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Tobi 2.3 Brings Full-Text, Full-Audio Image Descriptions to Mainstream EPUB 3 Media Overlays

DAISY News - Mer, 04/23/2014 - 04:09

DAISY Consortium is pleased to announce the new release of the next generation open source multimedia book production tool, Tobi.

 

Tobi is a rare software tool that can produce books compliant with the mainstream EPUB 3 specifications as well as advanced accessible publishing requirements. The new version is equipped with the capability of adding full-text, full-audio image descriptions to EPUB 3 media overlays. This feature enables DAISY production centres and other organizations producing accessible content to add accessibility enhancements to the mainstream EPUB 3 publications. This is an important step in the direction of embedding advanced accessibility features in publications that have basic built-in accessibility.

 

Other additions include a basic framework for integrating audio processing libraries (this includes operations such as normalization, amplification, increasing/decreasing speech rate ), as well as direct commands for creating text-to-speech for the entire book, and regular bug fixes.

 

The latest version of Tobi is also available in Spanish. Thank you goes to Juan Islas Carbajal from Presta Tu Voz, Mexico for the translations.

 

To learn more about Tobi, please visit Tobi project area (http://www.daisy.org/tobi/). For more information about what’s new in this release, please visit the change log (http://www.daisy.org/tobi/change-log).

 

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

World Book Night Promotes Literacy and Reading

DAISY News - Mer, 04/23/2014 - 04:09

World Book Night was created in 2011 in England and Ireland to encourage reading and bring attention to adult literacy, according to the World Book Night website. This is different than World Book Day, which brings attention to books for schoolchildren. World Book Night celebrates Shakespeare’s birthday and International Day of the Book.

 

Hundreds of thousands of books will be given away as part of the annual 
celebration of reading and books on April 23rd, 2014. More information is provided on the World Book Night website.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day: May 15, 2014

DAISY News - Mer, 04/23/2014 - 04:09

Global Accessibility Awareness Day is a community-driven effort with a goal to dedicate one day to raising the profile of and introducing the topic of digital (web, software, mobile app/device etc.) accessibility and people with different disabilities to the broadest audience possible. Read more on the Global Accessibility Awareness Day website.

Mathematical Markup Language Version 3.0 2nd Edition Released

DAISY News - Mer, 04/23/2014 - 04:09

MathML 3.0 was released as a W3C Recommendation on October 21st, 2010, with a second edition released on April 10th, 2014 (http://www.w3.org/TR/2014/REC-MathML3-20140410/). A product of the W3C Math Working Group, MathML is a low-level specification for describing mathematics. It serves as a basis for machine to machine communications and provides a needed foundation for the inclusion of mathematical expressions in webpages. MathML is also important in publishing workflows for science and technology. The new version brings accessibility improvements and better support for formulas in languages written from right to left. The basic markup remains the same. Review Testimonials welcoming MathML 3.0. More information is provided on the W3C Math Home page.

Disability Rights in the 21st Century: Creative Solutions for Achieving the Right to Live in the World

DAISY News - Mer, 04/23/2014 - 04:09

Don't miss your opportunity to hear 2014 theme keynote speakers Jenny Hatch and Jonathan Martinis talk about the landmark case in which Ms. Hatch won the right to make her own decisions through supported decision-making rather than being forced into a guardianship that she did not want and that would make all decisions for her. The luncheon keynote will be given by Catherine Lhamon, assistant secretary, Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education.

 

The 2014 Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium (April 24-25 at the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute in Baltimore, Maryland) will consist of plenary sessions and workshops facilitated by distinguished law professors, practitioners, and advocates who will discuss topics such as: disability discrimination in the criminal and juvenile justice systems, next steps in Olmstead litigation, rights of parents with disabilities, supported decision making as an alternative to guardianship, and how to work with the media to get the disability rights message across.

 

Registration closes April 17th. Register now.

