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 http://www.daisy.org/tobi/.


For more information about the new features and bug fixes, please visit the change log at http://www.daisy.org/tobi/change-log.


For providing feedback, suggestions, and bug reports, please go to http://www.daisy.org/forums/tobi.

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


Issue URL: 

NVDA screen reader 2016.4 is now available. Find out what's new.

Tobi Version 2.6.1 has been released. New cleanup rollback feature allows users to reverse the last cleanup operation. Enjoy more robust recording and 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. More information is available in the Tobi project area.

Obi Version 3.9.1 comes with localization updates for users of French, Spanish, Finnish and Portuguese language versions. To find out more, go the Obi project space.

Feature Articles
Feature Title1: 
Accessible Publishing Events in Tokyo: Learning From Each Other
Feature Article1: 

Written by Mayu (Hamada) Makio, ATDO (Assistive Technology Development Organization)

In Japan, currently about 4000 primary school students with dyslexia and other print disabilities have been registered to use DAISY textbooks. Volunteers take care of the production and delivery with almost no financial support from the government.

The number of users doubles each year. At the same time, the number of volunteers including mothers of students with dyslexia is reaching the critical limit. Support by the government and collaboration with the publishing industry are necessary to continue these efforts.

To raise awareness and learn from experts in other countries, Japan DAISY Consortium (JDC) together with other stakeholders conducted two seminars after the DAISY Board meeting in Tokyo, Japan.

EPUB Accessibility Symposium

The EPUB Accessibility Symposium took place on November 17th. It was co-hosted by JEPA (Japan Electronic Publishing Association) and JDC.

Japan's anti-discrimination law came into force in April 2016. Consequently, accessibility awareness has been growing. About 100 people attended the conference, mostly representing publishers.

Hiroshi Kawamura

Hiroshi Kawamura (President, JDC) provided a brief introduction of the DAISY Consortium (DC). He demonstrated how to produce DAISY versions from the printed versions of Japanese textbooks with extremely complex layout.

George Kerscher and Avneesh Singh (DC) gave a presentation on the EPUB Accessibility Baseline project including how to evaluate accessibility and the methods for discovering accessible books.

Makoto Murata (CTO, JEPA) discussed current EPUB accessibility challenges in Japan. He pointed out the need to update EPUB 3 production guidelines of The Electronic Book Publishers Association of Japan to conform to EPUB Accessibility 1.0.

Digital Textbook Accessibility Symposium

The Digital Textbook Accessibility Symposium took place on November 18th. It was co-hosted by JSRPD (Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities), The Nippon Foundation and JDC. There were three lectures and a panel discussion.

Maarten Verboom (DC Board Member, Dedicon, the Netherlands) talked about their current workflow of producing multiple accessible formats from one source file. He also shared Dedicon's collaboration with publishers to realize "born accessible" workflow.

Brad Turner

Brad Turner (DC Board Member from Benetech, United States) talked about Bookshare and DIAGRAM Center projects. He also explained how to make use of EPUB Accessibility Baseline to support large purchases of accessible books.

George Kerscher (DC, Chief Innovations Officer, United States) focused on the EPUB Accessibility Baseline for Educational Publishing. During the panel discussion, Richard Orme (DC CTO, United Kingdom) explained how students with print disabilities acquire the right to read in the UK.

Arne Kyrkjebø (DC Board Member from NLB, Norway) explained how the Norwegian Library of Talking Books and Braille provides publications in accessible formats to people with print disabilities using both text-to-speech and human narration. Arne also talked about their plans to migrate to EPUB 3.

Avneesh Singh (DC COO from India) shared the DAISY Forum of India initiative to develop an online national library for accessible books. He mentioned that EPUB 3 is gaining recognition as a publishing format in India.

Around 100 people including volunteers involved in DAISY production, people representing universities as well as publishers attended the symposium to learn from other countries' experiences.

EPUB 3 in Japan

EPUB 3 has become one of the most popular digital publishing formats in Japan. However, packing EPUB in proprietary systems (Digital Rights Management, distribution, and reading systems) to control the copyright, layout, and text-to-speech (TTS) pronunciation is most common. In many cases, those systems are difficult to access by a screen reader.

As Japanese language support has improved, Japanese DAISY producers are eager to move to EPUB 3. Some of the DAISY production and playback tools used in Japan have started to support the EPUB 3 format. For example, ChattyInfty3 and ChattyBooks (Science Accessibility Net), Producer and e-Reader (Shinano Kenshi) as well as Dolphin Publisher and EasyReader (Dolphin Computer Access).

Collaboration with publishers to implement "born accessible" EPUB 3 is the commonly understood path for the way forward. We'd like to learn more from other countries' experiences on how DAISY community can effectively collaborate with the publishing industry to improve the situation for DAISY users.

Photo credit: JSRPD

Feature Title2: 
Report from Uganda: Creating Inclusive Libraries
Feature Article2: 

The adult literacy rate in Uganda is 73.9 percent, and 66.9 percent among women, reports UNESCO. Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) is active in Uganda, currently supporting national implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty for persons with print disabilities.

