The DAISY Consortium's Newsletter - October 2013

From The Editor

I'd first like to bring your attention to the EPUB 3 Implementation Project White Paper published online just this week by the Association of American Publishers (AAP). Available for download in EPUB, MS Word and HTML formats, this important document examines the current state of the EPUB 3 standard and its features among publishers and reading systems, describes the top 10 priority features for implementation of EPUB 3 by reading systems developers and publishers, and gives the 13 top best practice tips for publishers in the creation of accessible EPUB 3 publications. Accessibility of published materials is a significant factor in the white paper. In the NFB blog about this document it states: "The AAP is to be commended for taking this important step to recognize EPUB 3. The sooner that publishers begin integration of EPUB 3, the closer we will be to a truly inclusive publishing environment." The IDPF, BISG, and DAISY Consortium have all agreed to participate in ongoing work and activities moving forward outside of AAP. This white paper should be at the top of your reading and resource list.

Now to this issue of the DAISY Planet…there are seven feature articles in this issue, most of which are reasonably brief. The second article Dr. Abraham Nemeth: The Passing of an Extraordinary Man is the exception. I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Nemeth many years ago and perhaps what sticks with me most is his charm and sense of humour. His contribution will be acknowledged (knowingly or unknowingly) each time his code is used to read mathematics and science. The first article Prof. Dick Bulterman, Winner of SIGMM Award… is about an exceptionally gifted gentleman, the award he has recently received and his gift to the DAISY Consortium – thank you Dick. In the final feature article How Usable is the DAISY Planet: Usability Survey Results I've tried to provide a clear summary of the results of the survey that we posted at the end of September. We are looking at the input and plan to make a change or changes to the newsletter early in 2014. Additional feedback from those of you who read the DAISY Planet with a screen reader would be very helpful. We are therefore keeping the survey, Reading the DAISY Planet Newsletter with a Screen Reader, posted for the month of November.

I do hope you find all seven of the articles and the columns in this issue interesting and informative. Special thanks go to Varju Luceno for writing the article Libro Digital: Innovation from the Land of Storytellers.

There were two other articles published online this month that I consider to be worthwhile reading:
The Challenge of Accessibility & New Media by Nancy K. Herther was posted earlier this month. It examines numerous aspects of ePublishing formats, technology and eBook accessibility. Ms. Herther has clearly done her research.
Technology brings new era for readers with disabilities was written by Richard Orme and is published on the Elsevier website. Richard was most recently Head of Accessibility and Digital Inclusion at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and is now a researcher, speaker, consultant at Richard Orme Inclusion. The article provides a clear insight into trends in digital publishing, accessible publications and access to those materials.
If you can find a few spare moments, these articles are well worth the little bit of time it takes to read them.

For those of you following the signing of the Marrakesh Treaty (the Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled) the list of countries which signed is being updated and is available on the WIPO website. As of October 2 when both the USA and Zimbabwe signed, a total of 57 countries have signed the Treaty. No further countries have signed since that date.

A five day training program conducted by Project Library for the Blind and Partially Sighted, Slovenia, in collaboration with DAISY Consortium will provide hands-on training on the production of accessible digital books in DAISY format. It will be take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia from November 26 to 30 – a report on the course will be published in the December DAISY Planet. The Union of the Blind and Partially Sighted of Slovenia is an Associate Member of the DAISY Consortium.

The Story this month is from Birkir Gunnarsson who was born and raised in Iceland. The tag line under his photo in this issue is "Most importantly, never be afraid to fail" and when you read Part 1 of his story you will understand the importance of this statement in Birkir's life…he has, for example, won two Paralympic bronze medals for swimming. Thank you Birkir for taking the time to tell us a bit about yourself. Part 2 of Birkir Gunnarsson's story will be published with the November DAISY Planet.

Thanks to everyone who has written to me with ideas, articles and suggestions for this issue of the DAISY Planet. Your input helps me keep our community up to date on what is going on in the world of information, access and publishing. DAISY stories provide insight into the lives of people we might not otherwise have ever come to know. You can reach me by email (you will have my address if you receive the DAISY Planet email notice) or you can use the DAISY Contact Us Form (DAISY Planet Newsletter Category).

Lynn Leith
Editor

DAISY Marketplace

The following links are to new or recently updated DAISY Products and Services from our Members and Friends. Marketplace entries also appear on our home page.

