There are six feature articles in this issue of the DAISY Planet newsletter. I'd like to begin by thanking the people who provided three of those articles: Gerardo Capiel, Vice President, Engineering at Benetech for Finding Accessible Materials on the Web, Roswitha Borer Amoroso of the SBS Marketing team for Buchknacker: New Online Library for Children & Adults with Dyslexia in Switzerland, and of course, our very own Director of Communications, Varju Luceno, for Facing Constant Change, Accessible Technologies Move Ahead which is about CSUN 2014. I do hope that you will find these and the other three articles in this issue to be interesting and helpful.
One of the events covered in the article Techshare India 2014 & the New Delhi World Book Fair in the February issue of the DAISY Planet was the Antarchakshu™ experience zone. What Does It Really Mean To Be Visually Impaired In India? by Rajkanya Mahapatra is about this young woman's experience at Antarchakshu™ and the impact it had on her personally. She opens the second paragraph with "What I didn't or wasn't expecting was a life altering experience." Later she writes "This article aims and urges people to get to know more about how physically challenged people survive in a not so friendly country for the physically challenged like India". Please take a moment to read this short but inspiring article.
The article As the Web Turns 25, Its Creator Talks About Its Future takes us back to 1989 when Tim Berners-Lee began developing the World Wide Web. The history is interesting, however, Berners-Lee's concerns about the future of the web should be required reading for everyone: "The creators of the web, including Mr. Berners-Lee, worry that companies and telecommunications outlets could destroy the open nature that made it [the web] flourish in their quest to make more money." It is a short article, please take a moment to read it – it is important for all of us.
It is unlikely that you knew or have heard of Bea Dezell – she passed away this month at the age of 105. "Her enthusiasm for technology illustrated her desire to remain as independent as possible…". DAISY books are featured in the Prince George Citizen article Bea's Grace which celebrates her life. "She agreed without hesitation to be interviewed by local reporters about the impact the library had on her life and how home service meant so much to her. When I thanked her for agreeing to help promote the library, she thanked me in return for working at the library and told me all of the great books she had enjoyed thanks to her DAISY player…" If you are looking for something to lift your spirits, I highly recommend "Bea's Grace" – it certainly lifted mine.
Another interesting 'read' this month is Jim Fruchterman's March 28 blog, New Ideas at TED2014, although much of what Jim has written does not deal with information access (or accessible information), it helped me to understand more of the scope of what Benetech is attempting to achieve and how they are working toward those goals. Jim's conclusion sums it up nicely: "At Benetech Labs, we're sharing our passion for innovation and for discovering new software social enterprises with the potential to deliver large-scale benefits to society. We're delighted to join forces with entrepreneurs, social and business leaders in pushing the frontier of applying technology to empower people, improve lives, and create lasting social impact."
Romain Deltour who is a software developer with the DAISY Consortium has very recently been co-opted to the XML Guild, a consortium of independent XML consultants. Guild members have extensive experience in XML and markup technologies and are involved in the establishment of standards and best practices. Congratulations Romain from all of the DAISY staff team and Board members. Romain has been working with the Consortium for quite some time, and I am hoping to be able to share his story with you later this year.
…and this leads very nicely into Part 2 of Chris Downey's story which is published with this issue of the DAISY Planet. Through a series of questions and answers Chris sheds some light on how he has been able to turn what could have been life altering in a negative way, into an altered but positive life path. Thank you again Chris, it has been a pleasure working with you.
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).
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 article Using Adobe InDesign to create accessible EPUB 3 files has been added to DAISYpedia. Adobe InDesign CC and InDesign CS6 can be used to create eBooks with features that make them accessible to people who have a reading disability. This article explains 'how' and includes numerous links to additional supportive resources.
