The DAISY Consortium's Newsletter - November 2010

From The Editor

In last month's Letter From the Editor I briefly introduced the decision of the DAISY Consortium Board of Directors regarding the DAISY Standard and the EPUB3 standard, both of which are under revision. I also promised to include an article in this issue providing more information. The word I used about the development of the two standards was "merger", however I have since been informed that a "merger" of the standards is not what is taking place. Please read the article DAISY = Accessibility, Will EPUB3 = Accessibility? to find out 'what it all means'.

I found it rather challenging to determine the order of the feature articles in this issue of the DAISY Planet. The first two articles, WIPO Copyright Committee: Stalemate Ends and DAISY = Accessibility, Will EPUB3 = Accessibility?. Both topics are extremely important; both articles present issues that are 'in progress'. I would be very interested in hearing from some of you about both of these articles or about any of the other articles in the DAISY Planet.

Three weeks from now the days will begin to get longer in the northern hemisphere, and shorter for those south of the equator. One month from today 2010 will come to a close and 2011 will arrive. The December DAISY Planet will be published slightly earlier in the month (December 22 is the planned publication date) so please watch your email for the December Planet notice if you will be taking time off in December to celebrate the holidays.

Your Story this month has a connection to the article DAISY = Accessibility, Will EPUB3 = Accessibility?. Liza Daly is a busy woman. She is on the International Digital Publishing Forum Board of Directors and is president of Threepress Consulting Inc., a company which she started. Ms. Daly lives in the world of technology – I'm sure you find her story interesting. Thank you Liza.

Editor's "Rant" for 2010

Information access issues are all around us – sometimes advocates for 'accessible information for all' win, sometimes we do not, and, sometimes people demonstrate unbelievable ignorance about these issues. Donna Jodhan, a special needs consultant who has certified skills with Microsoft and Novell programs, and a master's degree in international business and finance sued the federal government of Canada in September because she is unable to apply online for a government job. As announced yesterday, Ms. Jodhan won the case, and the Canadian government has 15 months to make its websites accessible. The good news is that she won, and that (finally) Canadian federal government websites will be accessible; the bad news is that a great deal of money was wasted on court costs, money that could have been spent making the sites accessible in the first place. What I find even more distressing is some of the comments posted about the decision. The news story, Blind woman wins case against federal government, is on the CBC Canada website. There is also a survey which asks: "Should the federal government make its websites accessible to the blind?" It is hard to believe that this question should even be asked.

There are not a great many major DAISY-related activities planned for December. If you, your organization or company have news to share, please get in touch with me directly by email or by using the Contact Us form (Newsletter category). Articles and suggestions for articles are always welcome, as are Letters to the Editor and Stories.

Lynn Leith

DAISY Marketplace

The following links are to new or recently updated DAISY Products and Services from our Members and Friends. Marketplace entries also appear on our home page.

The DAISY Marketplace

WIPO Copyright Committee: Stalemate Ends

The 21st session of the World Intellectual Property Organization Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (WIPO/SCCR) took place November 8 to 12 in Geneva. "Limitations and Exceptions" were the final topic on the WIPO/SCCR21 agenda.

Limitations and Exceptions

One of the primary issues addressed in the original WIPO Treaty for Improved Access for Blind, Visually Impaired and other Reading Disabled Persons submitted by WBU in 2008, and the other solutions which have followed, is copyright limitations and exceptions, including the cross-border exchange of accessible publications. The outcomes of two recent meetings, WIPO/SCCR21, and the 5th WIPO Stakeholders' Platform meeting illustrate that the ongoing efforts to eradicate the road blocks to information access for people who have a print disability have not been in vain. (See also the article TIGAR: Evolution of the Global Accessible Library in this issue of the DAISY Planet).

Brief Backgrounder

At the WIPO/SCCR20 meeting held in June this year, copyright limitations and exceptions were debated at great length, perhaps more than any other issue on the agenda. Prior to that meeting four proposals had been submitted. No consensus was reached at the close of that meeting. See the article WIPO Copyright Treaty: Consensus Not Reached in the June DAISY Planet for full details and links to the proposals.

Only One Day Remained

IFLA CLM Chair Winston Tabb confers at WIPO with (right to left): Chris Friend (World Blind Union), Teresa Hackett (Electronic Information for Libraries) and Luis Villaroel (Corporation Innovarte), photo courtesty of Stuart Hamilton of IFLA When the second to last day of the 21st session of the WIPO SCCR came to a close little progress had been made in the copyright limitations and exceptions negotiations - agreement had not been reached. However, most of the developing countries were in support of the proposed work plan submitted by the African Group and the Group of Latin American and Caribbean countries (GRULAC) which addressed all limitations and exceptions according to a timetable, beginning with limitations and exceptions for people with a print disability. Only one day remained.

In the Intervention by IFLA: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions which was delivered at the meeting at the request of the Chairman, Winston Tabb, one of the IFLA representatives, stated:

"Like many others, we were disappointed by the stalemate at the end of the last SCCR meeting. IFLA therefore urges Member States now to support a work plan that enables the treaty for visually impaired and other reading disabled people to move ahead without delay, while also providing a clear timetable for a phased introduction of the other issues, namely exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives, and for education, which have been raised by the African Group and many other delegations...In our view, the book famine that visually impaired people around the world are experiencing is intolerable and must be dealt with without further delay. We in the library profession know this, since it is libraries that are the main agents for delivering reading materials and access to information services for visually impaired and other reading disabled people. The proposed treaty for the visually impaired is extremely well advanced in its development and must not be held back in any way."

Consensus Reached on the Work Plan

On the morning of the final day the Asian Group extended its support for that work plan, which then became the African-Asian-Grulac proposal (the title has not yet been updated in the online document). The work plan included a statement that the 2011 WIPO General Assembly determine if a diplomatic conference on limitations and exceptions for persons with print and other disabilities should be called. (A WIPO Diplomatic conference could have the potential to lead to final negotiations for a treaty). It further proposed that a similar determination be made at the 2012 Assembly regarding limitations and exceptions on educational, teaching and research institutions, libraries and archives. On the final day Group B (the developed countries) set aside the plan it had submitted and began working from the African-Asian-Grulac proposal. Group B comments on that proposal were incorporated into the document as the African-Asian-Grulac proposal + Comments from Group B and CEBS (this PDF file is not accessible). At this point all parties were working from the same page; the stalemate was over, progress was possible.

Moving Forward: Conclusions & the Timetable

In the meeting summary Member States Continue Discussions on Key Copyright Issues provided on the WIPO website press room, it states that "All of these proposals aim at creating an enabling legal environment for better access to copyright-protected works for reading impaired persons. The SCCR will submit recommendations to the 2011 WIPO General Assembly on exceptions and limitations for persons with print disabilities and other reading disabilities."

The WIPO SCCR/21 Conclusions are published in English, French and Spanish. Highlights include:

"Following a global and inclusive approach, the SCCR agrees to work towards an appropriate international legal instrument or instruments (whether model law, joint recommendation, treaty and/or other forms), taking into account the proposals already tabled or any additional submissions.

The SCCR agrees to the following work program on exceptions and limitations for the two year period 2011-2012:

1. Recognizing the need to advance the more mature areas, the Committee will undertake text-based work with the objective of reaching agreement on appropriate exceptions and limitations for persons with print disabilities and other reading disabilities...

2. The Committee will follow, as set out in this Annex, a clearly defined work program for the two year period 2011-2012.

The focus of the Committee's work in the two-year period 2011-2012 will build on the existing work carried out by the Committee and use all WIPO working documents on exceptions and limitations as well as any additional relevant working documents which are to constitute the basis of the Committee's work...

3. The Committee is requested to submit recommendations to the General Assemblies on exceptions and limitations for persons with print disabilities and other reading disabilities...

4. The International Bureau is requested to continue to assist the Committee by providing Member States with necessary expertise and funding of the participation of experts, according to the usual formula."

The Annex to the Conclusions presents the timetable. Three additional days will be added to the 2011 May/June SCCR22 session "dedicated to limitations and exceptions for persons with print and other reading disabilities". The SCCR regular agenda item on limitations and exceptions will have the same focus. The final action assigned to that session is that a recommendation be made "to the WIPO General Assembly, pursuant to the authority of the SCCR, on limitations and exceptions for persons with print and other reading disabilities". The action assigned to the WIPO General Assembly scheduled for September 2011 is that a decision be made on a recommendation on limitations and exceptions for persons with print and other reading disabilities arising from the SCCR/22 session.

