The DAISY Consortium's Newsletter - December 2017
Season's Greetings

From The Editor

Are you working on something which the rest of the DAISY community would be interested to read about?

Is there a specific topic you would like covered in the next edition?

We look forward to reading your news, comments and suggestions.

 

This edition of the DAISY Planet is available in multiple languages:

As always, we welcome your feedback on these translations, or anything related to this publication.

Publishers' Corner

The Inclusive Publishing site, which was only launched a year ago has grown significantly over the last 12 months, and is now an established hub of information and news related to mainstream accessible publishing. If you are interested in the latest developments, we highly recommend subscribing to the Inclusive Publishing Newsletter, and following InclusivePub on Twitter.

Competition Finalist - Born Accessible Content Checker from DZB

Photo representing digital imagination

Congratulations to the German Central Library for the Blind (Deutsche Zentralbücherei für Blinde - DZB) in Leipzig for becoming a competition finalist in the “Digital Imagination Challenge” with their Born Accessible Content Checker (BACC). On 15th December 2017, the project BACC reached the last phase of the German competition, becoming one of only five selected finalists.
The BACC project aims to support inclusive publishing by providing technical assistance in the accessible eBook production process. A testing tool has been developed which enables publishers and publishing service providers to check the compliance of eBooks in EPUB format against the recommended accessibility requirements.
To perform the accessibility checking BACC benefits from one of the latest developments of the DAISY Consortium, with a key component being Ace by DAISY, the accessibility checker for EPUB. Ace is now in the final stage of beta testing, with the first release scheduled towards the end of January 2018.
The BACC tool has been developed as a web application with a graphic user interface for quick and easy use and includes a German translation. The first web prototype has now been developed, and there are plans to also produce a desktop version of BACC.
The “Digital Imagination Challenge” in Germany is organized by Unitymedia, Impact Hub Berlin and Social Heroes, and was created to encourage and support technical solutions which improve access to digital media and enable people with disabilities to participate the digital world.
The BACC project received very positive feedback in the first round of the competition, and as a finalist will now take part in the competitions support program, and have the chance to present the project in the final pitch on the 15th February in Berlin when the winner of the €15,000 prize will be announced.
We wish the BACC project team all the best in the final stages of the competition, and look forward to seeing how the tool develops.
Thanks to Sarah Bohnert for contributing to this piece. If you would like further information about this project and the competition contact Sarah dot Bohnert at DZB dot DE.

Obi 4.1 Released

Obi is the popular DAISY/EPUB book production software with a large user base spanning across the globe. Its success can be attributed to its rich feature set, simplicity and adaptability for a wide variety of users, ranging from big production houses to home users.
To continue its commitment of enriching Obi, the DAISY Consortium conducted a survey in early 2017, which received participation from the worldwide DAISY community. The suggestions and comments were analyzed and numerous features were identified and planned for Obi releases in the future.
Obi 4.1 initiates this process by implementing the first set of features collected from the survey that bring enhancements to the existing functionality. Some of them are briefed in the following list.

These are a few of the feature suggestions received in the survey. The ones requiring significant changes in Obi are planned to be implemented in the releases scheduled for 2018.

This new version of Obi also presents updates to language packs for French and German. Many thanks to the following organizations and individuals for translations:

To find out more about the current release and download the latest installation files, please visit:
http://www.daisy.org/obi/

Thanks to Avneesh Singh for this article.

Music Braille Collaboration

An exciting new pre-study project is about to start exploring ways to secure music braille services for the future.

Background

Photo of printed sheet music

The Nordic Libraries together with Dedicon and SBS developed a Pipeline 2 based Braille in paper production tool based on EPUB 3 source files. The original project plan was quite ambitious when it came to type of content the tools should be able to produce. During the project we had to, because of limited resources, prioritise what type of content a first version should be able to handle. This original plan included also the ability to produce Music Braille in paper. The tools as it is today do not include this ability and we have at this point no specific plan to include this ability.
The demand for Music Braille and the capacity/ability to produce music Braille varies in the different countries but the general impression is that many of the libraries struggle to maintain this service. There are few people handling it and in many occasions only one person able to produce, tools/methods that limits efficient productions and limited written guidelines. Production time is long, which is a problem for those libraries serving students with more urgent needs. Our understanding is that there is a global standard for music Braille but there are national differences.
There is also MusicXML. But for Braille some extensions are needed. Existing extensions to MusicXML don’t cover all types of music scores and are not standardized. Therefore, Braille-Music-XML-files can’t be exchanged and also can’t be used as input to different tools to produce Braille Music.

