DAISY Consortium Wins Google Grant

Google.org has awarded the DAISY Consortium a grant to further explore assistive technologies for the blind, including screen readers, as a winner of the Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities. The grant will help create e-books that can be read by anyone, regardless of their disability.

According to the World Blind Union, less than 10 percent of publications are available in formats usable by people with blindness, low vision, or other reading disabilities. However, with e-books, content can be enlarged on a screen, read aloud with a synthetic voice, or displayed on an electronic braille device.

The Google.org grant will accelerate the DAISY Consortium's work to develop baseline requirements for accessible books. This will include supporting guidelines, accessibility certification, and new tools that help publishers check essential accessibility of their publications. Furthermore, reading systems will be evaluated to review their support for the Accessibility Baseline.

"At Google.org, we support organizations that offer innovative solutions to complex challenges. We're thrilled to back DAISY Consortium as they help build a world that works for everyone," said Brigitte Gosselink, head of the Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities, in a statement.

"Evolving the relationship between digital publications, reading systems, and assistive technology in the print-disabled community has been the focus of DAISY for decades. The Google Impact Challenge strategically addresses the long-term, changing nature of the civil right to access information. Society will not change overnight. Project supported by Google.org marks the tipping point where millions of digital publications meeting a baseline requirement for accessibility, will enter the hands of blind and print-disabled people around the world," said George Kerscher, chief innovation officer of the DAISY Consortium

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