What Next?

The representatives of the WIPO Member States at the SCCR meeting this month are to be congratulated for coming to agreement on a work plan around the issue of limitations and exceptions for persons with print or other reading disabilities. They have overcome major differences to reach this point. However, at the meeting in June 2011 they will need to take a further giant leap in order to come together in the development of a recommendation for submission to the WIPO General Assembly.

Maryanne Diamond, President of WBU making her closing statement at the WIPO SCCR/20 meeting in June 2010, with Chris Friend of WBU and Sightsavers International in the background.jpg The Timetable does not specify the kind of "legal instrument". That will need to be debated and agreed upon between now and the end of the June meeting. Members of the 'information access' community and the developing countries are looking for a legally binding treaty rather than a "soft" and non-binding "recommendation" which would perhaps be preferred by a number of countries in the developed world. Organizations, companies and individuals who support equitable information access for all will need to work very hard during the next year to ensure that the recommendation coming out of the WIPO SCCR22 session in June is a legally binding treaty. As an illustration of the importance of the outcome of that meeting, it is reported that Maryanne Diamond, President of the WBU, is already committed to lead the WBU Delegation to the WIPO SCCR22 meeting and in the negotiations.

Additional References

Intellectual Property Watch, 8 November 2010, WIPO Copyright Committee Tackles Visually Impaired Access, Other Exceptions

Intellectual Property Watch, 12 November 2010, WIPO Copyright Committee In Fight To Overcome Differences On Exceptions, Limitations

IFLA News, 15 November 2010 - 21 st WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights

Communication to SCCR delegates regarding the beneficiaries of a new WIPO treaty for copyright exceptions for disabilities

WIPO Copyright Committee Agrees To Extra Time On Visually Impaired Access

DAISY = Accessibility, Will EPUB3 = Accessibility?


DAISY is now known worldwide as the standard for accessible books, documents and other publications. It has been adopted by organizations creating accessible content on every continent except Antarctica. The DAISY 'brand' is known by people who use accessible reading materials in developed and developing countries. Both the DAISY and EPUB standards are undergoing revision, both are open standards (that is, non-proprietary) but EPUB is a mainstream, commercial standard. The DAISY Consortium will endorse EPUB3 (the revised EPUB standard) – why, and what does it mean?

IDPF logoBefore the revision of the DAISY Standard was begun a thorough process of requirements gathering was undertaken. All of the major features targeted for the new DAISY Standard, DAISY 4, based on the gathered and approved requirements, have been adopted by EPUB and will be incorporated into the new EPUB3 standard. The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) which 'owns' the EPUB standard has recognized the value of the DAISY Standard and adopted the technologies that have been developed for DAISY. This is fully in line with the DAISY Consortium's Vision, Mission and Goals to use existing standards wherever possible.

EPUB 3 Will Meet DAISY Distribution Requirements

EPUB logoEPUB3 will be a blend of what DAISY has done and what the commercial market wants and needs. There are many XML vocabularies but there are very few leading XML vocabularies other than DAISY that focus on capturing the semantics of the print book (for example, page numbers). This is what provides the structure, access and navigation to the content. DAISY 2.02 is a "distribution" format, DAISY 3 is a combined distribution and authoring format. However, the Web never supported XML as it had been anticipated by everyone in the field that it would. As the Web only renders HTML, we must distribute HTML.

It was therefore decided quite early on in the revision of the DAISY Standard that it would be separated into two parts: XML for Authoring & Interchange (DAISY AI, also referred to as ZedAI) and HTML for distribution. EPUB3 is a distribution format, one that will provide all of the major features identified for the distribution portion of DAISY 4. Rather than replicate what already is "DAISY", the Consortium will endorse EPUB3 for distribution. One of the issues with distributing DAISY 3 or DAISY 2.02 content has always been the number of files in each book. Very large books with complex structure can contain hundreds and hundreds of files. There are three parts to the EPUB standard, one of which is the "container" file. This "zip-based" file serves as a wrapper for all of the files in the book, making handling, distribution, storage and use simpler and less prone to error. (The DAISY Consortium has put the development of the distribution portion of the revised DAISY Standard 'on hold' pending the final adoption of the DAISY feature set in EPUB3.)