Accessibility: A Driver for Mobile Innovation (M-Enabling Summit)

DAISY News - Mer, 04/23/2014 - 04:09

The M-Enabling Global Summit is the only program exclusively dedicated to promoting mobile accessible and assistive applications and services for senior citizens and users of all abilities, a market of more than one billion users worldwide, with considerable untapped potential.

Check out the M-Enabling Summit speaker lineup.

Benefits of participating in the M-Enabling Summit:

  • Network with peers and experts from industry, service providers, apps developers, organizations of seniors and persons with disabilities, and professionals representing special education, rehabilitation and senior care services
  • Promote your own mobile accessible and assistive solutions to key interested stakeholders
  • Learn about the latest developments, innovations, market drivers and emerging opportunities
  • Share perspectives with international participants
  • See the latest products, services and applications in a showcase featuring companies and organizations driving innovation with accessible and assistive mobile technologies solutions
  • Gain new insights from case studies by service providers, and public and private sector organizations experienced in marketing and services for seniors and persons with disabilities.

More information is provided on the Summit website. Save $100 when you register for M-Enabling Summit (June 9-10, 2014 - Washington DC) by April 11th: http://bit.ly/OZ1N7e.

Coming Soon in Dolphin SuperNova

DAISY News - Mer, 04/23/2014 - 04:09

Read what you want how you want with the next major upgrade to the SuperNova family of screen magnifiers and screen readers from Dolphin:

  • NEW: Find, download and read thousands of accessible books and periodicals from online libraries including Bookshare, NFB Newsline, Gutenberg and many more
  • NEW: Straightforward gestures enable people with low vision to easily use the latest Microsoft Windows 8 tablets and touch screen laptops with magnification
  • NEW: Touch Bar displays convenient buttons at the bottom of touch screens to change colours and speak documents out loud
  • NEW: High Contrast Large print keyboard makes onscreen typing practical for people with low vision
  • NEW: Scan and Read to make paper documents accessible with speech and Braille
  • UPDATE: True Fonts make magnified text look even clearer in the latest applications running on Windows 8

The latest best sellers, timeless classics and popular periodicals can be downloaded from accessible libraries using a new Bookshelf tab page added to the SuperNova Control Panel. Content providers include Bookshare, NFB Newsline and Gutenberg amongst others, with more libraries being added regularly.

 

The Bookshelf tab also includes buttons to jump quickly to a popular selection of RSS news feeds, podcasts and internet radio stations. More information is provided on the Dolphin Computer Access website.

Announcing EDUPUB Europe 2014

DAISY News - Mer, 04/23/2014 - 04:09

EDUPUB Europe 2014 will take place in Oslo, Norway, June 19th 2014. The meeting will provide an update on current progress of the EDUPUB initiative to advance the effective adoption and use of e-textbooks and other digital learning materials by improving interoperability, accessibility, and baseline capabilities via broad adoption of enabling technical standards. EDUPUB is an alliance of trade and standards organizations and other stakeholders working to establish a globally interoperable, accessible, open ecosystem for e-Textbooks and other Digital Learning Materials via EPUB 3, Educational Sector Standards and the Open Web Platform.

 

The workshop is co-sponsored by IDPF and IMS Global Learning and hosted by ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC36 as well as Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences / LACE project. The agenda and registration details for the workshop are available at: http://idpf.org/edupub-europe-2014. Registration will be open through May 1, 2014 - but space is limited. Act now to secure your spot at this key meeting. Proposals to present a position paper (an option that can be selected on the registration page) are requested by April 21, 2014.

 

Other upcoming EDUPUB related events include IMS Learning Impact Leadership Institute, (May 5-8, New Orleans) which will feature an EDUPUB update panel and the IDPF Digital Book conference at BookExpo America, (May 28-29 in New York City, NY) which will have several EDUPUB sessions in its Education track.