• IDPF Digital Book 2014 will take place May 28-29 at the Javits Center in New York City. BISG's "Making Information Pay 2014" is now a track of IDPF Digital Book 2014, the flagship digital conference at BookExpo America. Registration for IDPF Digital Book 2014 includes "Making Information Pay 2014" and provides full access to the full BookExpo America trade show. Digital Book 2014 is the industry's longest-running forum for a strategic analysis of emerging trends in digital publishing. The conference is expected to draw a global audience of over 1000 publishing professionals. Details are available on the IDPF website.
• In the Vital Source press release
Ingram Content Group's Vital Source Technologies Acquires CourseSmart it was announced that Vital Source Technologies, Inc. has acquired the assets of CourseSmart: "By integrating the strengths of CourseSmart with Vital Source, we are creating an extensive global sales channel for publishers and bringing the best in digital learning technology and accessibility to the higher education community." [John Ingram, Chairman and CEO, Ingram Content Group]
"The company will offer a best-in-class digital content platform and will be committed to pioneering new technologies in areas like accessibility and analytics…Content from more than 500 of the world's top academic publishers is available to VitalSource Bookshelf platform users, including those living with disabilities, on a variety of operating systems and devices." [Vital Source press release]
Vital Source Technologies, Inc. is Ingram Content Group's global leader in building, enhancing and delivering e-learning content.
• TTS … Today, Tomorrow, Someday? by Matt Garrish looks at EPUB 3 and text-to-speech playback, the pro's and con's of TTS, and issues such as lexicons and CSS3 speech. Matt has connected mainstream publishing and text-to-speech, something not yet often done.
This article was written by Gerardo Capiel, Vice President, Engineering at Benetech and submitted for publication in the DAISY Planet.
When you are looking for an accessible version of your favorite book or YouTube video, how do you find it? Wouldn't it be great if you could do a simple Google, Yahoo, Bing, or Yandex search to discover which of your video search results include captions? Or which of your book search results include accessible images?
The availability of accessible books from a broader set of commercial and non-commercial sources is a welcomed trend, however it creates a challenge for readers to find those books. At Benetech, we believe that as accessible digital content and applications increasingly become more available, they must also be easily discoverable. That's exactly what we set out to do through the Accessibility Metadata Project, one of our Benetech Labs projects.
In order to ensure that everyone can find all (or even most) accessible resources using common search engines, there are two hurdles to clear:
This is a chicken-and-egg problem – there is no reason for search engines to support tagging if the tagging isn't in the content and there is no reason for people to tag content if the search engines don't support it. How to break that impasse?
Enter Schema.org, an initiative launched in 2011 by the operators of the world's largest search engines to create and support a common set of "schemas" for structured data markup on web pages. Think of Schema.org as the organization that keeps a list of agreed-upon tags that all search engines can use in common so that users of those search engines can refine their searches to find exactly what they are looking for.
A major first step was taken in December 2013 when Schema.org accepted the Accessibility Metadata Project's proposed set of accessibility metadata tags. Now that the standard set of Schema.org tagging properties includes accessibility metadata, these properties are being picked up by the likes of the Internet Archive's Open Library initiative, Hathi Trust Digital Library, the Learning Registry, Federal Registry for Educational Excellence (powered by the Learning Registry), Bookshare, the Library Braille League of Belgium, and more.
With this vital groundwork laid, the next steps are to encourage content management systems, publishers, and sites like Wikimedia to start using Schema.org metadata in their sites so that one day everyone will be able to find the great accessible content that is out there now but can't yet be found by those who need it. It's just a matter of time before everyone will be able to locate accessible materials on the web – let's make that elapsed time as short as possible!
If you operate an online collection of accessible books and other digital content and are looking for more detail about how this initiative works and how to take advantage of it, please visit the following articles:
Note: The IDPF has included support for Schema.org properties, such as those related to accessibility, in the EPUB 3.0.1 specification within the EPUB package. This will allow publishers and their accessibility partners to easily transmit Schema.org metadata to their distribution and retail partners, so that they can expose it to search engines in their online libraries. We have also created a crosswalk between the Schema.org accessibility properties and ONIX Code List 196, which enables the inclusion of accessibility compliance metadata. The crosswalk will enable greater interoperability between the standards.
