Dec 07

The latest version of an open source audio recording tool designed to allow anyone to produce DAISY format electronic books has been released by the global DAISY Consortium of blindness organisations, publishers, technology companies and others.

DAISY (digital accessible information system) books created with the Obi 1.2 software can contain chapters, sub-sections and pages, allowing users with print disabilities to easily navigate through the content. The Obi tool is also fully accessible to screen-readers.

Version 1.2 of the Obi tool features a number of improvements and upgrades for users, including an adaptation to work with Microsoft Windows 7. Users can now also manage large DAISY production projects more easily; and MP3 and WAV format audio files can now be imported into projects.

All DAISY content is produced to a standard developed by the DAISY Consortium, whose aim is to see all published information made readily available to people with print disabilities through digital talking books.

Taken from e-access bulletin, a free monthly email newsletter.

Sep 08

From Andrew Savikas on O’Reilly’s “Tools of Change for Publishing” blog:

For years we’ve supplied our digital files to Bookshare, a non-profit that provides accessible reading material to the print disabled. For qualifying readers, our books are made available worldwide, and we’ve really enjoyed working with Jim Fruchterman and the Bookshare team along the way (I’m also on their Advisory Board).

Although the DRM-free EPUB files in our ebook bundles are compatible with many reading systems for print disabled customers, many readers prefer the DAISY format that Bookshare provides, and either don’t qualify for access via Bookshare, or would prefer to pay for the ebooks. Through a collaboration with Bookshare, today we’ve started making DAISY files available within our ebook bundles on oreilly.com for more than 800 titles. If you’ve already bought an oreilly.com ebook, you can find the DAISY files on your account page at https://members.oreilly.com or http://oreilly.com/e on a mobile device.

Our mission at O’Reilly is to change the world by spreading the knowledge of innovators, and making our books available in accessible DAISY format helps us accomplish that mission.

There’s more details on the DAISY format from the DAISY Consortium, including a list of software and hardware reading systems.

Aug 26

Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic® (RFB&D®), the nation’s largest provider of educational audio textbooks, announced that its more than 270,000 members can now use the Intel® Reader to access and enjoy its entire collection of DAISY-formatted audiobooks.

The Intel Reader captures images of printed text, converts the text into speech, and now also plays RFB&D DAISY-formatted audio for people with a reading-based learning disability or visual impairment. “Intel Reader is another terrific addition to our assistive technology portfolio,” says Peter Beran, Senior Vice President, Information Technology for RFB&D. “With so many of our members expressing interest in developments like this, we’re pleased to offer yet another means for them to access and efficiently navigate our downloadable content.”

Getting started with the Intel Reader is easy for RFB&D members. They can simply log into their online accounts on the RFB&D website to obtain a free User Authorization Key (UAK), install it on the device, and download their DAISY audiobooks. The content can then be transferred to the Intel Reader and listened to anytime, anywhere. The device stores members’ third-party content access keys for their convenience. For more information on the RFB&D UAK process, visit http://www.rfbd.org/intelreader/.

Users will also need to download the Intel Reader 1.0.1 software upgrade to enable their device to access RFB&D content. The upgrade and instructions on how to install it is available at http://reader.intel.com.

“Through personal experience and our work with organizations such as RFB&D, we know that individuals with learning differences thrive on choice,” says Ben Foss, director of Access Technology at Intel. “We’re proud to help RFB&D members enhance their educational success and quality of life by enabling users of the Intel Reader to have effective access to their reading materials.”

About the Intel® Reader
The Intel Reader transforms printed text to the spoken word. It combines a high-resolution camera with the power of an Intel® Atom™ processor. Read on the spot, or store text for later listening. Easy-to-use buttons, audio and visual navigation, and straightforward menus keep things simple. Weighing just over a pound and about the size of a paperback book, the mobile Intel Reader can be used at school, work, home, or on the go. The Intel Reader is the result of the real-life experiences, coupled with decades of technology innovation and Intel’s commitment to proactive healthcare and wellness. Find out more about the Intel Reader at http://reader.intel.com

About Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic®
Founded in 1948, RFB&D serves more than 270,000 K-12, college and graduate students, as well as veterans and lifelong learners – all of whom cannot read standard print due to blindness, visual impairment, dyslexia, or other disability. RFB&D’s collection of more than 61,000 digitally recorded textbooks and literature titles – delivered through internet downloads, various assistive technology devices, and CD – is the largest of its kind in the world. More than 5,400 volunteers across the U.S. help to record and process the books, which students rely on to achieve educational success and entry into the workforce. RFB&D, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Education, state and local education programs, and the generous contributions of individuals, foundations and corporations. For more information, call (866) 732-3585 or visit www.rfbd.org.

Aug 11

EDItEUR and the DAISY Consortium seek to improve the mainstream e-book production process so that publishers are capable of delivering digital publications that are fully accessible to people with reading disabilities. This survey of publishers’ current practices will help them develop best practice guidelines for publishers all over the world.

Enabling Technologies Towards Accessibility Survey

May 07

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