2010 Conference: Presentations on Day 2: Monday 24 May

Session 6

DAISY update

Neil Jarvis, Executive Director Access, Innovation & Enterprise, Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind & Board Member, DAISY Consortium.

The DAISY Consortium was formed in May, 1996 by talking book libraries to lead the worldwide transition from analog to Digital Talking Books. The DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) standard was developed to provide a structured digital reading experience for print-disabled people which combines audio, electronic text and multimedia.

The Consortium’s 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 works closely with digital publishers to maintain the EPUB e-book standard, and has an active interest in international copyright developments. This presentation will outline recent DAISY Consortium projects including standards and software development, with particular reference to Australia and New Zealand.

DAISY-examples of local implementations of a global standard

(Chair) Andrew Furlong, Technical & Production Development Manager, Vision Australia, Panel TBA

A panel of diverse, but representative DAISY producers will present a brief overview of their application of DAISY, followed by an open discussion exploring each approach and the unique experiences faced by each person.

DAISY is the global standard for accessible information. However, those that want to create it are often confused by the many possibilities and options available, and those that are already creating DAISY content are always looking for ways to improve it.

This workshop will help by highlighting a range of methods used to create DAISY content based on local needs, and provide an insight into the issues faced during implementation and how these were overcome.

Following a brief presentation from individuals and representatives of organisations that are creating DAISY content, the panel will discuss the various approaches. While the processes adopted or developed by each person may differ, the outcome is the same – DAISY content. The panel will explore these differences, what is common, and how the different approaches complement each other.

This practical workshop provides an opportunity to ask questions and learn from others. The audience will be encouraged to participate in the discussion to explore how people have applied the DAISY format in their own unique way.

Session 7A

Global Accessible Library project: an update

Julie Rae, General Manager Community Information Access, Vision Australia

Today there are 161 million blind and partially sighted people in the world and this number is growing. Extend this to print disabled and you have an even greater number of people who cannot read a conventional book, magazine or website as they are either unable to see the print, hold the item or access the website. Less than 5% of published material, i.e. books, and less than 20% of websites are accessible to these people (Brazier, Helen, An introduction to IFLA Libraries for the Blind Section presented to Libraries for the print disabled conference Zagreb, Croatia February 2008).

But how do libraries for the print disabled ensure that their clients can access the information of their choice?

To ensure that this can be achieved, and realising that no one organisation can achieve this on their own, the IFLA section Libraries Serving Persons with Print Disabilities and the DAISY Consortium have joined to develop the Global Library project. This project endeavours to identify how content can be shared, collected and accessed by library clients. This paper outlines the Global Library project as sponsored by these two organisations.

Trend of DAISY playback device in the world

Mr. Hiromitsu Fujimori, PLEXTALK (Shinano Kenshi Co., Ltd.)

PLEXTALK or Shinano Kenshi has committed to DAISY and its related technologies since we joined the development of the concept of DAISY in 1994. We continue to design and develop advanced DAISY players, delivery devices and user support systems in response to the changing and growing needs of our global community of people.

In recent years, DAISY has been accepted and well known as a standard which gives usefulness of DTB. DAISY is also acquiring more powerful features to offer to people better DTB delivery and reading environment. We continue to design and develop new concept and advanced hardware/software in accordance with those changing and diversified demands in the market.

We will show you the recent achievements of our product line-up offering around the world.

Session 7B

World Braille Usage Refreshed

Mary Schnackenberg, International Council on English Braille (ICEB)

Outline of presentation:

  • Some history of World Braille Usage
  • The scope of the 2nd edition published in 1990
  • Gathering electronic versions of the 2nd edition
  • The involvement of the Library of Congress, the World Blind Union and UNESCO
  • Establishing the database to capture survey data
  • Writing the survey questions
  • Deciding who to survey
  • Issuing the survey and obtaining responses
  • Some examples of responses

Transition to Unified English Braille (UEB) in the ICEVI Pacific Region

Josie Howse, Manager, State Braille & Large Print Service, Department of Education New South Wales (DET NSW), Frances Gentle, Lecturer in Vision Impairment, RIDBC Renwick Centre & University of Newcastle, Karen Stobbs, BLENNZ & Janet Reynolds, Manager Braille and Electronic Text, Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind.

Unified English Braille (UEB) was launched as a new international braille code by the General Assembly of the International Council on English Braille (ICEB) in 2004. Work on UEB had commenced in 1993 in response to the recognised need for a single braille code that integrated and harmonised the literary and technical codes of the United Kingdom and the United States, and the need to simplify the complexities and ambiguities of braille rule structure. Australia and New Zealand adopted UEB in 2005 and 2007 respectively, and ICEVI Pacific Region, in partnership with other regional organisations has supported the adoption of UEB by English-speaking Pacific island countries.

This presentation explores the transition to UEB in Australia, New Zealand and selected Pacific Island nations. The presentation highlights the diversity of philosophies, views and perspectives held by the braille community within the region. The UEB implementation process in schools, braille production centres, and professional education programs is reviewed and discussed, in terms of the key success elements, and areas for future development.

Session 8A

PLEASED: Victorian Public Libraries Enhancing Access

Katrina Knox, Manager Darebin Libraries, representing Public Library Victoria Network (PLVN)

The PLEASED website provides a high quality accessible web portal for public library staff with information regarding people with disability and people with age related disability, their families, carers and other supporters to access and search for information that promotes their independence and use of public libraries. The outline of the presentation will be:

  1. Provide the historical background to the development of the PLEASED website, incorporating the recommendations of the ‘More Than Just Equipment’ report from which the project grew. Also include what the intention of the project was.
  2. Discuss the set up of the PLEASED Working Group, the funding process, the development of the specifications and requirements for the website and the actual build phase.
  3. Explain the model developed in relation to content management and how it is intended to ensure the ongoing growth of the site and involvement of public library staff.
  4. Demonstrate the website (live if possible, with back-up slides if technology fails)
  5. Discuss the learnings from the project and future development of the site and the PLEASED Working Group

Libraries Building Communities: Accessibility needs partnerships

Tony Iezzi, Library Manager, Vision Australia

The project is about engaging members of the print disability community with the public library experience by setting up book clubs and reading groups and to provide the playback devices used in the project. 280 devices were allocated for use of project partners.

