DAISY News

Current DAISY News items are posted below RSS. A list of Archived News items is also available.

Tobi 2.3 Brings Full-Text, Full-Audio Image Descriptions to Mainstream EPUB 3 Media Overlays
2014-04-22

DAISY Consortium is pleased to announce the new release of the next generation open source multimedia book production tool, Tobi.

 

Tobi is a rare software tool that can produce books compliant with the mainstream EPUB 3 specifications as well as advanced accessible publishing requirements. The new version is equipped with the capability of adding full-text, full-audio image descriptions to EPUB 3 media overlays. This feature enables DAISY production centres and other organizations producing accessible content to add accessibility enhancements to the mainstream EPUB 3 publications. This is an important step in the direction of embedding advanced accessibility features in publications that have basic built-in accessibility.

 

Other additions include a basic framework for integrating audio processing libraries (this includes operations such as normalization, amplification, increasing/decreasing speech rate ), as well as direct commands for creating text-to-speech for the entire book, and regular bug fixes.

 

The latest version of Tobi is also available in Spanish. Thank you goes to Juan Islas Carbajal from Presta Tu Voz, Mexico for the translations.

 

To learn more about Tobi, please visit Tobi project area (http://www.daisy.org/tobi/). For more information about what’s new in this release, please visit the change log (http://www.daisy.org/tobi/change-log).

 

World Book Night Promotes Literacy and Reading
2014-04-22

World Book Night was created in 2011 in England and Ireland to encourage reading and bring attention to adult literacy, according to the World Book Night website. This is different than World Book Day, which brings attention to books for schoolchildren. World Book Night celebrates Shakespeare’s birthday and International Day of the Book.

 

Hundreds of thousands of books will be given away as part of the annual 
celebration of reading and books on April 23rd, 2014. More information is provided on the World Book Night website.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day: May 15, 2014
2014-04-18

Global Accessibility Awareness Day is a community-driven effort with a goal to dedicate one day to raising the profile of and introducing the topic of digital (web, software, mobile app/device etc.) accessibility and people with different disabilities to the broadest audience possible. Read more on the Global Accessibility Awareness Day website.

Mathematical Markup Language Version 3.0 2nd Edition Released
2014-04-16

MathML 3.0 was released as a W3C Recommendation on October 21st, 2010, with a second edition released on April 10th, 2014 (http://www.w3.org/TR/2014/REC-MathML3-20140410/). A product of the W3C Math Working Group, MathML is a low-level specification for describing mathematics. It serves as a basis for machine to machine communications and provides a needed foundation for the inclusion of mathematical expressions in webpages. MathML is also important in publishing workflows for science and technology. The new version brings accessibility improvements and better support for formulas in languages written from right to left. The basic markup remains the same. Review Testimonials welcoming MathML 3.0. More information is provided on the W3C Math Home page.

Disability Rights in the 21st Century: Creative Solutions for Achieving the Right to Live in the World
2014-04-11

Don't miss your opportunity to hear 2014 theme keynote speakers Jenny Hatch and Jonathan Martinis talk about the landmark case in which Ms. Hatch won the right to make her own decisions through supported decision-making rather than being forced into a guardianship that she did not want and that would make all decisions for her. The luncheon keynote will be given by Catherine Lhamon, assistant secretary, Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education.

 

The 2014 Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium (April 24-25 at the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute in Baltimore, Maryland) will consist of plenary sessions and workshops facilitated by distinguished law professors, practitioners, and advocates who will discuss topics such as: disability discrimination in the criminal and juvenile justice systems, next steps in Olmstead litigation, rights of parents with disabilities, supported decision making as an alternative to guardianship, and how to work with the media to get the disability rights message across.

 

Registration closes April 17th. Register now.

Accessibility: A Driver for Mobile Innovation (M-Enabling Summit)
2014-04-04

The M-Enabling Global Summit is the only program exclusively dedicated to promoting mobile accessible and assistive applications and services for senior citizens and users of all abilities, a market of more than one billion users worldwide, with considerable untapped potential.

Check out the M-Enabling Summit speaker lineup.

Benefits of participating in the M-Enabling Summit:

  • Network with peers and experts from industry, service providers, apps developers, organizations of seniors and persons with disabilities, and professionals representing special education, rehabilitation and senior care services
  • Promote your own mobile accessible and assistive solutions to key interested stakeholders
  • Learn about the latest developments, innovations, market drivers and emerging opportunities
  • Share perspectives with international participants
  • See the latest products, services and applications in a showcase featuring companies and organizations driving innovation with accessible and assistive mobile technologies solutions
  • Gain new insights from case studies by service providers, and public and private sector organizations experienced in marketing and services for seniors and persons with disabilities.

More information is provided on the Summit website. Save $100 when you register for M-Enabling Summit (June 9-10, 2014 - Washington DC) by April 11th: http://bit.ly/OZ1N7e.

Coming Soon in Dolphin SuperNova
2014-03-24

Read what you want how you want with the next major upgrade to the SuperNova family of screen magnifiers and screen readers from Dolphin:

  • NEW: Find, download and read thousands of accessible books and periodicals from online libraries including Bookshare, NFB Newsline, Gutenberg and many more
  • NEW: Straightforward gestures enable people with low vision to easily use the latest Microsoft Windows 8 tablets and touch screen laptops with magnification
  • NEW: Touch Bar displays convenient buttons at the bottom of touch screens to change colours and speak documents out loud
  • NEW: High Contrast Large print keyboard makes onscreen typing practical for people with low vision
  • NEW: Scan and Read to make paper documents accessible with speech and Braille
  • UPDATE: True Fonts make magnified text look even clearer in the latest applications running on Windows 8

The latest best sellers, timeless classics and popular periodicals can be downloaded from accessible libraries using a new Bookshelf tab page added to the SuperNova Control Panel. Content providers include Bookshare, NFB Newsline and Gutenberg amongst others, with more libraries being added regularly.

 

The Bookshelf tab also includes buttons to jump quickly to a popular selection of RSS news feeds, podcasts and internet radio stations. More information is provided on the Dolphin Computer Access website.

Announcing EDUPUB Europe 2014
2014-03-19

EDUPUB Europe 2014 will take place in Oslo, Norway, June 19th 2014. The meeting will provide an update on current progress of the EDUPUB initiative to advance the effective adoption and use of e-textbooks and other digital learning materials by improving interoperability, accessibility, and baseline capabilities via broad adoption of enabling technical standards. EDUPUB is an alliance of trade and standards organizations and other stakeholders working to establish a globally interoperable, accessible, open ecosystem for e-Textbooks and other Digital Learning Materials via EPUB 3, Educational Sector Standards and the Open Web Platform.

 

The workshop is co-sponsored by IDPF and IMS Global Learning and hosted by ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC36 as well as Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences / LACE project. The agenda and registration details for the workshop are available at: http://idpf.org/edupub-europe-2014. Registration will be open through May 1, 2014 - but space is limited. Act now to secure your spot at this key meeting. Proposals to present a position paper (an option that can be selected on the registration page) are requested by April 21, 2014.

 

Other upcoming EDUPUB related events include IMS Learning Impact Leadership Institute, (May 5-8, New Orleans) which will feature an EDUPUB update panel and the IDPF Digital Book conference at BookExpo America, (May 28-29 in New York City, NY) which will have several EDUPUB sessions in its Education track.

CSUN 2014 Conference program available in HTML, EPUB and DAISY formats
2014-03-11

In 2014 again, each part of the CSUN program is available for download as a navigable DAISY 2.02 publication in addition to the HTML and EPUB files.

 

You can download a free DAISY reader AMIS from our website. Thank you goes to IVONA Software for their support (high-quality text-to-speech voice). An extensive list of software and hardware players for reading DAISY content is provided in the Tools and Services section.

