NL 5360 AA GRAVE
Phone: +31 486 486 486
Dedicon is a non-profit organization in the Netherlands which provides access to information for persons with a visual or other print impairments. Dedicon is the largest producer of alternative reading formats in the Netherlands. A substantial part of Dedicon’s activities consists of making existing (school) books, newspapers, magazines and other (general) information accessible. Innovation is another core activity.
Dedicon provides services and products mainly aimed at the education and library system. Dedicon receives funding for this from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Royal National Library. The implementation of the activities is characterized by innovation, process improvement and product development for the existing funding providers. Dedicon also regularly receives commissions from publishers, municipalities, public transport companies and museums, i.e. public services with a societal role.
In addition to the extensive production facilities, Dedicon also provides a range of services, such as training programmes and consultancy for publishers and other organizations in the Netherlands regarding accessible digital publishing. Dedicon also provides image descriptions, audio description for educational videos, a conversion service and produces didactic modifications to educational materials, to make them more accessible for pupils with a visual impairment.
- Production of 1,200 audio book titles and 700 braille book titles per year (fiction)
- Production of talking newspapers and magazines in DAISY audio. There is currently a selection of over 100 different newspapers and magazines. Dedicon also produces under contract for companies (profit and non-profit) and governments (local, national)
- Production of accessible electronic newspapers and magazines in XML format. At present there are approximately 100 electronically readable newspapers and magazines.
- Production of educational, independent study and work related materials for pupils, students and professionals with a reading impairment. Dedicon produces any book or other manuscript needed for study or occupational use om demand. Educational materials range from primary school to university level materials. Services are in braille, audio (DAISY), large print, tactile or digital format, like EPUB3.
- Duplication and distribution of braille books. Approximately 3 million braille pages are produced each year.
- Production of 700,000 cd-rom copies (fiction and periodicals in audio) and distribution of these to all registered clients of the Dutch libraries for the blind
- Providing the download and streaming services for the Dutch libraries for the blind.
- Production of accessible sheet music in braille, audio or large print for individuals with a visual impairment. For young children Dedicon has developed a special method in audio to get acquainted with playing a musical instrument (the ukulele). Workshops are arranged for teachers with blind pupils who work with braille sheet music.
- Development and production of tactile images, varying from topographic maps to educational and basic explanatory images for young children.
Innovation is paramount to Dedicon, with continuous involvement in exploring new technologies in order to bridge the information gap. Dedicon therefore initiates and participates in several (international) projects. Among others:
- TPUB is a national project that helps publishers in making publications born accessible. The aim is to prepare publishers for the future. TPUB has set up a program of workshops for publishers on the accessibility of e-books, websites and educational digital learning resources. In addition to awareness, knowledge and skills and embedding are also addressed in these workshops. More than 300 participants have participated so far. The project has also resulted in a knowledge based website (www.inclusiefpubliceren.nl in Dutch) and four quick start guides with easy, hands-on tips and tricks to make publications more accessible.
- Together with the Johannes Kepler Universität (Austria) and BrailleNet (France) Dedicon developed a European platform (Inclusive Publishing in Practice) where publishers can find best practices and training materials (in English, German, Dutch and French) to make publications born accessible. The project was funded by the Erasmus+ Program from the European Union.
- With the MONET-project Dedicon aims to create an inclusive, multimodal product for visually impaired readers.
- Dedicon is one of the initiators of the Braille Authority. The Braille Authority consists of organizations involved in the reading, production and teaching of braille in the Netherlands and Flanders. They work together with the aim of:
- developing and establishing the braille standards for the Dutch language;
- the publication of a braille quality mark with an associated quality monitor;
- disseminating knowledge about braille in all its aspects;
- ensuring the involvement of braille users.
- Dedicon is a full partner of the DAISY Consortium. Currently (2023) Maarten Verboom, Dedicon’s director, is the Consortium’s chairman. Together with other partners in the DAISY Consortium, Dedicon is working on several projects:
- Braille music: improving the means of production and availability of braille music publications
- DAISY Pipeline: improving the means of production, for example for the conversion to EPUB and braille
- Improving braille conversion software
- EPUB checker