It will be possible to transform all existing DAISY 2.02 and DAISY 3 content to EPUB3. DAISY 4 XML will remain the standard for accessible content source file authoring, content preservation, and archiving. The semantics (the relationship between a document's content and its structure) in DAISY AI authored documents will be preserved in distributed EPUB3 content.

Not All EPUB3 Will Be Equal

In EPUB3 'audio only', 'text only' and 'audio & text' will be supported. In addition, EPUB3 will support video. 'Audio only' books will contain the structure of the publication as is the case with current DAISY 'audio only' productions. However, there will also be several 'varieties' of EPUB3 output, and not all will necessarily be equally accessible. The DAISY Consortium will advocate for EPUB3 content which has the features and functions necessary to make the document fully accessible. One of these features is of course the Navigation Control Center (NCX in DAISY 3 and DAISY 4, NCC in DAISY 2.02).

Why Not Just Choose EPUB3?

Some commercial publishers and possibly some organizations currently producing DAISY content will create EPUB as the original content document rather than DAISY 4 XML. However, authoring in EPUB will not result in distributed content with the rich semantic attributes that DAISY 4 masters files will provide. The DAISY 4 XML master (DAISY AI) serves as a "single source file" which can be transformed into multiple outputs for distribution: braille, EPUB3, large print, and so on.

The DAISY Consortium is developing tools which will support DAISY AI content creation: the DAISY Pipeline, Tobi, and Obi. In addition, the Consortium will have input into the guidelines and best practices developed by the IDPF for producing EPUB3 distribution content that meets accessibility requirements and end user needs. The responsibility for creating accessible, navigable, high quality DAISY 4 master files and EPUB3 distribution content remains, as it always has, with the content producers – not-for-profit organizations, publishers, conversion houses and others.

PART 2 of this article will be published in the December 2010 issue of the DAISY Planet when we will look at, among other issues, what this may mean for the DAISY membership and their end users.

TIGAR: Evolution of the Global Accessible Library

"An unprecedented initiative to facilitate access to published works by the visually impaired and the print disabled was announced on October 23, 2010 in New Delhi, India at the 5th meeting of WIPO's Stakeholders' Platform, which was set up in January 2009 to explore the specific needs, and concerns, of both copyright owners and reading impaired persons and brings together representatives of the visually impaired persons (VIP) community as well as publishers. The Platform approved the launch on November 1, 2010 of TIGAR - the trusted intermediary global accessible resources project – which will enable publishers to make their titles easily available to trusted intermediaries. These intermediaries will create accessible formats and share them amongst each other and with specialized libraries." (Opening paragraph from the WIPO press release, October 23)

The Fourth Interim Report of the WIPO Stakeholders' Platform (the Platform) describes the outcome of the fifth Platform meeting held in New Delhi on October 23, 2010.

An examination of the work done by the three subgroups – the trusted intermediaries' subgroup, the technology subgroup and the capacity building subgroup – was the focus of that meeting:

"Participants agreed that, after almost two years of the establishment of the Stakeholders' Platform, there was great deal of goodwill and support towards the work on the various proposed projects, but the world's 314 million people with print disabilities were no better off. A two track solution was necessary, namely a successful Stakeholders' Platform and a legislative solution, and both should continue to be complementary and mutually supportive." (Fourth Interim Report)

Trusted Intermediaries (TI subgroup)

The TI subgroup presented an interim report on its work regarding the cross-border exchange of digital content and the rights between TIs in various countries.

"A set of standard agreements for the transfer of files and rights to be used in the contractual relation between rightholders and TIs had also been finalized...A pilot project would test how the framework and the agreements would function in practice." (Fourth Interim Report)

The pilot project stakeholders (TIs, publishers and reproduction rights organizations) would address issues such as file transfer, copyright agreements and technological arrangements in order to move forward with the work of the pilot. All agreements would be subject to revision in relation to differences in national copyright and contractual laws.