 

Download the CSUN 2014 Conference program in HTML, EPUB and DAISY formats

More information is available on the CSUN 2014 conference website.

Dolphin Publisher: Support Added for Human-Narrated EPUB 3 Files with Media Overlays
2014-03-06

Libraries are now ready to prepare for the future of accessible eBook production with Dolphin Publisher's support for human-narrated EPUB 3 with media overlays.

 

"The EPUB 3 standard empowers publishers to create fully accessible text and audio content in a mainstream digital format" explains Mattias Karlsson, AltFormat Product Manager at Dolphin. "The addition of EPUB 3 support in Dolphin Publisher continues Dolphin's commitment to enabling digital libraries to fully engage readers with vision and print impairments with professionally produced, human-narrated eBooks". More information is available in the official press release on the Dolphin Computer Access website.

Zero Project Report 2014 on Accessibility Published
2014-02-25

More than 1,000 experts from all around the world worked on this year’s Zero Project Report. Together, they mapped the state of implementation of the CRPD (U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) in 130 countries. They nominated 243 projects for the title of “Innovative Practice 2014” as well as 68 policies for the title of “Innovative Policy 2014".

 

In this year’s Zero Project Report you will find:

  • Questionnaire results on the state of implementation of the CRPD, especially accessibility, from 130 countries
  • 54 Innovative Practices on accessibility
  • 15 Innovative Policies advancing accessibility and universal design

Among other recognized Innovative Accessible Practices of 2014 is a publication in DAISY multimedia format, developed by the Assistive Technology Development Organization (ATDO) in Japan. This is an easy to understand accessible evacuation manual for people with intellectual disabilities, currently implemented in Urakawa Town, Hokkaido, Japan.

 

Download and share the full Zero Project Report 2014 (in English, in PDF)

 

Visit the Zero Project website and comment on:

 

Results on accessibility: http://zeroproject.org/indicator-type/convention/ and http://zeroproject.org/indicator-type/accessibility/

54 Innovative Practices: http://zeroproject.org/practice-type/selected/

15 Innovative Policies: http://zeroproject.org/policy/introduction/

BISG, DAISY and IDPF Launch EPUBTest.org to Showcase Reading System Conformance
2014-02-24

The new website epubtest.org has been launched in a collaborative effort between the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), DAISY Consortium, and the IDPF. EPUBTest.org provides a unified home for the definitive EPUB 3 Reading System Conformance Test Suite, originally developed by the IDPF, and the next generation of the BISG EPUB 3 Support Grid. This grid has been revamped moving from an Excel spreadsheet listing high-level features into a web-based database with fine-grained results determined objectively via the EPUB 3 Test Suite. The initial set of results showcase conformance of over two dozen different reading systems. At launch, the four highest scoring reading systems were Readium for Chrome (82% on required EPUB 3 features, 74% overall including optional features), VitalSource Bookshelf (79.5% / 61.5% for Mac version), iBooks (77.6% / 60.6% for iOS version), and Kobo iOS App (71.4% / 61% ). But now the race is on: who will be the first to reach 100% conformance?

Learning Ally Webinar: Dyslexia and the Individualized Education Program
2014-02-22

Discover how to avoid and catch the most common mistakes in an IEP (Individualized Education Program) for a student with dyslexia.

 

During this free 60-minute webinar, How to Make Sure the IEP is in Tip-Top Shape, Kelli Sandman-Hurley and Tracey Block-Zaretsky will share an overview about appropriate goals and services.

 

Date: Tuesday, February 25th

Time: 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. EST

You will learn:

  • What information should be included in the IEP
  • Where information for an IEP document should come from
  • How to determine the level of services
  • How to determine which and how many goals to include
  • What should be included in the accommodations section
  • State testing requirements
  • Modifications versus accommodations

Recording will be posted to webinar archives.