The photograph of a baby chicken and an egg used in this article is named Pollito. It was taken by Juegos Olimpicos, and is available on Wikimedia under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
This article was written by Roswitha Borer Amoroso of the SBS Marketing team.
According to a number of studies, approximately five percent of the general population in German-speaking areas has dyslexia. Each classroom has an average of two children who have trouble reading and writing because of dyslexia. The online library www.buchknacker.ch was set up in Switzerland in November 2013 especially for these children and adults, and features audio books and e-books for downloading. Buchknacker is a service offered by SBS Swiss Library for the Blind, Visually Impaired and Print Disabled.
Buchknacker means "book-cracker" in English. This service offers fiction and non-fiction works in German for readers aged six and up. The range of more than 25,000 audio books and e-books also includes "easy reader" books. This corresponds to the number of audio books and e-books that people who are blind or have a visual disability can borrow from SBS. There is an audio sample provided for each audio book. The books of a popular reading promotion program (Antolin) are marked as a special service for pupils. Buchknacker books can be borrowed exclusively online with a personal login. No physical CDs are distributed.
A free audio book app for iPhones and iPads is offered with Buchknacker. All books are based on the DAISY Standards: MP3 DAISY 2.02 for audio books with structure, or DAISY 3.0 text-only for e-books. The Internet page and the app provide an integrated DAISY player with which audio books can be played directly online. This device is a simple way to enjoy audio books and has features such as adjustable talking speed which are useful for people with dyslexia.
The colorful and imaginative design of this online library is especially appealing to children and adolescents. It highlights the main goal of Buchknacker, namely, to stir people's interest in stories and their joy of reading. SBS worked close with children and adolescents when selecting the design and the name for this online library service. The beta version of Buchknacker was tested at a public school with pupils who have dyslexia. In this trial, checks were run on the usability of the platform for searching, borrowing, downloading and playing books. Specific design recommendations for people with dyslexia were important requirements during platform development:
Promotional activities for Buchknacker have been running at schools, with parents, and at corresponding counseling offices since the beginning of this year. In Switzerland, dyslexia is a matter primarily handled by schools and has not yet been widely discussed in public. This reading disability is diagnosed in most people who have dyslexia in their initial years of schooling. Therapies also begin at that time. Children and adolescents undergoing mandatory schooling can therefore be reached most effectively as a target group. This is also because of the legal requirements for using Buchknacker: Confirmation of dyslexia from an official counseling office is required for registration.
The online library has already met with great interest on the part of parents and therapists. "Thank you for your services and the great app," one mother wrote. "Our two dyslexic sons have already listened to a number of books and enjoyed them." Above and beyond therapy, experts appreciate the possibilities this program offers for motivating children with dyslexia to read. One educational therapist had this to say about Buchknacker: "Along with the actual therapies, we think it is vitally important to provide these pupils with adequate reading material." In the two months since Buchknacker has been running, the first 100 children and adolescents have borrowed books through this new service. This figure is encouraging because programs of this kind are made known by multipliers.
Adults with dyslexia are also free to use Buchknacker. However, active promotion among adults will not begin until later in a second stage. If SBS develops in line with the Scandinavian libraries, SBS should double its number of customers in the medium term and serve equal numbers of people with dyslexia and people with a visual disability.
