2022: Member Spotlight
Around the world DAISY Members have been actively serving their communities and developing new resources. We are delighted to include a few of their stories from 2022.
Amnet ContentSource is committed to ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for all and contributing to creating a digitally accessible and inclusive world. We enable organizations to commence, adapt, and implement accessibility standards and enhance their business objectives.
In 2022, Amnet developed several high-accuracy accessibility tools to assist in the cost-effective and efficient delivery of customers’ content:
- reading order validation tool,
- web navigator, and
- accessibility conformance reporting utility.
Amnet conducted webinars as part of our Graymatters webinar series with accessibility evangelists Bill Kasdorf, Laura Brady, Sarah Hilderley, and Charles LaPierre addressing challenges faced by publishers in digital accessibility and advising on solutions to combat them.
Completed phase 1 of our accessibility product suite Digita11y—a website with accessibility checker tools to assist accessibility goals. This is now available, and we are working on enhancing the website.
Boin IT, Korea
Boin IT released the Accessible EPUB QA system which is for checking the accessibility of EPUB and answering questions that arise in production.
The Korean QA system was built using ACE/EPUBCheck error messages, as well as the question-answer dataset that the company has amassed over the past 6 years of producing accessible. It can be found on the National Library for People with Disabilities website.
Translation of text in Image 1: “Real-time Self-Validation AI Helper for Korean. Please ask me if you have any questions or difficulties while producing the accessible EPUB.”
Translation of text in Image 2: When asked about epub:type and ARIA-Role of Accessible EPUB
“Q. How do I resolve the validation error of role=”doc-biblioentry”
“A. The role=”doc-biblioentry” property has been excluded due to changes to international standards. Please delete it.”
Dedicon, The Netherlands
In 2022 Dedicon, together with the Dutch publishers’ association and interest groups of people with a visual impairment, gave various training courses to dozens of Dutch publishers on how to create accessible publications. Meanwhile, five major Dutch publishers have also signed the ABC Charter for Accessible Publishing.
Caption: Gottmer Publishing staff celebrating signing the ABC charter
In September 2022, the online platform Inclusive Publishing In Practice (IPIP) launched offering 4 learning paths, 11 courses, 30 modules and 75 learning units in English, German, French and Dutch, developed by Dedicon, Johannes Kepler Universität and BrailleNet, offering training for free.
As the implementation of the European Accessibility Act approaches, Dedicon have been in regular talks with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science concerning e-books in Dutch legislation as there is concern about the accessibility of digital learning resources and environments which seem to fall outside the scope of this legislation. Dedicon is in ongoing negotiation with publishers, educational institutions, and the ministry about this issue.
Digital Literacy Trust, Kenya
This past year, Digital Literacy Trust members collaborated in the 3rd Annual Content Development Challenge (CDC) in Kenya. The aim of the CDC is to train and incentivize African publishers to adopt born-accessible publishing practices. All content is scored using a rubric that includes DAISY ACE. Over the past three years, 32 publishing houses have participated in 19 training sessions, resulting in 402 accessible EPUBs.
Caption: Publishers being trained at an event in Kenya
In Malawi, DLT member eKitabu translated and adapted Creative Commons licensed titles from fellow member African Storybook to create accessible EPUBs in Malawian Sign Language, Tumbuka, Chichewa, and English. This work was done under Begin With Books from All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) Partners (the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Vision, and the Australian Government) and Pearson. The EPUBs are available on the Global Digital Library digitallibrary.io and at open.eKitabu.com
LIA Foundation, Italy
Fondazione LIA expanded its activities in Italy and internationally in all areas of intervention: partnerships, training, consultancy activities, accessibility audit of publications, web sites and platforms, social and technological projects, R&D. Special focus was devoted to:
- facilitate and speed up the process of creating accessible complex layouts books through traditional workflows starting from InDesign, in collaboration with major academic and textbooks publishers;
- define a methodology to create in an efficient and cost-effective way alternative descriptions for complex images;
To promote accessibility and inclusion LIA organized an Accessibility Camp bringing together publishing professionals and experts in digital accessibility and 10 Readings in the dark. within the European project Aldus UP and the Italian project TD-Box. LIA also hosted the DAISY Board Meeting.
