[Athen] The Thoughts of Chairman Bill

Marks, Jim marks at mso.umt.edu
Mon Nov 19 08:14:13 PST 2007

Seems to me that one could say the same sort of thing about anything
related to disability. Access would be a lot easier if only the
mainstream incorporated the principles of access in mainstream design.
Common sense is apparently hard to come by, so it usually takes us a
while to integrate access in the mainstream. Success arrives in stages,
and certainly the MS plug-in for save as Daisy is one of those steps.

I'm having a hard time understanding what the issue/counterpoint is.
Bob, would you mind explaining more? Thanks!

Jim Marks
Director of Disability Services
University of Montana
jim.marks at umontana.edu

-----Original Message-----
From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of Robert Martinengo
Sent: Saturday, November 17, 2007 8:50 AM
To: Access Technologists in Higher Education Network
Subject: [Athen] The Thoughts of Chairman Bill

The Microsoft/DAISY press release reminded me of something Bill Gates
said a few years ago. I transcribed this from audio files posted on the
DAISY website, although I don't think they are still there. I am posting
it now because it provides a counterpoint to the 'save as DAISY'
announcement, but of course, your interpretation may vary:

"I don't think that having the mainstream and DAISY be two separate
things makes sense, to be honest, and so I think there must be an
approach where you take whatever's good about DAISY and have it be done
through XML markup, that's just a fundamental piece. DAISY apparently
has certain types of tagging or approaches that are interesting. The
kind of navigation you want to get across these text materials shouldn't
be unique, so we need to really look at DAISY and look at what the
mainstream publishing standards are and see if we can't bridge that, to
the point where, should DAISY have to exist as a thing of itself, or is
it just a flavor of mainstream standards? I think DAISY is a good thing
but I don't see it, if it just exists by itself, creating the right
dynamic that we need here."

-- Bill Gates at Microsoft Summit on Libraries for the Blind, November
2004, Redmond, Washington [Transcribed from audio]

Here is a quote from a report on the meeting on the DAISY website:

' Gates partnership has particular meaning to the DAISY consortium,
according to Stephen King, of the Royal National Institute of the Blind,
and a member of the DAISY board of directors. "We now have a clear
commitment to move DAISY standards into mainstream publishing,"
said King. '


So, creating a 'save as DAISY' plug-in - a move into the mainstream, or
a perpetuation of DAISY as 'a thing of itself'? Discuss...

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