Braille Translation Software: Duxbury DBT 11.2 Has Been Released
2014-02-19

The Duxbury Braille Translator (DBT) has always been at the forefront in implementing Unified English Braille (UEB). Duxbury DBT Version 11.2 contains further enhancements. DBT now has a UEB Learning Series for the UK (these are a series of translators that allow learning of contractions in graduated steps). Users can now use variable width fonts on the "print side" of DBT. For many languages, this is a substantial improvement.

 

DBT 11.2 can read Word 2007/2010/2013 documents. It also handles tabular format, Excel files.


Other notable improvements:

  • Better support for the new BANA 2011 Formats (used in the United States)
  • New SWIFT 4.0 gives greater power and flexibility from Microsoft Word (SWIFT 4.0 will be released shortly)
  • Nemeth Code, Braille to Print support added
  • Export from DBT to Microsoft Word via HTML
  • DBT has new software to handle installation and activation issues
  • DBT now contains a Czech and a Chinese User Interface (see Global Menu, Internationalization)
  • Formatted Braille Files with non-US encodings can now be imported by DBT (requires *.bff extension and the use of another encoding in the Global, Internationalization Menu)
  • Smart Phone Integration with DBT
  • More languages and better support of existing languages
  • Better Embosser support
  • Math file importing and braille math translation have been improved

More information is provided on the Duxbury Systems website.

Now Available: CRPD 2013 ICT Accessibility Progress Report
2014-02-13

NEW DELHI, INDIA (February 13, 2014) — The Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) and Disabled People’s International (DPI) announce the release of a new report on benchmarking progress in making Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) accessible in compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Key findings will be presented this week in New Delhi at Techshare India 2014, a conference and exhibition discussing accessibility and assistive technology at a national level with international participation, hosted by BarrierBreak, in partnership with the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), UK and with the support of G3ict.

 

Axel Leblois, President and Executive Director of G3ict said: “This 2013 edition of the CRPD ICT Accessibility Progress Report, which covers two third of the world population, documents critical global gaps in ICT accessibility. Those facts call for the United Nations post-2015 agenda to incorporate ICTs as a critical success factor for the inclusion of persons with disabilities.”

 

In its third edition, the CRPD 2103 ICT Accessibility Progress Report offers disability advocates, governments, civil society and international organizations monitoring the progress of the implementation of the CRPD by States Parties, unique benchmarks for country laws, policies, and programs pertaining to accessible and assistive ICTs.

 

Based on the findings from the 2010 and 2012 editions of the Progress Report, it is clear that digital accessibility is not merely about greater use of technologies by persons with disabilities. It is about transforming information-based policies and the ICT ecosystem. Addressing the ICT arena is part of a larger effort to build an information society based on ensuring people’s right to communicate, use knowledge for their own ends, and overcome barriers on freedom to use, share and modify ICTs and information content. This aligns with the theme of the September 2013 High-Level Meeting on Disability and Development of the United Nations General Assembly on the realization of the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally-agreed development goals for persons with disabilities. The CRPD 2103 ICT Accessibility Progress Report is available for download from the G3ict website.

IBM Standardizing on EPUB to Reduce Digital Barriers and Increase Mobile Support
2014-02-13

SEATTLE, WA – 13 February 2014 (PRESS RELEASE): International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a collaboration to develop a white paper highlighting lessons learned from IBM’s recent decision to support EPUB as the company’s primary packaged portable document format. EPUB is the widely adopted open standard format, for digital publications, developed by IDPF, based on HTML5 and other technologies from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), as well as technologies from IDPF. IDPF is a trade and standards association with over 300 members in over 45 countries. Increased client demand for mobile solutions, accessibility through the cloud, and the transformational opportunities both pose for enterprise content are the key drivers for IBM’s move to the next-generation portable document format. By standardizing on EPUB, IBM is also extending its leadership in accessibility and delivering a rich user experience and engagement.

 

“We applaud IBM’s innovation in adopting EPUB across the spectrum of enterprise content and in its education solutions, to create a better reading experience for its content across devices and the spectrum of individual needs,” said Bill McCoy, Executive Director, IDPF. “We look forward to collaborating to showcase lessons learned by a global IT leader in order to help other enterprises and content publishers move digital publishing onto the Open Web Platform.”