Microsoft AI for Accessibility has launched an accessibility innovation toolkit; a resource with tips, case studies, and a step-by-step guide for any organization that would like to create a framework for accessibility innovation. Access the toolkit at: https://aka.ms/InnovationToolkit
Readium Foundation, France
The Readium community has been working on multiple evolutions of the Readium toolkits, including support for accessibility metadata in this open-source software for mobile, desktop and web reading applications.
Accessibility metadata describe different aspects of the accessibility of an ebook, like its access modes and specific features. They are described in the DAISY Knowledge Base, can be included un EPUB files and are now supported in the internal model of the Readium toolkits. It is important to note that the information present in EPUB files is not meant to be presented as-is to end-users. EDRLab is currently working on the best way to present such information in reading applications, so that users can immediately know if an ebook fits their needs. Applications based on Readium, like Thorium Reader, already display accessibility metadata to their users.
Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), UK
Following the successful launch of the RNIB Talking Book Skill in 2021, RNIB and Sonnar launched an updated version.
Updates include a bookshelf where customers can manage their audio books. The aim is to go cross platform where users will be able to continue reading an audio book from one device to another. The accuracy of searching by genre has been improved with over 50 categories available.
Thanks to the generosity of publishers RNIB is able to add several hundred audio books a month to its physical and digital libraries with some publishers donating their back catalogues to the library.
RNIB Talking Books has over 39,000 titles available on CD/USB, digital download and on smart speaker. We are thrilled to share that RNIB Bookshare, for students who are print disabled and currently in education, now hosts over 1,000,000 titles from publishers in accessible EPUB and PDF formats.
Sensotec offers solutions to visual challenges and aims to provide access to audiobooks to as many visually impaired people as possible.
With the Daisybox, Sensotec brings the most user-friendly online DAISY player to the market. The Daisybox is a device that combines simplicity with powerful streaming capabilities, text-to-speech and audio playback, build-in help and online and offline reading. By keeping simplicity in mind, and its remotely customizable audio menus, the Daisybox is the ideal reading companion.
Caption: the Daisybox from Sensotec
In addition, Sensotec developed the SensoReader server, which is a Sensotec hosted generic DOPD server that can be shared with other organisations. This allows even smaller libraries worldwide to offer at low cost Daisybooks to their readers using the Daisy Standard and the Daisy Online Delivery Protocol. Daisy apps, such as the SensoReader app (available for iOS and Android) as well as hardware players can connect to the SensoReader server.
Lastly Sensotec is developing a smart speaker service that connects to DODP servers, allowing Alexa smart speakers to be used as an alternative to hardware online Daisy players.
Sightsavers is a UK-based international development organization working with partners in 33 countries across Africa and South Asia to eliminate avoidable blindness and support the empowerment of people with disabilities to learn, earn and participate equally in society. We have a proven track-record and strong reputation for delivering effective pan-disability education and social inclusion programs at scale.
In 2022, Sightsavers:
- Led the development of a disability inclusion strategy for the UK government’s new education programme in Nigeria targeting up to two million learners
- managed inclusive education projects in Bangladesh, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Mali, Uganda, and Zambia
- obtained donor funding to roll out inclusive education for children with disabilities across Cameroon and Senegal
- worked with local stakeholders in Mali and Pakistan to make learning assessments disability inclusive
- supported the education of children with visual impairments across six states in India, particularly through ensuring they were able to access ICT.
Swedish DAISY Consortium, Sweden
In November 2022 the Swedish DAISY Consortium (SEDC) held a much appreciated conference to celebrate 20 years of development of accessible media.
The conference offered a historical perspective on the digitalization of talking books but also discussed the very idea of technical development.
During the conference, librarian Lynn Alpberg was award the prize Läsguldet by MTM’s director general for her unswerving work with accessible reading. One of the most appreciated parts of the conference was a panel discussion about how university students can be supported in starting to read accessible media.
Caption: A presentation at the Swedish DAISY Consortium Conference
The conference was interpreted to Swedish Sign Language live and had live subtitles and is uploaded to MTM’s accessible video player.
At the AGM In November 2021, we welcomed Joakim Uppsäll-Sjögren as Chair and President of the Swedish DAISY Consortium (SEDC).
Next: Financial Review 2022
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