CSUN 2014 Conference program available in HTML, EPUB and DAISY formats

DAISY News - Mer, 04/23/2014 - 04:09

In 2014 again, each part of the CSUN program is available for download as a navigable DAISY 2.02 publication in addition to the HTML and EPUB files.

 

You can download a free DAISY reader AMIS from our website. Thank you goes to IVONA Software for their support (high-quality text-to-speech voice). An extensive list of software and hardware players for reading DAISY content is provided in the Tools and Services section.

 

Download the CSUN 2014 Conference program in HTML, EPUB and DAISY formats

More information is available on the CSUN 2014 conference website.

Dolphin Publisher: Support Added for Human-Narrated EPUB 3 Files with Media Overlays

DAISY News - Mer, 04/23/2014 - 04:09

Libraries are now ready to prepare for the future of accessible eBook production with Dolphin Publisher's support for human-narrated EPUB 3 with media overlays.

 

"The EPUB 3 standard empowers publishers to create fully accessible text and audio content in a mainstream digital format" explains Mattias Karlsson, AltFormat Product Manager at Dolphin. "The addition of EPUB 3 support in Dolphin Publisher continues Dolphin's commitment to enabling digital libraries to fully engage readers with vision and print impairments with professionally produced, human-narrated eBooks". More information is available in the official press release on the Dolphin Computer Access website.

Zero Project Report 2014 on Accessibility Published

DAISY News - Mer, 04/23/2014 - 04:09

More than 1,000 experts from all around the world worked on this year’s Zero Project Report. Together, they mapped the state of implementation of the CRPD (U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) in 130 countries. They nominated 243 projects for the title of “Innovative Practice 2014” as well as 68 policies for the title of “Innovative Policy 2014".

 

In this year’s Zero Project Report you will find:

  • Questionnaire results on the state of implementation of the CRPD, especially accessibility, from 130 countries
  • 54 Innovative Practices on accessibility
  • 15 Innovative Policies advancing accessibility and universal design

Among other recognized Innovative Accessible Practices of 2014 is a publication in DAISY multimedia format, developed by the Assistive Technology Development Organization (ATDO) in Japan. This is an easy to understand accessible evacuation manual for people with intellectual disabilities, currently implemented in Urakawa Town, Hokkaido, Japan.

 

Download and share the full Zero Project Report 2014 (in English, in PDF)

 

Visit the Zero Project website and comment on:

 

Results on accessibility: http://zeroproject.org/indicator-type/convention/ and http://zeroproject.org/indicator-type/accessibility/

54 Innovative Practices: http://zeroproject.org/practice-type/selected/

15 Innovative Policies: http://zeroproject.org/policy/introduction/

BISG, DAISY and IDPF Launch EPUBTest.org to Showcase Reading System Conformance

DAISY News - Mer, 04/23/2014 - 04:09

The new website epubtest.org has been launched in a collaborative effort between the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), DAISY Consortium, and the IDPF. EPUBTest.org provides a unified home for the definitive EPUB 3 Reading System Conformance Test Suite, originally developed by the IDPF, and the next generation of the BISG EPUB 3 Support Grid. This grid has been revamped moving from an Excel spreadsheet listing high-level features into a web-based database with fine-grained results determined objectively via the EPUB 3 Test Suite. The initial set of results showcase conformance of over two dozen different reading systems. At launch, the four highest scoring reading systems were Readium for Chrome (82% on required EPUB 3 features, 74% overall including optional features), VitalSource Bookshelf (79.5% / 61.5% for Mac version), iBooks (77.6% / 60.6% for iOS version), and Kobo iOS App (71.4% / 61% ). But now the race is on: who will be the first to reach 100% conformance?

Learning Ally Webinar: Dyslexia and the Individualized Education Program

DAISY News - Mer, 04/23/2014 - 04:09

Discover how to avoid and catch the most common mistakes in an IEP (Individualized Education Program) for a student with dyslexia.

