DAISY is an acronym for Digital Accessible
Information SYstem. The original
DAISY was born from the need for accessible
audio that could be used by individuals unable
to read print, as easily and efficiently as a
sighted person uses a printed book.
Managing DAISY is the DAISY Consortium:
The DAISY Consortium was formed in May, 1996 by talking-book libraries to lead the worldwide transition from analogue to Digital Talking Books. DAISY denotes the Digital Accessible Information System. Further information is available on the web site http://www.daisy.org.Source:
The Vision of the The DAISY Consortium
Our vision is that all published information is available to people with print disabilities, at the same time and at no greater cost, in an accessible, feature-rich, navigable format.
The DAISY Consortium's mission is to develop the International Standard and implementation strategies for the production, exchange, and use of Digital Talking Books in both developed and developing countries, with special attention to integration with mainstream technology, to ensure access to information for people with print disabilities.
We have identified five major goals which will guide the work of the DAISY Consortium over the next few years. These are:
The DAISY Consortium set out to use existing standards wherever possible. We have a close relationship with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the standards setting body for the Internet. As a result, the DAISY standards are applications of XHTML, XML, and Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL), which is what provides DAISY's multimedia support. We did need to create specifications for the navigation center, and we created an XML tag set to represent constructs found in most books
- To create and promote the worldwide standard for the navigation and structure of Digital Talking Books;
- To encourage and foster the establishment and development of Digital Talking Book library services in both developed and developing countries;
- To maximize the accessibility and utility of electronic books and multimedia documents for people with print disabilities;
- To secure the recognition and adoption of the DAISY Standard for navigable multimedia documents among mainstream product developers and book publishers; and
- To encourage and foster the establishment and development of a global talking book library, which transcends geographic boundaries and linguistic differences, and which embraces cultural diversity...
Early Decisions on the DAISY Standard
At a very early point in the development of the DAISY standard, talking book readers from many countries were consulted regarding their reading requirements and their vision of a fully accessible audio book. Those who provided input made it very clear that analogue recordings did not meet their reading and information needs. Access to points within the books, awkwardness of the medium itself, sound quality plus numerous other issues indicated that producers of talking books had to begin the move to a digital platform. However, a digitally produced human voice talking book in itself would not resolve all of the issues, particularly the issues of accessibility and navigation from point to point within the book. DAISY DTBs (Digital Talking Books) do meet talking book reader requirements by providing access to the talking book that has never before been possible with a human voice production of a print book.
There are different classes of DAISY DTBs starting from audio only or text only up to hybrid books that contain both the full audio and synchronised text. All these classes offer improved access and human voice delivery through links between the digital audio sound files and the marked up text files. It is these links that give the talking book reader access to the structure of the book, like chapters, pages or even paragraphs. The collection of these navigation points in the book is called the Navigation Control Centre or NCC. The NCC makes accessing the information in the book quick and easy.
Application of DAISY to Education:
Under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004, the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) organized the creation of the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) format, a subset of the DAISY standards. This format is
now required for all educational texts produced for state and local education agencies.
(Updates at: http://aim.cast.org/)
Technical Details of the DAISY Standard
The DAISY Consortium works closely with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which is the standards-setting body for the Internet, and other standards organisations. Wherever possible, the DAISY Standard is based on existing standards, including all or part of:
- XHTML or XML
- Synchronised Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL)
- Audio files.
It is SMIL that currently provides the multimedia support for DAISY...
DAISY DTBs provide synchronisation of the following media types:
- Audio: human voice or synthesised speech narration of the printed word
- Text: XML version of the publication's text
- Video (under development).
Tools to Play a DAISY Book
An Open Office Tool for Writing DAISY Books:
Odt2daisy is an OpenOffice.org Writer extension, enabling to export in DAISY 3 format, including support of Mathematical content conforming to the MathML standard.
DAISY is an NISO Z39.86 standard for blind, visual impaired, print-disabled, and learning-disabled people. Odt2DAISY is a free and open source software that can be downloaded at http://odt2daisy.sf.net.
A New Read on Digital Talking Books
DAISY: une nouvelle approche du livre braille ou sonore
DAISY: a new approach to Braille and Talking Books Markus Gylling, Swedish Library of Talking Books and Braille, DAISY Consortium, Sweden