The conceptual work for this online library began in 2012. Prior to that, there was an organizational and name change, in the course of which SBS opened up its services for people with reading disabilities in 2010. The Scandinavian libraries, Nota (Denmark), MTM (Sweden) and Celia (Finland) generously shared their experiences and recommendations with the Swiss project team. This input was an extremely valuable part of the conceptual phase. For technical development, SBS collaborated closely with Dedicon, the Dutch DAISY partner. An already existing solution from Dedicon that supports the DAISY Online Delivery Protocol was adopted for the download process. The Buchknacker app is also based on an app solution from Dedicon; the app was adapted to the specific requirements of SBS. Project progress was greatly accelerated by the fact that SBS was able to resort to best practice examples and existing technical solutions. In addition, SBS succeeding in building on the experiences it had gathered since its online library for the blind and the visually impaired went live in February 2014.
Thanks go to Roswitha Borer Amoroso of the SBS Marketing team for writing and submitting this article for the publication in the DAISY Planet. (The direct link to the SBS website is www.sbs.ch.)
This article was written by Varju Luceno, Director of Communications for the DAISY Consortium, who attended CSUN.
CSUN 2014 got off to a cheerful start with the Blind Film Critic Tommy Edison's keynote (this link is to a captioned video of Edison's keynote). His optimism ignited discussions and inserted hope for big things to come.
This year's conference reminded everyone that accessibility can be a challenging problem – difficult to solve because the requirements are incomplete and constantly changing. It's very hard to keep advances in technology, standards and regulations in sync with work processes.
The #CSUN14 hashtag will help you find session notes from all over the world on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. If interested, you can also view CSUN 2014 images, people, videos, and slide collections at Topsy, Lanyrd, and Eventifier. Conference organizers will make the set of captioned conference videos available in the near future. The "Best of 2014 CSUN" will provide a selection of general session and featured presentations, on-site interviews, the Keynote Address and other conference highlights.
Christopher Phillips has compiled the comprehensive CSUN Big List that includes session notes, links to discussions and presentations for everyone to review and share. Thank you, Christopher.
Once again the DAISY Consortium produced the CSUN program in various formats. Each part of the CSUN 2014 program was available for download as a navigable DAISY 2.02 publication in addition to the HTML and EPUB files. More than 600 people downloaded CSUN 2014 programs from the DAISY Consortium website.
HumanWare hosted the DAISY Online Delivery themed breakfast meeting that brought together representatives from the DAISY membership. A revision to the current standard is being planned. Please let George Kerscher (kerscher[at]montana[dot]com) know if you are interested in participating. Thank you goes to Gilles Pepin and his team for hosting this meeting.
The Exhibit Hall was filled with new and proven technologies as it is each year. Many discussions that took place and the questions that were answered are invaluable. Even Stevie Wonder found time to come and explore (see the news clip Stevie Wonder Tots Technology for Impaired).
Google organized a special session where they accepted problem reports and opinions from invited conference attendees. Some of the problems that were shared included accessibility issues with Chrome web browser, Google Docs and Google Hangouts.
Amazon was present and demonstrated their new Kindle Fire tablets with improved accessibility features.
DAISY Consortium, our membership and supporters showed particular interest in sessions relating to e-book accessibility such as Testing Mainstream eBook Reading Systems – Which is the Most Accessible?. In this session, Dave Gunn and Steve Taylor (both from the Royal National Institute of Blind People – RNIB) presented results from benchmarking accessibility tests on the leading global eBook vendors, across all of their platforms (iOS, Android, multifunction devices, eInk devices, Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac OS). Over 30 reading systems were tested on 27 criteria encompassing reading requirements for access by people with low vision, dyslexia and by people who are blind. The session concluded with accessibility statements from Kindle, Kobo and Nook, and a challenge to each of them for improvements to make prior to CSUN 2015.
George Kerscher, Janet Sedgley and Amy Salmon presented the session Reading Systems Showdown: Accessibility Evaluation (this link is to the presentation slides). Attendees were provided with the latest information on the standards, policies, reading options and testing: BISG (Book Industry Study Group) EPUBTEST (EPUB 3 reading systems testing). Accessibility evaluation options will be finalized and added to EPUBTEST in June 2014.
