The National Information Standards Organization's (NISO) Specifications for the Digital Talking Book (ANSI/NISO Z39.86) serves as the centerpiece for a new free, downloadable plug-in to provide feature-rich, structured information to persons who are blind or print disabled, as well as to assist in the creation of e-books.
To develop the plug-in, which was officially released May 7, Microsoft Corporation worked in collaboration with the DAISY Consortium, maintenance agency for the DAISY/NISO standard. The result of this joint, standards-based, open-source development project is "Save As DAISY," which converts Open XML-based word processing documents into DAISY XML, also known as DTBook.
"This is a wonderful development for information exchange. The 'Save as DAISY' Microsoft plug-in brings the ANSI/NISO Z39.86 standard to a new level, broadening its reach to a diverse range of uses and users," said Todd Carpenter, Managing Director of NISO. "Our congratulations to the DAISY Consortium and Microsoft for a resounding success."
DAISY Digital Talking Books (DTBs) go far beyond the limits imposed by analog audio books or commercial digital audio books. In a DAISY book, the audio is synchronized with the textual content and images, providing an accessible and enriched multimedia reading and learning experience. A DAISY book also supports multiple outputs, such as Braille and large print.
Maintenance agencies such as The DAISY Consortiuman acronym for Digital Accessible Information SYstem Consortiummonitor a standard's implementation and effectiveness, and look for ways to keep it current and forward-looking.
About the National Information Standards Organization (NISO)
NISO fosters the development and maintenance of standards that facilitate the creation, persistent management, and effective interchange of information so that it can be trusted for use in research and learning. To fulfill this mission, NISO engages libraries, publishers, information aggregators, and other organizations that support learning, research, and scholarship through the creation, organization, management, and curation of knowledge. NISO works with intersecting communities of interest and across the entire lifecycle of an information standard. NISO is a not-for-profit association accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). More information about NISO is available on its website: www.niso.org.