The DAISY Consortium's Newsletter - May 2014

From The Editor

It looked initially like this would be a very 'light' issue of our newsletter, but once again as the month wore on, more and more came to light that I felt would be of interest to you. There are six feature articles in the May DAISY Planet. I am extremely pleased to be able to tell you about 'ABC' in the first article Accessible Books Consortium: ABC Benefits for All. Although the official launch does not take place until the end of June, I was fortunate to be able to speak with the Project Leader, Visually Impaired Person' Initiatives, Copyright Infrastructure Division at WIPO. This is the first article I know of that has been published about this new Consortium. It should be of great interest to everyone in the DAISY, publishing and accessibility communities.

The second article eBooks for Everyone! is about the IFLA/LPD satellite meeting in August. I was in France this month and able to take a few photos of UPMC campus where the meeting will take place. The program looks wonderful – how I wish I were going to this event. Please note that the early bird rate has just been extended, so if you are planning on going or were considering it, you can still take advantage of the reduced fee.

Hachette Livre: Commitment to Accessibility is an example of the collaborative work that is possible between the publishing industry and our communities. If your organization has implemented Online DAISY delivery, please be sure to read DAISY Online Implementation Survey and ensure that someone in your organization completes the survey. Still on the topic of DAISY Online delivery, Design for All Philosophy: Accessible E-books in Flemish Public Libraries is an example of how this Protocol can be implemented with benefits for everyone, including of course, people with a print disability. Thanks to Bert Paepen of Pyxima for providing me with the information for this article. The sixth and final feature article Marrakesh Treaty: Ratification & Implementation? serves as a reminder to everyone to that the Treaty must be ratified before it can be implemented.

The first entry in Publishers' Corner this month is about the article Building an EPUB 3 Template and the presentation upon which it is based. There is information in both that may be of interest to any organization or company considering EPUB 3 as a publishing format.

Back to Marrakesh for a moment…Did you know that the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled is the first (and to date the only) international treaty ever to provide for copyright exceptions – I didn't until this month even though I have been 'covering' the progress of this Treaty for years. One apparent reason for resistance by some and why it took years to reach a conclusion was that a treaty such as this has the potential to make way for other exceptions and limitations, and possibly undermine the international copyright system. Please read the article Marrakesh Treaty: Ratification & Implementation? for an update on the status. Remember that for this Treaty to come into force it must be ratified by 20 countries, so please, advocate with your government to do so as soon as possible. If you are uncertain as to how to make your voice heard there are 6 WBU regional leaders for the WBU ratification campaign. Their names and email addresses are provided in a document linked to from the WBU Right 2 Read Campaign page. The title of the document and link are "MARRAKESH TREATY for Blind -WBU FAQ sheet -eng.doc".

On May 14 Bookshare broke the quarter million mark when its collection of accessible publications reached 250,019! Today Bookshare posted a blog about Penguin Publishers, the first of a few blogs to celebrate Bookshare's quarter million milestone. Once again … congratulations to everyone on the Bookshare team and their publisher partners who have made this possible.

I read this article early in the month, and although it has very little to do with accessible information, it does provide some food for thought: Stephen Hawking: 'Transcendence looks at the implications of artificial intelligence – but are we taking AI seriously enough?' I highly recommend it.

The May issues of DAISY TechWatch are filled with links to and brief articles about events, tools and issues that will be of interest to many of you. DAISY TechWatch is published twice a month and is available on the DAISY website.

I'd like to personally congratulate Neil Jarvis, Executive Director of Strategic Relations, Accessibility with the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB) for his re-election as President of the Round Table Board at the Print Round Table annual general meeting in Brisbane Australia. The Round Table advocates that information access is important to all people who have a print disability. Neil, who is also the DAISY Board representative for RNZFB, wrote in his story, published two years ago this month: "I became aware of the work of the DAISY Consortium long before I was involved in DAISY myself, and marveled at the potential that this system had for people wanting to access and navigate books, newspapers and similar content." Congratulations Neil.