 

IBM also recently joined IDPF as well as the Readium Foundation, a consortium formed last year to develop open source tools libraries to accelerate adoption of the latest IDPF standards and bootstrap the development of compatible reading solutions. Over 40 industry leaders, including IBM, are contributing funds, people, and technology to advance the Readium effort. IBM will also be promoting EPUB based workflows in its IT solutions for e-learning and education publishing.

 

"Since our inception, the DAISY Consortium has focused on making knowledge and information accessible to persons who are blind and print disabled. One example of this focus is our contribution to the development of the EPUB Standards. IBM's announcement supporting Accessible EPUB 3 as the default distribution mechanism will immediately impact the adoption of Inclusive Publishing techniques around the world. All governments, business, and educational institutions should embrace Inclusive Publishing techniques to help bring persons with disabilities into the Information Age. We applaud this move by IBM to use the EPUB Standard which is accessible, portable, and re-flows content to any size screen making it perfect for mobile devices and desktop computers," said George Kerscher, Secretary General for the DAISY Consortium.

 

The official press release is available on the IDPF website at http://idpf.org/news/ibm_adopts_epub, supporter quotes are at http://idpf.org/news/ibm_adopts_epub-supporter-quotes.

User-driven e-Accessibility: 8th European eAccessibility Forum
2014-02-11

The 8th European eAccessibility Forum will be held on March 31st, 2014 at the Cité des Sciences in Paris. It will bring together internationally renowned experts on "User-driven e-Accessibility". Save the date now! The program is available and registration is open online at: http://eaf2014.braillenet.org.

Google Australia Seeks Feedback From Blind Users
2014-02-09

Google Australia is seeking people who are blind or vision impaired to share their experience of using Google apps on mobile devices.

 

Participants will be interviewed by market researchers for two hours about the assistive technology they use on their phones and tablets and how they rate the accessibility of Google apps such as Gmail and Drive. The information gathered will be used by Google to improve the accessibility of its products. Participants will remain anonymous and will be paid $200 for their time.

 

To join in email Qualitative Recruitment Australia [office(at)qra.net.au] or call Murray Gale 02 9371 0855.

CSUN 2014 Session Schedule Now Posted
2014-01-31

The General Sessions Schedule for the 29th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference has now been posted to the CSUN 2014 website. The Directory of Exhibitors is also available. Please note that this list is preliminary and is subject to change.

Zero Project Conference on Accessibility
2014-01-23

The upcoming Zero Project Conference in Vienna (February 27-28, 2014) focuses on innovative policies and practices for persons with disabilities. The conference seeks to strengthen the commitment of all stakeholders to promote, protect and advance the rights of persons with disabilities, and to improve their daily lives. More information is provided on the Zero Project Conference website.

CNIB Introduces Direct to Player Service
2014-01-22

The CNIB Library (Toronto, Canada) has introduced an easier way to get DAISY audiobooks called Direct to Player. Direct to Player is free for all users. This new way of downloading will allow users to get DAISY audiobooks directly on their players without having to use a computer or wait for a CD in the mail.

 

The Direct to Player service removes the need to order books through the CNIB Library. Direct to Player will add books to a user's virtual bookshelf based on user preferences such as author and genre. If the library patron then decides the new book is not something they're interested in they can simply delete it and it will be replaced with a different suggestion.

 

"I remember the transition from cassette tape talking books to DAISY CD books in 2002 and I thought it was the best technology ever. Now, Direct to Player is even better," says Gerry Chevalier, a CNIB Library user from Edmonton. "Instead of waiting for a CD to come in the mail, I just turn on my player each day and check the bookshelf button to see what new book or magazine I have received." More information is provided in the official press release and in the December 2013 issue of the DAISY Planet newsletter.

