News Archive

White Paper - "e-Accessibility in a Connected World"

BrailleNet announced the publication of their 2017 White Paper published in partnership with G3ict entitled e-Accessibility in a Connected World.


This White Paper picks up and builds on the topics addressed at the 10th European e-Accessibility Forum, held on May 30th, 2016 at the Cité des Sciences in Paris. Over 180 professionals, association members and scholars from around the world gathered on this occasion to discuss the potential of the Internet of Things to bridge the digital divide. Nine of the conference speakers and one further expert, all actively involved in e-Accessibility or the Internet of Things, accepted our invitation to update their opinions and points-of-view expressed on this occasion in order to shape a review on this topic.


Enjoy this publication and attend the 11th European e-Accessibility Forum on the topic of e-Accessible Culture. For more details and to register your place, visit

EU compromise = better access to books for blind and other disabled people

The negotiators of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached a compromise on draft legislation to implement the Marrakesh Treaty in the European Union. The objective of the proposals, made by the Commission as part of the ongoing modernization of the EU copyright law, is to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, have other visual impairments or are otherwise print disabled. The deal will be now subject to the formal approval by the two EU co-legislators.


Following the political compromise, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: "I am delighted that EU copyright rules will now be adapted to allow visually impaired and people with reading disabilities to access a wider range of reading material in the EU and in third countries that they can use for their education, work and entertainment. I am particularly pleased that our Digital Single Market strategy creates more social inclusion. And I am also confident that this compromise today will pave the way for a rapid ratification of the Marrakesh treaty by the EU”.


More information is provided in the European Commission press release.

eBook Production: Upcoming Training Sessions in India

The DAISY Consortium in partnership with Bookshare announced the dates for “Advanced training in e-book production." This three-day workshop will be held May 15th to May 17th, 2017.


For the benefit of our friends from East India, the workshop is being conducted in Ranchi, Jharkhand.


The workshop will cover:

  • Introduction to DAISY
  • Tools for reading DAISY content
  • Basic structuring of a Word document for DAISY Production
  • Use of Save as DAISY
  • Introduction to Tobi
  • Introduction to Jutoh
  • Adding metadata to an EPUB
  • Introduction to Sugamya Pustakalaya and Bookshare


Who should attend:


This workshop is specially designed for those organizations and individuals who are interested in e-book production for distribution to people with print disabilities, librarians serving the blind and print disabled, educators, as well as production staff of government organizations involved in design and production of textbooks.

Coordinator: Satyajit Sing [Resource Centre head – Sight Savers, Ranchi, satyajeet06(at)] register on or before May 8th, 2017.

Products and services to be made more accessible in EU

Key products and services such as phones, e-book readers, operating systems and payment terminals, will have to be made more accessible to people with disabilities under draft EU rules.


The Internal Market Committee amended and approved the rules, which would apply only to products and services placed on the EU market after the directive comes into effect.


Internal Market Committee rapporteur, Morten Løkkegaard (ALDE, DK), said: “Accessibility is a precondition for persons living with disabilities to enjoy equal participation and therefore to play an active role in society. To this end, it is vital to ensure smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. With greater accessibility for people with disabilities, we get a stronger Europe, which is not just a goal for politicians but also for businesses, which the European Accessibility Act will encourage to innovate with more accessible products and services.”


More information is available on the Global Accessibility News website.

Webbox3 to be launched at Sight City 2017

Solutions Radio from Delft, Netherlands will proudly present version 3 of its renowned Webbox during the forthcoming Sight City in Frankfurt! Solutions Radio will launch Webbox3 for the European market.


What is Webbox3?

Webbox3 is a plug and play, very easy to operate multi-media device for the reading disabled. This online (DAISY) player with audible prompts enables access to a wealth of information and entertainment. It offers immediate reading pleasure (talking books, magazines and newspapers) and a rich offering of information-on-demand. Choices are made by listening to the audible prompts and pressing OK to select.


What is new?

Its sleek new modern design and larger tactile buttons! Moreover, it is battery powered and finally truly portable.

Besides Wi-Fi, an internal USB port for 4G connection to Internet is now possible. Of course, there are more novelties, which we would love to show to you in person.


