TIES—Transition to an Inclusive EPUB 3 Ecosystem


Inclusive publishing holds the key towards the wider availability of reading materials for the print-disabled. It brings us closer to making the same book available for everyone at the same time without extra cost.

To achieve this goal, DAISY Consortium experts have led the groundbreaking advancement of embedding accessibility features within mainstream EPUB 3 specifications. This development has opened tremendous opportunities for inclusive publishing, and has the potential to lead us to an era in which all published materials are natively accessible.

But, at this point in time, the DAISY Consortium finds itself at crossroads. On one hand our experts are leading advancements in accessible publishing, on the other hand our members and their patrons are using the existing DAISY technology in which they have invested many years. The need for integration with mainstream standards and technologies is recognized across our DAISY membership. Many practical questions have been raised by production managers and business leaders of member organizations who need to define new strategies for coming years.

Questions Raised

      • How can we ensure the development of robust EPUB 3 production environments?
      • What benefit will EPUB 3 provide from a business point of view?
      • When is the right time to start upgrading and what would be the switching cost?
      • What benefit will it provide to our patrons?

The Transition to an Inclusive EPUB 3 Ecosystem project (TIES) answers these critical questions by bringing experts from our member organizations together to develop a path for migration to EPUB 3 ecosystem.

Project Structure

To develop the EPUB 3 ecosystem, we need to work at least for two stake holders:

      • accessible content production houses
      • print-disabled users who consume accessible content.

Accordingly, the project will be executed in two parallel dimensions:

      • Production processes & systems
      • Consumption (reading systems)

Production Processes and Systems (PP) 

DAISY publishing houses have their production processes built around republishing printed books using specialized DAISY specifications. The goal of the Production Processes & Systems sub-group is to identify various ways to upgrade the existing DAISY republishing systems to EPUB 3 based production/remediation systems. The EPUB 3 specification presents a big opportunity to make processes more efficient and economical by integrating accessible content with mainstream publishing. In doing so, DAISY member organizations can replace the existing republishing-based processes with conversion-based processes that convert digital copies obtained from publishers into accessible format.

Visit the Production Processes and Systems page for up to date information about the milestones and activities of the sub group.

Reading Systems (RS)

Reading systems are the most important component of the supply chain forming the interface with the end user. As EPUB 3 is a mainstream specification, mainstream reading systems and mainstream publications together allow print-disabled readers to gain access to much more information, provided that the reading systems are accessible.

The goal of the Reading Systems sub-group is to work towards increasing the availability of accessible reading systems that provide a rich reading experience with eyes, ears and fingers. This will be achieved by encouraging developers to create reading systems that provide a satisfactory reading experience to print-disabled users, and by contributing to the development of open source solutions.

Visit the Reading Systems page for up to date information about the milestones and activities of this sub group.

Project Management and Participation

The project is driven collectively by the DAISY Consortium staff and the experts from the DAISY Consortium membership. The activities are carried out in two sub-groups corresponding to the two dimensions of the project as detailed above.

The project is co-chaired by George Kersher and Avneesh Singh.

To learn how to join the project or to learn more about the participants, visit the Management and Participation page.

The TIES project charter (2019-20) and Reading systems testing work plan defining the outline of the project was approved by DAISY Consortium Board in October 2019 Board Meeting.