Information
  • SYstem

History—May 1996

  • Talking book libraries
    • Recognized that analog tape was on the way out
    • Recognized that digital audio was coming
    • Recognized need for a standard
  • DAISY Consortium
    • Formed by talking book libraries to lead the worldwide transition from analog tape to Digital Talking Books (DTB)

Creating a Standard

  • In 1998
    • DAISY 2.0 standard was released.
  • February 2002
    • opened and offered DAISY books
  • March 2002
    • DAISY 3 (DAISY NISO 2005) approved by ANSI
  • September 2002
    • Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D) provided DAISY books to its users


  • July 2004
    • U.S. Department of Education endorsed the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS), a subset of DAISY/NISO (DAISY 3.00)
  • January 2007
    • K-12 publishers required to make NIMAS files available

What this means…

  • Students in K-12 are beginning to receive DAISY books.
  • Once students have used DAISY, they will not go back.
    • Simple audio tapes or MP3 files are far less accessible.

Expanding Vision

  • DAISY is designed to incorporate new features and functionality
  • Expandable
    • “Cheese pizza” analogy
  • First expansion
    • MathML

Understanding DAISY
DAISY “Flavors”

  • Text Only
    • Format used by Bookshare
  • Structured Audio
    • Audio only
    • Format used by RFB&D
    • Format used by NLS
  • Audio and Full Text
    • Can be created with commercially available publishing tools

Benefits for Higher Ed

  • Navigation
    • By page, heading, phrase
  • Bookmarks
  • Player memory
    • Knows where you left off
    • Can keep track of your place in multiple books at the same time
  • Time jumps (audio only)

Requires DAISY Hardware or Software

  • Hardware also plays MP3 files and sometimes TXT and DOC files
    • Victor Reader Stream
    • Classmate
    • Plextor PT 1
  • Inexpensive software players available
    • Dolphin EasyReader
  • Free software players available
    • AMIS

Sources of DAISY Books


  • Audio-only DAISY
  • Requires RFB&D authorized player
  • Can purchase players through RFB&D
  • Other players can be sent to RFB&D to have “key” installed
  • User requires code to “unlock” books
  • RFB&D players can play other DAISY books
  • Players have firmware upgrade from DAISY 2.02 to DAISY 3

Playing Bookshare DAISY

  • Text-only DAISY
  • Requires player with TTS built in
  • Software player comes free with membership
    • Note: Membership free for all students
  • Can also play on other systems
    • OpenBook, Kurzweil 1000/3000, WYNN


  • RFB&D
    • Small membership fee for all users
    • Audio only
    • Human narration
    • Requires RFB&D authorized hardware/software
    • Requires “key” to unlock books
  • Bookshare
    • Free for students; small fee for others
    • Text only
    • Synthetic speech (TTS)
    • Software player comes with membership
    • Playable on some hardware players with TTS built in

Grow Your Own DAISYs

  • Commercial software available
  • Can begin with text and convert into Audio Full Text DAISY
  • Check these vendors
    • Dolphin
    • IRTI
    • gh Braille
    • APH BookWizard


  • Plug-in for MS Word and Open Office
  • SADX 2.0 saves documents as Full Text, Full Audio DAISY
    • Can be played on any DAISY software player – Can be downloaded to solid state players – Can be burned to CD for hardware players with CD

DAISY in the CCCs

  • California Community Colleges (CCCs) were the first system of higher ed to support DAISY production
  • HTCTU Phoneticom DAISY Generator
    • Over 500 books created to date
    • 100 users trained
  • AMX Database

DAISY in Higher Ed Working Group

  • DAISY Consortium provides
    • Presence on the Web site
    • Designated consortium liaison
  • George Kerscher, Secretary General of the DAISY Consortium
    • Direct access to information about DAISY
    • Conference line
    • Discussion list
    • Free membership for higher ed

Purpose of the Working Group

  • Feedback to DAISY Consortium on use of DAISY in higher ed
    • Raise awareness of higher ed issues
    • Attend DAISY meetings
  • Work with disability service offices
    • Provide information/understanding
    • Provide training materials
    • Simplify process

Goals for First Year

  • Establish the Web site
    • Information, FAQs, list of resources for DAISY books
    • Post the DAISY in Higher Ed Survey
  • Establish information flow with other access groups serving higher ed
  • Share informational/training materials
    • Web, conference calls, survey

First Goal Met

Second Goal Met

  • DAISY in Higher Ed Survey
  • Purpose
    • Learn more about DAISY use in higher ed
  • Focus on three basic aspects
    • Awareness
    • Playback tools
    • Production

Survey Purpose

  • We will use this information
    • To promote DAISY in higher ed
    • To support the needs of the higher ed community
    • To encourage vendors to create tools appropriate to the needs of higher ed

Survey Results

  • Preliminary data
    • 77 took the survey
    • 80% work for public institutions
    • 55% work for 2-year schools
  • Analysis

Joining the Group

  • The DAISY in Higher Ed working group is forming now.
  • Join the e-mail list to become part of the working group.
  • Any higher ed faculty/staff member may join.
    • Free!

Joining the List

  • Send a blank e-mail to
  • No need for text in the subject or body of the email.
  • You should then receive a conformation email within two days that you have been added to the email list.

Contact Us

  • Gaeir (“rhymes with fire”) Dietrich
    • 408-996-6043
  • Sam Ogami
    • 562-951-4201 
DAISYpedia Categories: 

This page was last edited by DAISY1 on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 16:41
Text is available under the terms of the DAISY Consortium Intellectual Property Policy, Licensing, and Working Group Process.