The Inclusive Libraries workshop in Kampala was organized by the DAISY Consortium (December 12-14, 2016). Trainers were Prashant Ranjan Verma and Ajay Mathur. This was the first event of its kind in Uganda, supported by UNESCO's East Africa Office and hosted by the Consortium of Uganda University Libraries.

This Consortium facilitates resource sharing among university and institutional libraries in Uganda and strengthens the library services provided to students and staff.

Uganda Workshop Participants

All 18 workshop participants were librarians from different Uganda universities.

There is an urgent need in this country to increase accessibility awareness. The ultimate goal is to build skills and resources so that the books' creation, distribution, and reading becomes accessible for all including persons with disabilities.

The workshop program focused on the following:

  • How libraries can become inclusive for persons with disabilities - which services and facilities need to be added?
  • Sharing of best practices from around the world.
  • Understanding the barriers to information access for the disabled through demonstrations and hands-on excercises.
  • Understanding the digital content accessibility requirements through demos and hands-on exercises e.g. trying out DAISY and EPUB content on eReaders.
  • Demos of inclusive book distribution models.
  • Exploration of library services for schools that can be put in place in Uganda.
  • Understanding the inclusive publishing workflow.
  • Hands-on exercises on making publications accessible using open source tools compliant to international standards.

The workshop also included sessions on common web accessibility issues, accessibility testing, and retrofitting websites.

Participants provided positive feedback at the end of the workshop and expressed their eagerness to take steps to make their university libraries accessible.

Thank you, Prashant Ranjan Verma for your report.

Feature Title3: 
The best thing that ever happened to me: Accessible media in everyday practice
Feature Article3: 

Written by Elin Nord, Chair of the Swedish DAISY Consortium, University of Gothenburg

Swedish DAISY Consortium logo

The Swedish DAISY Consortium held the annual conference in Stockholm on December 1st. This year’s topic was "The best thing that ever happened to me": Accessible media in everyday practice. The conference focused on users' consumption of accessible media.

The audience consisted of librarians from public and university libraries, MTM (Swedish Agency for Accessible Media) staff, disability organizations and other interest groups.

Inspiring speakers

The day started out with Beate Grimsrud, author, and filmmaker, giving a personal, entertaining and thoughtful presentation about being dyslexic. Beate told us about the negative reactions she got from her teacher at school when she told that she wanted to be an author when she grew up. Now she is one of the most famous writers in the Nordic countries.

Jesper Klein (Chair of the Board, DAISY Consortium) focused on two main topics:

  • improving the production of accessible media in alternative formats and
  • supporting inclusive mainstream publishing and reading

He pointed out several challenges for all of us working with different aspects of accessible media. He also shared the DAISY Consortium's current projects.

The Swedish researcher Idor Svensson presented results from his current research project aimed to evaluate the efficiency of assistive technologies, mainly apps, for dyslexic children. The study shows positive effects, not only on the reading skills but also on the self-esteem of the children involved in the study.

The day also contained presentations from teachers and students who use accessible media in their daily work and studies. Maria Samuelsson, a primary school teacher, spoke of the importance of making students who use books in alternative formats to feel equally included in the classroom activities. She gave us examples of success stories that showed that early use of accessible books makes a big difference in students' reading skills and their self-esteem.

Key factors to succeeding

The key factor for succeeding in university studies is to get textbooks in accessible formats; two students enrolled in universities informed us. They also pointed out the importance of learning study strategies, adapted for using talking books, so students can study more efficiently.

One suggestion was: Why not start a preparation course for students with disabilities, so they can be prepared before they start their university studies, learn about their campus and what support they can get!


The Amy prize winner, Gothenburg University Library, represented by Charlotta Höckerfors and Ann-Katrin Ek, shared their success factors with us:

  • collaborate with the rest of the university
  • get support from the library management
  • and let yourself be inspired by other libraries' efforts

Bengt Fredrikson from the easy-to-read magazine 8 sidor (8 Pages) held a presentation about what easy-to-read means. He said that easy-to-read isn’t only about how you write. It’s also about what you already know about the content, the target group, the design of the text and whether you are interested in what the text is about.

Editor's note: The aim of 8 sidor magazine is to make literature and news accessible for, above all, adults with reading difficulties or limited literacy and language skills. Publication of easy-to-read literature has a rather long tradition in Sweden. Easy-to-read books have been published since 1968.

We also got the opportunity to listen to the presentations about MTM projects that aim to increase awareness about accessible media. MTM also strives to attract new users who would enjoy talking books and newspapers delivered through DAISY online service.

All presentations were filmed. You can see them (in Swedish) at http://mtm.se/svenskadaisykonsortiet/konferenser/sdk-konferensen-2016/.

After the conference, the Swedish DAISY Consortium held their annual meeting.

Feature Title4: 
BARD Express: Easy access to reading
Feature Article4: 
BARD Express

BARD Express provides the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) patrons with an easy way to access BARD. Use BARD Express to browse thousands of audio books and magazines. Download them to Windows-based computer, and transfer to an NLS cartridge.

