A DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) book is a set of digital files that may include audio narration, text marked with special navigation tags, and other files that synchronize text with audio. Students can read the text on the screen and at the same time hear it read out loud by a narrator or text-to-speech voice.

Unlike analogue talking books, DAISY books offer easy and rapid navigation. A book can be navigated by such elements as sentence, paragraph, page (including specific page numbers) and various heading levels. It is also possible to fast forward or rewind and to jump back and forth by time increments when using the audio component.

DAISY navigation is useful for those with partial or no sight, children learning to read as well as people learning new languages. Seniors and individuals with low literacy skills or learning difficulties also benefit. Multi-modal information processing methods combined with easy navigation significantly increase phonetic skills, comprehension and fluency.

DAISY features have been integrated into the mainstream EPUB 3 standard.

See also: Finding Accessible Apps for Reading, Choosing A Mainstream Reading System, Creating the Best Way to Read and Publish [SlideShare presentations].

Learn about ereaders with Load2Learn [YouTube video].

Use Cases, Tutorials and GuidelinesFamily members sitting on a couch, each with their own gadget: laptop computer or media player

People Learn and Understand Information in Many Different Ways

Studies by and for educators identify three basic styles of learning: auditory, tactile/kinetic, and visual. Auditory learners prefer lectures and discussions to textbooks. They interpret meaning by paying close attention to tone of voice, pitch, and speed. Tactile/kinetic learners prefer a hands-on approach. They may be easily distracted by their need for exploration and activity. Visual learners often think in pictures and prefer graphical representations of concepts through charts, diagrams, or tables.

Some individuals may not fall under these three learning styles; they may require a combination of two styles to understand and comprehend new material. Others may have to adapt to new learning styles as their lifestyles change. For example, a visual learner who is experiencing the effects of aging on their eyesight, may need to shift toward a more auditory learning style.

Conversely, a student who has successfully learned through hands-on, tactile methods may need to adapt to more visual and auditory learning as they enter higher education.

By synchronizing audio, images and text, DAISY multimedia can address the needs of each type of learner. DAISY hardware players, much like CD players or MP3 players, can be of great assistance to auditory learners who benefit from audio playback, whether presented through a text-to-speech feature or through human narration.

Full-text, full-audio DAISY books synchronize the audio playback with written text displayed on a computer screen to the benefit of visual learners. Easy navigation of information produced in DAISY offers tactile/kinetic learners the opportunity to explore documents and interact with information in a way that holds their attention and improves their learning.

People with print disabilities such as blindness or dyslexia have benefited from DAISY's synchronized multimedia for more than a decade. Thanks to the recent development of new software tools for the production of DAISY multimedia, today everyone can have access to information in a way that best suits their personal learning style.

Last update: September 2nd, 2015