The proposed pilot project plan which will span three years (November 2010 until the end of 2013) was presented to the Platform, and included:

In part the pilot project is a result of the merger of the original TI project and the Global Accessible Library (GAL) project, and WIPO's offer to place a staff member as project manager.

"TIGAR" Was Born

The following organizations, all of which are Members of the DAISY Consortium, have indicated their interest in principle in being among the first to participate in the pilot project:

Information and specific details about the pilot project five point, overlapping, multi-stream approach and the proposed timescale and major milestones are available in the Fourth Interim Report.

The TIGAR (Trusted Intermediary Global Accessible Resources) project plan was approved. The co-chairs of the TIGAR Steering Committee, appointed at the meeting in New Delhi, are Margaret McGrory, VP, Executive Director CNIB Library, Canada (founding member of the Canadian DAISY Consortium) and Alicia Wise, Director of Universal Access at Elsevier, U.K. (prior to this position with Elsevier, Ms. Wise was the Head of digital publishing with the Publishers Association and Chief Executive of the Publishers Licensing Society).

TIGAR Compliments Proposed WIPO Treaty

"'WIPO is pleased to announce the launch of this innovative and unprecedented collaboration between the private sector and public interest organizations which aims at facilitating access to published works by the visually impaired and print disabled,' said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry who attended the New Delhi Stakeholders' meeting. He added that 'the success of this project – which represents an effective global partnership for development - will require commitment and investment of all concerned.' The Director General said the Stakeholders' Platform is an important complement to work currently being undertaken within WIPO's Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) aimed at establishing a multilateral legal framework in the field of limitations and exceptions for the benefit of VIPs.

Through a range of library services and publisher offerings, TIGAR promises to ensure that persons with print disabilities - both in developing or the developed countries - have equal access to published works as persons without print disabilities. TIGAR will allow the print and visually disabled to search for content across distributed networks which enable them to access published works in accessible formats." (WIPO press release, October 23)

The first transfer of accessible content under the umbrella of the TIGAR project is expected to be operational by mid 2011.

All of the WIPO Stakeholders' documents are available on the WIPO VISION IP website.

India Hosts 1st DAISY Technical Conference held in a Developing Country

Inclusive Digital Library and Information Systems Conference

Welcome address by Dipendra Manocha, President, DAISY Forum of India at the opening session of the Inclusive Digital Library and Information Systems ConferenceFor the first time an international DAISY Technical Conference was held in a developing country. The "Inclusive Digital Library and Information Systems Conference" was held at the India Habitat Center in New Delhi, India, on October 28 & 29. One of the main themes of the conference was therefore DAISY implementation in developing countries.

Photograph of participants at the Inclusive Digital Library and Information Systems ConferenceThe conference focus on capacity building in developing countries provided information about and solutions to the challenges involved in making information accessible to all, including persons with print disabilities. It was organized and hosted by Saksham for the DAISY Forum of India. Participants included 45 people from other countries and 130 people from various parts of India. These delegates and resource persons included representatives from:

Photograph of panelists in Session 2 - Best Practice Models of Digital Libraries, Chaired  by  Mr. Ramaraju, Managing Director, Medialab Asia Presentations about accessible information standards, the latest technologies, products & services, and best practices filled the two day conference agenda. The support of companies and organizations such as these helped to make this event possible:

The conference was arranged into eight sessions which covered topics such as:

Perhaps the most notable results of the conference are the extensive and far reaching outcomes, some of which include:

Dipendra Manocha and Hiroshi Kawamura, President of the DAISY Consortium, shaking hands at the close of the ConferenceAudio recordings of all of the presentations will be released as a DAISY audio publication on the Inclusive Digital Library and Information Systems Conference website. Video recordings of all presentations will also be available.

Editor's Note: I would like to thank Dipendra Manocha and his team for providing the notes upon which this article is based. I would also like to congratulate Dipendra and the DAISY Forum of India on the success of the Inclusive Digital Library and Information Systems Conference.

RFB&D Collaboration with gh, LLC 'Opens' 63,000 Books for Mac and Windows Users

RFB&D ReadHear by gh logoRFB&D ReadHear, developed by gh, LLC in partnership with Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic is dual-platform DAISY reading software which is now available to RFB&D individual and institutional members (schools, etc.). Funding provided by the U.S. Department of Education allows RFB&D to license this DAISY software player to individual members at no cost (one copy per member, renewable after one year).

