News Archive

News Archive

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Finalists Announced for ABC International Excellence Awards 2021

The finalists for the 2021 ABC International Excellence Awards have been announced and we’d like to pass on our congratulations to all candidates who have been shortlisted in each category. The finalists for the Initiative Category are:
  • Dorwina Nowill Foundation for the Blind (Brazil)
  • National Network for Equitable Library Services (Canada)
  • Sao Mai Centre for the Blind (Vietnam)
  • The Interdepartmental Steering Committee for the Promotion of Born Accessible eBooks to People with Disabilities (France)
This category celebrates outstanding leadership in accessibility for a project or initiative with accessibility at its core. The winner in 2020 was The LIA Foundation. The finalists for the Publisher Category are:
  • House of Anansi (Canada)
  • Taylor and Francis (U.K.)
  • University of Michigan Press (U.S.A.)
The 2020 winner for the Publisher category was Macmillan Learning. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony which will be held at the Frankfurt Book Fair on Wednesday, October 20, 2021. Best of luck to all of these prestigious and worthy candidates!
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EPUB Accessibility: EU Accessibility Act Mapping

The European Accessibility Act (EAA) is an EU directive that establishes accessibility targets to be met by many different types of products and services in order to strengthen the rights of people with disabilities. It is relevant for the publishing industry as it includes ebooks, dedicated reading software, ereading devices and ecommerce sites.

W3C’s EPUB 3 Working Group has published a working group note demonstrating that the technical requirements of the European Accessibility Act related to ebooks are met by the EPUB standard.

Further information on this is available in the Working Group note.

Inclusive Publishing has a number of pages referring to the EAA:

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DAISY General Meeting 2021 – recording

The DAISY Consortium Annual General Meeting was held via Zoom webinar on May 26 2021.

In addition to conducting the formal business required, the AGM also included a showcase of collaborative projects highlighting just a few ways that DAISY Members are working together all around the world.

Full recording of the AGM

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Avneesh Singh Re-Elected to W3C Advisory Board

Many congratulations to Avneesh Singh, Chief Operating Officer at The DAISY Consortium, who has been re-elected to the W3C Advisory Board, as reported in W3C’s announcement.

The W3C Advisory Board  “provides ongoing guidance on issues of strategy, management, legal matters, process, and conflict resolution” within the W3C. DAISY is delighted that the board will continue to have the benefit of Avneesh’s experience and expertise.

Avneesh commented: “I am delighted to see such wonderful support of W3C community, enabling me to continue my contributions to the crucial work that the advisory board has been doing, especially on organization strategy & vision, the transformation of the governance model and on improving diversity and inclusion and on social values (accessibility, internationalization, privacy & security). Thanks to everyone for your enthusiastic support. I am looking forward to interacting with all of you in the near future.”

Special thanks for the continuous support and confidence of the DAISY Community, DAISY board and DAISY staff, who are highly committed to the development and worldwide implementation of accessibility, open standards and inclusive technologies, working from the grass root level up to the governance of standards bodies.

Avneesh’s submission blog piece can be read in a number of languages.

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New Releases: Ace By DAISY

The DAISY Consortium are pleased to announce new releases for both versions of the Ace By DAISY EPUB accessibility checking tool: the Command Line Interface (CLI) and the Graphical User Interface (Ace App) versions 1.2.

These releases contains significant internal changes that address security issues, improve performance, and fix bugs at various levels of the project architecture. Crucially, DAISY Ace now uses the latest version of Deque’s Axe library.

There are also improvements for screen reader users including updated accessibility checks that match the latest W3C WCAG and ARIA specifications.

Both DAISY Ace CLI and  the desktop Ace App depend on a number of third-party code libraries, which are up to date. As usual with DAISY Ace App releases, the latest revision of the DAISY Knowledge Base is included.

For more information on Ace by DAISY visit the Ace resource pages.