If we would say: it's a radio that also reads emails, we would not be joking!:-) Come to Sight City and see for yourself!


What is the same?

Owners of Webbox2 need not fear. The content offered on both versions, for the time being is identical and fully compatible.

Expert Meeting: Monitoring for Disability-Inclusive Development

The Expert Meeting in Geneva (May 10-11, 2017) on Monitoring and Evaluation for Disability-Inclusive Development is intended to take stock of progress in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This meeting will also contribute to the preparations of the 2018 United Nations (UN) flagship report on disability and development (A/RES/69/142).


Experts, researchers and practitioners from the United Nations system, academic institutions, Member States, non-governmental organizations, particularly disabled persons’ organizations will attend. More information is available on the UN website.

11th European e-Accessibility Forum: e-Accessible Culture

The 11th European e-Accessibility Forum will explore the role digital technologies play in ensuring an inclusive cultural landscape. How can digital access empower people with disabilities and enable them to become full participants in cultural life?


The Forum will be focused on the following themes:

  • Cultural institutions using technology to improve access to their collections, information, and activities
  • Technology facilitating creative expression for people with disabilities
  • Educators, arts' organizations, public service providers, and developers working together to build accessible solutions
  • Progress through public and private initiatives


Jesper Klein, Chief Innovation Officer, Swedish Agency for Accessible Media / Chairman of the Board, DAISY Consortium will present Producing and distributing accessible e-books: The Swedish model.


Since the early 2000s, Jesper has been committed to the long-term vision of making reading accessible to people with disabilities. Jesper was head of Research and Development at the Swedish Agency for Accessible Media (MTM) and led Sweden’s efforts to digitize books and newspapers, resulting, among other things, in the launch of the Legimus online library for people with disabilities in Sweden in 2013. To date, Legimus has loaned over a million books and counts 75 thousand active users per year.


Register to attend the 11th eAccessibility Forum on June 19th, 2017 in Paris.

Better Together: Improving access for people with low vision

Today, the technological challenges faced by people with low vision are considerable. But fortunately, so are the opportunities that are available for accessible information. And the great news is that there are lots of exciting developments just around the corner that enhance the world for people with low vision. And what will the world look like in 2025? One thing is sure: lots of things will have changed! The question is, what and how? These themes will be explored at the Better Together Conference in June.

Meet the speakers:

  • Humanoid robot Pepper
  • Hector Minto, Sr. Technology Evangelist for Accessibility at Microsoft
  • Kiran Kaja, Technical Program Manager at Google
  • George Kerscher, DAISY Consortium
  • Martijn Aslander, stand-up philosopher
  • Steve Watson, Elsevier

and many more...

Learn about:

  • Accessible content
  • Accessible images
  • Exciting technologies
  • Sharing information

Meet the best experts at network tables:

  • Exclusive insights
  • Future technology and beyond

Be there (The Hague, Netherlands) on June 28th, 2017. Register today.

W3C Publishing Business Group Launched in London

The kickoff meeting of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Publishing Business Group was held in London on March 13th. This group is the place where former International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) members – now TPI (Transitional Publishing Industry) members and other interested W3C members will meet and lead the evolution of the EPUB standard. The technical level work will be organized by the W3C Publishing Working Group.


The meeting was hosted by HarperCollins and led by the new co-chairs of the Publishing Business Group, Rick Johnson (VitalSource, USA) Cristina Mussinelli (AIE, LIA, Italy) and Paul Belfanti (Ascend Learning, USA).


One of the main topics discussed during the meeting was the setup of the Publishing Working Group. More information is provided on the European Digital Reading Lab website.

Learning Ally National Achievement Awards

Each year, Learning Ally offers two endowed scholarship awards for outstanding students with print and learning disabilities. The recipients of these awards are role models and inspiration to students throughout the country. Applications are now being accepted.


Mary P. Oenslager Scholastic Achievement Award is for Learning Ally members who are completing undergraduate or graduate degrees and are blind or visually impaired. More information is available on the Learning Ally website.


Marion Huber Learning Through Listening (LTL) Award is an award for high school seniors with learning disabilities.


