News

Nominations Open – International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing 2022

The WIPO Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award 2022 is open for nominations. As in previous years, there are two categories for the awards, allowing both publishers and other initiatives to be celebrated for their work progressing accessibility in their respective fields. Nominations are open until September 30th, and the winners will be announced during a ceremony in November at the Guadalajara International Book Fair in Mexico which will also be streamed online. Visit the ABC International Awards page for the nomination form and details of the process. Read More

Updates to DAISY Ace and SMART Support EPUB Accessibility 1.1

We are delighted to announce updates to Ace (Accessibility Checker for EPUB) and the SMART:

Ace By DAISY

Ace by DAISY is the free, open source EPUB accessibility checking tool, created to assist in the evaluation of conformance to the EPUB Accessibility Specification, helping your company meet industry requirements of accessible procurement, and enabling you to produce higher quality, standards conformant publications.

Designed to assist content creators at any stage in their workflow Ace is available as both a command line tool for workflow integration and a desktop App for quick testing of titles. Updates to both the Ace Command Line Tool (v1.2.7) and the Ace App (v1.1.5) have been published to support the new EPUB Accessibility 1.1 specification (“Conformance and Discoverability Requirements for EPUB publications”), currently a W3C Candidate Recommendation Draft dated 07 June 2022. Other maintenance fixtures and an update to the DAISY Knowledge Base are also included.

 The links for these updates can be found at:

A new version of the SMART tool is also available, allowing users to begin evaluating conformance to the new Accessibility 1.1 specification. This tool provides manual conformance checks necessary to ensure conformance with EPUB and WCAG requirements. Users will continue to have their reports initiated to check conformance with the EPUB Accessibility 1.0 specification, but they will be able to change the conformance settings to the 1.1 specification, which will then also let them choose WCAG 2.0 or 2.1 conformance. Accessibility 1.1 conformance will become the default when the specification gets to the next stage of Proposed Recommendation.

The other major changes with this update are:

  • Users to be able to filter the success criteria in the conformance tab by the type of content they’re checking
  • The conformance tab, which now includes a “Stats” box that shows how many success criteria have passed, failed, need checking, or are inapplicable.

Together, Ace by DAISY, SMART and the DAISY Accessible Publishing Knowledge Base provide the most complete method for accessibility conformance testing of EPUB publications.

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DAISY Annual Report 2021

Following approval at the AGM in May, the Annual Report of DAISY Consortium activities conducted in 2021 has now been published. With messages from our President and Treasurer, brief summaries of tool development, project activity, and training, along with contributions of highlights from DAISY Members.

You can download the report in EPUB format, or read it directly on our website.

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Announcement: EPUB 3.3, EPUB Reading Systems 3.3 and EPUB Accessibility 1.1 Move to Candidate Recommendation

The W3C has announced that the following documents are now W3C Candidate Recommendation Snapshots:

EPUB 3 defines a distribution and interchange format for digital publications and documents. The EPUB format provides a means of representing, packaging, and encoding structured and semantically enhanced web content — including HTML, CSS, SVG, and other resources — for distribution in a single-file container.

The full W3C announcement explains this important development in more details and provides information for implementation and feedback.

We provide overview detail on the EPUB format explaining why this format is so important for accessibility and the various specifications attached to it.

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Join us for the DAISY AGM

photo of an empty meeting room

The DAISY Consortium Annual General Meeting is being held virtually this year and we’re delighted to open the doors to the wider DAISY community.

In the general meeting we transact the formal business required under our articles and governing regulations, but there will also be presentations to showcase some of our work. The meeting takes place on May 24th at 15 UTC.

Register to attend and receive the related documents.

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ABC Training and Technical Assistance

The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) is inviting expressions of interest from organizations in developing and least developed countries for training and technical assistance in the production of accessible books.

The deadline for application is April 15th 2022. Further details and the application forms are available on the ABC website.

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Ace by DAISY updates released

A new update to Ace by DAISY, the Accessibility Checker for EPUB, has been released, updating both the Ace App and the command line version of the tool.

The Ace App moves to version 1.1.4 and the command line application Ace core has been updated to version 1.2.6 both bringing a host of updates including localization in Japanese.

You can review all the updates on the Ace App release notes and Ace core change log and access information about installation on the Ace microsite.

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Thorium 1.8.0 New Improvements For Accessibility

Thorium Reader is the free desktop EPUB reader published by EDRLab. Version 1.8.0, recently launched, includes new features, improvements and bug fixes, notably the following accessibility features:

  • Full DAISY format 2.02 support in addition to the previously supported DAISY 3.
  • “where am I?”: blind users can get detailed headings trails indicating where they are in a textual publication.
  • Better keyboard focus management with screen readers.
  • Screen reader notifications when adding or removing bookmarks.
  • Better handling of MathML synthetic speech, both with and without screen reader.

For further information and a full list of updates visit the EDRLab information page.

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Congratulations to the 2021 ABC Excellence Awards Winners

Many congratulations to the winners of the Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Awards for Accessible Publishing, announced today at The Frankfurt Book Fair event Accessibility Now.

The awards are divided into 2 categories with an impressive set of finalists for each.

Publisher Award Winner: Taylor and Francis, UK

Brianna Walker accepted this award informing us that this award “represents 2 years of dedicated work” at Taylor and Francis who impressed the selection panel with their innovative approach to alt text, a key element to accessibility of their published content.

Congratulations also go to the other finalists in this category:

  • House of Anansi (Canada)
  • University of Michigan Press (USA)

Initiative Award Winner: National Network for Equitable Library Services, Canada

Daniella Levy-Pinto spoke to us about how this award motivates the work being done by NNELS in Canada who organize the annual accessibility summit in Canada, pushing for meaningful change at the publisher and reader level. NNELS is an Inclusive Publisher Partner of The DAISY Consortium and we are proud to collaborate with them.

Congratulations to the other finalists in this category:

  • Dorwina Nowill Foundation for the Blind (Brazil)
  • Sao Mai Centre for the Blind (Vietnam)
  • The Interdepartmental Steering Committee for the Promotion of Born Accessible eBooks to People with Disabilities (France)

Nominees were judged on the criteria of outstanding leadership or achievements in improving the accessibility of ebooks or other digital publications for persons who are print disabled.

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Common Position on the Importance of Accessible Reading

On September 8th 2021, the International Literacy Day, six DAISY Member organizations collaborated to publish a common position on the importance of accessible reading. This work has been driven at least in part to aid the publishing industry in preparations for the European Accessibility Act coming into force in 2025. The group was comprised of five Nordic agencies Nota from Denmark, Celia from Finland, HBS from Iceland, NLB from Norway, MTM from Sweden and SBS from Switzerland.

In the common position statement the six organisations are committing to:

  • Building a network to work on accessible reading and inclusive publishing in collaboration with the publishing industry
  • Sharing our knowledge of our readers’ needs and how we best meet them as agencies, organisations, and market actors
  • Promoting universal design and striving to ensure that every reader gets to read on their own terms”

Read the complete Common Position statement (pdf).

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