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EPUBCheck: W3C Announces Release of Version 4.2.5 and New Website

W3C are pleased to announce the latest production-ready release of EPUBCheck, version 4.2.5, providing support for checking conformance to the EPUB 3.2 family of specifications. This is a maintenance release. Full details and release notes are available at [https://github.com/w3c/epubcheck/releases/tag/v4.2.5.

They are also excited to launch the EPUBCheck website at https://www.w3.org/publishing/epubcheck/. Visit this site to download the latest release of EPUBCheck and find useful resources about it.

The DAISY Consortium is proud to provide maintenance for EPUBCheck on behalf of W3C. This work is being funded through donations from organizations which use the EPUBCheck tool. Full details are available at the Publishing@W3C fundraising page.

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Thorium Reader 1.6 Supports DAISY 3 Publications

EDRLab have announced the release of Thorium 1.6, the latest version of the highly accessible free EPUB reader which can be installed for free on Windows, MacOS and Linux. With this new version Thorium offers support for DAISY 3 publications in its different variants: text, audio and text+audio. For more information on this exciting development you can access the full announcement and experience Thorium for yourself!

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George Kerscher Awarded NISO Fellow for Lifetime Achievement in Information Access

Photo: NISO Fellow Award to George Kerscher 2021
Congratulations to George Kerscher, DAISY Consortium Chief Innovations Officer, for being awarded NISO Fellow for Lifetime Achievement in Information Access.
George was presented with the award at NISO Plus 2021 which was attended virtually. In his acceptance speech, George said:

“it’s a tremendous honor and I look forward to the day when everything is published in way that people like me with disabilities can consume it”.

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2020 DAISY Award for Accessibility in Publishing

After reviewing many incredible activities taking place around the world which are working to advance the accessibility of publications, we are pleased to announce the recipient of the 2020 DAISY Consortium Award for Accessibility in Publishing is The Department of Canadian Heritage.

In 2019, Canadian Heritage announced an unprecedented initiative to encourage the Canadian book industry to integrate accessible publishing features into the production and distribution of digital books (ebooks and audio books). The program will support the production and distribution of accessible digital publications that can be used by everyone, including readers living with print disabilities. The initiative is supported by a funding program of CA$22.8M over 5 years. Canadian Heritage was recognized with this award for leading the way globally with this activity which will not only benefit readers in Canada, but also people reading Canadian publications around the world.

Richard Orme from DAISY said “We are delighted to award Canadian Heritage the 2020 DAISY Award for Accessibility in Publishing to celebrate this ground-breaking initiative which provides a shining example of how government agencies can promote and support publishing accessibility for people with print disabilities”

Congratulations to the Department of Canadian Heritage and the partner agencies implementing this wonderful enterprise.

Our thanks to Digital Book World who support the DAISY Award for Accessibility in Publishing.

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WordToEPUB Wins ALPSP Award

ALPSP Award Winner BadgeThe DAISY Consortium is proud to have been named a winner of the ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing 2020 for our work on WordToEPUB. This ground-breaking new tool offers a free, simple and straightforward method of converting structured Word documents to valid and accessible EPUB files.

The inspiration for the WordToEPUB tool was academic publishing, and in this time of Covid, educational materials are being digitized into accessible files that are a lifeline to students with disabilities unable to study at school. WordToEPUB has revolutionized the conversion process for many users already and this award will only help to improve awareness.

ALPSP were looking for “any new development, product, service or project which is both innovative and of significant value to scholarly communication. The winners must demonstrate excellence in terms of originality, innovation, value to the community, utility and long-term viability.”

DAISY were short-listed alongside 7 other very worthwhile initiatives selected from a pool of 34 applicants and we wish to congratulate everyone on their achievement.

WordToPUB is the work of many volunteers around the world, and on behalf of everyone involved we extend our thanks to ALPSP for the recognition this award brings.

Details of the award and all the finalists can be found on the ALPSP Innovation Awards page.

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