The DAISY Consortium is a global consortium of organizations committed to a common vision and mission, which pools and coordinates resources to deliver global change. We work towards creating the best way to read and publish.
The DAISY Consortium embraces the principles of worldwide collaboration and transparency that define open standards development. We contribute expertise in standards working groups that are engaged in Inclusive Publishing and develop guidelines and checklists so that best practices are clear and widely available.
We also advocate for and contribute to reading systems that will ensure the best possible reading experience with eyes, ears and fingers. The DAISY Consortium supports and promotes 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.
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.
Members of the Consortium actively promote inclusive publishing standards such as DAISY and EPUB 3.
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 has already begun to offer a more flexible and pleasant reading experience for people who are blind or print disabled in a number of countries 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.
A DAISY book can be explained as a set of digital files that includes:
- One or more digital audio files containing a human narration of part or all of the source text;
- A marked-up file containing some or all of the text (strictly speaking, this marked-up text file is 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.
There are 20 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 staff of the DAISY Consortium. 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 Web site often to keep up with the latest news about the DAISY Standard. See the most recent issue of the DAISY Newsletter which is published every month. 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.