News Archive

Finalists Announced for ABC 2017 International Excellence Awards
2017-02-13

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:

Publisher category

  • 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 Way Forward for an Egyptian Ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty
2017-02-08

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.

Tobi 2.6.1.1 brings update to French language pack
2017-02-07

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 2.6.1.1 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.

W3C and IDPF Officially Combine
2017-02-01

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.

Pipeline 2 Version 1.10 Released
2017-02-01

Version 1.10 of the DAISY Pipeline 2 is now available for download. The following alternative packages are proposed:

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!

CELA: Listen to a sample of an audio book before you check it out!
2017-01-28

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.

Section 508 Refresh Update
2017-01-24

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.

 

The U.S. Access Board will hold a free webinar on the ICT rule on Jan. 31st. Register online. Another session will be held on February 2nd, review details for registration.

eBooks and EPUB Accessibility
2017-01-16

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.

 

Location:

 

National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute

200 E. Wells Street

at Jernigan Place

Baltimore, MD 21210

 

Please register on the NFB website.

IDPF Members Approve EPUB 3.1 as an IDPF Recommended Specification
2017-01-06

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.

Draft Charters of W3C Publishing Business Group and EPUB 3 Community Group Available
2017-01-04

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.

Tobi 2.6.1 comes with enhanced features & a new linking mechanism for image descriptions
2016-12-21

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.

Digital Publishing WAI-ARIA Module 1.0 Now A Candidate Recommendation
2016-12-19

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.

Obi 3.9.1 brings updates to French, Spanish, Finnish & Portuguese language packs
2016-12-14

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 Receives High Recognition
2016-12-07

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.

Call for Nominations: Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) International Excellence Award 2017
2016-11-30

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.

Call for Abstracts: Better Together
2016-11-23

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.

DIAGRAM Center Webinar: Accessibility Metadata for EPUB
2016-11-17

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.

International Symposium: Digital Textbook Accessibility (Tokyo)
2016-11-10

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 daisy-seminar@dinf.ne.jp

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

13:35-13:45 Welcome

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

15:00-15:10 Break

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.

Coming Up: EPUB Accessibility Symposium (Tokyo)
2016-11-10
  • 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)

EPUB Accessibility:

  • 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 2017 Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Awards for Accessible Publishing
2016-11-08

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.

Obi 3.9 brings enhanced ability to integrate with DAISY members' production environments
2016-10-31

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.

IDPF Begins Member Vote To Approve Merger With W3C
2016-10-27

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.

Reading and Writing the Orton-Gillingham Way: A One Day Workshop for Educators and Tutors
2016-10-25

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.

Frankfurt Book Fair: What Does the Marrakesh Treaty Mean for Publishers?
2016-10-19

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.

 

Speakers include:

  • Carlo Scollo Lavizzari, International Publishers Association
  • Richard Orme, DAISY Consortium
  • Jim Russell, Accessible Books Consortium

Entry is free, but registration is essential.

EPUB 3.1 Now Proposed Specification
2016-10-16

The IDPF Board recently approved working group recommendations to advance the EPUB 3.1 specifications to Proposed Specification status. A public review and comment period will be open through November 7th. The final step according to IDPF policies is a member vote to approve as Recommended Specifications.

 

The EPUB 3.1 revision also introduces a new accessibility specification and techniques document. Both also apply to older versions of the EPUB specification. Developed as part of EPUB 3.1, the goal is to provide guidance on making conforming EPUB publications accessible.

IDPF members and non-members are welcome to submit comments via the IDPF GitHub Issue List.

More information is provided on the IDPF website.

WCAG 2.1 under exploration, comments requested by November 1st
2016-10-12

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group announced a plan to develop WCAG 2.1, which builds on but does not supersede WCAG 2.0. The group would like input from stakeholders on this plan.

 

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 became a W3C Recommendation on December 11th, 2008. It has been one of the major resources for making web content accessible to users with disabilities. WCAG has been referenced by accessibility policies of many countries and organizations, translated into twenty languages, and it has become an ISO standard (ISO/IEC 40500:2012).

 

WCAG 2.0 was structured to be a stable resource. Technology-specific implementation guidance was provided separately (in the Techniques and Understanding supporting documents) and updated as web technologies evolve.

 

In 2015, the WCAG Working Group had chosen to develop extensions to WCAG 2.0, in order to provide targeted guidance quickly, without changing the meaning of conformance to WCAG 2.0 itself or disturbing policies that reference WCAG 2.0. In review of the Requirements for WCAG 2.0 Extensions, however, it became apparent that the interrelationship of extensions could be complicated, and accessibility for some user groups could vary if organizations chose to meet some extensions but not others.

 

After careful consultation, the Working Group has decided not to put the new guidance in extensions, but instead work on an updated version of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. WCAG 2.1 will build on WCAG 2.0 to provide guidance urgently needed for today’s technologies. Because of the backwards compatibility, sites conforming either to WCAG 2.0 or WCAG 2.1 will share a common base of accessibility conformance. More information is provided on the W3C blog.

Petitions Committee calls on EU countries to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty
2016-10-06

The Council and European Union (EU) member states need to accelerate the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, have low vision or are print disabled. The treaty, which entered into force September 30th, was signed by the EU in 2014 but is yet to be implemented by the Council.

 

“The EU should be in the forefront when it comes to facilitating the lives for people with disabilities. Therefore, I deeply regret that the Marrakesh Treaty will not come into force in Europe today”, said Petitions Committee Chair Cecilia Wikström (ALDE, SE).

 

“This issue has been of the highest priority for the PETI committee for a long time and we will continue supporting the ratification process and its measures until the treaty is properly implemented in all European Union member states”, she added.

 

By signing the Marrakesh Treaty in 2014, the EU member states have taken a political commitment to ratify the treaty. More information is available on the Global Accessibility News website.

Australia and Canada Exchange First Books Under the Marrakesh Treaty
2016-09-30

Australians who are blind or have low vision are the first in the world to benefit from the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled through the symbolic exchange of book titles between the DAISY Consortium members Vision Australia and CNIB (Canada).

 

The Treaty came into force today. It has already been ratified by 22 countries, allowing the free sharing of titles in accessible formats between organisations in ratified countries. People who are blind, have low vision or print disability can now access a wider range of content.

 

Vision Australia General Manager for Accessible Information Solutions, Mr Michael Simpson stated:

“Today’s exchange is symbolic and marks the first step in expanding the collection of titles for the print disability communities here in Australia. The books included in the exchange are fiction titles, but in time, we expect other content to become available including journals and periodicals, educational materials and sheet music.” More information is provided on the Vision Australia website.

Learning Ally Launches New Educational Reading App
2016-09-22

Learning Ally's new educational reading app – Learning Ally LINK, which is fully functional across all devices, makes it easier for schools to train educators and students to access the organization’s learning tools. This includes their library of more than 82,000 human-narrated audiobooks which help struggling readers improve vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.

 

The LINK software is currently in use on PC, MAC and Chromebooks by more than 250,000 students in over 10,000 US schools. The new app is designed to easily and immediately increase the number of students, teachers, schools and districts who have access to Learning Ally technology, programs and services.

 

Launch of the new mobile-friendly version of LINK will include continuous improvements and updates. Improvements will be based on educator and student testing and feedback, with students who “learn through listening” in mind. The LINK app is now available for download for various platforms. An updated version is coming soon to the Google Play store. More information is provided in the Learning Ally press release.

Benetech Delivers 10 Million Accessible Books
2016-09-20

Benetech, the leading nonprofit empowering communities in need by creating scalable technology solutions, announced that over 10 million accessible ebooks have been downloaded through its Bookshare initiative. Bookshare is the world's largest online library for people who are blind, visually impaired or have a physical disability that interferes with reading, such as dyslexia.

 

"Access to information is a basic human right," said Jim Fruchterman, founder, and CEO of Benetech. "Our Bookshare initiative is focused on using technology to make sure individuals who are unable to read standard print can exercise that right. Today's milestone is a celebration of what is possible when technology is used for social good."

 

Benetech works with over 820 publishers to collect new releases and existing books that are currently unavailable to individuals who cannot read standard print. Bookshare's technology converts the digital files to accessible formats, including braille, audio, highlighted text and large-font text. Over 425,000 Bookshare members in 70 countries access the growing list of 460,000 titles made available by this technology. The Bookshare library is free for all U.S. students with qualifying print disabilities. More information is provided on the Bookshare blog.

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