BARD Express simplifies the process by providing a menu-driven interface. It reduces the need to memorize a complicated set of keyboard commands. BARD Express can be used with as few as four keys.

BARD Express manages the audio materials that users download to their computer and organizes them for easy sorting. The program also removes the need to manually unzip files which simplifies the process of transferring talking books and magazines to a cartridge or USB drive.

Window Eyes, NVDA, and JAWS for Windows have been tested with BARD Express.

BARD Express comes with a comprehensive Help system. NLS has also produced a set of tutorial videos, called the BARD Express How-To Series, that describe how to use the functions and features of BARD Express.

Feature Title5: 
Tactile Reading: Stockholm, April 5-7, 2017
Feature Article5: 

Why Tactile Reading Conference?

The conference is hosted by the Swedish Agency of Accessible Media (MTM) and the National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools (SPSM). This conference will be a forum for people working with children and youth with visual impairments or blindness, for academics in various research areas, commercial companies, developers, and contractors.

Three reasons to attend the Tactile Reading Conference (April 5-7, 2017 in Stockholm):


Choose the sessions that fit your interest! Conference organizers offer more than 50 experienced speakers who will highlight 5 important topics:

  • Development of tactual understanding
  • Tactile reading and the brain
  • Braille and literacy
  • Tactile graphics
  • Universal design and tactile reading


An excellent occasion to meet colleagues from other countries and create new relationships.


Join the conference to develop your professional skills. Knowledge is an investment!

Register now to get the Early Bird discount, ends December 31st.

Bits & Pieces: 

The e-book accessibility audit launched in August 2016 and was completed in November 2016. It was a joint project between several UK Higher Education Institution (HEI) disability and library services, Jisc and representatives from the book supply industry. The audit seeks to introduce a benchmark for accessibility in e-book platforms by focusing on key areas of practical user experience. It also strives to measure basic accessibility and functionality. More information is available on the e-book accessibility audit project website.

Audiobook sales rise as stars lend authors and publishers their voice. Once a niche market catering mainly to readers with visual impairment, talking books - now more widely known as audiobooks - are very much part of the mainstream. Read more in The Australian.

IFLA Libraries Serving Persons with Print Disabilities Section's 2016 newsletter covers several hot topics including the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty and the Finnish Accessibility Guidelines for Public Libraries. MS Word and PDF versions are available on the IFLA website.

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: http://www.daisy.org/obi/.


Download Version 3.9.1 from http://www.daisy.org/obi/download/.

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: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/g25n9c1ix56t&eom.

International Symposium: Digital Textbook Accessibility (Tokyo)


The Japan DAISY Consortium, in collaboration with Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities and The Nippon Foundation, will co-host an international symposium on Digital Textbooks Accessibility to learn about international trends and discuss how we can ensure access to inclusive education in Japan.

  • Date and time: November 18th, 13:30 to 16:30
  • Venue: The Nippon Foundation Headquarters
  • Language: English and Japanese (Simultaneous Interpretation)
  • Information Support: Japanese Sign Language, Japanese Captions and English Captions

Hosting Organizations: Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities, The Nippon Foundation and Japan DAISY Consortium.

For registrations in English, please contact daisy-seminar@dinf.ne.jp

For Japanese registration, please visit: http://kokucheese.com/event/index/429614/


Draft Program (will be updated)

13:30 - Opening

Moderator: Misako Nomura, Chief of The Secretariat, Japan DAISY Consortium

13:35-13:45 Welcome

Yasunobu Ishii, Senior Program Director, Disability and Child Welfare Team - Social Innovation Program Division, The Nippon Foundation;  Junji Fukumo, Executive Director, Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities.

13:45-14:00: Keynote by Hiroshi Kawamura, Steering Committee Chairman, Japan DAISY Consortium/Vice President, Assistive Technology Development Organization

14:00-14:30: “How to achieve ‘born accessibility’ of digital textbooks. The Dutch model.” Maarten Verboom, Chief Executive Officer, Dedicon, the Netherlands

14:30-15:00: “Providing Educational Content Today, Tomorrow, and in the Future." Brad Turner, Vice President, Global Literacy, Benetech /Bookshare, USA

15:00-15:10 Break

15:10-15:30: "EPUB Accessibility Conformance and Discovery Specification: The Baseline for Educational Publishing." George Kerscher, Chief Innovation Officer, DAISY Consortium/President of IDPF, USA

15:30-16:25: Panel Discussion - Learn from the approach in England, Norway and India.

  • Richard Orme, Chief Executive Officer, DAISY Consortium, UK
  • Arne Kyrkjebø, Head of Development Department, Norwegian Library of Talking Books and Braille, Norway
  • Avneesh Singh, Chief Operating Officer, DAISY Consortium / Co-Chair, EPUB 3 accessibility working group, India

16:25-16:30 Closing by Hiroshi Kawamura

6:30-17:30 Business Card and Information Exchange


More information is provided on the event website.


Subscribe to DAISY Consortium RSS