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.
Learn about ereaders with Load2Learn [YouTube video].
- Article: Sir Steve Redgrave campaigns for DAISY and Dyslexic Readers (Source: altformat.org)
- DAISY: What Is it and Why Use it? (Greg Kearney / Braille Monitor)
- The State of the World’s Children 2013 [UNICEF]: Report and Executive Summary are available in DAISY, EPUB, Easy Read, HTML and Braille formats
Use Cases, Tutorials and Guidelines
- A Youth Advocacy Toolkit for Everyone, also in DAISY and EPUB formats: UN Global Education First Initiative
- Case study: DAISY readers in Mongolia a legal right - now copyright law must play its part [eifl]
- Yoleo: Hybrid Reading
- Why is DAISY full text valuable to print-disabled users by Miriam E. Nes Begnum, PDF
- IFLA Guidelines for Library Services to Persons with Dyslexia, PDF 
- Meet Joe (11th Grade Student): He explains the differences between the Learning Ally and Bookshare books and apps [CTD Institute, Video]
- Digital Talking Books: Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) VA
- Digital Talking Books: California Department of Education
- Buchknacker: Online Library for Children & Adults with Dyslexia in Switzerland [DAISY Planet]
- ICT for Information Accessibility in Learning [ICT4IAL]:Guidelines for making text accessible
- Digital talking books: An alternative way of educating children with disabilities of their rights [UNESCO]
- Making Information Accessible for All (European Blind Union Resources)
- DIAGRAM Center Training resources: Accessible textbooks, Math and Images
- Making Your Curriculum Accessible: Load2Learn Tutorials [YouTube Channel]
- Global Standards Help Visually Impaired Researchers [Source: Research Information, October 2012]
- Auxiliary aids and access to learning for children and young people with dyslexia/severe reading difficulties [Nota 2011, PDF file]
- Create digital talking books for students with disabilities: DAISY and Microsoft Word, also see Save as DAISY Plugin
- DAISY in Mongolia: Case Study (2011)
- Accessible Resources Pilot Project (2009-2010)
- Are Indian Libraries VIP-Friendly? Information Use and Information Seeking Behaviour of Visually Impaired People in Delhi Libraries (2010) - includes data related to DAISY books
- EasyConverter Case Study: Valencia Community College in Florida
- Appraising and Evaluating the Use of DAISY: For Print Disabled Students in Norwegian Primary- and Secondary Education
- EasyReader Case Study: DAISY is something that we have decided we SHOULD be doing
- DAISY Good Practices in the Netherlands (2009). Contact for inquiries: Kathleen Asjes, Research and Development, DAISY Member Dedicon
- DAISY Textbook Pilot 2009: Accessible multimedia for school students (New Zealand)
- Braille in DAISY: A Survey of the State of the Art (2008)
- HumanWare Case Study 2007-2008: How can one year with the use of HumanWare's portable digital talking book player the ClassMate Reader, change reading outcomes for college bound students with Learning Disabilities?
- Enhancing Digital Access to Learning Materials for Canadians with Perceptual Disabilities: A Pilot Study 2006. Research Report
- EasyReader Case Study 2004-2005: RNIB Scotland and the DAISY project
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.
- Read more about DAISY readers and production tools
- Samples of DAISY books
- Try free publications in DAISY format and get a free trial of a DAISY Player on the Dolphin Computer Access website
- DAISY Articles, Publications and Presentations
- DAISY reading systems for people with learning difficulties
Last update: September 2nd, 2015