Part 2 of Donna Hill's story is published with this issue of the DAISY Planet. As I mentioned last month Donna is an author, song writer, singer, journalist and an advocate for equality. Her first novel, 'The Heart of Applebutter Hill', is available from Bookshare. A sample chapter from the novel, The Cave at Missing Creek, is posted on Donna's website. Sources where you can purchase a copy of 'The Heart of Applebutter Hill' if you should wish to do so are given at the end of Part 2 of Donna's story. Thank you Donna for sharing your story with us. Please let me know when your second novel is published!

Thanks to everyone who has written to me with ideas, articles and suggestions for this issue of the DAISY Planet.

Your input helps me keep our community up to date on what is going on in the world of information, access and publishing. DAISY stories provide insight into the lives of people we might not otherwise have ever come to know. You can reach me by email (you will have my address if you receive the DAISY Planet email notice) or you can use the DAISY Contact Us Form (DAISY Planet Newsletter Category).

Lynn Leith
Editor

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

Publishers' Corner

Building an EPUB 3 Template which is posted on EPUB ZONE is adapted from a presentation with Jean Kaplansky given at EDUPUB2 Workshop. Wiley recently announced that EPUB 3 is their standard for eBooks in reflowable format and started publishing in EPUB 3 as of February 1 this year. This article explains a little about how they developed the template. The article covers such as Reading Systems, Basic Requirements, Basic Functionality, Reading System behaviour as related to markup for headings, and lists and tables. The importance of MathML is also highlighted. The presentation, Building a Baseline EPUB 3 Production Template, upon which the article is based also contains a great deal of useful information. (Related article: Improving the reader experience with EPUB 3.)

OverDrive is featuring EPUB 3 and HTML 5 Enhanced eBooks at Book Expo America this week.

• Firebrand Technologies, a member of the IDPF, has very recently released a 2-month open beta of FlightDeck, an EPUB 2 and EPUB 3 validation/quality assurance tool. FlightDeck includes Best Practices, a Retailer Acceptance Grid and a built-in metadata editor that allows edit and adding common metadata fields. FlightDeck is developed and maintained by the team at eBook Architects, a service of Firebrand Technologies. The open beta test period will allow eBook Architects to gather feedback on the features and functionality of FlightDeck and make plans for future enhancements and additions.

• The publisher of Film Crew: Fundamentals of Professional Film and Video Production has made it available in EPUB3 textbook format. The author, Nicholas George, said "As advancements in electronic publishing continue to shape the way textbooks are used in education, it's exciting to be a small part of that equation." More details are provided in the May 23 PRWeb press release.

• As of this month, De Gruyter, an academic publisher, is offering all of its 2014 publications in EPUB 3 format. The titles will be produced as reflowable or fixed EPUB, depending on the structure of the eBook. Details are provided on the De Gruyter EPUB page.

Accessible Books Consortium: ABC Benefits for All

The EIGHTH INTERIM REPORT OF THE STAKEHOLDERS' PLATFORM was presented at the WIPO/SCCR, 27th session. The outcome will be the evolution of pilot projects which focused on capacity building, TIGAR, and inclusive publishing into a permanent, multi-stakeholder entity – the Accessible Books Consortium which will be officially launched on June 30.

ABC will comprise an alliance of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), organizations which serve or represent individuals who have a print disability, and rightsholders, including both authors and publishers. It will also include the following international umbrella organizations (among others):

The goal of the Accessible Books Consortium is to implement the objectives of the Marrakesh Treaty at a practical level. Although more than 65 countries have signed the Treaty, it has not yet been ratified by any, and for the Treaty to come into force, 20 countries must ratify it. The aim of the ABC is:

"to meaningfully contribute to ending the global book famine through increasing the number of books in the hands of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled ('the print disabled'). This will be accomplished in accordance with the Marrakesh VIP Treaty and other applicable WIPO treaties." [EIGHTH INTERIM REPORT OF THE STAKEHOLDERS' PLATFORM]

Capacity Building, TIGAR, & Inclusive Publishing

ABC will implement the objectives of the Marrakesh Treaty at a practical level through:

"Authorized Entities"

Within ABC an authorized entity is an organization or institution which provides accessible reading materials to individuals who have a print disability. Technical criteria such as what is in the collection and what format the content is in are also considered. Participating institutions can perform international searches in the database for books in accessible formats. The process (this is the TIGAR portion of the 'trio') then enables the secure and transparent cross-border file exchange among these institutions. The TIGAR database contains over 234,000 titles in accessible formats in various languages.

