About Us

The DAISY Consortium is a global partnership of organizations committed to creating the best way to read and publish, for everyone.

  • We contribute expertise in standards working groups that are engaged in Inclusive Publishing.
  • We develop guidelines and checklists so that best practices are clear and widely available.
  • We promote reading systems that ensure the best possible reading experience with eyes, ears and fingers.
  • We support and help develop inclusive publishing ecosystem for everybody, including persons with disabilities.

The Consortium is managed by a Board made up of representatives from all Full Member organizations. The Consortium is constituted as a not-for-profit association under Swiss law and is governed by Articles of Association.

Members of the Consortium actively promote inclusive publishing standards such as DAISY and accessible EPUB 3.

See also: DAISY Consortium Overview [SlideShare presentation].

Join the DAISY Consortium today or support our work!

Short history

The DAISY Consortium was formed in May, 1996 by talking book libraries to lead the worldwide transition from analog to Digital Talking Books.

DAISY denotes the Digital Accessible Information SYstem. The US Fund for DAISY was established in 2005 to provide financial support and administer U.S. based projects and grants for the DAISY Consortium in accordance with the mission, vision and values of the DAISY Consortium.

The first DAISY Standard was proprietary, originating in Sweden in 1994. The idea was to use digital recording and introduce some document structuring that would allow easy navigation by the user. In its short history, the DAISY Specification has evolved considerably. It offers a more flexible and pleasant reading experience for people who are blind or print disabled in a number of countries worldwide including Sweden, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

In 1997, the DAISY Consortium decided to adopt open standards based on file formats being developed for the Internet. The DAISY 2.0 Specification was released in 1998, and the 2.02 recommendation was approved in February 2001. Release of DAISY 3, the ANSI/NISO Z39.86 2002 Standard, was official in March 2002. This Standard was jointly developed by the DAISY Consortium, The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (part of the Library of Congress), and a variety of other organizations in North America.

What is a DAISY book?

A DAISY book can be explained as a set of digital files that includes:

  • One or more digital audio files containing a narration of part or all of the source text;
  • A marked up file containing some or all of the text (optional);
  • A synchronization file to relate markings in the text file with time points in the audio file; and
  • A navigation control file which enables the user to move smoothly between files while synchronization between text and audio is maintained.

The DAISY Standard allows the producing agency full flexibility regarding the mix of text and audio ranging from audio-only, to full text and audio, to text-only.

Additional information:

Interview with George Kerscher: Eyes on Success Podcast, Part 1 (September 23, 2015)

How and why were the first digital accessible books created?

Developing DAISY Standards and Players: Eyes on Success Podcast, mp3 (Sep. 17, 2014)

Summary: After going blind over the course of his career as an entrepreneur, consultant, and software developer, Gerry Chevalier was a key contributor to the development of the DAISY standard and of the NLS and Victor Reader digital reading devices. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with him about his commitment to accessibility and his work in that field.

A library for all – including people with print disabilities [Scandinavian Libraries Quarterly].

DAISY Members and Friends

There are 19 Full Members of the DAISY Consortium, more than 40 Associate Members, and more than 30 Friends.

  • Full and Associate Members are nonprofit organizations, typically national talking book libraries or national consortia of such libraries.
  • Friends are for-profit organizations including developers of production and/or playback hardware or software.

The DAISY Consortium welcomes the involvement of additional Full Members, Associate Members, and Friends. All Members and Friends can participate in email discussion lists hosted by the DAISY Consortium. These lists focus on standards and other technical developments, implementation support, and marketing.

In addition, there are several members of DAISY team. They bring an international approach and multi-disciplinary backgrounds to their work on behalf of the organization.

The consortium and its members also work in developing countries on building and improving libraries, training staff, producing software and content in local languages, and creating networks of organizations. It also seeks to influence international copyright laws and best practices to further the sharing of materials.

Please visit this website often to keep up with our latest news. We look forward to your support and contributions as you join with us to spread the word and help to make more books available to people who are blind or have other print disabilities.