The top three winners from each program receive a $6,000 scholarship award and participate at a national celebration. Additional information is provided on the Learning Ally website. Applications must be submitted online no later than May 31, 2017. For more information please contact

eBooks and EPUB Accessibility: Seminar in Baltimore

Speakers at this seminar include, but are not limited to:

  • Dr. George Kerscher, President of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), Chief Innovations Officer of the DAISY Consortium
  • Bill Kasdorf, Vice President & Principal Consultant, Content & Media Solutions at Apex CoVantage
  • Rick Johnson, Vice President of Product Strategy at VitalSource Techologies and board member of the IMS Global Learning Consortium
  • Sue-Ann Ma, Product Manager of Benetech Labs
  • Jonathan Thurston, Head of Accessibility Product Management at Pearson
  • Ronald Dutton, E-Text Production Manager at AMAC

Topics that will be covered include:

  • Ushering in the born accessible era
  • Center for Accessible Materials Innovation (CAMI) research overview and EPUB production
  • A tool for creating accessible EPUB
  • Digital Image and Graphic Resources for Accessible Materials (DIAGRAM) on accessible graphics and image description
  • The importance of choosing your platform and distribution channel – reading system evaluation
  • Accessibility certification


To ensure you do not miss this unique opportunity to interact with the leading experts in the field, register now!

Registration is $100 (regular registration), and $25 (student registration with valid student ID).

For further information please visit the NFB EPUB event page, or contact Ryan Pugh at rpugh(at)

M-Enabling Summit 2017: Early Registration Now Open

Join us for the 6th annual M-Enabling Summit June 13-14, 2017 in Washington, DC.

The M-Enabling Summit Conference & Showcase is dedicated to promoting accessible and assistive technologies for senior citizens and users of all abilities. It's an annual meeting place for all who create and contribute accessible ICT products, services, and consumer technologies.


With its theme of “Making Connected Things and Services Accessible for All”, the 2017 M-Enabling Summit will provide a platform for empowering technologies and focus on next-generation innovations and breakthroughs for users of all abilities.


Bringing together professionals, corporations, service organizations, the M-Enabling Summit is an all-inclusive conference and showcase featuring innovative technology, mobile applications, connected devices, and services for more than one billion users worldwide.


The 6th edition of the M-Enabling Summit Global Conference and Showcase will be held on June 13-14, 2017 at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel, in Washington, D.C, with the IAAP, The International Association of Accessibility Professionals Pre-Conference Briefing Session on June 12, 2017. Register online today.

DAISY Consortium provided CSUN programs in DAISY, HTML & EPUB

The 32nd Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, also known as the CSUN Conference, was held at the San Diego Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel February 27th - March 4th, 2017.


Each part of the CSUN program was available for download on the DAISY Consortium website as a navigable DAISY 2.02 publication in addition to the HTML and EPUB files.

Finalists Announced for ABC 2017 International Excellence Awards

The finalists for the 2017 Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing have been announced. The six short-listed organizations come from all corners of the globe.


The ABC Award recognizes two categories: publishers and project initiatives. The winners in each category will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held at the London Book Fair on the evening of Tuesday, March 14, 2017.


The six finalists are:

Publisher category

  • Picsterbooks, South Africa
  • SAGE Publishing, U.K.
  • VitalSource Technologies, U.S.

Project initiative category

  • Jisc, U.K.
  • Tata Consultancy Services, India
  • Tiflonexos, Argentina

More information is available on the ABC website.

The Way Forward for an Egyptian Ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is holding the "On the Way Forward for an Egyptian Ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty" Symposium on February 12th from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm. The conference is organized by the Digital Talking Book Section (BA Library Sector) in cooperation with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Section on Libraries Serving Persons with Print Disabilities (LPD) and the World Blind Union.


The symposium aims to bring together relevant stakeholders from Egyptian library and visually impaired communities with appropriate government, parliamentary, and legislative leaders to come up with an Egyptian solution to the lack of accessible books and educational resources for the blind and visually impaired people in Egypt.


More information is available on the Bibliotheca Alexandrina website.