The DAISY Marketplace

Publishers' Corner

EPUB and the Open Web Platform for Publishers is an IDPF workshop that will provide an in-depth look at EPUB 3, HTML5, and the overall Open Web Platform. The target audience includes business leaders and technologists, publishing service and solutions providers. The workshop which will take place at the Adobe Systems Noida campus in New Delhi is co-sponsored by W3C, DAISY Consortium, and National Book Trust, India and hosted by Adobe Systems. The agenda is available on the IDPF website. Net proceeds from this event will benefit the DAISY Consortium. Tickets for the workshop are available through Online registration with reduced rates for IDPF, W3C and DAISY Members until November 28.

EDUPUB: A Workshop on Digital Publishing for Education took place October 29-30, 2013, in Boston, USA. "Despite the promise of EPUB 3, there remain major business and technical challenges in creating and delivering engaging, effective digital education content, some of which could be reduced or removed by further standardization and development of best practices specific to the education market. 'Plug and play' systems for content creation, distribution, and reading will accelerate innovation and lower costs." [EDUPUB Workshop overview] Co-chairs were Paul Belfanti (Director Pearson Content Architecture, Content Mgmt Services) and Markus Gylling (CTO, IDPF and DAISY Consortium). The four workshop themes were: Educational Interoperability Landscape, Rich and Interactive Content, Accessibility, and, Production Workflows.

Elsevier has published the seventh edition of the textbook "Criminal Investigation: A Method for Reconstructing the Past" as an enhanced EPUB 3 book, offering students a way to further develop the critical-thinking skills required for a career in law enforcement. This interactive text presents true-to-life situations and allows students to learn practical interviewing techniques and crime scene investigation skills. Details are provided in the Elsevier press release.

Image Guidelines for EPUB 3 have been published on the DIAGRAM Center website.

• The International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers will hold the E-Production Seminar 2013 on December 5 at the Congress Centre, London, UK. Bill McCoy Executive Director of the IDPF (International Digital Publishing Forum) will present "EPUB3, HTML5 and the Open Web Platform". Sarah Hilderley Accessibility Project Lead EDItEUR will chair the panel "Improving access to STM publications". Early bird rates are in effect until November 5.

• EpubCheck, the open source tool used for validating and detecting errors in EPUB files, has recently been updated by the NOOK Digital Education team, making it easier to integrate the tool into publishing workflows and workflow management systems. More information and links are provided in the DAISY TechWatch article Featured Tool: EpubCheck and in the DAISY news entry Barnes & Noble College Announced Significant Updates to the Open Source EpubCheck Tool.

Born Accessible is a new page recently added to the Benetech website: "As the nonprofit tech company operating Bookshare, the largest library of accessible books in the world, Benetech believes the time is right for the publishing world to seize this era of opportunity. We believe that all content born digital can–and should–be born accessible." Links to resources for general information, images, math, tools and more follow the overview.

• The German ebook market is about to take off – details in the article eBook Adoption Nearly Doubled in Germany in the Past Year posted on The Digital Reader.

• CONTEC is a new conference series designed to shed light on the ways in which the experience of publishing is changing. Dialogue and exchange of information and ideas were key. Articles and highlights from CONTEC and the Frankfurt Book Fair included:
° Frankfurt Book Fair blog archive (multiple posts)
° CONTEC Debuts to Tremendous Success at the Frankfurt Book Fair
° Frankfurt Book Fair 2013: CONTEC Makes Its Debut (Publishers Weekly)
° CONTEC session: Building a more accessible book market and a commentary on this session: Accessibility: the hyper-flexible future for publishing; speakers for this session were Jens Bammel (International Publishers Association), Shilpi Kapoor (BarrierBreak Technology, a subsidiary of Net Systems Informatics) and Dr. Nicolaas Faasen (author, editor, writer and co-chair of the Capacity Building Working Group of the WIPO Stakeholder Platform)

Prof. Dick Bulterman, Winner of SIGMM Award, Hopes to Make Others Aware of the Work of the DAISY Consortium

In June 1998 Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) 1.0 Specification became a W3C Recommendation. Professor Dick Bulterman was the chair of the working group, George Kerscher of the DAISY Consortium and Markku Hakkinen were members of that WG. In September the DAISY 2.0 Specification was approved and formalized – the SMIL files in that specification "must conform to the W3C specification for SMIL 1.0". It is the SMIL files that synchronize the structure of a DAISY publication with the audio – they provide the content navigation for which DAISY is known worldwide. And so the relationship between Dick Bulterman and DAISY was begun a decade and a half ago.

Much has changed since 1998, including revisions to the SMIL and to DAISY specifications. Professor Bulterman has published numerous books and papers, including SMIL 3.0: Interactive Multimedia for the Web, Mobile Devices and Daisy Talking Books in 2008. He is a Full Professor of Computer Science at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam and until recently was a Research Group Head of Distributed and Interactive Systems at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. As of October 1 he assumed the position of President and COO of FX Palo Alto Laboratory.

This month Bulterman received the prestigious ACM Special Interest Group on Multimedia (SIGMM) Award for Outstanding Technical Contributions to Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications. This award is given in recognition of outstanding contributions over a researcher's career. ACM is the professional society of computer scientists; SIGMM is the special interest group on multimedia.

Professor Bulterman has announced that he will donate the cash portion that accompanies this award to the DAISY Consortium:

"The main message that I'd like to get across is that I have chosen to donate the cash part of the award to DAISY because I feel that the DAISY Consortium has been trying to address the accessibility problem for multimedia content is a technically sound and scientifically coherent manner for years. The point is not so much that you used SMIL per se, but that through our work together during the SMIL period, I became aware of the important role that DAISY has (and continues to) play/played.

By donating my cash award, I hope to make others aware of the work of the DAISY Consortium. I also hope to renew interest in accessible media: all of us are situationally blind or deaf from time to time. The work that DAISY does has an impact that is wider than any one community but potentially impacts us all." [Professor Dick C. A. Bulterman

The Board of Directors and Membership of the DAISY Consortium would like to congratulate Professor Bulterman on receiving this award that acknowledges his outstanding contributions and to thank him for his generous donation to the DAISY Consortium.

Dr. Abraham Nemeth: The Passing of an Extraordinary Man

How many thousands of people did Dr. Abraham Nemeth 'touch' in his years as a university professor, during his travels and speeches, and of course through the code for braille mathematics which he developed initially for his personal use, the Nemeth Code of Braille Mathematics and Scientific Notation:

"[Dr. Nemeth] was my calculus prof…decades ago! I could sense he was a brilliant man, but I didn't realize he'd done all this. Well one thing's for sure; a more sweet-tempered, cheerful individual you'd have been hard-pressed to find. May you rest in peace, Professor Nemeth, after making your magnificent contribution to the human race." [comment posted by 'melodyblack' to the Washington Post article Abraham Nemeth, 94, developer of Braille math code, dies]

A great deal has been written about Abraham Nemeth, particularly since his passing. At the end of this article about this extraordinary man there is a list of links to some of these articles (Sources & Additional Reading).

Mathematician, Inventor, Teacher, Musician and More

Abraham Nemeth College Graduation Photo, source: APH Hall of Fame Bio Abraham Nemeth was born congenitally blind into a world that was not as progressive or inclusive as the world we live in today (and we're still not 100% there yet). His large family, both immediate and extended, was loving and supportive, but was not overly protective. Abe's father taught him mobility and orientation long before 'orientation and mobility training' was known. In time he was able to navigate New York City independently and without a dog guide.

Surprisingly enough in light of his achievements as an adult, Abe Nemeth had difficulty with math in elementary school in the New York City public school system. In retrospect he attributed this to two things: the Taylor Code, which was used at that time to represent mathematical concepts in braille, and, the Taylor Arithmetic Slate. (The Taylor Code was developed in the UK and was the first English braille mathematics code.) In his first year at high school, with the help of a very good resource teacher who took a particular interest in Abe, he caught up with the math skills he should have had from elementary school and received top grades in a first year algebra course. It was the beginning of his love of mathematics, his career as a professor, and the future of the development of the Nemeth Code.

He also loved music and as a youngster taught himself how to play piano, a skill he was able to use later in life to supplement his income before he completed his Ph.D.

Work and study filled his days. Numerous counselors dissuaded Abe from going into mathematics in university, even though that was what he longed to do. It was a time when the study of advanced mathematics was still considered to be impossible for someone who was blind. He listened to the counselors and majored in psychology at university, but took any and all electives in mathematics that he could. However he discovered that the counselors had been correct, there was no way of putting mathematical notation down in braille. He began to improvise braille symbols and methods which met his needs and which were consistent … that was the beginning of the Nemeth Code, a code he developed for his own use that allowed him to study and eventually to teach advanced mathematics.

In 1940 he graduated from Brooklyn College with a B.A. and a major in psychology. He had also completed courses in analytic geometry, calculus, modern geometry, and statistics. He applied for graduate admission to Columbia University, was admitted, and in 1942 graduated from Columbia University with an M.A. in psychology. Job opportunities were negligible. He worked (unskilled labour) at the American Foundation for the Blind. By 1946 he had taken all of the undergraduate math courses offered by the college. His wife Florence suggested that he leave his job and return to school to get a graduate degree in mathematics, saying that she would work to support them while he studied. Abraham Nemeth got a part-time job teaching math at Brooklyn College (there's quite a story in how this came to pass) and in 1951 applied to Columbia University. He was admitted as a doctoral student working toward the Ph.D. degree in Mathematics.

In 1955 he began his first full-time position as an instructor at the University of Detroit, becoming an assistant professor, an associate professor, and then a full professor. He was awarded tenure and completed the requirements for the Ph.D. degree in mathematics from Wayne State University in 1964. From mathematics he progressed to studying computer science. In 1985 he retired.

Much of this was achieved with the use of his private system, the mathematics code for braille, which he had developed. In 1952 the Mathematics Sub-Committee of the Joint Uniform Braille Committee (the grandparent of BANA – the Braille Authority of North America) adopted the code which was named the Nemeth Code of Braille Mathematics and Scientific Notation. The code was adopted in the US, Canada, New Zealand and possibly other countries.

Darleen Bogart, who was Chair of the UEB Project (Unified English Braille) from 1991 to 2010 and is, as she has been for many years, the CNIB National Braille Convenor worked with Dr. Nemeth for many years:

"I have known Abe for over twenty years through my work on UEB. I have a high regard for his ability and his determination. And also for his story-telling ability and sense of humour. Abe was able to focus attention on mathematics and showed how braille readers with ability could excel in the field.

Abe and Tim Cranmer (of computer code fame) were best friends and spoke most days (living in Louisville and Detroit, respectfully). They wrote a letter to the chair of BANA in the early 1990's. When I became BANA chair I found the letter and brought it to the BANA board. I believed that these two men of such stature in the braille world should be listened to. They wanted to create one braille code that would be used for literary and technical materials. The BANA Board agreed unanimously and the UEB project was begun.

The project succeeded to accomplish what Abe had as a goal but it did not use the Nemeth code as its basis."

Mrs. Bogart also commented that the Nemeth code is elegant and good for higher mathematics. She mentioned the code's "elegance" and that Abraham Nemeth deserves respect for his personal accomplishments as a university professor, for the code he developed, and the system he developed so that he could teach his sighted university students.

Awards and Activities After Retirement

In 1999 Dr. Nemeth received the AFB (American Foundation for the Blind) Migel Medal. In 2005 he was inducted into the APH ( American Printing House for the Blind) Hall of Fame. In the video of the induction ceremony which is available on the APH website Dr. Nemeth's wit and sense of humour shine. (The introduction of Dr. Nemeth begins at approximately 30:00 and his acceptance begins at approximately 34:00.) He was the first recipient of the BANA Braille Excellence Award in 2009.

He also served as a National Federation of the Blind (NFB) National Ambassador for Braille Literacy.

Dr. Nemeth was the inventor of the MathSpeak™ concept, a direct analog to Nemeth Braille, which is used for the verbal rendering of mathematical equations. He worked for gh, LLC in product development, testing, and quality control of MathSpeak™.

Photo Credit

The photograph of Abraham Nemeth in this article is from the APH Hall of Fame Biography of Dr. Nemeth.

Sources & Additional Reading

Libro Digital: Innovation from the Land of Storytellers

By Varju Luceno

Libro Digital logo Iceland has a unique language, history and literature that take us back to the enchanting Icelandic sagas, which are an inspiration for all Scandinavian literature. Its capital Reykjavik was designated a UNESCO City of Literature in 2011. According to a BBC News report pointing out the literary productivity of this small nation of under 322,000 people, one in
ten people will publish a book.

Icelandic novelist Solvi Bjorn Sigurdsson stated:

"We are a nation of storytellers. When it was dark and cold we had nothing else to do. Thanks to the Poetic Eddas and medieval sagas, we have always been surrounded by stories. After independence from Denmark in 1944, literature helped define our identity." [Publishing Perspectives]

It seems fitting, therefore, that Libro Digital, an innovative system designed to meet the special needs of libraries for the print disabled, was created in Iceland. Libro Digital is both a library system and a production system.

Libro Digital was designed as a result of a collaborative effort between Programm EHF, a privately held software development company in Iceland, and the DAISY Consortium's Associate Member, The Icelandic Talking Book Library. It was developed to be easy and accessible for new users and has a short learning curve. The interface is similar to MS Office, so users who are accustomed to the MS Office environment, will become familiar with Libro Digital very quickly. The system can be translated into other languages and integrated with the DAISY streaming box – Orion Webbox from Solutions Radio. It is designed to work with Windows XP and forward.

I attended the Libro Digital presentation in Copenhagen and as a former librarian I appreciate the intuitive user interface and the fact that the Libro Digital library system makes serving library patrons effortless – it is designed to hold information about the special needs of each patron, their reading history, as well as a short description of each book. Libro Digital can hold and catalogue different publications in various formats such as audio and eBook formats, DAISY, braille, as well as tactile books.

The production system supports the creation of digital books for distribution. DAISY Pipeline is used to generate files in different formats.

It is possible to produce a single book or order an automatic production run of multiple books, indicating which formats should be created. A playlist for all major media players is also generated. The system can communicate with various automatic disc publishing systems. A shared workspace containing a list of unfinished orders enables staff members to collaborate, making sure every patron's order is processed on time.

The Icelandic Talking Book Library, formerly The Icelandic Library for the Blind, installed the Libro Digital system in 2011 and received the 2012 Innovational Public Services award for Libro Digital. If you are interested in learning more about Libro Digital or implementing the system at your library, please visit the Libro Digital website for more information.

The next Annual General Meeting of the DAISY Consortium will be hosted by The Icelandic Talking Book Library and will be held in Reykjavik in June 2014.

Thanks go to Varju Luceno, Director of Communications for the DAISY Consortium, for preparing this article for publication in the DAISY Planet.

HumanWare Alliance with Essilor: A Strategic Partnership

HumanWare logo A small company by the name of VisuAide was formed and lead by Gilles Pepin twenty-five years ago. That company was one of the first two "Friends" of the DAISY Consortium.
In 2005 VisuAide and New Zealand-based Pulse Data International merged to form HumanWare. This month HumanWare announced a major strategic partnership with Essilor, the world's leading ophthalmic optics company, which becomes the majority shareholder of the company.

"Blindness will remain a very important part of our business and focus. Essilor considers that it is part of their mission to serve their customers with all eye related issues from the initial myopia to permanent vision loss later in life. They feel blindness is part of their mission and that it is a social responsibility for them to get involved. We will therefore look forward to continue working with the DAISY community to improve access to information for the print impaired.

We are extremely happy to now count on a very strong strategic partner who supports our strategic plan and will help us accelerate our vision to create a better world for people with vision loss." [Gilles Pepin, President and CEO, HumanWare]

This partnership is expected to accelerate innovation to help people with a visual disability. It is excellent news for HumanWare and for the expanding community which it serves. The commitment of HumanWare to DAISY and the DAISY community can only increase as a result of this new partnership.

Additional details are available in the HumanWare press release.

Silmo d'or Award

It was also announced during this month that Prodigi™, the new all-digital magnifier from HumanWare, has won the prestigious Silmo d'or Award for innovation in the Low Vision category.

DAISY Introduces Tech Support Via Skype

The DAISY Consortium's Technical Support Team has very recently introduced technical support for DAISY Members via Skype. This new support program provides real time, live support for organizations using DAISY content creation tools and reading systems tools developed by the DAISY Consortium, including:

Members can arrange an appointment for Skype support by emailing the team at techsupport(at)daisy[dot]org. Note: replace (at) with "@" and [dot] with ".", excluding the quotes. Please include your name, the name of your organization and the tool you would like help with. Days and time slots available for this support program are:

In the email also indicate the day/s and time/s that would work best for you. Add the DAISY Skype handle – support.daisy – to your Skype contacts. You will be contacted by a member of the DAISY Technical Support Team to confirm the appointment.

eBooks for Everyone! An Opportunity for More Inclusive Libraries

IFLA logo The conference "eBooks for Everyone! An Opportunity for More Inclusive Libraries" will take place in Paris, France August 22-23, 2014 at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie as a Post Conference Satellite to IFLA WLIC 2014.

The objective of this conference is to explore the 3-dimensional impact of eBooks:

Details are provided in the initial announcement, including a Call for Papers. This Satellite Conference is organised by IFLA LPD (Libraries Serving Persons with Print Disabilities Section) in cooperation with the BrailleNet Association and the Université Pierre et Marie Curie.

Online registration opens December 1, 2013. The closing date for submission of papers is March 3rd, 2014.

BrailleNet is a member of DAISY France which is a Full Member of the DAISY Consortium.

How Usable is the DAISY Planet: Usability Survey Results

First, thanks to each of you who took a few minutes to complete the DAISY Planet Usability Survey, Reading the DAISY Planet Newsletter with a Screen Reader, that was announced in the September issue of our newsletter. Your input is greatly appreciated.

The Results

The largest single group of respondents, 31%, indicated that no change was needed. The suggestions for change in layout among the other respondents (69%) varied widely from two column layout, single page layout, Table of Contents reflecting reading order, to several other ideas; of these 'Table of Contents reflecting reading order' was the option most frequently requested. A number of people commented on the fact that the "Letter from the Editor" is the second and sometimes the third last item in the Index (Table of Contents list) and suggested that as that column often outlines what is in the issue, it should be the first link in the Index.

The DAISY Planet newsletter is accessible, however we also want it to be both easily navigated and read by as many of you as possible. It was reassuring that 31% indicated that no change was needed, and even more reassuring that even many of those who suggested a change would help indicated that they had no problem getting easily to the articles and columns they wanted to read. It would however help us to determine what change or changes to make if more feedback were available. We are therefore leaving the DAISY Planet usability survey, Reading the DAISY Planet Newsletter with a Screen Reader online for the month of November. We'd also like to hear from readers who do not use a screen reader.

Two people contacted me by email, one indicating that he is unable to read the DAISY Planet independently. He asked that the newsletter be distributed as an email. For many people this would not be a viable solution, however I did explain to him how the newsletter can be copied and pasted into a Word file (it then appears without the columns but all of the other formatting and links remain intact). Another respondent asked that the link to the DAISY Planet in the email notice be placed on a line by itself – I have done that for this issue.

What Now?

Unless additional input varies greatly from that already received, we expect to make a change or two to the layout of the DAISY Planet come 2014. Based on the completed surveys received to date we will be looking very closely at having the newsletter's Table of Contents reflect the reading order of the articles and columns.

Thanks again to each of you who completed our DAISY Planet usability survey.

Dear DAISY

I would be grateful if you could let me know the contact details of DAISY in South Africa. According to the Planet newsletter of December 2008, a branch was opened in Johannesburg.

My reason for seeking contact details for DAISY in South Africa is my wish to include an officially correct entry for DAISY in a directory for people with disabilities in SA, which I helped to compile and am trying to maintain (see DISABILITY ALLSORTS: A DIRECTORY OF ORGANISATIONS AND RESOURCES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN SOUTH AFRICA Compiled by Ilse Langenhoven and Keith Richmond, University of South Africa).

Kind regards
Keith Richmond
South Africa

---------------------------

Dear Keith,

Our main contact in South Africa is Francois Hendrikz, Director of SALB, the South African Library for the Blind. Additional contact information that you may find helpful is provided on the SALB membership page on the DAISY website. The phone number is +27 46 622 7226 and there is also information on the SALB website. Francois Hendrikz' email address is director[at]salb(dot)org[dot]za.

SALB was established many years prior to 2008. The article you refer to in the December 2008 Planet was about the group "DAISY South Africa" which was launched in 2008. SALB is an official Member of the DAISY Consortium and is an appropriate contact for anyone interested in DAISY in South Africa. People can also of course get in touch with us directly via the DAISY Contact Us Form on our website.

