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DAISY Consortium 2015 Annual Report

Status: Approved by the DAISY Board

Editor: Varju Luceno



annual report 2015 cover image showcasing various generations of users of accessible books

About the DAISY Consortium

Reading isn’t just a fun pastime. It is a source of knowledge, learning and social inclusion; and for some, their lifeline to the outside world. Accessible books have given generations of blind and visually impaired people independence and access to a world that might otherwise be closed to them. It takes passion and dedication to lead developments that break down barriers to information access.

The DAISY Consortium is a global partnership of organizations committed to creating the best way to read and publish, for everyone.

This is what we do:

Support the DAISY Community

Around the world, there are amazing organizations that provide accessible reading services for people with print disabilities. By joining the DAISY Consortium, members share tools, techniques, workflows and expertise. This helps to make the most of the precious resources and avoid duplication of effort. Open standards enable sharing and reduce costs.

Lead accessibility in mainstream publishing

With decades of experience in accessible publishing, the DAISY Consortium has unparalleled knowledge to offer to mainstream publishing. Through active partnerships with industry bodies we are developing and promoting specifications so that accessibility features are widely implemented in mainstream publications and supported by reading applications and devices.

Extend the benefits of accessible reading around the world

While our membership and partnerships span the globe, in many countries people with print disabilities do not have access to accessible publications. Through sharing effective strategies, tools and training materials, DAISY members are helping to extend equal access to information, improve education, employment and independence.

Message from the Chairman of the Board

In September 2015, Jesper Klein was elected to the role of President and Chairman of the Board of the DAISY Consortium:

Jesper Klein, Chairman of the BoardA handful of organizations who specialize in providing accessible reading materials to people with print disabilities joined forces almost 20 years ago and formed the DAISY Consortium. They started a global effort with the unifying goal to develop technical standards that would make reading in the digital era accessible for people with print disabilities around the world.

Nowadays the digital book publishing is a multi-billion dollar industry. As innovative reading technologies enter the mainstream markets, we have a new situation. For the first time in history, there is a clear opportunity to make mainstream publishing inclusive.

My goal is to help strengthen the global DAISY community. It is important that we - the members - navigate together on the journey through the rapidly changing world of digital publishing so that we can keep elevating the level of inclusion of people with print disabilities around the world.

I strongly believe that when publishers, with support from the accessibility industry, reach a point where most e-books are born accessible, we will see a higher interest in reading among weaker readers as the whole reading experience will be designed to include those who have reading disabilities.

But there is much work ahead to deliver on this promise. The members of the DAISY Consortium will need to keep providing relevant and user-friendly accessible reading services - often with a slim funding outfit. At the same time we need to be even more influential, assisting and sometimes forceful towards mainstream publishing – for it to become inclusive to all.

Let’s keep sharing open standards, tools, and best practices – I’m sure we can get there.

Jesper Klein

Special thanks to the outgoing President

Stephen King, Past President of the DAISY ConsortiumStephen King served as the President of the DAISY Consortium 2012-2015 and is one of the six founding members of the Consortium. In 2008, Stephen was presented with the DAISY Consortium's Culture of Sharing Award for recognition of his long-term, visionary leadership. For almost 20 years he has supported the Consortium's mission to develop and promote international standards and technologies which enable equal access to information and knowledge by all people with print disabilities and which also benefit the wider community. Thank you, Stephen, for your dedication.

2015 in Review

Supporting the DAISY Community

In 2015, DAISY Consortium with its Members and Friends continued to improve accessible production tools and technologies for individual users, educators, publishers and technologists. Open source standards and applications spread the benefits of advanced accessible content to all users, including those with limited resources.

DAISY Member highlights

Leading accessible mainstream publishing efforts

Extending the benefits of accessible reading around the world

DAISY collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) resulted in the completion of projects in four countries during 2015. Under the auspices of the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) our work in India was supported by the government of South Korea, and projects in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal were funded by Australian government. ABC worked with DAISY Consortium’s Associate Member, Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), a local non-governmental organization (NGO) in Chittagong, Bangladesh, to produce and convert accessible books.

Vashkar conducting a seminar and demonstrating DDReaderMr. Vashkar Bhattacharjee, Program Manager, collected the Accessible Books Consortium Excellence Award in April 2015. He said: "It is a great honor to receive this award on behalf of YPSA. To be recognized for our work is wonderful and to learn about other initiatives in the field of accessible publishing is inspiring. We hope that we can continue to serve the visually impaired of Bangladesh, and look forward to a future free of barriers for all persons with disabilities."

YPSA has produced over 600 books in accessible formats and organized training for government publishers, commercial publishers and other organizations serving people with print disabilities so that their future productions can be ‘born accessible’.

In 2015, within the framework of its support to digital inclusion in Africa, UNESCO organized a series of programs in partnership with the DAISY Consortium. Training sessions on accessible publishing and digital inclusion were conducted at the 6th Africa Forum in Uganda (Oct. 4-8, 2015). These workshops brought together 51 participants from Burkina Faso, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

Successful capacity building workshops were also held in Rwanda and Kenya in partnership with stakeholders in the Education sector of Kenya and UNESCO.

The DAISY Asia Pacific Work Group (DAISY-AP) under the patronage of Hiroshi Kawamura was formed in 2015 with the objective of addressing issues related to information access and inclusive publishing. The working group participates in the implementation of the Incheon Strategy, developed by 58 governments of Asia Pacific Region and civil society organizations.

The Marrakesh Treaty provides a legal framework for adoption of national copyright exceptions in countries that lack them. It creates an international import/export regime for the exchange of accessible books across borders. The Marrakesh Treaty will enter into force three months after the deposit of the instruments of ratification or accession by twenty eligible countries. By the end of 2015 - thirteen countries had done so.

Financial Review for 2015

Treasurer's Report

Arne Kyrkjebø, TreasurerThe balance sheet, income statements and auditor's report presented in the Financial Review for 2015 at the end of this Report are a distillation of the 2015 Financial Report, which has been approved in its detailed form by the DAISY Consortium Board of Directors.

The financial year 2015 closed with a deficit of USD 11K which is USD 33k better than budgeted. The Consortium's available capital on December 31st, 2015 was USD 239K.

For several years, the DAISY Consortium have developed budgets with a deficit to complete ongoing projects. Capital spending priorities have been aligned with the completion of necessary development activities. As a result, the operating expenses have been higher than the yearly income.

Over the past two years, the DAISY Consortium Board has stressed the need for bringing the costs and income into balance and has initiated activities to reach this goal. This was also highlighted when recruiting the new CEO of the DAISY Consortium. In summer 2015, Richard Orme as the new CEO and the DAISY staff started a process to strengthen the financial situation including short and long term goals. We can already see good results of these activities in our financials.

The Financial report together with the Annual Report illustrate that the DAISY Consortium is an organization with a high level of impact but with limited resources. There is still much work to be done. We have the plans in place; however additional funding is required to carry them out.

Arne Kyrkjebø,
Treasurer of the DAISY Consortium,
Oslo, March 19, 2016

Independent Auditor's Report

BETSCHON TREUHAND AG
Report of the statutory auditors
to the General Meeting of
DAISY CONSORTIUM
Zürich

As statutory auditors, we have audited the accounting records and the financial statements (balance sheet and income statement) of Daisy Consortium for the year ended December 31st, 2015.

These financial statements are the responsibility of the board of management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on our audit. We confirm that we meet the legal requirements concerning professional qualification and independence.

Our audit was conducted in accordance with auditing standards promulgated by the Swiss profession, which require that an audit be planned and performed to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free from material misstatement. We have examined on a test basis evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. We have also assessed the accounting principles used, significant estimates made and the overall financial statement presentation. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

In our opinion, the accounting records and financial statements comply with Swiss law and the company's Articles of Association.

We recommend that the financial statements submitted to you be approved.

Zürich, February 26th, 2016

BETSCHON TREUHAND AG
Christian Schmid
Auditor in Charge

Balance Sheet

DAISY Consortium Balance Sheet as of 31 December, 2015
(USD in thousands)
  2015 2014
ASSETS
Liquid Funds
Banking Accounts   293 291
Securities   0 0
  293 291
Debtors
Membership Fees   63 126
US Fund   0 83
Other debtors   9 10
  72 219
Accruals (potential unpaid membership fees)
  -60 -80
Transitive Assets
  18 24
Capital Assets
  3 2
 
TOTAL ASSETS   327 456
 
LIABILITIES
Credits
  41 67
Transitive Liabilities
  9 17
Accruals
Audit   7 5
Staffing and related   0 87
General Management   0 0
Tools   0 0
Search and Discovery   31 31
  38 123
Capital
Capital at the Beginning of the Year   250 319
Gain / Loss for the Year   -11 -69
Capital at the End of the Year   239 250
TOTAL LIABILITIES   327 456

Operating Income and Expenses

DAISY Consortium Operating Income and Expenses as of 31 December, 2015
(USD in thousands)
  2015 2014
INCOME
 
Membership Fees 776 817
 
Additional Income 112 148
Technical Standards 23 70
Tools Development 0 8
Training and Technical Support 64 15
Search and Discovery 0 52
Diverse Income 26 3
Communications and Marketing 13 28
 
Capital 42 3
Capital Assets / Amortization 4 3
Del Credere / Loss in Membership Fees 38 0
 
TOTAL EXPENSE 899 1,033
 
BALANCE -11 -69

The 2015 DAISY Consortium Board of Directors

The DAISY Consortium Board held two meetings during 2015 - in Paris (June) and in Milan (November).

Sincere thanks go to the DAISY Consortium Board of Directors and the organizations they represent:

GET INVOLVED, COME and JOIN US – more information is provided at daisy.org.