Coming Up: EPUB Accessibility Symposium (Tokyo)

  • Event: EPUB Accessibility Symposium
  • Date: Nov 17th (Thursday)
  • Time: 15:00-17:30
  • Venue: Asukanoma, Japan Education Center, Jinbocho, Tokyo
  • Host: Japan Electronic Publishing Association (JEPA)
  • Co-host: Japan DAISY Consortium
  • Registration fee: 3000 yen (Free for JEPA member)

Program (will be updated):

  • Overview of the DAISY Consortium: Hiroshi Kawamura (former President of the DAISY Consortium)
  • Future of Accessible Digital Publishing by the Combination of IDPF with W3C (with Japanese translation): George Kerscher (President, IDPF /Chief Innovation Officer, DAISY Consortium)

EPUB Accessibility:

  • Avneesh Singh (Chief Operating Officer, DAISY Consortium /Co-Chair, EPUB 3 Accessibility Working Group)
  • Makoto Murata (JEPA CTO)

More information is available on the event website.

The 2017 Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Awards for Accessible Publishing


The ABC is now 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.


Two awards will be presented; one to a publisher and one for an initiative. In making its final decision, the selection panel (comprised of various organizations working in the field of accessibility) will consider the extent to which the following elements are present in each nominee’s work:


  • an organization-wide commitment to making content available in accessible formats
  • accessibility standards built into production systems to make books accessible on, or close to, publication date
  • collaboration with partners in the supply chain to ensure that accessibility is maintained in delivering the product to the print disabled end-user
  • innovative practices established to advance the accessibility of e-books and digital publications for persons who are print disabled


You may nominate either your own organization/company or a third party anywhere in the world, and ABC encourages nominations of companies, organizations or individuals based in developing or least developed countries. The two awardees will be presented with trophies at the annual awards event held at the London Book Fair on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.


Please submit your application by Thursday, December 15, 2016 through the London Book Fair website.

Obi 3.9 brings enhanced ability to integrate with DAISY members' production environments


The DAISY Consortium is pleased to announce the latest 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 continues to address the important needs of DAISY members. It achieves higher performance with the introduction of a separate set of 64-bit installers to utilize better capabilities of 64-bit systems and comes with an option to increase efficiency for screens with higher resolution.


Version 3.9 presents new features such as cleanup rollback for reversing the last cleanup operation, more information in phrase and project properties for advanced users and enhancements to on-the-fly phrase detection.


Also, the release comes with several new configurations and personalization options for much better integration with members' production workflows.


For example, Configurable English fonts and waveform channel colors as well as options to show cursor time in the stop state. Also, a warning message dialog option before proceeding with section manipulation and much more.


New Obi also comes in Portuguese! Thanks to Vitor Ferreira for translations!


Please visit the Obi project area to check out the full list of features and important bug fixes:


Download Version 3.9 at


The Obi-Tobi team is committed to enriching Obi with new features to keep it abreast with new technologies and making it more suitable for the large worldwide user base.

The DAISY Consortium would like to extend a special "thank you" to all contributors for their valuable feedback and support.

IDPF Begins Member Vote To Approve Merger With W3C


Voting on a proposed merger of the IDPF with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) by IDPF members is underway. On October 13, 2016, IDPF Board of Directors approved the proposed plan for submission to the members, with a recommendation that members vote to approve. The transactions are expected to be completed by early 2017 (subject to the member vote as well as to final approvals by IDPF Board and the W3C Director).


All IDPF member organizations in good standing are entitled to vote in this election via their designated Primary Representative. Voting will be open through November 4, 2016.


“We believe that the proposed combination of IDPF with W3C represents the best path forward to pursue our chosen mission to foster an open accessible digital publishing ecosystem by promoting adoption of EPUB and advancing the Open Web Platform across all fields of publishing,” said IDPF Executive Director Bill McCoy. “We are excited about the prospect of giving our members a unique opportunity to be part of an expanded publishing engagement in W3C, as Web technologies are clearly the universal enabling platform for content creators and distributors of all kinds.”


Since the initial announcement six months ago, IDPF has engaged in a variety of information sharing and outreach efforts with its members and the industry. More information is provided on the EPUBZone website.

Reading and Writing the Orton-Gillingham Way: A One Day Workshop for Educators and Tutors


Learn how to use the Orton-Gillingham approach to help your students dive deeper into the writing process! Both reading and writing involve constructing or composing meaning. Academy of Orton-Gillingham Fellow David Katz has put together an informative session to give you hands-on strategies that can easily be recreated into the elementary, middle school, and high school curriculum.


Note: This course is not a certification course in Orton-Gillingham. It is a writing course helping you use the OG approach in the classroom.


More information including Course Syllabus and registration are provided on the Learning Ally website.