The BrailleNote Apex Provides the Simplest Access to PowerPoint Presentations
2014-01-17

Whether you are a blind student or professional, the recent free KeySoft update for the HumanWare's BrailleNote Apex alleviates many frustrations of PowerPoint access by putting the PowerPoint slides under your fingers in braille. With KeySoft 9.4, simply press enter on a PowerPoint 2007 or later file (PPTX), and KeySoft opens the presentation in Braille in an easy to understand format.

 

Quickly identify such formatting in slides as:

  • Heading styles
  • Bullets
  • Tables
  • Graphics and their descriptions if provided
  • Slide notes

Instantly jump to the next or previous slide buttons with first letter navigation: N for next, P for previous. If the presenter uses PowerPoint for their lecture, simply have them email you the PPTX file and follow along with the rest of the audience.

 

To see this PowerPoint viewing capability in action, watch a video demonstration of how to open and navigate a PowerPoint presentation using KeySoft 9.4 and the BrailleNote Apex: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkU4pYnMtKk.

Webinar: A Tour of the Forthcoming “Accessible Image Sample Book”
2014-01-14

Webinar Title: A tour of the forthcoming “Accessible Image Sample Book”

  • Date: Thursday, February 6, 2014
  • Time: 11:00 a.m Pacific (12:00 p.m. Mountain, 1:00 p.m. Central, 2:00 p.m. Eastern)
  • Presenters: Elaine Ober (Pearson) and Lucia Hasty (Rocky Mountain Braille Associates)

The DIAGRAM Center’s Content Working Group co-chairs, Elaine Ober (Pearson) and Lucia Hasty (Rocky Mountain Braille Associates), will demonstrate this free online resource that shows you what some of the many options are for creating accessible versions of digital images such as maps, bar charts, diagrams, mathematical expressions, photographs, and more. Each of the seven chapters in the book shows a different complex image in context of the book it came from, along with helpful tips and the code used to provide the accessible image in a digital book. See (and hear!) the different ways that an image can be made accessible, including: short and long descriptions, tactile graphics, MathML, sonification, audio description, and 3D printing. The presenters will discuss how this resource can be used as a guide when creating accessible images in your own digital books and other digital publications.

 

This webinar is free and open to all. Register now: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/x35j0nb91h3t&eom.

Gain More Independence with Dolphin Guide 8
2014-01-13

Sharing stories on Facebook or planning your 2014 summer holiday are all made easy with Dolphin Guide 8's completely revamped web support built for people with sight loss.

 

"I no longer have to rely on my sighted husband to read and write email, print letters and scan my post," explains Zena who lost her sight overnight 6 years ago.


Guide 8 now makes surfing the Web easy:

Dolphin has been working with the accessibility experts at Blind Veterans UK and RNIB members as well as accessibility staff for input to the design of Guide 8's web browser. Guide 8 now empowers people with sight loss to get more from the web, with:

  • Completely re-written web support, making the web more reliable and stable than ever.
  • Simple voice announcements, reading out each webpage as you go.
  • A new welcome web page with a few browsing tips, along with links to popular news, shopping and social networking sites to get you started.
  • A new switch to view mobile websites, which tend to be less cluttered and easier to get around.
  • Web pages are easier to read with options to display only the text and hide all images.
  • Simple keys to jump straight to the next text box, heading, link or paragraph of text to make it easier to move around the webpage.

To find out more, watch the Guide 8 video, or read a complete list of What's New in Guide 8 on the Dolphin website.

EASI Free Webinar: Accessibility of Electronic Information Databases Used by Libraries
2014-01-12

Presenter: Axel Schmetzke, University of Wisconsin Steven's Point Library

Date and time: January 21 at 11 Pacific, noon Mountain, 1 Central and 2 PM Eastern

 

Axel Schmetzke presents the findings of his recent research, through which he sought to answer the following question: To which extent do academic librarians consider, or are encouraged to consider, accessibility when selecting electronic information resources for purchase, subscription or licensing? The webinar will conclude with a discussion of best practices and strategies for improvement.

Register for the Jan 21 Webinar on library databases.

