News (page 3)

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. Read More

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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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 [

They are also excited to launch the EPUBCheck website at 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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