In a very informative session "Emerging Developments in Content Accessibility", Betsy Beaumon (Benetech / Bookshare), George Kerscher and Elaine Ober (Pearson) shared the various challenges content creators, students and educators encounter as the educational content landscape rapidly evolves. It was stressed that it is important that students with disabilities are able to meaningfully access the same materials as their peers. The DIAGRAM Center website provides excellent resources for making content, and images in particular, accessible. Late 2014 and 2015 look promising as tools to produce accessible e-textbooks for math and science in EPUB 3 are in development; some of them were demonstrated at CSUN 2014.
Thank you DAISY Consortium Members and Friends for your valuable work, discussions and your participation in events such as CSUN 2014.
Thanks go to Varju Luceno for submitting this article for publication in the DAISY Planet newsletter.
On Wednesday April 9 at 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. (ET) NISO (National Information Standards Organization) will present the webinar "Back from Marrakesh – Implementing an Accessible Content World".
In June last year the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled was adopted by the Diplomatic Conference held for the purpose of concluding that Treaty. This webinar will provide an overview of the treaty, discuss its potential implications, and describe how standardized technology can facilitate access for the community of individuals who have a visual or other print disability.
Additional details about the webinar including registration, system requirements, registration costs and additional details are available on the NISO webpage for the webinar. Registration closes at 12:00 p.m. (ET) on April 9, the day of the session.
All webinar registrants and NISO Library Standards Alliance (LSA) contacts will receive access to the recorded version for one year.
The Norwegian Library of Talking Books and Braille will host a Transition to EPUB 3 Production Systems (TIES) Meeting, June 18 in Oslo Norway.
The EPUB 3 standard, developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), provides a clear path to inclusive publishing. It incorporates the requirements of both mainstream publishers and those of accessible content producers. The DAISY Consortium has played a key role in the development of this e-publishing specification, ensuring that accessibility features were included from the ground up.
Making the transition from the DAISY standards to EPUB 3 is something many DAISY Consortium Members are or will be looking at in the near future. There are many issues to be considered, including some of the special requirements of accessible content producers such as the need for braille output. The objectives of this meeting are to:
More information about the meeting and the registration process are available on the TIES Production Systems meeting page on the DAISY website. The Norwegian Library of Talking Books and Braille (NL) is a member of the Norwegian DAISY Consortium. The DAISY Consortium would like to thank NLB for offering to host this important meeting.
This workshop will take place June 19 in Oslo Norway at the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. Publishers as well as accessible content producers also face challenges in specialized content production. The EDUPUB profile of EPUB 3 is being developed to advance the effective adoption and use of e-textbooks and other digital learning materials by improving interoperability, accessibility, and baseline capabilities through broad adoption of enabling technical standards.
EDUPUB Europe 2014 will take place the day following the TIES meeting, and the IDPF is pleased to invite DAISY Consortium Members to this first EDUPUB workshop in Europe. This workshop will provide an update on current progress of the EDUPUB initiative.
Registration is open through May 1. As space is limited early registration is recommended. Proposals to present a position paper (an option that can be selected on the registration page) are requested by April 21, 2014. There is no fee for attending this workshop. Additional information about EDUPUB Europe 2014 and the registration form are available online.
Kolibre, a Finnish non-profit association, has developed an Internet-enabled talking book player called Kolibre Vadelma and a linked web service called Kolibre KADOS. The purpose of this association is to promote information systems as tools for individuals with print disabilities. The source code and related material for the tools they develop are released under an open source code license.
Kolibre Vadelma is based on the Raspberry Pi hardware platform. Vadelma, which in Finnish means 'raspberry', can be easily converted into an Internet-enabled talking book player, demonstrating that it is possible for private individuals, organizations and companies to develop new, low cost, assistive technologies. When used in conjunction with Kolibre KADOS, a web service implementing the DAISY Online protocol, it is possible to build a system for the distribution and playback of digital talking books.
A video demonstration of the Kolibre Vadelma quick menu is posted on YouTube. Additional information about Kolibre Vadelma and Kolibre KADOS is available in the Kolibre March 11 press release, including contact details. More information about Kolibre is provided on their About Us page.
Kolibre's open source code can be found in the Kolibre GitHub area. Anyone can download their code to run, test, modify, adapt and make improvements for the benefit of all.
I have downloaded AMIS on my computer, a new one, and also on my daughter's computer, one about a year and a half old. It seems that they installed differently. On my daughter's there is only a choice of one voice, on mine there are 3 voices. Also, on my computer it has the text underlined and in blue, but on hers it is not underlined and black. What am I missing that they would install differently on each computer?
AMIS is a DAISY book player developed by the DAISY Consortium. It is a self-voicing application and uses a recorded human voice to read out the menus and messages. To read out text in DAISY books it uses voices installed on the system. Note that it does not install any voice (TTS) by itself. It seems that one of your computers has additional text-to-speech voices installed on it. That is why you are getting options while choosing voices in AMIS.
AMIS also allows the user to change the appearance of the text in its window. You can choose from several built-in styles from the view menu. The differences in appearance of the text can also be due to different versions of Internet Explorer browser installed on the system.
I recommend that you read the AMIS quick start guide. It will give you an overview of the features and tips to use them. You can learn how to get started with AMIS in the DAISYpedia article AMIS Software Overview. This article also has links to video tutorials and the AMIS manual.
Please do write to me if you face any difficulty in using any of the DAISY tools.
DAISY Technical Support Team
• UNICEF and the Ministry of Education of Montenegro have produced a textbook in DAISY format for children with visual and other print disabilities. A broad coalition of dedicated partners has begun adapting six textbooks into DAISY format for primary school children. Information about these efforts including the results of the UNICEF awareness raising campaign on inclusion of children with disabilities ("It's about ability") is provided on the UNICEF website. The video UNICEF MNE – The first textbook in the DAISY format produced in Montenegro is on YouTube.
• The ITD Journal 20th Anniversary issue is now online. In this special edition, twelve pioneers in the field of accessible technology reflect on the past 20 years, and consider exciting future challenges and solutions. One of the twelve articles is Focus on Inclusive Publishing: Making Content Accessible From Day One written by George Kerscher, Secretary General of the DAISY Consortium and President of the IDPF. Each of the articles touches on a different aspect of accessible technology.
• The article Steady Progress Possible in Achieving ICT Accessibility Globally by Alex Leblois, Founder and Executive Director of the Global Initiative for Inclusive Technologies (G3ict) details the progress that has been made worldwide in the implementation of the UN CRPD particularly in relation to ICT applications, services and digital media accessibility. In the examples of solutions that exist and can be implemented, Leblois noted: "digital books for the blind now belong to mainstream standards with ePUB3".
• The UN Economic and Social Commission – Asia Pacific is observing a decade for persons with disabilities from 2013 to 2022. Governments and civil society have developed a strategy (the "Incheon Strategy") and action plan for the current decade. A 30 member working group (15 members from governments and 15 from civil society organisations) has been constituted to plan and monitor the implementation of the Incheon Strategy for 5 years. Hiroshi Kawamura, immediate Past President of the DAISY Consortium, has been included as a member of this working group. The first meeting took place in Incheon, South Korea, February 25-26. The Incheon Strategy to "Make the Right Real" for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific can be downloaded from the UN ESCAP website.
• The G3ict list of Upcoming Events contains links to conferences, forums and events of interest that will take place around the world in 2014.
• The 14th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs (ICCHP) will take place July 9-11 at Université Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint-Denis. ICCHP provides a unique platform for end users, researchers, developers and practitioners. It is a major event in this field and has been attended by more than 400 international and 200 national guests in recent years. Details such as conference topics, key dates and registration are available on the ICCHP 2014 website.