The current 12 authorized entities are:

Participation is free of charge; there is no membership fee or financial contribution required from participating institutions or end users. Although at present all of the 12 authorized entities are Members of the DAISY Consortium, organizations/institutions are not required to be a DAISY Member to participate in ABC.

Focus: Year One

Four of the primary objectives for the first year of this project are to:

  1. Increase the number of permissions cleared in the TIGAR service. Continued effort to get licensing agreements with publishers until the Marrakesh Treaty comes into force, thereby increasing the rights for titles in TIGAR database so that titles can easily be move across borders.
  2. Increase the number of projects which will build capacity for producing and distributing accessible publications in developing and least developed countries. There is currently a 'memo of understanding' with Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) in Bangladesh. ABC is looking to establish two additional 'memos of understanding' in 2 other developing countries: Sri Lanka and another yet to be identified country.
  3. Increase number of participating Authorized Entities.
  4. Develop a "Charter of Accessible Publishing" which will be a statement of basic principles of accessibility which publishers will be invited to sign.

Benefits for All

Until such time as the Marrakesh Treaty is ratified and implemented around the world, the Accessible Books Consortium will benefit individuals, governments, libraries/agencies providing accessible content services and publishers in the developing and least developed countries, and the developed world.

Contact Information

If you have questions about the Accessible Books Consortium or if you are interested in becoming involved in this alliance or becoming an Authorized Entity, emails can be sent to visionip@wipo.int. Note that this address will change after the ABC launch. (When new contact details are available they will be provided in the DAISY Planet newsletter.)

eBooks for Everyone!

Street view taken from the UPMC campus in Paris; photograph by Lynn Leith The subtitle for this IFLA Satellite Conference is "An opportunity for more inclusive libraries", and the program lineup confirms that this will certainly be an opportunity not to be missed. Presentations will examine the 3-dimensional impact of eBooks – how they affect content creators/providers, libraries and consumers – something of interest for everyone. In addition to production of accessible eBooks, provision of inclusive library services and using eBooks to facilitate reading for those with a print disability, topics such as copyright, the Marrakesh Treaty, educational eBooks and adapting children's books, implementation of the DAISY Online Delivery Specification, and EPUB 3 will be presented by a roster of speakers from around the world.

The three keynote speakers, each of whom is a leading figure in the field of book accessibility for all, will each examine very different aspects of "eBooks for Everyone!":

UPMC campus,  Paris, showing wall and ceiling in a partially enclosed area; photograph by Lynn Leith "eBooks for Everyone!" is jointly being hosted in partnership by BrailleNet, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC), and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Libraries Serving Persons with Print Disabilities Section (IFLA LPD). The two day satellite meeting will take place at the UPMC campus, 4 Place Jussieu, in Paris on August 22-23, following the IFLA annual conference in Lyon.

"In our increasingly digital age, there can be no question that eBooks offer unprecedented opportunities for print-disabled readers." [Dominique Burger, CEO of BrailleNet]

The full program is now posted on the conference website. The official languages of the conference are French and English, with simultaneous translation being provided throughout the conference. The special early bird rate has just been extended to June 14. The program, registration information and hotel recommendations are available on the conference website.

"The subject of eBooks is very much alive in our circles, but also in the greater world of libraries, publishers and producers…This conference will provide a great opportunity for professionals to share their experiences and showcase their work on an international platform." [Koen Krikhaar, Chair of the IFLA LPD Section.]

Large abstract wall mural at UPMC campus, Paris; photograph by Lynn Leith The Satellite Conference begins Friday August 22 at 11:00, and ends the following day, Saturday August 23 at 16:30. For those who will be travelling from the IFLA Conference in Lyon, there is a fast train from Lyon to Paris, arriving at Gare de Lyon (approximately 2 hours travel time).

BrailleNet is a member of DAISY France which is a Full Member of the DAISY Consortium.