 

During this free 60-minute webinar, How to Make Sure the IEP is in Tip-Top Shape, Kelli Sandman-Hurley and Tracey Block-Zaretsky will share an overview about appropriate goals and services.

 

Date: Tuesday, February 25th

Time: 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. EST

You will learn:

  • What information should be included in the IEP
  • Where information for an IEP document should come from
  • How to determine the level of services
  • How to determine which and how many goals to include
  • What should be included in the accommodations section
  • State testing requirements
  • Modifications versus accommodations

Recording will be posted to webinar archives.

Braille Translation Software: Duxbury DBT 11.2 Has Been Released

DAISY News - Mer, 04/23/2014 - 04:09

The Duxbury Braille Translator (DBT) has always been at the forefront in implementing Unified English Braille (UEB). Duxbury DBT Version 11.2 contains further enhancements. DBT now has a UEB Learning Series for the UK (these are a series of translators that allow learning of contractions in graduated steps). Users can now use variable width fonts on the "print side" of DBT. For many languages, this is a substantial improvement.

 

DBT 11.2 can read Word 2007/2010/2013 documents. It also handles tabular format, Excel files.


Other notable improvements:

  • Better support for the new BANA 2011 Formats (used in the United States)
  • New SWIFT 4.0 gives greater power and flexibility from Microsoft Word (SWIFT 4.0 will be released shortly)
  • Nemeth Code, Braille to Print support added
  • Export from DBT to Microsoft Word via HTML
  • DBT has new software to handle installation and activation issues
  • DBT now contains a Czech and a Chinese User Interface (see Global Menu, Internationalization)
  • Formatted Braille Files with non-US encodings can now be imported by DBT (requires *.bff extension and the use of another encoding in the Global, Internationalization Menu)
  • Smart Phone Integration with DBT
  • More languages and better support of existing languages
  • Better Embosser support
  • Math file importing and braille math translation have been improved

More information is provided on the Duxbury Systems website.

Now Available: CRPD 2013 ICT Accessibility Progress Report

DAISY News - Mer, 04/23/2014 - 04:09

NEW DELHI, INDIA (February 13, 2014) — The Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) and Disabled People’s International (DPI) announce the release of a new report on benchmarking progress in making Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) accessible in compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Key findings will be presented this week in New Delhi at Techshare India 2014, a conference and exhibition discussing accessibility and assistive technology at a national level with international participation, hosted by BarrierBreak, in partnership with the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), UK and with the support of G3ict.

 

Axel Leblois, President and Executive Director of G3ict said: “This 2013 edition of the CRPD ICT Accessibility Progress Report, which covers two third of the world population, documents critical global gaps in ICT accessibility. Those facts call for the United Nations post-2015 agenda to incorporate ICTs as a critical success factor for the inclusion of persons with disabilities.”

 

In its third edition, the CRPD 2103 ICT Accessibility Progress Report offers disability advocates, governments, civil society and international organizations monitoring the progress of the implementation of the CRPD by States Parties, unique benchmarks for country laws, policies, and programs pertaining to accessible and assistive ICTs.

 

Based on the findings from the 2010 and 2012 editions of the Progress Report, it is clear that digital accessibility is not merely about greater use of technologies by persons with disabilities. It is about transforming information-based policies and the ICT ecosystem. Addressing the ICT arena is part of a larger effort to build an information society based on ensuring people’s right to communicate, use knowledge for their own ends, and overcome barriers on freedom to use, share and modify ICTs and information content. This aligns with the theme of the September 2013 High-Level Meeting on Disability and Development of the United Nations General Assembly on the realization of the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally-agreed development goals for persons with disabilities. The CRPD 2103 ICT Accessibility Progress Report is available for download from the G3ict website.

