Today Microsoft Corp. and the Digital Accessible Information SYstem (DAISY) Consortium announced a joint standards-based development project that will make it possible for computer users who are blind or print-disabled to make better use of assistive technology in their daily lives. A reference model for other Open XML solution providers, this open technical collaboration project on SourceForge.net will yield a free, downloadable plug-in for Microsoft Office Word that can translate Open XML-based documents into DAISY XML, the foundation of the globally accepted DAISY Standard for reading and publishing navigable multimedia content.
In recent decades, individuals with print disabilities have increasingly accessed information using a wide variety of assistive technologies such as screen readers, large print, refreshable Braille and text-to-speech synthesizers. However, because these individuals cannot visually navigate complex page layouts, they often struggle to keep up with the demands of today’s information-rich society.
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