Hachette Livre: Commitment to Accessibility

Hachette Livre is the third largest international publisher, bringing together a broad spectrum of prestigious publishers. The Group is a subsidiary of the French media giant Lagardère and a depository of part of France's cultural heritage. Their publications cover all editorial genres in French, English and Spanish. In addition to the Group's commitment to diversity, independence and profitability, Hachette Livre is also committed to accessibility and the EPUB Standard. To this end, key representatives from the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) were invited to a meeting in Seattle, Washington earlier this month.

Hachette Livre meeting with key IDPF representatives Top management from Hachette Livre, Anaya, and Hachette Book Group (HBG) met with Bill McCoy, Executive Director IDPF, Garth Conboy, Chairman and George Kerscher, IDPF President and Secretary General of the DAISY Consortium. In addition to the high level overview of the IDPF developments and plans the primary topics included the Group's commitment to the EPUB Standard and high interest in the EDUPUB profile. There was expressed interest in and commitment to accessibility.

Hachette is globally a supporter for open EPUB and accessibility goals. This meeting was an occasion for Hachette to update their knowledge and find out what more they could do to advance EPUB 3 and accessible publishing. The publishing Group Hachette is extremely concerned about open access to content and accessibility management, not only trade but for education as well. Hachette representatives attending this meeting were:

DAISY Online Implementation Survey

Submitted by Dave Gunn for publication in the DAISY Planet

The system allowing Internet delivery of DAISY content (the DAISY Online Delivery Protocol) was approved by the DAISY Board of Directors exactly four years ago, and over the last four years it has been successfully implemented in a range of different services and reading systems, enabling the immediate delivery of content and ultimately improving services for users.

Time has given DAISY Members the experience of implementing the protocol in a variety of settings, with different content types and configurations, and the DAISY Online Delivery Working Group has now been tasked with reviewing the existing Protocol, and current implementations to recommend good practices and identify potential enhancements to the Protocol to ensure that it continues to be an effective way to provide content to users for many years to come.

To get this process started we have developed a short survey to assess the current use of DAISY Online, and collect initial views about the Protocol. Please forward the link to this survey to the most appropriate person in your organisation, as this only need to be completed once by each organization. Please respond by June 10th, 2014.

Design for All Philosophy: Accessible E-books in Flemish Public Libraries

Pyxima & the DAISY Online Delivery Protocol Bring E-books to All Library Members

E-Boeken Logo On May 6, 215 public libraries in Belgium launched an e-book lending service developed by Pyxima and Bibnet (Agency for Digital Library in Flanders). This service uses the DAISY Online Delivery Protocol, so that the collection can be made accessible to all the library members, including people with a reading disability.

The initial collection of approximately 400 e-books has the potential to reach 1 million library members for reading with their tablets and smart phones (Apple + Android). Although there is a fee for this service, it is much less expensive than purchasing e-books. The process is quite simple and easily remembered as 3-4-5: library members can borrow 3 e-books at a cost of 5 Euros. Each book can be read for a period of 4 weeks. The reading apps communicate with the e-book server through the DAISY Online Delivery Protocol, meaning that the service can also be made available to dedicated DAISY players or accessible reading apps. As a result, all library members, including those who have a reading disability, can use the service.

In August, at eBooks for everyone! An opportunity for more inclusive libraries, Satellite Conference IFLA's WLIC 2014, Bert Paepen, Founder of Pyxima, and Johan Delaure, Program Manager at Bibnet (Agency for Digital Library in Flanders), will give a presentation ("DAISY Online Delivery Protocol Makes E-books Accessible in Flemish Public Libraries") on this new service. They will discuss the challenges and solutions this project has encountered setting up business models with publishers, handling DRM protection and achieving access for all. They will explain how the business model set up in Flanders aims to reconcile the conflicting requirements of publishers, readers and libraries by combining free unlimited reading within the physical library walls, with paid borrowing outside of the libraries.

Pyxima Logo This new service is actually a "spin-off" of the successful Pyxima DAISY app that that was launched in Scandinavia over the past few months. It builds further on that same DAISY app, but rather than audio books this is an e-book only app, using Readium for offering a "page-turning" experience. Another major difference is the target audience – the apps in Scandinavia provide readers who have a visual disability with better access to books and newspapers, while E-boeken's goal is to reach a much broader audience – the members of all Flemish public libraries.

