DAISY Pipeline Improves Information Access for People with Print Disabilities

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The DAISY Consortium releases the newest version of the DAISY Pipeline, a free open source tool that transforms documents into accessible formats.

The DAISY Consortium announces the latest release of the DAISY Pipeline, a free, downloadable transformation suite that transforms documents from a variety of file formats (DAISY XML, html, rtf, ooxml, EPUB) into accessible multimedia formats for people unable to read print due to a visual, physical, perceptual, developmental, cognitive, or learning disability. Download the DAISY Pipeline from the DAISY Project page at http://www.daisy.org/projects/pipeline/.

Also released today is the new 'Save as DAISY XML' add-in for Microsoft Office Word. Designed for Word 2007, Word 2003, and Word XP, the add-in allows users to save Office Open XML-based text files into DAISY XML, the foundation of the globally accepted DAISY standard for reading and publishing navigable rich media content. When used in conjunction with the DAISY Pipeline, 'Save as DAISY XML' provides a comprehensive solution to converting Word documents into accessible formats for those with print disabilities. "This combination of two powerful open source tools will, quite literally, help to make countless documents accessible to millions of people with print disabilities around the world," said Reed Shaffner, Microsoft Office Word Product Manager, "The DAISY Pipeline is the perfect partner for the new 'Save as DAISY XML' add-in for Microsoft Office Word."

The new release of the DAISY Pipeline features several usability improvements including a new Windows installer, partial Hindi localization, as well as performance enhancements and the inclusion of a validator for OPS/EPUB files, the file format based on the open standard developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). This release of the Pipeline also includes beta versions of several new, pivotal transformers which support the migration of content from one DAISY Standard to another.

Markus Gylling, Technical Development Director for the DAISY Consortium sums up the impact of the new release, "Each new version of the DAISY Pipeline brings greater functionality and flexibility to the process of creating accessible content for people with print disabilities. In addition to a variety of improvements and bug fixes, today's release offers compatability with Microsoft Office Word, the tool used to create nearly 70% of documents worldwide. This is a huge step toward achieving the DAISY Consortium's vision of a world where everyone has equal access to information and knowledge."

Information about other technologies and products from the DAISY Consortium, its Members and Friends, that support the DAISY Standard is available on the DAISY Web site at http://www.daisy.org/tools/index.shtml.

About the DAISY Consortium
The DAISY Standard (officially ANSI/NISO Z39.86 Specifications for the Digital Talking Book) has revolutionized the reading experience for people with print disabilities around the globe. DAISY, the Digital Accessible Information SYstem, is the world's most widely used assistive technology for reading. Formed in 1996 by like-minded organizations around the world, today the DAISY Consortium consists of nearly 70 non-profit organizations representing 35 different countries and more than 20 for-profit companies which provide products and services to meet the needs of the DAISY community. These organizations are working together to develop and promote international standards and technologies which enable equal access to information and knowledge by all people with print disabilities and which also benefit the wider community. More information about the DAISY Consortium and the DAISY Standard is available at http://www.daisy.org/.

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George Kerscher

Markus Gylling

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