Markus Gylling Joins IMS Global


The DAISY Consortium announces that Markus Gylling will join IMS Global to lead their accessibility and digital content efforts. He will also serve as the primary executive for IMS Europe effective October 1st, 2016.


Markus Gylling’s appointment will inject substantial accessibility expertise into a global organization developing e-textbooks and other digital learning materials.


Markus is currently the CTO of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) and the DAISY Consortium. Through his work with DAISY, he also served as the Advisory Committee representative for DAISY at W3C.


The DAISY Consortium congratulates Markus on his new appointment and wishes him the very best for the future. More information is provided in the IMS Global Press Release.

National Federation of the Blind Awards $50,000


The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) presented $50,000 in cash awards to individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions toward achieving the full integration of the blind into society. The ninth annual Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards honored four innovators who are helping blind people live the lives they want.


A $5,000 award was presented to Audio & Braille Literacy Enhancement, Inc., a transcription service that converts textbooks for school children into Braille, and is able to provide immediate transcription services for other classroom materials. A $10,000 prize was awarded to Oskar & Klaus Publishing, a company that produces children's books detailing the adventures of a blind cat (Oskar) and his feline pal (Klaus), with the message of not allowing blindness to prevent a cat, or person, from embarking upon extraordinary adventures. A $15,000 award was presented to Winston Chen for the Voice Dream Reader application which allows navigable reading of electronic documents using synthetic speech and an accessible user interface. A cash prize of $20,000 went to the Semitic Scholars. This is a group of three blind graduate students who created a Braille code for ancient Biblical languages so that source documents of religious texts can be studied independently by blind students in their original context, a feat that was previously impossible.


Dr. Jacob Bolotin, the namesake of the award program, was a blind physician who lived and practiced in Chicago from 1912 until 1924. Dr. Bolotin was especially recognized for treating diseases of the heart and lungs. Despite his rigorous schedule tending to his patients' needs at all hours of the day and night, Dr. Bolotin also became known as a public speaker and advocate for the employment of the blind and their full integration into society.


More information about NFB is provided on the NFB website.

Marrakesh Treaty Reaches Twenty Ratifications


Canada became the key 20th nation to accede to the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, which will bring the Treaty into force by September 30th, 2016. CNIB congratulated the Government of Canada on eagerly-anticipated ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty.


Detailed information on which countries have ratified the Treaty can be found on the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) website.


The World Blind Union (WBU) led the international campaign to achieve the development of an international treaty that would put an end to the global “book famine,” which refers to the less than ten percent of published materials being available in accessible formats and often less than one percent in developing countries. “After many years of hard work by countless people in the blindness community and partners from a range of sectors, we are now at the start of a new phase of our work,” said Maryanne Diamond, WBU Chair of the Right to Read campaign and a leader in the fight for the Marrakesh Treaty.


Several DAISY member organizations have been advocating for the Treaty over the years. The great achievement today offers many reasons for celebration.

Accessible Books Consortium Marks Two Years of Growth


The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) was established two years ago. ABC is delighted to celebrate.


Latest highlights:

  • The ABC’s TIGAR Book Service has so far facilitated the loans of accessible books to 79,000 people through its 19 participating libraries.
  • The 2016 ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing went to Elsevier, the DK Braille Development Team at Penguin Random House, and a Nepalese NGO, ADRAD.
  • Six major publishers’ associations have signed the ABC Charter, which promotes the production of “born accessible” works.
  • The ABC's capacity-building activities in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka benefitted over 23,500 students in 2015. The second phase starts in July with funding from the Governments of Australia and the Republic of Korea, the Skoll Foundation and the United Nations Foundation – we hope to benefit some 88,500 students who are print disabled in these four countries.

More information is provided in the ABC snapshots.

Legislation will improve access to information for print-disabled Canadians


Canadians who are visually impaired or otherwise print disabled will have better access to books and other copyrighted materials. The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, today announced that the Act to Amend the Copyright Act (access to copyrighted works or other subject-matter for persons with perceptual disabilities) has received royal assent.


By bringing the country's copyright law in line with the Treaty, Canada has shown leadership in ensuring a wider availability of books and other materials for Canadians with visual impairments and print disabilities. More information is provided on the Government of Canada website.

Marrakesh Treaty: Statement from the IFLA's Section for Libraries Serving Persons with Print Disabilities


by Karen Keninger, Chair of IFLA's LPD Section


The members of IFLA's Section for Libraries Serving Persons with Print Disabilities, comprising 80 library organizations, also represent the views of many other organizations such as schools, transcribers, software and hardware producers, providers and brokers that distribute accessible reading materials to persons with print disabilities. We acknowledge with appreciation the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) Member States' agreement to create an effective Treaty at the Diplomatic Conference held in Marrakesh in June 2013. This, when ratified, will deliver tangible benefits to more than 285 million visually impaired or otherwise print disabled people who have been deprived for too long from equitable access to reading materials and information.


The full text of the Marrakesh Treaty in print, audio, DAISY, and Braille formats is available on the WIPO website.


It is only through access to reading that people can participate in education, work, culture and civic activity, and so improve the quality and well-being of their lives. The Book Famine, which has been caused in large part by international copyright constraints, has the result that print disabled people are deprived of the opportunity to read the same book, at the same price, and at the same time as the rest of the world. Libraries and other voluntary sector providers of books in accessible formats around the world waste scarce resources because they have had to duplicate transcription and production efforts.