CSUN 2014: Attendee Registration Starts January 16, 2014
2013-12-31

CSUN 2014 (29th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference) organizers are pleased to announce that this year their Keynote Speaker will be Mr. Tommy Edison. He has been blind since birth and produces online videos that reveal a glimpse into his life and the funny challenges that he faces daily. Mr. Edison is also living his dream as “The Blind Film Critic”.

 

With his unique and interesting perspective as a movie reviewer, Tommy says “I watch movies and pay attention to them in a different way than sighted people do. I’m not distracted by all the beautiful shots and attractive people. I watch a movie for the writing and acting.” In addition, Mr. Edison has been a radio professional for nearly 25 years, having spent the last 19 at a Connecticut station as – you guessed it - a traffic reporter! Tommy’s engaging personality and humorous stories are sure to provide the conference with an entertaining “kick-off”.

 

General registration for the CSUN 2014 conference will start January 16, 2014.

Conference fees

Attendees:

  • Early Bird: $455 (by February 10, 2014)
  • Regular: $510 (after February 10, 2014)
  • Late: $550 (February 28, 2014 & On-Site)

Cancellation Request must be made in writing and received by Friday, February 28, 2014. A $60 processing fee will be assessed. There will be no refunds after Friday, February 28, 2014. All no-shows will be charged the full amount.

Speakers:

  • Regular: $375 (by January 15, 2014)
  • Late: $450 (after January 15, 2014)

More information is provided on the conference website.

Tobi Version 2.2 Implements 1st Set of Priorities Expressed by DAISY Members
2013-12-22

The DAISY Consortium is pleased to announce the latest release of Tobi, the next generation open source production tool. Tobi empowers digital content developers to produce full text and audio DAISY 3 digital talking books as well as accessible EPUB 3 content with media overlays that enable the read aloud feature. Just like DAISY, EPUB 3 allows the synchronization of audio with text, but it is based on modern HTML5 web standards.

 

Tobi was the first tool that introduced the implementation of the complete DIAGRAM Content Model for image descriptions. In addition, Tobi is one of the few tools that can produce accessible publications compliant with the mainstream EPUB 3 specification. With Tobi, users can also migrate a DTBook document to a text-only EPUB 3 version, and DAISY 3 or 2.02 full text and audio DAISY book to EPUB 3 with media overlays, thanks to integration with Pipeline 2.

 

In early 2013, the Obi - Tobi team conducted a survey to gather feature requests and other input from DAISY Consortium members. The team then assessed the needs of the DAISY community and incorporated them into the product roadmap.

 

The Tobi Version 2.2 release comes with one of the requested features, “split and merge” functionality. This feature empowers users to divide a Tobi project into sub-projects. These sub-projects can be used for parallel production by distributing the workload across a team of narrators. Sub-projects can later be re-assembled to form a completed and updated Tobi project.

Please note that in this release, the project "split and merge" functionality works with DAISY 3 books only. It will be implemented in the EPUB 3 production workflow in early 2014. This feature is the first outcome of the re-factored back-end of the “Urakawa SDK”, which has been improved to support structure editing of complex markup, necessary for implementing the structure editing feature in Tobi.

 

Other new enhancements in Version 2.2 include:

  • Single key shortcuts to make recording more convenient: ‘M’ (start monitoring), ‘R’ (start recording) and ‘space’ (stop recording)
  • Integration with the latest version of Pipeline 2 (Version 1.7)
  • Improved MSI, an offline re-distributable installer.

Please visit the Tobi project area for more information:

(http://www.daisy.org/tobi/)

To review what’s new in this release, please go to the change log:

(http://www.daisy.org/tobi/change-log).

Obi-Tobi project team would like to thank all contributors and supporters of the Tobi project. Your feedback is always welcome.


Tobi contributes to the DAISY Consortium’s strategy of developing worldwide inclusive publishing ecosystem via innovating workflows that bridge the gaps between the mainstream publishing and the specialist accessible publishing.