IBM Standardizing on EPUB to Reduce Digital Barriers and Increase Mobile Support

DAISY News - Mer, 04/23/2014 - 04:09

SEATTLE, WA – 13 February 2014 (PRESS RELEASE): International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a collaboration to develop a white paper highlighting lessons learned from IBM’s recent decision to support EPUB as the company’s primary packaged portable document format. EPUB is the widely adopted open standard format, for digital publications, developed by IDPF, based on HTML5 and other technologies from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), as well as technologies from IDPF. IDPF is a trade and standards association with over 300 members in over 45 countries. Increased client demand for mobile solutions, accessibility through the cloud, and the transformational opportunities both pose for enterprise content are the key drivers for IBM’s move to the next-generation portable document format. By standardizing on EPUB, IBM is also extending its leadership in accessibility and delivering a rich user experience and engagement.

 

“We applaud IBM’s innovation in adopting EPUB across the spectrum of enterprise content and in its education solutions, to create a better reading experience for its content across devices and the spectrum of individual needs,” said Bill McCoy, Executive Director, IDPF. “We look forward to collaborating to showcase lessons learned by a global IT leader in order to help other enterprises and content publishers move digital publishing onto the Open Web Platform.”

 

IBM also recently joined IDPF as well as the Readium Foundation, a consortium formed last year to develop open source tools libraries to accelerate adoption of the latest IDPF standards and bootstrap the development of compatible reading solutions. Over 40 industry leaders, including IBM, are contributing funds, people, and technology to advance the Readium effort. IBM will also be promoting EPUB based workflows in its IT solutions for e-learning and education publishing.

 

"Since our inception, the DAISY Consortium has focused on making knowledge and information accessible to persons who are blind and print disabled. One example of this focus is our contribution to the development of the EPUB Standards. IBM's announcement supporting Accessible EPUB 3 as the default distribution mechanism will immediately impact the adoption of Inclusive Publishing techniques around the world. All governments, business, and educational institutions should embrace Inclusive Publishing techniques to help bring persons with disabilities into the Information Age. We applaud this move by IBM to use the EPUB Standard which is accessible, portable, and re-flows content to any size screen making it perfect for mobile devices and desktop computers," said George Kerscher, Secretary General for the DAISY Consortium.

 

The official press release is available on the IDPF website at http://idpf.org/news/ibm_adopts_epub, supporter quotes are at http://idpf.org/news/ibm_adopts_epub-supporter-quotes.

User-driven e-Accessibility: 8th European eAccessibility Forum

DAISY News - Mer, 04/23/2014 - 04:09

The 8th European eAccessibility Forum will be held on March 31st, 2014 at the Cité des Sciences in Paris. It will bring together internationally renowned experts on "User-driven e-Accessibility". Save the date now! The program is available and registration is open online at: http://eaf2014.braillenet.org.

Google Australia Seeks Feedback From Blind Users

DAISY News - Mer, 04/23/2014 - 04:09

Google Australia is seeking people who are blind or vision impaired to share their experience of using Google apps on mobile devices.

 

Participants will be interviewed by market researchers for two hours about the assistive technology they use on their phones and tablets and how they rate the accessibility of Google apps such as Gmail and Drive. The information gathered will be used by Google to improve the accessibility of its products. Participants will remain anonymous and will be paid $200 for their time.

 

To join in email Qualitative Recruitment Australia [office(at)qra.net.au] or call Murray Gale 02 9371 0855.

CSUN 2014 Session Schedule Now Posted

DAISY News - Mer, 04/23/2014 - 04:09

The General Sessions Schedule for the 29th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference has now been posted to the CSUN 2014 website. The Directory of Exhibitors is also available. Please note that this list is preliminary and is subject to change.

Zero Project Conference on Accessibility

DAISY News - Mer, 04/23/2014 - 04:09

The upcoming Zero Project Conference in Vienna (February 27-28, 2014) focuses on innovative policies and practices for persons with disabilities. The conference seeks to strengthen the commitment of all stakeholders to promote, protect and advance the rights of persons with disabilities, and to improve their daily lives. More information is provided on the Zero Project Conference website.

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