Dolphin EasyReader, the Missing Link in MicroSoft's 'Save As DAISY XML' Plug In

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Less than one month since MicroSoft's landmark launch of "SAVE AS DAISY XML" on the 7th May 2008, Dolphin Computer Access Limited unveil the first DAISY player, speech enabled by Acapela voices, to support the DAISY DTBook format created by Microsoft's free Word plug-in.

Less than one month since MicroSoft's landmark launch of "SAVE AS DAISY XML" on the 7th May 2008, Dolphin Computer Access Limited unveil the first DAISY player, speech enabled by Acapela voices, to support the DAISY DTBook format created by Microsoft's free Word plug-in.

After close collaboration with the Microsoft and the DAISY consortium, EasyReader version 3 is the only software DAISY player to support the DTBook output or DAISY XML files created by the free Word download.

Dan Hubbell, technical evangelist for the Accessibility Business Unit at Microsoft says "EasyReader and the Microsoft 'Save As DAISY XML' plug-in create a really exciting opportunity for visually impaired and print impaired people, giving them the ability to easily create, read and listen to their own fully synchronised DAISY materials. Microsoft's 'Save as DAISY XML' Plug-in and EasyReader are a powerful combination that will enable the rich DAISY experience to be brought to even more readers worldwide."

Microsoft's recognition of DAISY as the World's fastest growing alternative format has seen the DAISY profile soar. But for many DAISY readers, the MicroSoft Word DAISY XML Plug-in represented only a part of the solution.

Ron Stewart Vice President of Dolphin Computer Access Inc and Technical Adviser to AHEAD explains "the 'save as DAISY' option allows Word users to generate Daisy XML files and not full Daisy books. However, the Daisy XML file is one part of the technology that goes into making even a simple text only Daisy book".

"EasyReader version 3 not only supports DTBook output, but also reads aloud the DAISY material whilst synchronizing the words providing the complete DAISY reading experience that visually impaired, print impaired and dyslexic readers wouldn't be without."

Already available in 15 languages, EasyReader now comes bundled with the high quality Acapela synthesisers ensuring readers can listen to their own DAISY materials, in their language of choice, with the most natural sounding voices available.

Hazel Shaw, Dolphin's Group Marketing Manager explains "DAISY readers quite rightly insist on only the best synthesisers. The Acapela voices are clean, crisp, and bursting with the character required for true reading pleasure, excellent information retention and bring the whole DAISY experience to life."

Lars Erik Larsson, Acapela's Group CEO says "EasyReader, supporting the DAISY XML files created by Word and read by Acapela, is another major step in the DAISY roadmap. Dolphin has been steering the development of DAISY creation and DAISY playing tools for many years. Acapela are delighted to partner with Dolphin Computer Access in helping to ensure the continued growth and success of the World's most widely used assistive technology format, DAISY. Both organisations are committed to providing equal access to the written word for the benefit of the wider accessibility community".

Editor Notes:

1. Dolphin Computer Access create software solutions that deliver independence to visually impaired, print impaired and dyslexic people. These software solutions range from screen reading and magnification software to a range of simple and sophisticated tools to create DAISY and other alternative format creation tools. Designed and developed in the UK, Sweden and the US since 1986, Dolphin's tools are available in over 15 different languages for their worldwide audience.
http://www.yourdolphin.com/index.asp

2. EasyReader is the World's most popular software DAISY book player and enables the reader to listen and read their book through a combination of synchronised audio, highlighted text and images. Unlike other audio books, readers can easily navigate their book moving or skipping by word, sentence, paragraph or by searching for phrases.
http://www.yourdolphin.com/productdetail.asp?id=9

3. Acapela Group gives a voice to all types of products and services. Acapela invent voice solutions to give the say to content and enrich user interfaces in a natural and intuitive way. Acapela are a key player in voice technology industry with over 25 years of experience. Acapela offer a complete range of products, services and expertise in 25 languages and over 50 voices.
http://www.acapela-group.com/

4. The Microsoft 'DAISY XML Plug In' Press Release can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/may08/05-07SaveAsDAISYPR.mspx

5. Research by the International Dyslexia Association says that Up to 20% of people may be subject to dyslexia or another form of language-based learning disability.
http://www.interdys.org/FAQHowCommon.htm

6. Research by the World Health Organisation at http://www.who.int says that over 161 million people worldwide are blind or otherwise visually impaired.

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Hazel Shaw

Caroline Houël
Acapela Group
+33(0)562 24 71 04
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