This project links Victorian community based libraries with a specialized public library service, to provide greater participation in public libraries of people who are print disabled. Traditionally this connection is lost as older Victorians lose their sight, or when sighted assistance of family members or carers becomes no longer available. Often a house bound service is utilized in extreme cases; however this does not provide library borrowers with real connection to the library service which many use to provide a social outlet. In order to develop a rationale for visiting a print-based library, and to continue to develop familiarity with library and its staff, Bookclubs directed specifically towards, or incorporating audio-based content allow community members to participate fully and reaffirm connection with the library. As a new format, DAISY increases the range of collections available to the public library community.

Once upon a library: NVDA and The Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa

Keiran McNabb and/or Moata Tamaira, Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa, National Library of New Zealand

The Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa is a service of The National Library of New Zealand and provides free access to broadband internet services in public libraries so that all New Zealanders can benefit from accessing, experiencing and creating digital content.

The intention is that this free service benefits anyone who has access to a public library but one customer in one library pointed out that there was at least one way in which this could be improved, by including NVDA (Non-Visual Desktop Access) software on the computers we provide to public libraries.

Beginning by allowing access for one customer via a USB drive, through a process of communication and testing, over 500s computers in APNK partner libraries around the country now have this accessibility tool installed. Setting this benchmark has meant that at least one major metropolitan library (Christchurch City Libraries) has followed suit installing NVDA on their 170 public internet computers. Will others follow?

This presentation will detail how the timeline of the rollout of this product, further measures undertaken to improve accessibility for library customers and possibilities for the future.

In 2009 the Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa was the proud recipient of the Extra Touch Award from the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand in appreciation of its contribution towards assisting blind and vision impaired people to achieve independence.

Session 8B

Bringing Braille Music Back from the Brink

Wendy Richards, Braille Music Specialist, BLENNZ & Lisette Wesseling, Braille Awareness Consultant, Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind.

Music performance and braille music were traditionally taught to many blind children at special schools and institutes throughout the world. With the advent of mainstreaming came a decline in the amount of music being taught, a reduction in numbers of braille music readers, and a decline in the requests for music transcriptions. Yet alongside this decline came new technology potentially making the task of producing and teaching braille music easier.

Contrary to general trends, New Zealand is today seeing increasing numbers of young braille music readers and a healthy number of transcription requests. This is due to the steps taken by a passionate team of musicians plus innovative production and delivery methods. This seminar will outline the steps we have taken to make this happen – from innovative teaching and production through to promotion tools.

Recent developments in the cognitive science of Braille reading

Ash Mathur & Vania Glyn (Presenters), Department of Psychology & Dr. Barry Hughes, Department of Psychology and Research Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Auckland

We describe two recent developments in research on Braille reading. The first strand of this research has taken place in neuroscience laboratories around the world and demonstrates that large cortical regions of the brain –previously thought to be dedicated to visual processing– are actually active during Braille reading. We describe the thrust of this research and what implications it offers. The second strand we have developed ourselves. It involves high speed recordings of the Braille reading finger during the reading of text that varies in its familiarity and meaning. We focus on the details of what the finger is doing with the goal of establishing what, precisely, the finger movements reveal about the deeper operations that support reading. We suggest that these developments have practical as well as theoretical ramifications.

A New Instructional Programme for Later Learners of Braille

Raeleen Smith, Manager Adaptive Communications Services & Kathryn Johns, Adaptive Communications Instructor, Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind.

Various instructional programmes for New Zealand adult Braille learners have been developed over recent decades by the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind. During 2009 a new programme, Simply Touch and Read (STAR), was developed. This initiative was based on local research confirming the need for an updated programme with a style and language usage more fitting to current times. This has allowed for selection of material to encourage enjoyment of learning and learner motivation. It has also fitted with the introduction of Unified English Braille for New Zealand Braille learners and readers. The course aims for simple language and high interest content.

This presentation provides an opportunity for sharing and for hands-on experiences with lesson and practice materials and related resources. It includes a forum discussion on possible strategies for global sharing of local instructional initiatives.

Session 9

Are Print Disability Consumers connected and heard locally & globally?

Di Francis, Co-ordinator, Print Alternatives Services, and Tony Starkey, Future Solutions Officer, Royal Society for the Blind of SA (RSB)

This presentation will cover the links between consultation within the Print Disability Sector in relation to matters of accessible information, preferred end product (device), the real application of Universal Design in the real world, and the role of “Social Inclusion”.

It will provide details of what is currently happening locally and globally in addressing accessible information requirements. Identification of the consultation processes and how they impact on the current methods of service delivery will also explored. This will include the use or ignoring of both Universal Design and Social Inclusion in providing access to information.

In undertaking this, the following points will be covered.

1. Do Print Disability consumers know what they want, are they being heard and is the blindness sector the sector which appears to have the loudest voice?

2. As a provider of print disability services, who guides our direction?

3. Does the print disability sector pro-actively contribute to commercial standards, if not why not? Does it have, or should it even need to have, the capacity or resources?

4. Does the “Social Inclusion Revolution” principally driven by governments include the commercial world, if not, why not?

5. Have Social Inclusion initiatives included Universal Design and do these focus on technology instead of the people?

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