"This is truly a milestone on our path to make educational content more accessible for those who need it most...While satisfying users who have been asking for access to our materials on the Mac, this dual-platform approach also provides an advanced solution for our large base of Windows users." (Andrew Friedman, acting CEO of RFB&D.)

RFB&D is the largest provider of educational audio (DAISY) textbooks in the USA. RFB&D ReadHear will, in future releases, support DAISY 'text and audio' books – RFB&D's developing generation of content containing digital text and audio.

"gh has worked as the industry leader for many years on developing state-of-the-art software to support DAISY books on a variety of platforms...Our mission is to assist as many students as possible with cutting-edge technology to support their varied learning styles. Working with RFB&D is a tremendous opportunity to reach students across the country, hopefully changing lives for the better." (Dave Schleppenbach, President of gh, LLC.)

A video demonstration for ReadHear on the Mac is provided both on the PRWeb press release and on the ReadHear page of the RFB&D website. Mac and PC hardware specifications, download links and screen shots are also available on the RFB&D page. (Note that RFB&D's "audio plus" format books are DAISY formatted.)

Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic is a Full Member of the DAISY Consortium. gh, LLC is a Friend of the DAISY Consortium. Collaboration and partnerships between and among the Members and Friends of the DAISY Consortium continue to bring improvements to information access for people who have a visual or other print disability.

Melbourne Declaration Issued by World Blind Union & DAISY Consortium

WBU logo On November 13 the WBU and the DAISY Consortium issued a Declaration which welcomes and supports clearly outlined ways to "implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in relation to access to information".

The Melbourne Declaration which builds on the relationship and common goals of the two organizations is available on the DAISY website. This collaborative effort is comprised of ten points which provide a framework for bringing accessible information to the millions of people worldwide who have a visual or other print disability. The approaches presented include:

Letters to the Editor

Hi Lynn,

Thanks for the link [to the October DAISY Planet] and glad to have been of some help! What a great product and I am surprised that as I am in the audio production/voiceover business I had not heard of it before. I shall spread the word...!

Best regards,

Editor's Note: The Dear DAISY inquiry in the October DAISY Planet was submitted by Larry.


My 7 year old son has dyslexia. I recently went to a lecture where the DAISY program was recommended. I found this website so I hoping I am on the right track.

Is DAISY suitable for children and if so where can I purchase, what is the price etc. I cannot find it on this website, is it a software package or is there hardware also?

Thanks for your help,


Dear Jo

You are on a right track.

The British Dyslexia Association has discovered that people remember:

  • 10% of what they read
  • 20% of what they hear
  • 30% of what they see
  • 50% of what they hear and see

"Creating alternative formats to printed text is such a relevant topic for the British Dyslexia Association right now. DAISY is gaining a great deal of momentum in the UK, the States, Japan and Scandinavia and many countries in Eastern and Western Europe. Although it has been accepted for many years in the visual impaired community, its attraction for people with dyslexia is also very exciting as it allows the electronic text to be synchronised with audio to help people with reading difficulties. I also love the fact that the student can search for words or pages or chapters and once found, the text and audio is instantly synchronised." - Carol Youngs, British Dyslexia Association

Research conducted by Johns Hopkins University and RFB&D in 2003 discovered that: "Combining text & audio in course materials has increased learning effectiveness by 40%."

Friends of the DAISY Consortium have developed several wonderful DAISY reading systems/players for students with dyslexia, for example:

Information about other DAISY players and reading systems developed by Friends and Members of the DAISY Consortium is provided in the Tools and Services area of the DAISY website. You may also want to look at AMIS, the free DAISY software player developed by the DAISY Consortium for Windows computers.

The DAISY Multimedia page on our website provides more information about DAISY and provides a list of sources for DAISY books.

As you are located in Australia, you should get in touch with Vision Australia which is a Full Member of the DAISY Consortium. Their website provides information about their library, DAISY, and other services. Vision Australia can also advise you about how to get DAISY players and about support for players in your part of the world. Contact information for Vision Australia is available on their website.