Marrakesh Treaty: Ratification & Implementation?

The article Four More WIPO Members Sign Marrakesh Treaty For Visually Impaired (April 30 Intellectual Property Watch) covers the highlights of the side event and signing ceremony held during the 27th session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) which took place April 28 to May 2. This was the second of a WIPO series entitled, "From Policy to Practice: Implementing the Marrakesh Treaty and making accessible books available". During the signing ceremony the European Union, France, Greece and India signed the treaty (as reported in the Letter from the Editor in the April issue of the DAISY Planet). Since then at least two additional countries, Slovenia and Argentina, have signed.

"The International Publishers Association representative said the Marrakesh Treaty is a humanitarian treaty and 'humanitarian treaties do not allow for delay.' He underlined the importance of collaboration between organisations representing of the visually impaired and those representing right holders 'who want their works to be available to everybody at the same time, the same place, in whatever format they chose' to achieve the goals of the treaty. [Four IP Watch: More WIPO Members Sign Marrakesh Treaty For Visually Impaired]

DAISY Forum of India logo Dipendra Manocha, President of DAISY Forum of India and Developing Countries Coordinator for the DAISY Consortium was a panelist at an April 28 side event which discussed implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty with a focus on advancing accessibility in India. Challenges facing India in implementing the Marrakesh Treaty were highlighted by the panellists, including the fact that 25 percent of the people in the world who are blind live in India – a large country with 22 official languages and 24 states.

The Indian delegate stated that India introduced copyright exceptions for people with a physical disability (including those with a visual disability), through the copyright amendment Act of 2012, and also said that the Act is in accordance with the Marrakesh Treaty. G.R. Raghavender, registrar of copyrights and a director in the Indian Copyright Office, said that it is expected that India will ratify the treaty by the end of May 2014.

The list of countries which have signed the Treaty is available on the WIPO website.

Letters to the Editor

Hi Lynn,

Thanks for an interesting DAISY Planet issue (again).

I saw your comments on the article "What Will Become of the Library?". True points!

Are you aware of our project to start lending e-books from our public libraries in Belgium? Next Tuesday we will launch the service, where members from 218 libraries will be able to lend and read e-books from their tablet or smart phone (Apple+Android).

Maybe this could be an interesting article for a future DAISY Planet issue?

Kind regards,
Bert Paepen,
Pyxima,
Belgium

Editor's Note: Indeed, I thought this would be of interest. Please read the article Design for All Philosophy: Accessible E-books in Flemish Public Libraries published in this issue of the DAISY Planet.

If your organization or company has news to share with others in the DAISY community, publishers, standards organizations and others, please get in touch with me by email (you will have it if you receive the Planet email notice) or you can use the DAISY Contact Us Form to reach me (select the DAISY Planet Newsletter Category).

Dear DAISY

I was wondering if something is possible and if so, how to accomplish this. I have access to a number of DAISY books, however, the format that the books I have are in text only. I am wanting to convert these to DAISY text with audio. Is this possible without having to break the bank as most products that have any ability to do this that I have seen cost $900+? If the answer to the above is "yes", what is the product that you recommend (free downloads are most preferred if available, if not, anything that is relatively inexpensive is proffered as I will be purchasing this out-of-pocket and not through a company or organization).

With very warm regards,
Dr. C.M.S.
USA

---------------------------

Dear Dr. C.
There is no need for you to spend anything to convert DAISY 3 text only books to DAISY full text full audio. You can use Tobi – the free and open source tool from the DAISY Consortium to record your DAISY 3 books in either human voice or with TTS (synthetic voice).

After you have downloaded Tobi you can then import DAISY 3 text only books into the program. You can then record all of the text content using human voice, or Tobi can automatically generate synthetic speech using the TTS voices available on your system. You can also import audio files if available and synchronize with text.

These processes are explained in the Tobi tutorials and videos on DAISYpedia. In particular check the following:
Text to Speech feature in Tobi
Tobi: Accessible DAISY Book Production Using the Human Voice

There are also more than 25 Tobi videos on YouTube. (More than half are in a language other than English.)

Please let me know if you have more questions.
With regards,
Prashant Verma,
DAISY Technical Support Team

Editor's Note: When I was in touch with Dr. C. to request permission to publish her inquiry she wrote: "I would be more than happy to do so. I just really appreciated the rapid, warm, and positive response I received from your team:)." If you have a question you would like to send to our team, please use the DAISY Contact Us Form.

Bits & Pieces

• The Outcome document (PDF) of the UN ESCAP Asia-Pacific Meeting on Disability-inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction: Changing Mindsets through Knowledge is available online. This event took place in April in Sendai, Japan. "…persons with disabilities are two to four times more likely to die than the general population when a disaster occurs. As ageing and disability are closely interconnected, the gap may be expected to widen if no action is taken to address present shortcomings in disaster risk reduction." The slides for UNIVERSAL DESIGN IN DELIVERING INFORMATION presented by Dipendra Manocha, Developing Countries Coordinator for the DAISY Consortium, are also provided. Additional information including details regarding future meetings is available on the ESCAP meeting website.

Read Beyond has published 111 English Short Stories in Audio-eBook format (reflowable EPUB 3 with Media Overlays). They can be downloaded for free; both the text and audio are from the public domain. Read Beyond is particularly interested in the response of the (Italian) public, as they think that this format will be helpful for learning a foreign language. These books can be read with the Readium Chrome extension available from the Chrome Web Store. Readium Chrome is under development and the next version is expected to include improved support for screen readers and an enhanced implementation of EPUB 3 Media Overlays ("read aloud" eBooks). The short stories can also be read with the iBooks app, however iBooks does not support Media Overlays in reflowable eBooks.

• The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), in partnership with museums and science centers, will facilitate three regional science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs in 2014 and 2015. NFB STEM2U is an extension of the NFB's National Center for Blind Youth in Science initiative in local communities. Full details and a list of the dates and locations of these programs are available on the NFB STEM2U page.

• Earlier this month Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) attended the education event, "Teachers' Conference and Education Fair - 2014", organized by the Access to Information Program (A2I). The objective of the conference was to promote and inspire teachers to prepare digital content to be used in multimedia classrooms. YPSA showcased the different types of DAISY Multimedia content initiatives for education for people with a disability. At the event their stall was visited by the teachers, students, parents, education practitioners and other stakeholders. Both the Minister of Primary and Mass Education, and the Minister of Education observed the presentation of the DAISY books. More information is available in the YPSA article 'Teacher's Conference 2014 held in Cox's bazar'.

• The 2014 International Summit on Accessibility, Making it Happen: From Intention to Action will be held in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, July 12 - 15, 2014. The Summit promotes access and inclusion for persons with disabilities in all aspects of life. The theme for the Summit embraces the positive progress in creating accessible and inclusive communities. Issues of accessibility in education, communication, recreation, mobility health and the physical environment will be addressed, with a special emphasis on employment. Details including the program are provided on the Summit website.

• The Mada (Qatar Assistive Technology Center) has just announced TechShare Middle East, a two day conference on technology and people with disability that will take place November 4 - 5 in Doha, Qatar. The conference will focus on the need for assistive technology in the Middle East. All people with disabilities and their families, policy makers, therapists, students and decision makers are invited to network and collaborate on key issues in the field of disability and technology. The conference will also include talks on accessibility practices, development of laws and standards, policies and innovation in the Arab World. The second DAISY Board Meeting of 2014 will be held in Doha November 2 - 3, immediately prior to the conference; the Consortium will be participating in this conference.

• The 17th Annual Accessing Higher Ground, Accessible Media, Web and Technology Conference will take place November 17 - 21, 2014, in Westminster, CO, USA.

• The WBU Asia-Pacific Mid-Term Regional General Assembly will take place November 21-24, 2014 in Hong Kong. The theme of this event is "Make the Right Real in the 3rd Asian and Pacific Decades of Persons with Disabilities, 2013-2022". Program highlights include ICT Symposium on e-Accessibility, Symposium on Right to Read, and a workshop on UN CRPD. Stephen King, President of the DAISY Consortium, will be speaking at this event.

• The Publisher's Weekly article Accessibility: Where Are We Now? Digital Solutions in India 2014 focuses on EPUB 3 as well as tactile graphics. It opens with "Accessibility has always been a goal for IDPF…By making the mainstream standard format for e-books and other digital publications accessible by design, says executive director Bill McCoy of IDPF, 'it will help enable accessibility to be the default expectation for the reader, not the exception. As every book will soon be available in a digital edition, there is a huge opportunity to enhance the reader experience and accessibility for everyone.'"

• Three recent Eyes on Success podcasts with hosts Peter and Nancy Torpey may be of interest to many of you: Intersection of Usability and Accessibility (show number 1422, May 28), Early History of Screen Readers and Web Accessibility (show number 1420, May 14) and NFB Newsline (show number 1418, Apr. 30). A link to each of the audio programs is given at each of these links.

• Lifehacker has posted Five Best Book Recommendation Services providing information about GoodReads, BookBub and more. It also includes the results of a poll rating the five services.

• Online registration for ATIA 2015 is now open. One of several new planned programs is a new International Strand with Strand Advisors David Banes, Mada Center, Qatar Assistive Technology and Accessibility Center, Axel Leblois, President & Executive Director G3ict, Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs, and Francesca Cesa Bianchi, G3ict. Additional information is available in the Strand Description. ATIA 2015 will take place in Orlando, Florida, January 28 - 31, 2015. The Call for Presentations is open until June 20. The Session Strands provide useful information for potential presenters.

Tech Tips

Obi 3.5 alpha 2 test release was made available May 21. The Obi export function can now produce navigable audio EPUB 3 books with structure. This function supports creation of new EPUB 3 content conforming to the EPUB 3 specification and also enables updating of existing DAISY 3 and 2.02 books to EPUB 3. This functionality is available in the 'Export as DAISY/EPUB' menu item under the Tools menu. EPUB 3 publications produced with this test release support navigation by phrases, sections, and pages, similar to DAISY navigation. Following export to EPUB 3 Obi's EPUB 3 Validator which uses IDPF's EPUB Check Validator can be used to ensure that the exported book is valid to the EPUB 3 specification. As a test release, Obi 3.5 alpha 2 is for power users and testers. Additional information is provided on the Obi 3.5 test releases page. The next Obi release will also continue focus on EPUB 3 workflow with the next step being implementation of EPUB 3 import. The development team looks forward to your input, comments and bug reports.

Tobi 2.3.1.0 test release has just been made available for power users and testers. This test release presents a flexible Split and Merge command for EPUB publications. It allows users to split an EPUB publication for parallel production and reassembly, reducing the turn-around time. Tobi projects for EPUB publications differ from Tobi projects for DAISY publications in the file structure. The split process therefore also varies somewhat. Information about Split and Merge EPUB with Tobi and the download link for this test version are in the Tobi area of DAISY website. A list of the changes in this test release is also posted.

• The "Presta Tu Voz" group from Mexico recently added a number of short Tobi videos to their YouTube channel. These are in addition to previously posted DAISY content creation and playback videos (also at the same link). All are in Spanish.

FSFE (Free Software Foundation Europe) Urges EU To Weigh In Against DRM Inclusion In HTML Web Standard: "Integrating DRM facilities into HTML5 is 'the antithesis of everything that has made the Internet and the World Wide Web successful,' FSFE President Karsten Gerloff said in a release." (Intellectual Property Watch, May 6)

• From How-To Geek this month:
° How to Use Voice Search and Google Now in Chrome on Your Desktop [or laptop]: "These features allow you to search and ask questions with your voice, just like on a phone".
° A Windows User's Guide to Mac OS X Keyboard Shortcuts: "Many Mac keyboard shortcuts work just like the Windows ones but use the Command and Option keys. Other keyboard shortcuts are entirely different." (The article includes extensive lists of Mac keyboard shortcuts.)
° 8 Backup Tools Explained for Windows 7 and 8.
° Master Chrome OS With These Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts.
° How to Buy an SD Card: Speed Classes, Sizes, and Capacities Explained (there is alt text for the images).