A proposal for cooperation

We would like to establish a group where the goal is to collaborate in finding better ways to secure our music braille services in the future. This group will be involved in developing a pre-study to examine the current situation across different countries. We would like to explore issues including for example: current activities and projects already underway; user experience; production methods; standards and guidelines and localisation practices; technical requirements; and new tools and technologies.
If you would like to join our working group, and have not already indicated your interest, please contact the project lead Arne Kyrkjebø and project consultant Sarah Morley Wilkins at: musicbraille at daisy dot org
Thanks to Arne Kyrkjebø and Sarah Morley Wilkins for submitting this article.

Beijing Meeting for Review of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities

The Ministers and representatives of 58 member and associate member countries of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific assembled at the “High-level Intergovernmental Meeting on the Midpoint Review of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2013– 2022” held in Beijing from 27 November to 1 December 2017. The Incheon Strategy with 10 high Level Goals, 27 targets and 62 indicators, is the guiding document to make the Right Real for persons with disabilities in the region.
The Beijing meeting was held to review the progress made over the past 5 years, and to adopt an action plan to achieve the goals set out in the Incheon Strategy.
The Government and CSO partners recognized the linkages between the goals and targets of the Incheon Strategy with the Sustainable Development Goals, UNCRPD, The Sandai framework for Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction and the Marrakesh Treaty to end the book famine for the Visually Impaired and otherwise print disabled.
A 30 member Working Group on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2013–2022, 15 representatives of member States and 15 representatives of civil society organizations collaborated to promote the full and effective implementation of the Decade between 2013 and 2017. Representatives from the DAISY Consortium actively participated in the meetings and activities of the Working Group.
DAISY Consortium is the convener and coordinator of a regional network called the DAISY Asia Pacific to bring together all stake holders of the region to work towards achieving the goals of the Incheon Strategy related to accessibility of ICT and to make information and publications accessible to persons with print disabilities.
Dipendra Manocha – Director Developing Countries Program of the DAISY Consortium represents the Consortium in the Working Group and the associated activities of the Incheon Strategy. Mr Hiroshi Kawamura, the Board member of the DAISY Consortium has played an active role in formulation and implementation of the Incheon Strategy.
The Beijing Declaration and Action Plan was adopted after week long deliberation among officers and ministers representing all member and associate member countries of the region. Through the action plan all involved parties agreed to work towards ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty and to amend the national copyright laws in line with the Treaty. The States also agreed to adopt international standards to make information and published materials accessible to all including persons with disabilities. A specific action plan has also been adopted to amend procurement policy, making all ICT infrastructure in work places, public site and services to be usable by persons with disabilities, either directly or through appropriate assistive technology.
Thanks to Dipendra Manocha for this article.

Bits & Pieces

  • The Call for Nominations: Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) International Excellence Award 2018 is now open for applications until January 26th 2018. The award recognizes "outstanding leadership and achievements in advancing the accessibility of commercial ebooks or other digital publications for persons who are print disabled", and nominations are welcomed from anywhere around the world. The awards will be presented at the London Book Fair on April 10th 2018.
  • Marrakesh Treaty makes Strides in Lesotho - this interesting article from EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) highlights the positive steps being taken towards adoption of the Marrakesh Treaty in the Kingdom of Lesotho in southern Africa.
  • CNIB launch “That All May Read”, a new website to celebrate 100 years of unwavering support for literacy, reading, and access to information. Amongst other things the site documents how reading technology has evolved over the years, and highlights many of the processes and systems which members of the DAISY community will no-doubt recall fondly.