The DAISY Specification offers a flexible and navigable reading experience for people who are blind or print disabled. The current version of the specification DAISY 3 is also a NISO Standard for digital talking books (DTB) which offers the print-disabled user a significantly enhanced reading experience—one that is much closer to that of the sighted reader using a print book.
Who is it for?
The DAISY standard was developed to improve the reading experience for all print disabled readers.
The DAISY Standard is managed and maintained by The DAISY Consortium. The current version of the DAISY standard is DAISY 3, released in 2005. Copies of the full standard and specification can be accessed within the DAISY 3 sub-menu.
DAISY 2, the previous version of the standard, also has full details available within the DAISY 2 sub-menu.
Digital Talking Books (DTB) go far beyond the limits imposed on analog audio books because they can include not just the audio rendition of the work, but also the full textual content and images. Because the textual content file is synchronized with the audio file, a DTB offers multiple sensory inputs to readers, a great benefit to, for example, learning-disabled readers. Some visually impaired readers may choose to listen to most of the book, but find that inspecting the images provides information not available in the narrative flow. Others may opt to skip the audio presentation altogether and instead view the text file via screen-enlarging software. Braille readers may prefer to read some or all of the document via a refreshable Braille display device connected to their DTB player and accessing the textual content file. DTBs containing a textual content file but no audio material might be accessed via synthetic speech, screen-enlarging software, or a Braille device.
Digital Talking Books are not tied to a single distribution medium. DTBs will be portable to any digital distribution medium capable of handling the large files associated with digital audio recordings. Regardless of how a DTB is distributed, however, it will normally be in the context of an intellectual property protection system.