News & Events

News and Events Menu

News & Events

Here you will find the latest news as well as upcoming and previous events.

The Impact of Low Cost Assistive Technology

A blind man in a brightly colored shirt reads a book on a basic electronic braille display
A blind man in a brightly colored shirt reads a book on a basic electronic braille displayAs we approach the conclusion of our Low-Cost Assistive Technology Project we have been able to reflect on the impact of our work and share lessons with the wider community. Last year we asked for feedback on languages that did not have effective braille support. The response highlighted many languages in use around the world which are not supported, from which we were able to identify two Swahili and Chichewa to take forward in this project. Working with language braille experts the braille tables were created and integrated into the open-source braille translation tool which provides the foundation for many specialist and mainstream devices. Earlier this year the latest version of Liblouis was released with support for Swahili and Chichewa. A further part of this project examined the availability of accessible books in low-resource regions, providing 50 low-cost devices to gain an understanding of the potential for this approach. As part of the trials, Mega Voice solar-powered players have been provided to students aged 14 to 16. These players are delivered pre-loaded with the complete set of textbooks for the grades they are studying. The players are specifically being given in the low-resource regions within low and lower-middle-income countries. Through a base-line survey conducted at the time of handing over of the players to the students we discovered some interesting things, one of the key findings coming out of this survey was that at the age of 14-15 years, this is the first time that these students have access to the books that they can read for themselves. Before participating in the study, teachers delivering lectures in the classroom and someone reading a book out to them were the only ways for the students to gain access to any of the content of their syllabus. Through this Microsoft-supported project, we have identified clear evidence that broadening support for playback tools directly and dramatically changes the educational potential for those concerned, providing access to books for people who did not previously have any meaningful access. The outcomes of this project along with practical advice and information about new tools will be featured in a free webinar on March 29th at 14 UTC. Read More

MathML what has changed and why it matters?

MathML icon

MathML iconIn January the Chrome web browser was upgraded to support MathML, a specification for describing mathematical notation. Microsoft’s Edge browser is also built using the same Chrome technology, so it has also received the MathML upgrade. And the components that EPUB reading apps rely on are also being upgraded. This will have positive benefits for accessibility.

Whilst MathML has long been supported by Safari and Firefox, it has been missing from Chrome for around ten years. This meant that if websites wanted to include MathML, they needed to use the MathJax library so that mathematic expressions are displayed correctly. MathJax is very powerful and includes special accessibility features, but the additional requirement of making this library available meant that some websites would take the approach of just using images of math expressions instead.

When it comes to ebooks not all reading apps app included MathJax either, so publishers would also revert to math as images rather than MathML. We know that text as an image isn’t great for accessibility; the same is true for mathematical expressions.

Whilst math images can have alt text, there are several accessibility advantages to using MathML. For people that rely on visual adjustments, MathML expressions can be zoomed without them becoming fuzzy, and when a user chooses a color theme this will apply to the math as well. A screen reader user can listen to the math, and navigate the expression also, essential in anything other than the simplest expressions. With tools such as MathCAT (used with NVDA) the user can choose how the math is announced, choose to have math spoken slower than the regular text, and adjust the braille notation in use.

Now that MathML is natively supported in Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Edge, websites and publishers can confidently use MathML for math expressions, with the benefits this brings for accessibility.

Read More

CSUN Conference 2023 Files

CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Logo

CSUN Conference LogoThe DAISY Consortium is delighted to once again support the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference by creating accessible digital versions of the conference materials, and offering them for download in HTML, DAISY 2.02 and EPUB formats. Thanks to the CSUN Conference Team for making the information available in advance to facilitate conversion.

This page contains a complete list of downloadable files, which are shown with their approximate size. Downloads start immediately after a link is selected.

All session information should be reviewed alongside the addendum on the CSUN website for changes to the schedule.

Entire conference program and menus

HTML version .zip file (9MB)
EPUB text only version .zip file (4.8MB)
EPUB text and audio version .zip file (423MB)

Conference information in DAISY 2.02 format [.zip files]

General Information (11MB)
Pre-conference Sessions (5MB)
Featured Presentations (1MB)

Advertisements (2MB)
Combined Sessions (140MB)
Tuesday Sessions (28MB)
Wednesday Sessions (39MB)
Thursday Sessions (49MB)
Friday Sessions (34MB)
Speaker Index (11MB)
Exhibitor Directory (22MB)
Exhibitor Directory by Category (8MB)

Quick Guide By Date (10MB)
Quick Guide By Room (11MB)
Quick Guide By Topic (43MB)
Quick Guide By Level (10MB)

Fresh Bites – In Room Dining (3MB)
nFuse (7MB)
Slice Pizzeria (0.5MB)
The Market (1MB)

Read More

Upcoming Events

London Book Fair 2023

April 18, 2023 - April 20, 2023


Round Table Conference 2023

May 6, 2023 - May 9, 2023

Sydney, Australia


Date: May 9, 2023

Washington DC, USA

Inclusive Africa Conference 2023

May 29, 2023 - May 31, 2023

Nairobi, Kenya

AAATE 2023 Conference

August 30, 2023 - September 1, 2023

Paris, France

DAISY Technical Meetings

Date: November 10, 2023