Tobi brings update to French language pack

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


With Tobi, users can produce books with full text and audio, conforming to both the DAISY 3 and mainstream EPUB 3 (Media Overlays) specifications. Tobi is unique as it allows adding accessibility enhancements, such as image descriptions, to the mainstream EPUB 3 publications.


Version comes with localization updates for users of the French version. Many thanks to European Digital Reading Lab for the translation.

To learn more about Tobi and to download the latest version, please visit the Tobi project area at


For more information about the features and bug fixes, please visit the change log at


The Tobi team would like to thank all contributors and supporters for their continuous support.

W3C and IDPF Officially Combine

The vision to align Publishing and Web technologies to create a new roadmap for the future of publishing became official today. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) have combined organizations. W3C is the global standards organization that develops foundational Web technologies such as HTML, CSS, SVG, XML and WCAG. IDPF developed the EPUB standard used globally for accessible ebooks and digital publications.


George Kerscher, Chief Innovations Officer for the DAISY Consortium and President of IDPF since 2010 commented, "By combining our organizations, we not only align our technology roadmaps but also accelerate the adoption of content that is natively accessible and device-friendly for all types of publishing, whether you are reading on the Web or offline."


The full press release is available on the W3C website.

Pipeline 2 Version 1.10 Released

Version 1.10 of the DAISY Pipeline 2 is now available for download. The following alternative packages are proposed:

All distributions include the new graphical user interface (GUI), all conversion scripts, and a native command line tool (CLI).


If you have any problems or identify some bugs, please report them to the Pipeline team using our issue tracker on GitHub:


For details, please refer to release notes:

User documentation is now available on a new project website:


The website's content, including developers' documentation, will be further updated in the coming months. Feedback is always appreciated!

CELA: Listen to a sample of an audio book before you check it out!

The Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA, Canada) patrons can now listen to a sample of an audio book before they check it out. The CELA catalogue features three-minute audio samples of all of their books. Each title in their catalogue has a new link called “Listen to a sample” which allows patrons and library staff to preview titles by selecting the link to hear a short three-minute sample from the book. Player buttons allow to pause, stop and increase or decrease the volume of the sample. More information is provided on the CELA website.

Section 508 Refresh Update

The U.S. Access Board held a public briefing on the ICT Final Rule. The effective date for enforcement and compliance with the new Final Rule will be January 18, 2018; 12 months from the day it was published in the U.S. Federal Register.


The U.S. Access Board will hold a free webinar on the ICT rule on Jan. 31st. Register online. Another session will be held on February 2nd, review details for registration.

eBooks and EPUB Accessibility

At the upcoming event eBooks and EPUB Accessibility on March 23rd, 2017, speakers will discuss how the accessibility specification can help achieve greater ease of access. The latest updates to EPUB will also be discussed.


This event will be hosted under the auspices of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access to Education, Public Information, and Commerce (CENA), with financial support through the Non-Visual Accessibility Initiative grant from the State of Maryland.




National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute

200 E. Wells Street

at Jernigan Place

Baltimore, MD 21210


Please register on the NFB website.

IDPF Members Approve EPUB 3.1 as an IDPF Recommended Specification

The IDPF Membership has unanimously approved EPUB 3.1 as a Recommended Specification, by a vote of 72 YES to zero NO votes.


The EPUB 3.1 revision introduces a new accessibility specification and an accessibility techniques document. Developed as part of EPUB 3.1 to provide guidance on making EPUB publications accessible, these new documents are designed to be equally applicable to older versions of EPUB 3. More information is provided on the IDPF website.

Draft Charters of W3C Publishing Business Group and EPUB 3 Community Group Available

As part of work towards combining IDPF with W3C, initial charters have been drafted for the anticipated new W3C Publishing Business Group and W3C EPUB 3 Community Group.


These drafts were prepared in collaboration with co-chairs of the IDPF EPUB Working Group, W3C Digital Publishing Interest Group as well as IDPF and W3C leadership. They may be further refined. Comments are solicited from all IDPF and W3C members and others in the publishing community.


The intention is to have "starter" charters in place at the time the combination is effective (anticipated in January 2017). Once these new groups are operating, they may further revise their charters as part of establishing their own processes and work plans. More information is provided on the IDPF website.

