News Archive

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.

World Library & Information Congress 2014: Registration Now Open
2013-12-11

The 2014 IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) in Lyon, France will offer great opportunities to both commercial and non-commercial organizations, allowing them to showcase their products and services. IFLA WLIC 2014 will be a continuation of a series of successful annual meetings and is expected to attract more than 4,000 attendees.

 

IFLA is delighted to announce that online registration is now open and attendees can register on the Congress website.

Free Dolphin Webinars: SaySo, the Reading and Writing toolbar for Dyslexia
2013-12-05

Dolphin's free public webinar "Basics about SaySo and EasyBookshelf" is scheduled for Monday, December 16th, airing at 13:00 GMT. Everybody is welcome, register for the webinar now.

Celebrating 21 Years of International Day of People with Disability
2013-12-02

International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is a United Nations sanctioned day that aims to promote an understanding of people with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being.

 

Professor Ron McCallum (Australia): "I would like people on this special International Day to take a number of actions and make a number of resolutions. First and foremost, go out and meet a person with a disability. Find out that they are just the same as you and me. Think about persons with disability in your work place. Do they get the right sort of treatment? Think about persons with disability when you get on a train. Could they access that train? If we all become more aware, we will become a better community.

 

I want everyone to participate in this International Day for people with disability because we’re part of your community. We all live together, we want to celebrate our achievements, and we want you to celebrate with us. Why not hold a street party, why not hold a celebration at your workplace, community group or sports club. Make sure that we’re an inclusive community. We want to celebrate with you, we want you to be part of our year and our celebration."

For futher information view the Patron video message on the IDPwD website. Ron McCallum's story was published in the DAISY Planet newsletter June 2013 issue.

EC Study on Assessing and Promoting e-Accessibility
2013-11-21

The recently published report presents the results and conclusions from a study on assessing and promoting e-accessibility. The main goals of the study were to review the extent of e-accessibility across the EU27 countries and some third countries, as well as the policy efforts that have emerged in this area. The focus was on e-accessibility in three key domains: web, telecommmunications and TV.

 

The core objective was to benchmark the current situation regarding e-accessibility using an appropriate set of indicators. In addition to providing evidence that can help to inform about EU policy in this field, the results may be useful for other relevant stakeholders (at pan-European and Member State levels) in their efforts to promote progress in e-accessibility across Europe. The results of the study can contribute to the ongoing efforts to develop effective monitoring systems in the e-accessibility field in Europe.

 

More information is provided on the Access for All website.

Rep. Tom Petri Introduces “Technology, Education & Accessibility In College and Higher Education Act”
2013-11-18

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans, and the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the leading trade association of the US publishing industry, applaud Congressman Tom Petri (R-WI) for introducing today the Technology, Education and Accessibility in College and Higher Education Act. The TEACH Act, which is the result of collaboration between the NFB and the AAP has been endorsed by 10 other organizations of and for people with disabilities. It will create accessibility guidelines for electronic instructional materials and related information technologies used by institutions of higher education.


The TEACH Act will provide guidelines for manufacturers of educational technology and clarity for institutions of higher education to ensure that materials are usable by all students.


“Educational technology creates unlimited opportunities for innovative methods of learning, but these new and innovative tools can also pose a challenge for accessibility.” said Rep. Petri. “The TEACH Act will ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to a high-quality education in today’s 21st century classroom. I’m proud to be sponsoring this important legislation and encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in this effort.”

More information is provided on the AAP website.

FREE Trial Membership to Online Library Opens Lifeline to Reading for Disabled Veterans
2013-11-09

The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that 13 percent of all U.S. Veterans, over 2.8 million individuals, now live with blindness, physical disabilities, or traumatic brain injuries. These print disabilities make it difficult to read a newspaper, study a textbook or enjoy a bestseller.

 

With the evolution of digital accessible books, disabled Veterans may have a new lifeline to reading through Bookshare, the world’s largest online library of copyrighted books and periodicals for people with qualified print disabilities. More information is provided on the Bookshare blog.

