[Athen] FW: Microsoft Word files to serve as talking books

Robert Beach rbeach at kckcc.edu
Tue Nov 13 07:21:20 PST 2007


George Kerscher from the DAISY Consortium was a guest speaker in one of my sessions and also gave several talks himself last week at AHG. He told me to keep my ears to the ground on Tuesday for an exciting announcement regarding DAISY. I think this may be it.

It's too early to really give any statement, but the promise sure sounds good.

Thanks for sharing with us.

Robert Lee Beach
Assistive Technology Specialist
Kansas City Kansas Community College
7250 State Avenue
Kansas City, KS 66112
Phone: (913) 288-7671
Fax: (913) 288-7678
E-mail: rbeach at kckcc.edu

>>> "Kelmer, Susan M." <SKelmer at stlcc.edu> 11/13/2007 8:51 AM >>>

Anyone know anything about this and whether it will actually work? Or
is this pie in the sky...

>Microsoft Word files to serve as talking books


>By Elsa Wenzel


>Microsoft and open-source site SourceForge

>http://www.sourceforge.net/ will offer a free plug-in early

>next year that will convert Office 2007 files to the DAISY

>format that translates text to speech.


>The free tool will add a "Save as DAISY" option within Word

>2007, 2003 and XP software. DAISY XML files can be read aloud

>by speech synthesizers, paired with audio narration and used

>to create electronic Braille. Users can navigate open-standard

>DAISY documents quickly by jumping between page elements, such

>as headers and indexes.


>The DAISY Consortium of 70 nonprofits has aimed since 1996 to

>make all published information available to people with visual

>impairments and learning disabilities. The acronym stands for

>Digital Accessible Information System.




>Digital narration serves computer users with visual

>impairments, people with learning challenges like dyslexia, as

>well as those with Parkinsons disease and other conditions

>that make it hard to type or hold a book.


>With the release of the Office 2007 suite in January,

>Microsoft shunned the popular, XML-based Open Document Format

>for its own, new Open XML format. The OOXML documents, which

>include Word files with the DOCX extension, are easier to

>retrieve if corrupted than the older DOC files.


>Versions of Word prior to 2007 can open OOXML documents after

>a one-time download of a free converter from Microsoft.

>However, critics gripe that Microsoft's format change was

>unnecessary and clumsy. Microsoft maintains that the new

>format enables greater flexibility, such as accessibility features.

Athen mailing list
Athen at athenpro.org

More information about the athen-list mailing list