At long last there is a real chance to overcome the shortage of accessible reading and information by using internet delivery and increasing ways of reading the growing quantity of digital content.


By strengthening the international copyright framework, this Treaty provides a unique and truly historic opportunity for the Member States and involved parties to attack the book famine and to dramatically improve the life opportunities of more than 285 million print disabled people.


Some concrete examples of benefits that will be delivered with the help of the Treaty are as follows. The Treaty will:

  • Meet increasing demand for accessible works to be made available between countries/communities that share a language, e.g. Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, English to name but a few
  • Support developing economies which cannot afford to produce resources but could particularly benefit from greater access to resources made elsewhere in the world
  • Help print-disabled refugees, immigrants and another diaspora who need to access content made elsewhere, in the context of greater mobility around the world
  • Protect the interests of rights holders by having a clear framework in place
  • Increase the overall amount of accessible books and information and the timeliness of publication
  • Empower people individually to become more effective members of society together with the result of reducing poverty, unemployment and crime

These benefits transcend the technicalities and subtleties of judicial debate.


The urgent needs of all the world’s print disabled people are at risk because of undue focus on legislative details.


We also refer to the Guide for libraries of EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries, a not-for-profit organization), who is supporting ratification of the treaty and implementation into national copyright law.


We call upon the Member States and the involved parties to stay focused on the necessary benefits and outcomes.


As Government, Ministers, Parliamentarians, educationalists, leaders of business and of local communities, please campaign for the early ratification by your Government of this effective Treaty that will improve the lives of all the visually impaired and print disabled people in your country, leading to a more equitable and non-discriminatory society.


The LPD statement in support of the Marrakesh Treaty ratification is also available on the LPD section website.

Accessibility Executive Breakfast (June 9th, New York)


During the first half of this event organizers focused on information that publishers must know in order to comply with Section 508 and other federal regulations on accessibility, including laws, regulations, Department of Justice actions, etc. The second half of the morning offered practical information that helps publishers deal with implementation challenges in their own businesses. George Kerscher, Chief Innovations Officer for the DAISY Consortium, was one of the speakers. More information is provided on the event website.

New Director General for the Swedish Agency for Accessible Media Appointed


The Swedish government has appointed Magnus Larsson as Director General for the Swedish Agency for Accessible Media, MTM. He takes up his duties on September 1st.

Magnus Larsson is currently the Director General of the Swedish Agency for Press, Radio, and TV. Before that he was the Director of the Review Board for Radio and Television, as well as acting Director General of the Radio and TV Authority. He has a law degree from Uppsala University and has served as associate judge of appeal among other things at the National Court of Appeal.


The current Director General Roland Esaiasson retires from office on August 31.


The Swedish Agency for Accessible Media, MTM, is under the administration of the Ministry of Culture. MTM's mandate is to ensure that all persons with reading impairments can access literature and daily newspapers through media appropriate to them. Important responsibilities include the production and distribution of audio books, Braille books, easy read literature and accessible newspapers.


MTM's mission is to be a national knowledge centre for accessible media. A large and important part of that is the research and development of new technologies for production and reading.

MTM is one of the Full Members of the DAISY Consortium.


For further information please contact:

  • Renée Jardland, deputy Director General, Swedish Agency for Accessible Media, Phone: +46 8-580 02 716, e-mail: renee.jardland(at)
  • Camilla Batal, Director of Communications, Swedish Agency for Accessible Media, Phone: +46 8-580 02 824, e-mail: camilla.batal(at)

Upcoming Event: Tailoring the Reading Experience to Meet Individual Needs


Register today to attend an inspiring conference in Louisville, Kentucky, USA!


The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is holding its 2016 World Library Information Congress, (WLIC) in Columbus, Ohio this August. In conjunction with this prestigious international event, the IFLA Section on Libraries Serving Persons with Print Disabilities (LPD) is sponsoring a pre-Congress satellite conference, Tailoring the Reading Experience to Meet Individual Needs, in Louisville, Kentucky, August 11-12, 2016.


The satellite conference is co-sponsored by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), and will feature an international array of speakers. This conference offers a rare opportunity for professionals from a variety of disciplines to discuss the challenges and solutions to providing timely accessible materials in appropriate formats to the people we serve. The preliminary agenda is available on the satellite conference website.

Global Leaders in Accessible and Enabling Technologies Will Meet in Washington, DC


With a brand new Inclusive Higher Education Forum, dedicated Government, Business and Financial Services tracks, along with exclusive sessions chaired by the who's who of the mobile apps and services ecosystem and the assistive technology industry, the 5th annual M-Enabling Summit is the one event you shouldn't miss this June 2016.


Check out the All-Star line-up of government, industry, start-up, academia, and non-government leaders in accessibility who will be presenting the latest, game changing trends in Smart Cities, Cognitive and Learning, Mobile Banking, Media, Navigation, Senior Care, Digital Learning, Compliance and Public Procurement, Cloud Security, Wearable Computing, in more than 30+ sessions dedicated to showcasing accessible apps and services for users of all abilities.


Browse through the detailed


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