Tobi 2.6.1 comes with enhanced features & a new linking mechanism for image descriptions

DAISY Consortium is pleased to announce the latest incremental release of Tobi.

With Tobi, users can produce books with full text and audio, conforming to both the DAISY 3 and mainstream EPUB 3 (Media Overlays) specifications. With Tobi, users can add accessibility enhancements, such as image descriptions, to the mainstream EPUB 3 publications.


Version 2.6.1 comes with incremental improvements requested by DAISY members and essential bug fixes. It introduces the new cleanup rollback feature for reversing the last cleanup operation. Furthermore, Tobi 2.6.1 brings more robust recording as well as new keyboard shortcuts for moving the audio cursor forward and backward by a larger time interval. Users can adjust settings in System Preferences.


Also, "aria-details" property is implemented for linking the external Diagrammar image description document. As a part of WAI-ARIA 1.1, "aria-details" has been approved as W3C Candidate Recommendation.


To learn more about Tobi, please visit the Tobi project area at


For more information about the new features and bug fixes, please visit the change log at


For providing feedback, suggestions, and bug reports, please go to

The Tobi team would like to thank all the contributors and supporters for their continuous support.

Digital Publishing WAI-ARIA Module 1.0 Now A Candidate Recommendation

DPub-ARIA defines a WAI-ARIA module encompassing properties specific to the digital publishing industry. This allows an author to convey user interface behaviors and structural information to assistive technologies to enable semantic navigation, styling, and interactive features. More information is available in the blog post DPUB-ARIA 1.0 is Released as a Candidate Recommendation.


Please send implementation information or comments by January 27th, 2017.

Obi 3.9.1 brings updates to French, Spanish, Finnish & Portuguese language packs

The DAISY Consortium is pleased to announce the incremental release of Obi, the popular open source navigable audiobook creation tool.


Obi produces books conforming to the accessible EPUB 3, DAISY 3 and DAISY 2.02 specifications.


Version 3.9.1 comes with localization updates for users of French, Spanish, Finnish and Portuguese language versions. Many thanks to the following organizations and individuals for the translations:

  • European Digital Reading Lab for French
  • Spanish National Organization of the Blind (ONCE) for Spanish
  • Hannu Tiihonen for Finnish
  • Vitor Ferreira for Portuguese

Please visit the Obi project area to learn more about Obi:


Download Version 3.9.1 from

The DAISY Consortium would like to extend special thanks to all contributors for their valuable feedback and support.

Vashkar Bhattacharjee of Young Power in Social Action Receives High Recognition

Vashkar Bhattacharjee of Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) in Bangladesh has been awarded by Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as a person with disability for his outstanding contributions and support to the activities of inclusive ICTs. His contributions include the production of digital talking books and making the relevant skills and technology available for the people with disabilities. More information is provided on the YPSA website.

Call for Nominations: Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) International Excellence Award 2017

The ABC is inviting nominations for the 2017 Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing. This award recognizes outstanding leadership and achievements in advancing the accessibility of commercial e-books or other digital publications for persons who are print disabled. Detailed information is available on the ABC website.

Call for Abstracts: Better Together

Deadline: December 15th, 2016

Event: Better Together

Focus: Working together towards accessible information for people with low vision.

When and where?: Wednesday, June 28th, 2017  (The Hague - The Netherlands).


If specialists and experts tap into their combined potential, they can produce something that's greater than the sum of the parts. This is Dedicon's inspiration and goal for the Better Together Conference.



Advances in technology and media are making a significant contribution to realizing this mission. But which solutions offer the best potential? This is why the Better Together Conference will have three tracks, in which together we’ll explore developments now, tomorrow and in the future. Read more and submit your abstract today.

DIAGRAM Center Webinar: Accessibility Metadata for EPUB

Join DIAGRAM Center's newest webinar, Accessibility Metadata for EPUB and the Web, and hear about the latest in accessibility metadata which can help people search and find accessible content.

  • Title: Accessibility Metadata for EPUB and the Web
  • Date: December 12, 2016
  • Time: 12-1pm Pacific Time
  • Presenter: Madeleine Rothberg, WGBH NCAM
  • Cost: Free

Link to register: