DAISY Consortium's News Brief - # 2013-01a
Enjoy a concise selection of digital publishing news. Our main goal is to inform DAISY Members and Supporters about new e-reading technologies and related developments.

Upcoming Events: Future of Publishing and Accessibility

Be In the Zone

DAISY Digital Zone is a space at the upcoming Future Publishing and Accessibility Conference (June 13-14, 2013) where DAISY Consortium Members and Supporters can gather, listen and present lightning talks that will last about 7-10 minutes.

Presenters are welcome to enlighten the audience with an engaging talk about their innovative products or services. Please let the organizers [Vibeke email:vrk(at)nota.nu] know by March 1st, 2013 if you are interested in presenting. Grab the opportunity to become a conference sponsor. Only four small exhibitor booths are still available!

M-Enabling Summit: Call for Presentations

Presenters at the M-Enabling Summit are individuals, companies, educational or non-profit organizations who wish to share their solutions for seniors and users of all abilities with key players of the mobile accessibility ecosystem. Deadline: February 15th, 2013, go to M-Enabling Summit website for more info.

XML Prague 2013

This conference on XML and data on the web, will take place February 8 – 10 at the University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic. Registration is open until January 27. Romain Deltour, Software Developer for the DAISY Consortium, will present the paper "XProc at the heart of an ebook production framework: The approach of the DAISY Pipeline project".

Preliminary list of sessions is now available.

What's New: Tobi, Obi and DIAGRAM

DAISY and EPUB 3 Talking Book Production

Free Webinar: Accessible Images - From Creation to End User

Registration is open for the third free webinar of the DIAGRAM Center series! Please go to the ReadyTalk website to register.

Presenters: Bryan Gould, WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM); Geoff Freed, WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM); Lucia Hasty, Rocky Mountain Braille Associates.

Featured App: Daisylezer

Enthusiastic reception for the Daisylezer app in the Netherlands

DAISYlezer logoThe middle of 2012 saw the release of the Daisylezer app (available on iTunes) in the Netherlands. This app was developed by Dedicon’s experts and extensively tested by a test panel consisting of members of the Library of the Blind [Aangepast Lezen in Dutch]. Daisylezer offers access to the talking books and magazines which are available through Aangepast Lezen for individuals with a print impairment. iPad and iPhone owners can now read by using audio streaming. The Android version of the app will be available shortly.

Daisylezer app enables users to read the talking books, newspapers and magazines at any given moment while using their own device, a tablet or a smartphone. A DAISY-CD is no longer necessary. The user can easily navigate through the text. This application has been in use for about half a year now and has been subject to two updates during this period, equipping it with new features. Dedicon’s app is the first iPhone app using the DAISY Online Protocol.

Dedicon offers the option to license the Daisylezer app in order to enable users' own connections (for instance Libraries for the Blind) to offer access to talking books, newspapers and magazines. If you are interested in a demo account, please go to the Dedicon website.

If you require more information, please send an e-mail to Geerhard Huising at: geerhardhuising[at]dedicon.nl

Dedicon (Full Member of the DAISY Consortium) is a non-profit organization in the Netherlands which provides access to information for persons with visual or other print impairments. Dedicon co-ordinates and is responsible for numerous functions for the Dutch Libraries for the Blind. Dedicon is continually involved in exploring new technologies in order to bridge the information gap and is committed to the world-wide DAISY Digital Talking Book standard.

Thank you Geerhard Huising (Dedicon), for this article.

Quick Interview: Matt Garrish - EPUB 3 Best Practices

EPUB 3 Best Practices is scheduled to be released soon. Who will benefit from this publication?

If we’ve done our job (we being me, Markus Gylling, Liza Daly, Bill Kasdorf, Makoto Murata and Adam Witwer), anyone directly involved in the creation of EPUB content will benefit from this book, from big publishers to small, and, of course, the DAISY community of accessible republishers.

The Accessible EPUB 3 preview has been rolled up into this book, and accessibility best practices are spread throughout (and expanded on, in some instances). There’s still a dedicated chapter dealing with specific accessibility best practices, but we’ve tried to ensure that the book as a whole reflects the accessible nature of the format.

Being published by O’Reilly, it goes without saying that it is a technical book, but it’s also been written with a broad reader base in mind. We’re just wrapping it up now, so you will see it in time for TOC 2013 in February.

Which EPUB 3 reading system are you currently using or testing?

I’m still partial to Readium, the open source project sponsored by the IDPF. It aims to be a feature complete reference implementation, and it’s the closest to that goal that I know of. Benetech have announced that they will be implementing Readium in their Bookshare platform for EPUB 3 reading this quarter, which holds further promise for ongoing accessibility improvements.

I try to keep up with all that’s going on in reading system development, but with more and more systems appearing that’s fast becoming a challenge. Being Canadian, I tend to use the Kobo app a fair bit for general reading, and they’ve now pledged to implement EPUB 3 by end of year (the app already has some functionality). The IDEAL Group Reader and Blio are other reading systems with an accessibility focus.

Name some of the possibilities offered by HTML5 and EPUB 3 for the future of e-books?

Cover of the book 'Accessible ePUB 3' by O'Reilly MediaI try not to look too far over the horizon, as I think right now the biggest possibility, and challenge, remains mainstreaming accessibility. EPUB 3 and HTML5 have enormous potential to level the content playing field, but there remains much work to be done.

But that said, I’ve seen and heard of plenty of exciting technologies in the pipeline, from self-voicing math in reading systems, to being able to accessibly drill down into graphics to gain more information, to being able to switch from an image-based rendition of a book to the same spot in a text-based version.

We had thousands of years to perfect the word on paper, so we’re only just scratching the surface of how to improve content in our digital infancy. Aligning EPUB with HTML puts both formats on the same trajectory for discovering what that future is.

Thank you, Matt!

Editor's note:

Inclusive Publishing Practices will be discussed at the Tools of Change for Publishing Conference in New York, February 12-14, 2013: