DAISY News

Current DAISY News items are posted below RSS. A list of Archived News items is also available.

Obama asks the US Senate to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty
2016-02-11

For Immediate Release February 10, 2016

 

TO THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES:

 

With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled, done at Marrakesh on June 27, 2013 (Marrakesh Treaty). I also transmit, for the information of the Senate, a report of the Secretary of State with respect to the Marrakesh Treaty that includes a summary of its provisions.

 

This copyright treaty, concluded under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), advances the national interest of the United States in promoting the protection and enjoyment of creative works. The Marrakesh Treaty lays a foundation, in a manner consistent with existing international copyright standards, for further opening up a world of knowledge for persons with print disabilities by improving their access to published works.

 

The United States played a leadership role in the negotiation of the treaty, and its provisions are broadly consistent with the approach and structure of existing U.S. law. Narrow changes in U.S. law will be needed for the United States to implement certain provisions of the treaty. Proposed legislation is being submitted to both houses of the Congress in conjunction with this transmittal.

 

I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the Marrakesh Treaty, and give its advice and consent to its ratification.

 

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE

First Editor's Draft of EPUB 3.1 Available for Review
2016-02-01

The EPUB 3 Working Group announced that the first Editor's Draft of EPUB 3.1 is now available for community review. A condensed summary of the changes being put forward for review can be found in the EPUB 3.1 Changes from 3.0.1 document. The approach taken in this first draft is proposing potentially controversial changes, therefore timely feedback is important.

 

The primary goal of this revision is to bring EPUB 3 more in line with the Open Web Platform (OWP). The HTML syntax of HTML5 is now proposed to have required support in reading systems, resulting in the need to enrich the markup to work in HTML and XHTML. The working group is proposing a move to the ARIA role attribute coupled with the W3C Digital Publishing WAI-ARIA Module for semantics. This first editor's draft also proposes dropping support for EPUB 2 and for a number of EPUB 3 features that are not broadly compatible with the OWP.

 

The EPUB 3.1 revision is also an opportunity to review the overall accessibility of the format. For more information, please refer to the EPUB 3.1 Changes from 3.0.1 document. None of the decisions proposed in this draft are final, and are open to be changed in future drafts. Those affiliated with IDPF member organizations are encouraged to join the IDPF EPUB Working Group email list to participate directly in the development process; feedback can also be provided via email to the Working Group co-chair Markus Gylling: mgylling(at)idpf.org.

 

Read more on the IDPF website.

Talking books open classics to the blind in South India
2016-01-30

DAISY book project is a joint initiative of Kerala State Youth Welfare Board and Kerala Federation of Blind Youth Forum in South India, aimed at enriching the visually challenged community with audio content of books and other reading materials. Their website aims to serve as an archive of content created under this initiative. This is the first online digital accessible library for print disabled with the support of Government of Kerala.

 

Launched by Kerala Federation of Blind Youth Forum in collaboration with State Youth Welfare Board, DAISY addresses the lack of online speech engine for reading Malayalam text. More information is provided in the Deccan Chronicle.

EDUPUB Alliance, EPUB Accessibility Meetings near Baltimore, February 24-25, 2016
2016-01-19

The next meeting of the EDUPUB Alliance, together with a related summit on EPUB Accessibility and Certification, will take place on February 24-25, 2016 near Baltimore, Maryland. The events will be co-hosted by IDPF and IMS Global, in conjunction with IMS Global's next Quarterly Meeting, sponsored by University of Maryland College.

 

The theme of day one will be "EPUB Accessibility as a Baseline" and will bring together speakers and participants to establish key requirements and critical tasks necessary for the EPUB ecosystem to fully support current and future accessibility mandates. The keynote speaker will be George Kerscher, Chief Innovation Officer of the DAISY Consortium and President of the IDPF Board of Directors. Day two will kick off with EDUPUB Alliance sessions focused on coordinating open standards for learning content and systems, followed by a technical workshop on EPUB certification implementation. A preliminary agenda has been published and registration is now open to all interested parties with options to attend both days ($200) or day one only ($150).  Register today on the IMS Global Learning Consortium website.

13th International Web for All (W4A) Conference: Education for All on the Web
2016-01-16

The rapid emergence of online learning has brought many accessibility challenges. MOOCs, Big Data, and Open Content are changing how we look at education, broadening access to learning for millions, soon billions of individuals, and creating new opportunities to remove barriers to literacy, education, and the search for knowledge. With the explosive growth of opportunities to learn online, the theme of the 13th International Web for All (W4A) Conference is “Education for All on the Web.”

 

IBM is offering a full coverage scholarship to students with disabilities to attend the International Web for All conference in Montreal, Canada on April 11-13, 2016. There is also a $1,000 Google award for any Doctoral students doing Accessibility research to participate in the Doctoral Consortium.

 

Deadline for these two Students' awards has been extended until January 31st, 2016:

Free Webinar: How to Spot Dyslexia in a Writing Sample
2016-01-10

In this 60-minute webinar on January 20th, 2016 at 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Eastern Time, Susan Barton, founder of Bright Solutions for Dyslexia, will share how she spots dyslexia in compositions and on spelling tests. She will show many examples, and participants will get a copy of her writing sample checklist.

 

Susan will answer questions for 15 minutes at the end. Participants can also send her questions by email.

 

Susan Barton is the developer of the Barton Reading and Spelling System - an Orton-Gillingham influenced system designed specifically for parents, homeschool parents, and volunteer tutors in literacy programs. The Barton System is easy to learn and contains enough support for parents and volunteer tutors, yet is complete enough for professional tutors as well as reading and resource specialists.

 

About this webinar series: Learning Ally (DAISY Consortium member) partners with leading experts in the learning disabilities and assistive technology fields. On a bimonthly basis, they sponsor free webinars for students, their parents and educators.

 

Register today to attend live webinar or to access recording.

CSUN 2016: Full schedule now available online
2016-01-04

Those traveling to CSUN 2016 can now begin to plan their session calendar. This event will be held from March 21-26, 2016 in San Diego. The main conference sessions are on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and encompass a wide array of assistive technology topics, including accessible publishing and reading. View over 300 sessions approved for the conference on the CSUN 2016 website.

Tobi 2.6 enhances integration with production systems
2015-12-23

DAISY Consortium is pleased to announce the release of the latest version of Tobi, the next-generation open source multimedia production tool. With Tobi, users can produce books with full text and audio, compliant with both the DAISY 3 and mainstream EPUB 3 (Media Overlays) specifications. It also includes the unique capability of adding accessibility enhancements, such as image descriptions, to mainstream EPUB 3 publications.

 

Version 2.6 streamlines the integration of Tobi in DAISY members’ production systems. For example, the new Overwrite Recording mode facilitates recording with conventional approaches. Text-to-speech based production benefits from the new capability that allows using different synthetic voices for different structural elements of the book.

 

The introduction of the Optimized Cleanup feature reduces data traffic over networks. This feature brings a major improvement to network-based deployments of Tobi.

 

Other features include the capability to add section names to the audio file names and one-click filling of default metadata values. This release also includes bug fixes and other improvements to existing features.

 

Please note that online installation with ClickOnce installer has been deprecated in favor of the MSI installer from this release onwards, due to .NET deployment issues.

 

To learn more about Tobi, please visit the Tobi project area at http://www.daisy.org/tobi/.

 

For more information about the new features and bug fixes, please visit the change log at http://www.daisy.org/tobi/change-log.

 

For providing feedback, suggestions and bug reports, please go to http://www.daisy.org/forums/tobi.

 

The Tobi team would like to thank all Tobi project contributors and supporters.

Call for Papers: 2016 IFLA Satellite Conference
2015-12-22

You can now submit a paper for the 2016 IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) Satellite Conference Tailoring the Reading Experience to Meet Individual Needs that will take place on Thursday, August 11 and Friday, August 12, 2016.

 

Theme: Creating an inclusive community of readers

Title: Tailoring the Reading Experience to Meet Individual Needs

Location: Galt House Hotel. 140 N 4th St, Louisville, KY 40202, USA

 

Presentations will raise and discuss the following topics:

  • Facilitating the book selection process
  • Changing the role of the librarian from the Marrakesh perspective
  • Finding and sharing accessible materials and collections
  • Accessible audio book technologies
  • Serving the full spectrum of print disabilities
  • Creating inclusive communities for people with disabilities through programming and events
  • The added value of an analog service in the heart of the digital era
  • Promoting Braille literacy

This conference offers a rare opportunity for professionals from a variety of disciplines to discuss the challenges and solutions to providing timely accessible materials. Librarians from special libraries for the blind, as well as from public libraries serving blind and print-disabled patrons; educators, accessible instructional materials providers; professionals from university disability offices, and others with an interest in these topics have been invited to come together to learn, share and discuss.

 

Join the conversation by submitting a paper for consideration. Paper guidelines are available on the Satellite Conference website. Call for Papers deadline is March 1st, 2016.

Obi 3.8 increases adaptability to DAISY members' production environments
2015-12-14

The DAISY Consortium is pleased to announce the latest release of Obi, popular open source navigable audiobook creation tool. Obi produces books conforming to the accessible EPUB 3, DAISY 3 and DAISY 2.02 specifications.

 

Version 3.8 builds on DAISY team’s continued focus on implementing members’ feature requests. 


Obi 3.8 includes the capability to configure the recording and playback modes on the run by instantaneously switching between different audio profiles; new buttons have been added to the Transport Bar and Recording Toolbar. The new command to fill missing pages makes the process of creating the structure of a book more efficient. This release also includes new preferences for adapting the features to diverse requirements of the DAISY Consortium members.

 

In addition, this release brings major improvements to the network based deployment of Obi. The quick cleanup feature reduces data traffic over network. The new option to record to the local drive makes recording more robust.

 

Obi 3.8 includes several other enhancements and bug fixes. Please visit the Obi project area to check out the full list of features and improvements: http://www.daisy.org/obi/.

 

Download Version 3.8 at http://www.daisy.org/obi/download.

 

The Obi-Tobi team is committed to enriching Obi with new features to keep it abreast with new technologies and making it suitable for the large worldwide user base.

The DAISY Consortium would like to extend a special thanks to all contributors for their valuable feedback and support.

Australia ratifies landmark treaty to end book famine
2015-12-12

Vision Australia has been advocating on behalf of Australia’s blindness and low vision community, led by Maryanne Diamond - past president of the World Blind Union and former Vision Australia General Manager, to ensure that the Australian Government took action and ratified the Marrakesh Treaty.

 

Australia’s blindness and low vision population is estimated to be around 350,000.

 

The Treaty, now ratified by the Australian Government, will allow organisations to share books directly with individuals who are blind or have other print disabilities. It also enables the international exchange of books between relevant organizations and prevents the need to duplicate production in different countries. More information is provided on the Vision Australia's website.

Brazil Ratifies Marrakesh Treaty
2015-12-11

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry welcomed Brazil's ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty. On December 11, he received the instrument of ratification from Brazil's Permanent Representative to the WTO Ambassador Marcos Galvão. The Director of Brazil's Copyright Office Marcos Alves de Souza was also present at the ceremony, which took place on the sidelines of 31st session of WIPO's Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights.

 

Brazil is the 13th country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty. The treaty comes into force following 20 ratifications / accessions.

 

More information about the Marrakesh Treaty is provided on the WIPO website and in the YouTube video.

National Federation of the Blind Announces 2016 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards
2015-12-07

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) announced that applications are now being accepted for the 2016 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award Program. Each year the NFB presents cash awards to individuals and organizations that have demonstrated exemplary leadership and extraordinary accomplishments in improving the lives of blind people in the United States.

 

Dr. Jacob Bolotin was a blind physician who lived and practiced in Chicago in the early twentieth century. He was widely known and respected in Chicago and throughout the Midwest during his career, which spanned the period from 1912 until his death at the age of thirty-six in 1924. He was particularly recognized for his expertise on diseases of the heart and lungs. Bolotin used his public speaking engagements to advocate for the employment of the blind and their full integration into society.

 

More information is provided on the National Federation of the Blind website.

The European Commission Proposes a European Accessibility Act
2015-12-04

The proposed European Accessibility Act will set common accessibility requirements for key products and services that will help people with disabilities at EU level to participate fully in society.

The products and services covered have been carefully selected in consultation with citizens, civil society organizations and businesses. They include:

  • ATMs and banking services
  • personal computers
  • telephones and TV equipment
  • telephony and audiovisual services
  • transport
  • e-books and e-commerce.

The proposal for a Directive aims to improve the internal market, making it easier for companies to provide accessible products and services across borders. Common accessibility requirements will also apply in the frame of EU procurement rules and for the use of EU funds. The initiative is expected to stimulate innovation and broaden the offering of accessible products and services for the approximately 80 million persons with disabilities in the EU. More information is provided on the European Commission website.

December 3rd: The International Day of Persons with Disabilities
2015-12-03

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been commemorated since 1992 to promote awareness and mobilize support for critical issues relating to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society and development. This day works to promote action to raise awareness about disability issues and draw attention to the benefits of an inclusive and accessible society for all.

 

Aligned with this goal, for almost 20 years, the DAISY Consortium has helped readers around the globe by developing and maintaining accessible standards providing access to information for all and offering a rich reading experience. We will continue to advocate for equal access to information and we support the ratification of Marrakesh Treaty. With recent ratifications by the Republic of Korea on October 8th and by Mongolia on September 23rd, the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled (MVT), is moving closer towards the 20 signatories required for its entry into force. The MVT was adopted by Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on June 27th, 2013.

 

To-date, the Treaty has been by ratified by eleven countries including El Salvador, India, Mali, Paraguay, the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Argentina and Singapore, Mexico, Mongolia and the Republic of Korea.

 

For further information on the MVT and its status of ratification please go to: http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/marrakesh/. The World Blind Union provides a detailed summary of the Treaty on their website. The United Nations Development Program joined forces with the World Blind Union to prepare a new report aimed at facilitating Asia-Pacific countries’ ratification.

Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) International Excellence Award
2015-12-02

The ABC is now inviting nominations for the 2016 Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing. This award recognizes outstanding leadership and achievements in advancing the accessibility of commercial e-books or other digital publications for persons who have print disabilities.

 

Two awards will be presented, one to a publisher and one for an initiative. In making its final decision, the selection panel (comprised of various organizations working in the field of accessibility) will consider the extent to which the following elements are present in each

nominee’ s work:

  • an organization-wide commitment to making content available in accessible formats
  • accessibility standards built into production systems to make books accessible on, or close to, publication date
  • collaboration with partners in the supply chain to ensure that accessibility is maintained in delivering the product to the print disabled end- user
  • innovative practices established to advance the accessibility of e-books and digital publications for persons who are print disabled

 

You may nominate either your own organization/company or a third party anywhere in the world, and ABC encourages nominations of companies, organizations or individuals based in developing or least developed countries. The two awardees will be presented with trophies at the annual awards ceremony held at the London Book Fair on Tuesday, April 12, 2016.

 

Please submit your application on or before January 16, 2016 through the London Book Fair website.

Guidelines for Library Services to Persons with Dyslexia: Best Practices
2015-11-25

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession.

 

Their Section for Library Services to People with Special Needs (LSN) provides an international forum for the discussion of ideas, sharing of experiences and development of tools designed to promote and improve the effectiveness of library and information services to special needs groups, and the promotion of national and international cooperation at all levels.

 

Guidelines for Library Services to Persons with Dyslexia - Best Practices is a great resource that can inspire all people working with people who have special needs. Go to the IFLA website to access examples of libraries and groups serving these audiences.

DIAGRAM Center: Complex Image Accessibility
2015-11-23

Sue-Ann Ma is a Product Manager at the DIAGRAM Center, a research and development hub launched by Benetech and funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Sue-Ann's PowerPoint presentation and November 6th session recording are now available on the Montana Accessibility Interest Group website. Sue-Ann gave a highly informative presentation on complex image accessibility. More information and link to her presentation are provided on the Montana Accessibility Interest Group website.

DIAGRAM Center: Reading Technology Survey 2015
2015-11-22

The DIAGRAM Center is conducting a short survey to track trends in how people with print disabilities obtain and access reading materials. Your answers will help focus their research and development efforts on the most widely used reading tools and digital reading materials. This is a follow up to a similar survey that was conducted in 2012.

 

The survey is designed to take no more than 15 minutes and asks questions about four topics: reading devices, assistive technology, reading materials, and images.

 

If you are a parent, teacher or caregiver entering responses on behalf of someone else, please be sure to answer the demographic questions as that person. For example, if you are answering the survey on behalf of a child, please answer the demographic questions as the child, not yourself.

 

This survey is anonymous - your name and e-mail address will not be linked to your responses. Access the Reading Technology Survey now and thank you for your participation.

The European Digital Reading Laboratory appoints Laurent Le Meur as its CTO
2015-11-17

The European Digital Reading Laboratory (EDRLab), established to host Readium Europe and IDPF Europe operations, has appointed Laurent Le Meur as its founding CTO. Laurent will take overall responsibility for day-to-day operations of the Lab. He will also set strategic direction in coordinating with Readium Foundation, IDPF and other stakeholders in the global EPUB platform.

 

In addition, Cyril Labordrie has been nominated as the EPUB evangelist for IDPF Europe and Readium Europe. Cyril brings a strong background in software and video game development, and project management.

 

"EDRLAB Board and I are very pleased to welcome Laurent and Cyril." said Pierre Danet, President, EDRLab, Board member, Readium Foundation and IDPF, and Director Innovation and Digital Technology, Hachette-Livre Group. " With their arrival and engagement we're now advancing our planning in order to actively participate in the creation of new services around the EPUB open standard and Readium open source software, in a perfect coordination and deep partnership with Readium Foundation and IDPF". More information is provided on the Readium website.

 

Collaboration along with access to information and knowledge provide powerful tools for promoting world peace when tragic events affecting publishing communities take place. The DAISY Consortium and IDPF support this wholeheartedly through our mission to increase access to information and content on a global basis by fostering open standards and working together.

Shinano Kenshi Launches PLEXTALK™ Linio Pocket in the US
2015-11-09

Shinano Kenshi Corporation (SKC-North America) has announced the launch of the PLEXTALK™ Linio Pocket, the latest product from the company's popular and successful line of PLEXTALK™ healthcare and educational products that include the PTN2, PTR2 and PTP1/Pocket.

 

The PLEXTALK™ Linio Pocket is a lightweight, pocket-sized, DAISY-compliant player/recorder that offers mobility and ease of use by nearly anyone in business, education, and leisure. It comes with features that support accessibility for those who are visually impaired or have learning difficulties.

 

The PLEXTALK™ Linio Pocket features the high-quality Acapela text-to-speech engine allowing users to select from a list of customizable natural sounding narration voices for reading documents and other text-to-speech data. The embedded PLEXVoice Technology guarantees optimal sound quality with adjustable play back speeds. And the PLEXTALK ™ Linio Pocket comes with 8GB of internal memory allowing it to have an enhanced playback function (7.2GB user area). It also includes a 4GB SD card.

 

"Shinano Kenshi Corporation is very excited to release the Linio Pocket into the U.S. market,” said Deana Valdez, Sales and Marketing Manager, PLEXTALK™. “We feel it is a great compliment to the rest of the PLEXTALK™ product line.”

 

PLEXTALK™ Linio Pocket features include:

 

  • High-Quality Acapela text-to-speech engine that delivers natural sounding narration voices when reading documents.
  • PLEXVoice Technology that guarantees optimal sound quality in lower and higher speeds. Speed can be adjusted to play back from 0.5 to 3 times that of normal speed. Tone is changeable from -6 to +6.
  • 8GB internal memory (7.2GB user area).
  • Comes bundled with 4GB SD card (recognizes up to 32 GB).
  • Advanced audio calendar enables you to schedule and manage tasks.
  • Set reminders so you can ensure your peace of mind.
  • Wake up with the PLEXTALK™ Linio Pocket using the alarm function.

More information will be soon added to the Shinano Kenshi / PLEXTALK website.

Take Part 2016 conference: Human perspectives on inclusive publishing
2015-11-05

The Swedish Agency for Accessible Media (MTM) has drawn interesting & engaging speakers for their conference Take Part 2016: Human Perspectives on Inclusive Publishing (May 16-18, 2016 in Stockholm). 

Four tracks are as follows:

  • Publishers and vendors doing the right thing!
  • Reaching out, attracting and keeping users active
  • The inclusive e-book ecosystem
  • Into the hands of readers

More information is provided on the Take Part 2016 conference website at: http://www.mtm.se/takepart2016/.

 

This is a great opportunity to share your knowledge and generate new ideas and initiatives.

EpubCheck 4.0.1 Now Available
2015-10-26

EpubCheck 4.0.1 is a maintenance release of the EPUB conformance checker.

 

This release fixes a few issues that caused EpubCheck to erroneously report warnings or errors when checking valid EPUB files.

 

It deprecates the aria-describedat attribute (now removed from ARIA 1.1) and includes updated localization of error messages in Dutch, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. More information is provided on GitHub.

Africa Forum: Supporting visually impaired students in Africa
2015-10-21

DAISY Consortium trainers provide Inclusive Publishing Training and Consulting in different locations.

 

Within the framework of UNESCO’s support to digital inclusion in Africa, a series of trainings on accessible publishing and digital inclusion were organized in cooperation with DAISY Consortium at the 6th Africa Forum in Uganda (Oct. 4-8, 2015). The workshops on web accessibility and inclusive publishing brought together 51 participants from Burkina Faso, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

 

“I am working for a national regulator, and this training helped me to formulate policies and procedures to improve accessibility of government websites,” said one of the participants. Another attendee stated that the training has helped him identify additional solutions for the visually impaired in web design. Curriculum developers highlighted that the knowledge they gained will help develop reading materials that are accessible for the visually impaired. More information is provided on the UNESCO website.

DIAGRAM Center Extended Through 2020 with Expanded Mission
2015-10-18

Benetech announced that the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs has extended its support for DIAGRAM Center, a Benetech Global Literacy initiative with an expanded charter. Through DIAGRAM Center +, Benetech will build upon the  foundation laid by DIAGRAM’s work over the past five years on image and math accessibility. In addition to addressing the needs of students with print disabilities such as blindness and dyslexia, DIAGRAM Center + broadens its scope to include students with autism spectrum disorders, hearing impairments, intellectual disabilities, and other disabilities, as well as students with any disabilities who are also English language learners.

 

“We are delighted that Benetech and the DIAGRAM Center community members and partners will be able to extend our impact to reach so many more students with diverse needs,” said Anh Bui, Vice President of Benetech Labs and Director of DIAGRAM Center +.

 

DIAGRAM Center + launched on September 1, 2015 with Benetech’s partner on the award, the U.S. Fund for DAISY, and will extend through August 2020. Projects are planned to cover a wide range of research and development with many partners, including prototyping an accessible image repository that includes multimedia content, piloting of a program to customize and deliver educational 3D models, development of a tool to help identify assistive technologies that read MathML, and much more. More information is provided on the Benetech website.

ABC at the Africa Forum: Support Available for Educational Accessibility Projects
2015-10-07

The 6th Africa Forum is underway from October 4-8, 2015 in Kampala, Uganda. More than 400 delegates from around the world are attending the key international event, including the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC). Among other things, advocates are discussing how to support implementation of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted at the United Nations in New York last month.

 

Access to information, especially educational materials, has emerged as one of the key themes of the conference. At a seminar on education and technology held on October 6, there was a call for the better use of low-cost accessible technology in schools as well as improved training and support to allow for access by students to curriculum materials.


Best practices and the work of ABC


Stephen King, a member of the ABC Board, and Immediate Past President of the DAISY Consortium, is sharing with delegates on how ABC is helping bring books in accessible formats (i.e., braille, audio and large print) to people around the world who are visually-impaired. He will also speak about the accessibility practices being adopted by leading publishers and will encourage government agencies to provide accessible textbooks to students who are visually impaired. Interest has been demonstrated to create networks of libraries in Africa through the sharing of collections of accessible books, technology and infrastructure.