Save the date (March 31, 2014): 8th European e-Accessibility Forum in Paris
2013-12-19

Enhanced ‘consumer’ involvement is gaining momentum. Companies and service providers increasingly involve the end user in the inception, development and distribution of their products, while governments and organisations are increasingly looking to users to set standards and monitor progress.

 

Users who have personal experiences with accessing digital content are ‘experts by experience’. People with disabilities are no exception: they have first-hand familiarity with adaptive strategies and assistive technologies. They can have a direct impact on enhancing the quality of digital products and services. Accessibility use cases can help designers and developers identify specific barriers which compromise the overall usability of various user interfaces. Such user involvement increases the accountability of both public and private organisations and can prove instrumental in promoting political and social change.

 

While considerable progress has been made in user-led design, there is still room for improvement. Expert-providers and disabled users need to work together to give a louder and collective voice to e-Accessibility. Come to Paris on March 31st, 2014 and join the discussions at the 8th European e-Accessibility Forum, preliminary program is now available at http://eaf2014.braillenet.org.

Creating India’s Largest Accessible Digital Library for the Visually Impaired Students
2013-12-18

Omron Group in India, part of Omron Japan, has associated with the National Association for the Blind (NAB), Delhi, to launch "Your Voice, Their World" – a project to create India’s largest Accessible Digital Library for the visually impaired students.

 

Mr. Takuichi Shimizu, President, Omron Management Centre of India, said, "Less than 1 % of the printed books are available to the blind students in accessible formats in India which has the largest population of blind in the world. Being a technology leader, Omron understands how powerful role technology can play in bridging this digital divide. With the seasoned expertise and widespread network of National Association for the Blind, Delhi, the project aspires to be India’s largest Accessible Digital Library in terms of accessible content and number of beneficiaries. The first phase of the project shall produce 2000 hours of recording by December, 2014.” Books will be produced in DAISY format. More information is provided in the press release.

DAISY Consortium Releases Obi 3.0
2013-12-15

The DAISY Consortium is pleased to announce the latest release of Obi, the popular open source DAISY 3/2.02 audio production tool. Obi is used by more than 43 DAISY production houses and numerous individuals around the globe. Obi 3.0 includes features most demanded by the Consortium members.

 

The Obi-Tobi project team initiated a survey in early 2013 to better understand the needs and priorities of the DAISY Consortium members.

 

The current release, Version 3.0, implements the first set of the highly prioritized features that greatly improve efficiency, such as Zoomed Waveform view, Project Merge, and other enhancements that reduce the response time and improve Obi’s usability.

 

The Zoomed Waveform view magnifies the waveform and empowers users to perform quick and accurate audio editing. It displays a single waveform at one point of time, reducing the response time of the application. It comes with two concise but exhaustive toolbars providing commands for audio editing, phrase navigation, and zoom. Response time can be further reduced by selecting the new option, display phrases without waveforms in Content view.

 

Project Merge provides the ability to merge several projects into one, enabling users to segregate work among various workstations for parallel book production and then merge them back to obtain a single complete Obi project corresponding to the publication.

 

Other attractions of this release include the ability to fine tune the boundaries of phrases by dragging the adjoining phrase separator, capability to save the metadata of the current project as default for use across multiple projects, easy access to advanced recording options and many more. Obi now comes with Finnish, French, Hindi and Tamil language packs. Thanks goes to Hannu Tiihonen - Finland, Association Valentin Haüy - France, RSVI - India and Sreeja Param - USA, respectively for translations.

 

Please visit the Obi project area to check out the full list of features and improvements:

(http://www.daisy.org/obi/)

and download Version 3.0 at

(http://www.daisy.org/obi/download/).

 

Your feedback is always appreciated.

 

The DAISY Consortium would like to extend a special thanks to all contributors for their valuable feedback and support to the Obi project. Obi continues to fill the gaps and facilitate accessible publication production worldwide to overcome obstacles like language barriers, cost constraints and accessibility.

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