[Athen] The Thoughts of Chairman Bill

Robert Martinengo accessible.text at gmail.com
Mon Nov 19 13:45:06 PST 2007


You may be right, and I am always hoping to be pleasantly surprised.


On Nov 19, 2007 4:13 PM, Marks, Jim <marks at mso.umt.edu> wrote:

> Thanks, Bob. If I'm understanding you correctly, you are saying that

> the MS Word save as Daisy plug-in will not necessarily result in

> readable files, and that you want Daisy to aim for the integration of

> its functions in mainstream publishing so that readability can be

> delivered completely. Both of these sound great by me. Only place

> where I would disagree is that we have to be pragmatic and move towards

> the ultimate goals as best we can. I think the save as Daisy plug-in is

> a pretty nifty thing in terms of evidence of our progress. For sure, we

> have yet to arrive, but we just passed an important landmark just the

> same.





> Jim Marks

> Director of Disability Services

> University of Montana

> jim.marks at umontana.edu

> http://www.umt.edu/dss/


> -----Original Message-----

> From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On

> Behalf Of Robert Martinengo

> Sent: Monday, November 19, 2007 12:10 PM

> To: Access Technologists in Higher Education Network

> Subject: Re: [Athen] The Thoughts of Chairman Bill


> Jim,


> So glad you asked that question - I'll try and keep the answer below

> novella length.


> DAISY is just a set of XML tags, plus a method for synchronizing audio

> to text (SMIL). When combined with a play-back mechanism, you have an

> accessible system that can do a lot of nice things for the user, just

> like Kurzweil is a nice system, one which is closed, instead of open

> like DAISY.


> Gates is saying that the important thing is to bring the functionality

> DAISY allows into mainstream publishing formats, something which George

> Kerscher and others have been working on with the IDPF with real success

> (see

> http://idpf.org/2007/ops/OPS_2.0_final_spec.html#Section2.4 ). But 'save

> as DAISY' puts the emphasis on DAISY as 'a thing of itself', something

> Gates does not see as 'creating the right dynamic', and I tend to agree.

> The dynamic is, disabled people need a special format.


> Publishers are not against accessibility per se, they just don't want it

> to open security holes or lose money. Publishers, and booksellers, are

> perfectly happy to sell accessible media, as long as it goes through the

> same channels as other media (see the RNIB's innovative work in this

> regard,

> http://www.pls.org.uk/ngen_public/article.asp?aid=338 )


> Now, for those who may think I'm down on DAISY, take a look at a post

> from four years ago, where I proposed to do essentially the same thing

> as the plug-in (

> http://htclistserv.htctu.fhda.edu/read/messages?id=15467 ). The project

> didn't get funded, but the idea has been out there for years (I think

> the DAISY Consortium's approach to educational content has often been

> inspired by pioneers like Sam Ogami and Gaeir from the High-Tech

> Center).


> So, if the Consortium leadership wants to push DAISY as a brand, they

> should focus on the functionality of all digital media. 'DAISY Ok'

> could be a 508-like certification of functional requirements, not

> adherence to a particular tag set. As folks have already pointed out, a

> crappy Word file can be converted into a crappy DAISY file - technical

> compliance is not the goal - usability is.


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