Free 'AltFormat' Workshops to Higher Education Disability Service Providers at AHEAD 2009

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International alternative format advocate and industry experts Dolphin Computer Access partner at AHEAD 2009 to offer free 'AltFormat' workshops to higher education disability service providers.

Easy as 1, 2, 3: Creating alternative formats the EasyConverter Way

International alternative format advocacy group are hosting their first US based alternative format creation workshops. These follow a similar and successful program of workshops across Britain and South Africa where they trained in excess of five hundred university and college professionals. Partnered by the alternative media experts at Dolphin Computer Access, the first four of these free US workshops, entitled "Easy as 1, 2, 3: Creating alternative formats the EasyConverter Way" are set to commence at the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) 2009 Global Access conference in Kentucky from July 20th to 25th, 2009.

Dolphin's chief product designer, Mattias Karlsson, will lead each workshop, offering attendees a step by step insight into the 'whole' alternative format creation process, from the beginning as a raw source file, through to conclusion as quality large print, MP3, DAISY talking books & Braille. Chairman Noel Duffy explains why has decided to bring their free alternative format workshops to the US.

"These are exciting times. Over the past few years the demand for high quality, timely, alternative format material has been growing exponentially. Requests for MP3 and DAISY now being received from learning disabled students to go alongside the more traditional large print and Braille requests of their visually impaired peers. Despite the best efforts of the disability officers universities and colleges have struggled to meet their obligations. The Obama stimulus package may alleviate some of the resource pressure on DSS officers. However we need a long term sustainable solution. Hopefully these sessions organized jointly by Dolphin and can point to a future where more can be achieved for less."

Each of the free workshop sessions will take place during the Annual Conference of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Conference held this year in the Kentucky between 20th to 25thJuly 2009. Ron Stewart, Managing Consultant Altformat Solutions LLC explains:
"The theme of the AHEAD 2009 conference is 'Global Access: Opening a World of Opportunity' and the conference schedule is already packed. However we have been delighted that AHEAD has allowed & Dolphin Computer Access to deliver a series of free workshops to our colleagues in higher education. I have personally seen the difference these trainings have already made in the UK and we are especially pleased to see DAISY expert Mattias Karlsson travelling in from Sweden to deliver the sessions."

For more than 15 years, Mattias has been at the forefront of the development of alternative format materials for the vision and print impaired people and is highly regarded for his contributions to the development of the digital talking book format DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System). As the driving force behind EasyConverter and EasyReader and the alternative format product manager for Dolphin Computer Access, Mattias will be perfectly positioned to lead each of the four workshops sessions. Mattias will educate the workshop attendees with tips to deliver quality alternative format materials with speed, suggestions on best practice and proven processes, as well advice on how to avoid the most common pitfalls.

The workshop sessions will be based around version 5 of Dolphin's EasyConverter software that enables disability officers with all levels of alternative format creation experience to make large print, Braille, MP3 and DAISY talking book formats of their students print materials. Each of the four workshop sessions entitled "Easy as 1, 2, 3: Creating alternative formats the EasyConverter Way" are free, but seats will be limited and will be reserved on a 'first-come, first-served basis'. The workshop times are:

  • Wednesday 22 July 2009 at 13:00
  • Wednesday 22 July 2009 at 19:00
  • Thursday 23 July 2009 at 12:30
  • Friday 24 July 2009 at 16:00

To book your free workshop seat, please visit the Dolphin website.

Editor Notes:

About is a non-profit organisation levying at international governments for the rights of people with learning disabilities, blindness, low vision and print impairments to access information in alternative formats. Altformats refer to the transcription of books or other content (such as notes, books or study materials) into a format other than standard print. At present, the Right to Read Alliance estimates that 96% of books published in print are not made available in accessible formats. This means that 96% of published content remains inaccessible to people with visual impairments and learning disabilities.

About Dolphin Computer Access

Dolphin Computer Access is one of the largest companies in the computer access industry, with over 60 employees in offices in the UK, USA and Sweden and dealers in over 30 countries worldwide. The company offers a complete range of software solutions, including screen readers, screen magnifiers, DAISY talking book players and alternative format creation tools.
Recent innovations include EasyConverter, a single piece of software that enables even a total beginner to create Braille, large print, DAISY talking books and MP3s. More information about Dolphin is available at:

About Mattias Karlsson

Based in Falköping in Sweden, Mattias is Dolphin's AltFormat Product Manager and is the main driving force behind Dolphin's entire range of AltFormat (Alternative Format) software solutions.
For over 15 years, Mattias has been at the forefront of the development of alternative format materials for the vision impaired and the print impaired. His dedication to ensuring that every child and adult who requires alternative formats has access to them has been recognized worldwide. In particular, he is well regarded for his contributions to the invention and development of the digital talking book format DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System).

Nowadays, as an active member of numerous international DAISY working groups he continues to push at the boundaries of DAISY innovation. Mattias will be speaking at many international conferences and events in 2009 and 2010 including AHEAD 2009, DAISY 2009 and ATIA Chicago.


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Hazel Shaw
Dolphin Computer Access
+44 1905 754 577 ext. 218
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Archana Bharathan
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