 

As a result of discussions held at the Africa Forum on the poor availability of accessible educational materials, the ABC Consortium is now inviting proposals from organizations working on this problem.

 

More information is provided on the Accessible Books Consortium website.

Let’s Raise Awareness of Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities in October
2015-10-07

2.9 million children in the U.S. have a learning disability. One in five students has either learning or attention issues affecting reading, writing, math, or organizational skills. According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, one out of every ten students in the U.S. is dyslexic, and eighty percent of children placed in special education with a learning disability are dyslexic.

 

In October, Bookshare (Full Member of the DAISY Consortium) is supporting Dyslexia Awareness Month and Learning Disabilities Awareness Month. They put a spotlight on learning disabilities such as dyslexia, as well as resources like Bookshare. Throughout the month, watch for inspiring stories of people with dyslexia, and help raise awareness and educate others. For more information, please visit the Bookshare blog.

Free Webinar [Oct.22]: Architecting Content Models & Workflow Processes
2015-10-02

Title: Content Wants to be Found: Architecting Content Models & Workflow Processes to Support Product Strategy.

 

Date & Time: Oct. 22nd at 2pm ET.

Speakers: George Kerscher, President, IDPF, Secretary-General, DAISY Consortium; Steven Heffner, Director of Product Strategy, Wolters Kluwer Health; Kevin Burns, Senior VP, Content Solutions, Cenveo.

 

Publishing experts will share insights on:

  • The difference between good and valid XML
  • Why content accessibility mandates should not be an afterthought
  • Designing content architecture that meets the demands of a multi-platform, multi-device world
  • Why filtered search is past its prime and how contextual and behavioral search will transform content discoverability

Register online.

EPUB Working Group and Readium Meetings in New York
2015-09-22

The IDPF EPUB Working Group is holding a face-to-face meeting at the Google offices in New York City on October 8th and 9th. The purpose of this meeting is to work on identified issues and solution proposals relating to the EPUB 3.1 revision.

 

Readium.org, who are developing open source software for the EPUB Platform, will be holding meetings on October 7th and the afternoon of October 9th. More information is available on the Readium website.

International Literacy Day 2015: Literacy and Sustainable Societies
2015-09-08

As in previous years, International Literacy Day 2015 will be celebrated worldwide, bringing together governments, NGOs, the private sectors, communities, teachers, learners and experts. The main global celebration will take place at UNESCO Headquarters, where a two-day event on Literacy and Sustainable Societies (September 8-9, 2015) is organized.

 

At the opening ceremony Mr. Qian Tang, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO emphasized that September 8th is a day to: “renew our commitment to literacy as a human right which empowers people and transforms societies”.  He said: “Without literacy, an equitable and sustainable society cannot be realised.”  

 

The audience heard that despite progress made worldwide since 2000 when the Education for All (EFA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were adopted, there are still 757 million adults worldwide who lack basic literacy skills, and that two thirds of them are women (UNESCO Institute for Statistics data). More information is provided on the UNESCO website.

 

The theme of this year’s event encourages research and exploration of how literacy reinforces the main pillars of sustainable development – economic growth, social development and environmental protection.

 

The European Literacy Policy Network (ELINET) supports Literacy Week 2015, which raises awareness for low literacy throughout Europe, also starting today, and running until September 17th, 2015. Detailed information is available on the ELINET website.

 

On the occasion of International Literacy Day, DAISY Consortium Friend HumanWare shared an inspiring success story on the importance of awareness and support for Braille Literacy among children and adults who are blind. Read this story, published in the HumanWare newsletter online.

 

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) together with the International Publishers Association (IPA), the International Authors Forum (IAF) and the Reading & Writing Foundation (RWF) has put together a joint statement on literacy and reading which calls on United Nations Member States to support the Sustainable Development Goals by implementing coherent and appropriately resourced national comprehensive literacy strategies. More information is provided on the IFLA website.

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