Call the Foreign Relations Committee and Ask Them to Support the CRPD Treaty
2013-11-01

The US Senate needs to fight for 1 billion people with disabilities around the world by supporting ratification of The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Call the Foreign Relations Committee to make your voice heard. A hearing on the CRPD has been scheduled for November 5th at 2:30pm in Dirksen Senate Building Room SD-419.

 

If you are interested in attending, you can RSVP online.

You can also visit the new citizen action portal at http://www.disabilitytreaty.org to get more information. CALL Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee!

AAP EPUB 3 Implementation White Paper Now Available
2013-10-31

As part of the ongoing EPUB 3 Implementation Project the Association for American Publishers (AAP) has made available a white paper that documents the outcomes of the cross-industry initiative, including the top 10 features critical for implementation by participating publishers and reading system developers, as well as the top 13 tips for content publishers to create accessible EPUB 3 publications. For more information and to download the white paper, please visit: http://publishers.org/press/117/.

Dick Bulterman Selected to Win SIGMM Outstanding Technical Contributions Award 2013
2013-10-27

The 2013 winner of the prestigious ACM Special Interest Group on Multimedia (SIGMM) award for Outstanding Technical Contributions to Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications is Prof. Dr. Dick Bulterman.

 

The ACM SIGMM Technical Achievement award is given in recognition of outstanding contributions over a researcher’s career. Prof. Dick Bulterman has been selected for his outstanding technical contributions in multimedia authoring, media annotation, and social sharing from research through standardization to entrepreneurship, and in particular for promoting international Web standards for multimedia authoring and presentation (SMIL) in the W3C Synchronized Multimedia Working Group as well as his dedicated involvement in the SIGMM research community for many years.

 

Dick has a strong international reputation for the development of the domain-specific temporal language for multimedia (SMIL). Much of this software has been incorporated into the widely used Ambulant Open Source SMIL Player, which has served to encourage development and use of time-based multimedia content. His conference publications and book on SMIL have helped to promote SMIL and its acceptance as a W3C standard.

 

Dick’s recent work on social sharing of video will likely prove influential in upcoming Interactive TV products. This work has already been recognized in the academic community, earning the ACM SIGMM best paper award at ACM MM 2008 and also at the EUROITV conference.

More information is provided on the ACM SIGMM Records website.

RNIB Works With Amazon To Deliver Mainstream Breakthrough For Blind And Partially Sighted People
2013-10-21

The UK's leading sight loss charity Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), has collaborated with global technology giant Amazon to ensure that people with sight loss can enjoy the features in the latest range of tablet devices.

 

Blind and partially sighted people will be able to enjoy improved access to the UK's largest source of e-books thanks to new accessibility features which have been incorporated into the new Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablets.

 

The new range of Kindle Fire tablets will allow people with sight loss in the UK to access Amazon's 2 million titles using increased font size, synthetic audio, and electronic braille and have the opportunity to listen to the 100,000 audio books through Audible UK directly on the device.

 

RNIB was consulted during the development and testing phase of these new devices. The charity is in a unique position to coordinate expert and user testing, offering technical and consumer recommendations to help Amazon ensure that the new features were accessible to people with a range of sight loss conditions around the world.

The new accessible devices mean that blind and partially sighted people will be able read the full range of Kindle books, newspapers and journals in a variety of ways. The built-in screen reader allows readers to listen to titles whilst the magnification function enlarges the screen view. The device can also be used with an electronic braille display and the audio book player also supports accessibility. More information is provided in the RNIB official announcement.

HumanWare's Global Development Expands Through a Partnership with Essilor
2013-10-17

HumanWare announces a major strategic partnership with Essilor, the world's leading ophthalmic optics company, which becomes the majority shareholder of the company specializing in assistive technologies for people who are blind or have low vision.

This new alliance offers greater global visibility for HumanWare products while promoting access for a larger number of people with visual impairments. The alliance will also accelerate investment in research and development to offer new and innovative high quality products for both blindness and low vision.

 

For HumanWare, this partnership represents an opportunity to confirm its leadership in assistive technologies for the visually impaired. Along with the recent introduction of the new range of ProdigiTM digital magnifiers, HumanWare will significantly increase its market share in the rehabilitation sector and among eyecare professionals.

 

"We are very pleased to be partnering with Essilor, whose knowledge in optics and access to optician distribution networks will accelerate innovation to help people with visual impairments. Together, we will contribute to developing the notoriously under-penetrated global market," says Gilles Pepin, CEO of HumanWare. More information is provided on the HumanWare website.

Barnes & Noble College Announced Significant Updates to the Open Source EPUBCheck Tool
2013-10-13

Barnes & Noble, Inc., announced that its digital education team has made significant updates to the open source EPUBCheck tool, creating a new way to evaluate EPUB files to ensure they adhere to industry standards. The updates created by the NOOK Digital Education team make it more manageable and easier to facilitate the tool’s integration into publishing workflows and workflow management systems.

 

New features of the tool also include tests for content accessibility markup, CSS issues that might affect presentation quality, and tests for specific script usage patterns that require security consideration that will help publishers create exceptional, accessible, EPUB 3 content. In addition, an output option was added to EPUBCheck that makes all of the program’s output available as data which can be easily consumed by other programs, making the tool more easily integrated into automated document processing workflows. The updated EPUBCheck tool is available at http://validator.idpf.org/.

 

More information is provided in the official press release.

Making Health Information Accessible with Dr. Georges Benjamin
2013-10-08

Learning Ally is proud to host Dr. Georges Benjamin, President of the American Public Health Association on Wednesday, October 9th at 2 pm EST to share his expertise on the benefits and importance of making health information accessible to the elderly and individuals who are blind, visually impaired or have a learning disability. There is still time to register for this informative webinar.

EDUPUB Workshop Agenda Now Available
2013-10-06

The detailed program agenda for EDUPUB, an IDPF workshop on digital publishing for education, is now available at http://idpf.org/edupub-2013-agenda. The invitation-only event, taking place October 29-30, 2013 in Boston (USA), will cover four topics: the educational interoperability landscape, rich and interactive content, accessibility, and production workflows.

 

Keynote speakers include Jeff Jaffe (CEO, W3C) and Dan Cooper (SVP of Content Management Solutions, Pearson North America). Other presenters at the workshop represent a wide range of leading organizations and institutions involved in educational publishing including IMS Global Learning, SIF, Sophia University (Japan), Ingram VitalSource, CourseSmart, Inkling, Carson-Dellosa, O'Reilly Media, Imagineering, Google, Benetech, Metrodigi, CETIS, NCAM, LRMI, AMAC, Wolfram, DAISY Consortium, ETS, Nook Media, Adobe, VersaPub, Harvard Business Publishing, and Evident Point.

 

EDUPUB is hosted by Pearson Education, with organizational co-sponsors W3C and IMS Global Learning, and additional corporate sponsors including Aptara, CourseSmart, Ingram Content Group, Metrodigi, and SPi Global. The agenda was developed by the program co-chairs Markus Gylling (IDPF and DAISY) and Paul Belfanti (Pearson), and a blue-ribbon program committee of leaders from across the industry. For more information about EDUPUB visit: http://idpf.org/edupub-2013.

DIAGRAM Webinar: “Office Hours” with the Image Description Experts
2013-09-30

Webinar: “Office Hours” with the Image Description Experts

Date: Thursday October 24, 2013

Time: 2:30pm Eastern (1:30pm Central, 12:30pm Mountain, 11:30am Pacific)

Cost: Free

Presenters: Bryan Gould and Geoff Freed, WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM)


Session Description:

Are you a volunteer or professional image description specialist? Have you ever run into a complex image that you just weren’t sure how to handle? If so, this session is for you! Accessible-image experts Bryan Gould and Geoff Freed of WGBH’s National Center at Accessible Media (NCAM) will be holding this special session to answer all your toughest questions about how to handle complex image descriptions such as scientific textbook images, maps, cartoons, mathematical equations, and graphs.

 

In order to optimize the usefulness of this session to participants, Bryan and Geoff would like to collect your questions and examples in advance. Please visit this simple survey and send in your questions and images.

 

Register for the webinar by visiting this link.

 

The webinar is free and open to all. You need not submit a question in advance in order to participate, and you may also submit more than one question. The more questions we receive, the richer the session will be! Please feel free to forward this information to anyone who may be interested. You can see the webinar description and the registration link at the blog posting here: http://blog.diagramcenter.org/?p=1293

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