Information including address, phone numbers and website link is provided for all of the DAISY Members and Friends on our membership page

Best of luck with your project.

Bits & Pieces

• Through a partnership between BrailleNet and Syndicat National de l’Edition (SNE) with support from the Centre National du Livre (CNL), publishers who are members of SNE are making their literary season books accessible to people with visual disabilities by facilitating their conversion into DAISY XML (or DTBook) format. "This is a sign that times are changing: we are moving from a demand model to a supply model, where publishers provide their files and initiate the process", Dominique Burger, Director of BrailleNet which is a member of DAISY France. Additional details and links are provided in the DAISY TechWatch article France's 2013 Literary Season Accessible in DAISY.

• Information and reviews about the BARD Mobile App, the new app from NLS in the USA:
° The review: Quick Tour of the BARD Mobile App for iOS posted on the Horizons for the Blind website focuses on a few tips to help people get started quickly.
° The podcast Demonstration of the new BARD Mobile app on the AppleVis website covers getting help, downloading content, playing of audio books, plus some of the benefits for readers using braille displays. (Direct link to the MP3 podcast)
° Step by step instructions for Importing BRF files to the BARD Mobile app using Dropbox are given on the AppleVis website. ° Eyes On Success show number 1343 (Oct. 23, 2013) provides an overview and demonstration of the BARD Mobile for Reading NLS Books, including how to download the app, and how to use it for reading both audio and braille material. (Search for this show by the show number or by "BARD" from the Eyes On Success homepage.)

• The CNIB Library is offering its clients a free one year subscription to Bookshare. Subscriptions through the CNIB Library are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Details and a link for CNIB clients to sign up are available in the CNIB Library Digital Times newsletter.

ATiA 2014 Orlando will take place January 29 to February 1. Until November 15 there is $50 off the onsite conference fee. There will be 375 presenters, 13 pre-conference sessions, exhibitors and more. Details are available on the ATiA website.

High-level meeting of the General Assembly on disability and development, 23 September 2013 on the UN enable website contains links to the archived webcast, background, documents, letters, and much more about the Assembly. The open letter Assistive Technology and Development – A message to the UN General Assembly is an important statement in support of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Secretary General's report "The way forward: a disability-inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond" and more.

• Very detailed Guidelines for Describing Images for Assessments (tests) are posted on the NCAM website. The Basics for describing images as well as Guidelines for Describing STEM Images are included.

• An enhanced presentation explaining how to use the Victor Reader Stream as an audible teleprompter for 1) public speaking, 2) reading fluently aloud to others, and 3) reading to oneself for personal comprehension has been posted on the blindhow.com website. The audio file is a 40 minute presentation by Bruce Gardner.

Eyes on Success has recently added a search field to both their home page and the page of archives of previous episodes and show notes. It is therefore now possible to search for episodes of Eyes On Success by either the show number or by topic.

Tech Tips

• Obi 3.0 beta 1 is a feature specific test release of the open source DAISY 3/DAISY 2.02 structured audio production tool from the DAISY Consortium. This test release which was made available October 5 includes numerous new features and enhancements and well as bug fixes. It is the first in the series of feature-specific beta test releases for V3.0 and is also available in Hindi and Tamil and has an updated French language pack. Each release will introduce new functionality to meet the requirements of DAISY Consortium Members expressed earlier this year. One of the major features in this release is the "Zoomed Waveform View". Complete details and a download link are provided on the Obi test release page. Feedback is important; please submit comments to the Obi forum.

• The latest version of the Save As DAISY Microsoft Word Add-in (release v2.5.5.1) has been tested with the 32 bit version of Office 2013 on Windows 7. It does work with Word 2013. After installation Word should automatically detect the previously installed DAISY add-in. It does not have to be reinstalled if it is already on the system. Microsoft Save As DAISY release v2.5.5.1 is available for download from the DAISY website. Video tutorials and step-by-step guides about how to use this tool are available in DAISYpedia

• The W3C Community and Business Group Open and Interactive Widgets for STEM Community Group has been launched. The goal of the group is to create a library of open source JavaScript interactive widgets commonly used in STEM educational resources. Further details are provided in the Call for Participation

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