• Registration for this year's Web Accessibility Training Day co-hosted by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and Maryland Technology Assistance Program is now open. The event will take place September 9 at NFB Jernigan Place Baltimore, Maryland. Information about the event and a link to the registration form are on the NFB website.
• Earlier this month Dolphin Computer Access Ltd announced the release of Dolphin Publisher 3.50 which supports human-narrated EPUB 3 with media overlays. This new release also allows producers to create EPUB 3 books using synthetic speech. Customers who are already using Dolphin Publisher version 3 can update to 3.50 at no cost. Details and a link to the download are provided in the Dolphin Publisher announcement.
• U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Orrin Hatch have introduced the Technology, Education, and Accessibility in College and Higher Education (TEACH) Act – legislation to help strengthen the accessibility of educational technologies for college students with disabilities. "Technological advances have increased educational opportunities for everyone but especially for students with disabilities. However, in order to benefit from these new technologies students need to be able to access them… [Sen. Hatch]" Additional information, a video of Senator Warren announcing the Act and a list disability rights organizations endorsing the Act (including the DAISY Consortium) are available on the Framingham Patch website.
• The 6th Africa Forum will take place October 10-18 at the Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala, Uganda. This is the first Africa Forum since 2011, and the theme this year will be "Beyond 2015: Delivering on the Agenda for Persons with Visual Impairment in Africa". The Forum will also host the 2nd TechShare Africa Exhibition. A Call for Abstracts for Panel Presentations as well as for Workshops and Skills Development sessions will be made in the near future. Information about registration is provided on the Forum website.
• The article Using Screen Readers on Touchscreen Devices in the Assistive Technology area of the Media Access Australia website lists six tips to help people use a screen reader on a touchscreen and closes with an imbedded YouTube video that demonstrates how to use VoiceOver on an iPad with iOS 7.
• The beta phase of ReadBeyond Sync: Automated Audio/Text Synchronization began this month. Sync automates the production of a synchronization map between a text and an audio file containing the narration of the text. Output files include SMIL for EPUB 3 or SRT for closed captioning. Details including a link to receive an invitation to participate in the beta phase and technical details are on ReadBeyond's Sync page.
• NVDA Version 2014.1 was released March 13. This free screen reading software is developed by NV Access. V2014.1 contains several new features, numerous bug fixes and more.
• The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Protocols and Formats Working Group recently announced that Accessible Rich Internet Applications 1.0 (WAI-ARIA) and its companion specification, WAI-ARIA 1.0 User Agent Implementation Guide, have become W3C Recommendations. This technology makes advanced Web applications accessible and usable to people with disabilities. Full details are provided in the announcement WAI-ARIA EXPANDS WEB ACCESSIBILITY. Please also read Marco Zehe's blog What is WAI-ARIA, what does it do for me, and what not? for clearly presented information about and links to useful resources about WAI-ARIA.
• From How-To Geek this month:
° Shortcut keys to take you to the 'clear data browsing window' so that you can quickly and easily clear out the cache and cookies in Google Chromo – for Windows: Ctrl+Shift+Delete, and for Mac: Shift+Command+Delete. The shortcut will take you to chrome://settings/clearBrowserData, opening the 'clear data browsing window'; there are 8 checkboxes. [How-To Geek: What is the Fastest Way to Clear the Cache and Cookies in Google Chrome?]
° Gmail Shortcut keys: The Complete Guide to Gmail, Lesson 8: Multiple Accounts, Keyboard Shortcuts, and Remote Signout (to get directly to the section on shortcut keys, do a search on the page for "Save Time" (no quotes).
° Hard Disk Partitions Explained (for Windows, Mac and Linux).
° 5 Ways To Free Up Disk Space on a Mac.
° Windows XP End of Support is on April 8th, 2014: Why Windows is Warning You includes upgrade options plus things you can do if you still need Windows XP for old business applications that don't work on modern versions of Windows.