A DAISY Reader for Mac

Big news this week for those of us who’ve been waiting for a DAISY Reader for Mac users. DAISY stands for Digital Accessible Information System. It’s an international standard for creating accessible multimedia. It’s a powerful tool for all readers (emerging through avid) who have print disabilities.

Why? Let’s say a book is scanned with OCR software to convert it to digital text. That’s helpful for readers with print disabilities, but it’s not ideal. Imagine War and Peace as one long document – no way to navigate among chapters, jump to pages, mark pages, bookmark, etc. That’s where DAISY comes in. It “tags” components of the book, making it searchable and navigable by the reader. Doesn’t that make you want to read a DAISY book? Talk about taking a standard print book and making it flexible, usable, and accessible for everyone.

So, here’s the October 31 headline from ATMac.org:

Yesterday marked the first public beta release of Olearia, a free and open source DAISY talking book player for Mac OS X Leopard. DAISY is an international standard for digital talking books for the blind and print disabled. Previously, there was no actively developed and supported DAISY player available for OS X users, so the release of Olearia is fantastic news for those with all types of print disabilities.

Olearia is a DAISY digital talking book player for the Macintosh computer platform. Olearia will play DAISY version 2.02 and DAISY/NISO 2005 digital talking book. This version 0.90b will play audio only and full text full audio books. The final version of Olearia will support text only DAISY books as well. Olearia supports VoiceOver. Olearia requires MacOS X version 10.5 or better.

For more information about DAISY and the folks behind it, please visit the DAISY Consortium. For more information about Olearia, visit the Curtin University Center for Accessible Technology (CUCAT).

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