Bookshare has partnered with two organizations in Australia. The Bookshare collection available through Vision Australia and/or the Association for the Blind of Western Australia may also assist you in your search for accessible reading material for your son.

We hope this information is what you are looking for and that it is helpful.

Bits & Pieces

• The IBN7 Bajaj Allianz Super Idols awards honour achievers with "special abilities who have soared beyond physical challenges and conventional barriers to realize their chosen dreams". On November 29, thirteen people were recipients of the award which is now in its second year. There were seven award categories. Dipendra Manocha, Developing Countries Coordinator for the DAISY Consortium, and President of DAISY For India received one of two awards in the National Service & Rehabilitation category. When Manocha learned that he would receive the award he stated "It does feel good to be acknowledged. However, this has only one drawback, the work is always a team effort and only one person is acknowledged." Congratulations to Dipendra – and to the members of his team.

• The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) is a nonprofit organization and is the world's largest manufacturer of products for people who are blind or visually impaired. The APH Request for Proposal (RFP) for SOAP Web Service based on the DAISY Online Protocol is posted on their website (currently in PDF, with the HTML version soon to be posted). This RFP is for the first of three phases to develop the APH DAISY Online Web Service. The original deadline of December 3 for receipt of response has been extended to December 17 (the date on the RFP has not been changed to reflect this). APH is an Associate Member of the DAISY Consortium.

• George Kerscher – DAISY Consortium Secretary General, President of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) and Chair of the Web Accessibility Initiative Steering Council – gave the keynote presentation at the recent Accessing Higher Ground Conference. Kerscher's keynote eBooks, Standards, Laws, and Implementations was well received and heavily tweeted.

• Jeanette Donelson, special education teacher in the USA, talks about the difference Bookshare has made for her students in grades 9 through 12: "I have students with dyslexia, Cerebral Palsy, and severe reading disabilities. Most of them have difficulty reading books and comprehending what they read...In the past, the text was not accessible for these students unless someone was able to read it to them...Now, with the help of Bookshare, they listen to the text as many times as they need or want in order to comprehend the material." Ms. Donelson's inspiring description of why she thinks "Bookshare is awesome!" is on the Bookshare Blog posted November 10.

• The "Braille Post" is a quarterly magazine which provides information about World Congress Braille21. It will be published once every 3 months, beginning in October 2010 and will include updates on the progress of Braille21 as well as current news about braille and related activities. This publication can be read online or downloaded: Braille Post October 2010 (in English), and Kongressmagazin "Braille-Post" October 2010 (in German).

• The blog post Each PDF Page is a Painting and some of the comments which follow it are interesting and informative. This article attempts to explain the concept of "reading order" in PDF files. It looks at accessibility, PDF tags, content sequence, etc., is clearly written, and not so that technical that only the 'techies' can understand it. "PDF tags and PDF tags alone define the logical order of the document’s content, and thus, its accessibility. To the extent a PDF is tagged, it might be accessible."

Tech Tips

(Source: Purdue IDC Blog: Math DAISy Initial installation and Testing)

"The MathDaisy add-in by Design Science works with the [Microsoft] Save as DAISY add-in and the DAISY Pipeline to allow the creation of DAISY e-texts with mathematics. The Save as DAISY add-in and DAISY Pipeline are open-source free tools for producing DAISY e-texts. MathDaisy which is not free is needed only when producing DAISY e-texts with math. MathType by Design Science is also needed for this process.

Once the Save as DAISY add-in and DAISY Pipeline are installed the MathDaisy plug-in is simple to install. It is just a matter of downloading MathDaisy from Design Science and following the installation instructions. The add-in will work in demo mode unless the unlock code is purchased from Design Science. The MathType installation is similar to the MathDaisy installation.

There are several ways to put mathematical expressions into Microsoft Word for eventual translation into DAISY...."

The complete article including a short list of equation editors that can be used with Microsoft Word is on the Purdue IDC Blog posted November 15, 2010. Note: the links provided in the portion of the Purdue IDC Blog quoted above are not in the original post but have been added here. In addition "mathDAISy" has been changed to "MathDaisy" (per the Design Science product name) and "DAISy" has been changed to "DAISY".