Frankfurt Book Fair: What Does the Marrakesh Treaty Mean for Publishers?


The Marrakesh Treaty obliges those who ratify it to create copyright exceptions to allow visually impaired people or authorized entities (libraries and other organizations) to make accessible copies of copyrighted works without asking permission from the rightsholder.


As of October 19th, twenty-five countries have ratified the Treaty, and many others will be looking to amend national copyright law to bring the Treaty into force domestically. A key focus of the Treaty is to enable the cross-border exchange of accessible files for use by those with print disabilities.

The one-hour event "What Does the Marrakesh Treaty Mean for Publishers?" at Frankfurt Book Fair on October 21st at 3 pm will explain the Treaty and what this means for the publishing community. Attendees will hear from experts about the Treaty and from the Accessible Books Consortium about the TIGAR service which was established for publishers and authorized entities to facilitate the cross-border exchange of accessible files.


Speakers include:

  • Carlo Scollo Lavizzari, International Publishers Association
  • Richard Orme, DAISY Consortium
  • Jim Russell, Accessible Books Consortium

Entry is free, but registration is essential.

EPUB 3.1 Now Proposed Specification


The IDPF Board recently approved working group recommendations to advance the EPUB 3.1 specifications to Proposed Specification status. A public review and comment period will be open through November 7th. The final step according to IDPF policies is a member vote to approve as Recommended Specifications.


The EPUB 3.1 revision also introduces a new accessibility specification and techniques document. Both also apply to older versions of the EPUB specification. Developed as part of EPUB 3.1, the goal is to provide guidance on making conforming EPUB publications accessible.

IDPF members and non-members are welcome to submit comments via the IDPF GitHub Issue List.

More information is provided on the IDPF website.

WCAG 2.1 under exploration, comments requested by November 1st


The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group announced a plan to develop WCAG 2.1, which builds on but does not supersede WCAG 2.0. The group would like input from stakeholders on this plan.


Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 became a W3C Recommendation on December 11th, 2008. It has been one of the major resources for making web content accessible to users with disabilities. WCAG has been referenced by accessibility policies of many countries and organizations, translated into twenty languages, and it has become an ISO standard (ISO/IEC 40500:2012).


WCAG 2.0 was structured to be a stable resource. Technology-specific implementation guidance was provided separately (in the Techniques and Understanding supporting documents) and updated as web technologies evolve.


In 2015, the WCAG Working Group had chosen to develop extensions to WCAG 2.0, in order to provide targeted guidance quickly, without changing the meaning of conformance to WCAG 2.0 itself or disturbing policies that reference WCAG 2.0. In review of the Requirements for WCAG 2.0 Extensions, however, it became apparent that the interrelationship of extensions could be complicated, and accessibility for some user groups could vary if organizations chose to meet some extensions but not others.


After careful consultation, the Working Group has decided not to put the new guidance in extensions, but instead work on an updated version of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. WCAG 2.1 will build on WCAG 2.0 to provide guidance urgently needed for today’s technologies. Because of the backwards compatibility, sites conforming either to WCAG 2.0 or WCAG 2.1 will share a common base of accessibility conformance. More information is provided on the W3C blog.

Petitions Committee calls on EU countries to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty


The Council and European Union (EU) member states need to accelerate the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, have low vision or are print disabled. The treaty, which entered into force September 30th, was signed by the EU in 2014 but is yet to be implemented by the Council.


“The EU should be in the forefront when it comes to facilitating the lives for people with disabilities. Therefore, I deeply regret that the Marrakesh Treaty will not come into force in Europe today”, said Petitions Committee Chair Cecilia Wikström (ALDE, SE).


“This issue has been of the highest priority for the PETI committee for a long time and we will continue supporting the ratification process and its measures until the treaty is properly implemented in all European Union member states”, she added.


By signing the Marrakesh Treaty in 2014, the EU member states have taken a political commitment to ratify the treaty. More information is available on the Global Accessibility News website.

Australia and Canada Exchange First Books Under the Marrakesh Treaty


Australians who are blind or have low vision are the first in the world to benefit from the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled through the symbolic exchange of book titles between the DAISY Consortium members Vision Australia and CNIB (Canada).


The Treaty came into force today. It has already been ratified by 22 countries, allowing the free sharing of titles in accessible formats between organisations in ratified countries. People who are blind, have low vision or print disability can now access a wider range of content.


Vision Australia General Manager for Accessible Information Solutions, Mr Michael Simpson stated:

“Today’s exchange is symbolic and marks the first step in expanding the collection of titles for the print disability communities here in Australia. The books included in the exchange are fiction titles, but in time, we expect other content to become available including journals and periodicals, educational materials and sheet music.” More information is provided on the Vision Australia website.


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