News (page 3)

DAISY Annual Report 2021

Following approval at the AGM in May, the Annual Report of DAISY Consortium activities conducted in 2021 has now been published. With messages from our President and Treasurer, brief summaries of tool development, project activity, and training, along with contributions of highlights from DAISY Members. You can download the report in EPUB format, or read it directly on our website. Read More

Announcement: EPUB 3.3, EPUB Reading Systems 3.3 and EPUB Accessibility 1.1 Move to Candidate Recommendation

The W3C has announced that the following documents are now W3C Candidate Recommendation Snapshots:

EPUB 3 defines a distribution and interchange format for digital publications and documents. The EPUB format provides a means of representing, packaging, and encoding structured and semantically enhanced web content — including HTML, CSS, SVG, and other resources — for distribution in a single-file container.

The full W3C announcement explains this important development in more details and provides information for implementation and feedback.

We provide overview detail on the EPUB format explaining why this format is so important for accessibility and the various specifications attached to it.

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Join us for the DAISY AGM

photo of an empty meeting room

The DAISY Consortium Annual General Meeting is being held virtually this year and we’re delighted to open the doors to the wider DAISY community.

In the general meeting we transact the formal business required under our articles and governing regulations, but there will also be presentations to showcase some of our work. The meeting takes place on May 24th at 15 UTC.

Register to attend and receive the related documents.

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ABC Training and Technical Assistance

The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) is inviting expressions of interest from organizations in developing and least developed countries for training and technical assistance in the production of accessible books.

The deadline for application is April 15th 2022. Further details and the application forms are available on the ABC website.

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Ace by DAISY updates released

A new update to Ace by DAISY, the Accessibility Checker for EPUB, has been released, updating both the Ace App and the command line version of the tool.

The Ace App moves to version 1.1.4 and the command line application Ace core has been updated to version 1.2.6 both bringing a host of updates including localization in Japanese.

You can review all the updates on the Ace App release notes and Ace core change log and access information about installation on the Ace microsite.

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Thorium 1.8.0 New Improvements For Accessibility

Thorium Reader is the free desktop EPUB reader published by EDRLab. Version 1.8.0, recently launched, includes new features, improvements and bug fixes, notably the following accessibility features:

  • Full DAISY format 2.02 support in addition to the previously supported DAISY 3.
  • “where am I?”: blind users can get detailed headings trails indicating where they are in a textual publication.
  • Better keyboard focus management with screen readers.
  • Screen reader notifications when adding or removing bookmarks.
  • Better handling of MathML synthetic speech, both with and without screen reader.

For further information and a full list of updates visit the EDRLab information page.

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Congratulations to the 2021 ABC Excellence Awards Winners

Many congratulations to the winners of the Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Awards for Accessible Publishing, announced today at The Frankfurt Book Fair event Accessibility Now.

The awards are divided into 2 categories with an impressive set of finalists for each.

Publisher Award Winner: Taylor and Francis, UK

Brianna Walker accepted this award informing us that this award “represents 2 years of dedicated work” at Taylor and Francis who impressed the selection panel with their innovative approach to alt text, a key element to accessibility of their published content.

Congratulations also go to the other finalists in this category:

  • House of Anansi (Canada)
  • University of Michigan Press (USA)

Initiative Award Winner: National Network for Equitable Library Services, Canada

Daniella Levy-Pinto spoke to us about how this award motivates the work being done by NNELS in Canada who organize the annual accessibility summit in Canada, pushing for meaningful change at the publisher and reader level. NNELS is an Inclusive Publisher Partner of The DAISY Consortium and we are proud to collaborate with them.

Congratulations to the other finalists in this category:

  • Dorwina Nowill Foundation for the Blind (Brazil)
  • Sao Mai Centre for the Blind (Vietnam)
  • The Interdepartmental Steering Committee for the Promotion of Born Accessible eBooks to People with Disabilities (France)

Nominees were judged on the criteria of outstanding leadership or achievements in improving the accessibility of ebooks or other digital publications for persons who are print disabled.

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Common Position on the Importance of Accessible Reading

On September 8th 2021, the International Literacy Day, six DAISY Member organizations collaborated to publish a common position on the importance of accessible reading. This work has been driven at least in part to aid the publishing industry in preparations for the European Accessibility Act coming into force in 2025. The group was comprised of five Nordic agencies Nota from Denmark, Celia from Finland, HBS from Iceland, NLB from Norway, MTM from Sweden and SBS from Switzerland.

In the common position statement the six organisations are committing to:

  • Building a network to work on accessible reading and inclusive publishing in collaboration with the publishing industry
  • Sharing our knowledge of our readers’ needs and how we best meet them as agencies, organisations, and market actors
  • Promoting universal design and striving to ensure that every reader gets to read on their own terms”

Read the complete Common Position statement (pdf).

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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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