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Fwd: DAISY Consortium adopts accessible math specification

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 14:50:40 -0400
Message-Id: <BAA9AA95-3739-4D41-B726-904EC274B871@comcast.net>
To: wai-ig list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>


from the web page:
http://www.dessci.com/en/company/press/releases/070321.htm

For Immediate Release

DAISY Consortium Adopts Modular Math Extension

New MathML-based extension will make math accessible to students with
disabilities

LONG BEACH, Calif. - March 21, 2007 - The DAISY Consortium, an
international industry standards organization, announced today that it
has formally adopted the Specification for a Digital Talking Book
Modular Extension for Mathematics. This development is a critical
element for integrating accessible mathematics into DAISY and
NIMAS-compliant digital content. Now that this specification has been
published, it is important for the education and accessibility
communities to begin incorporating it into textbook accessibility
requirements.

As an active member of the DAISY Consortium, Design Science, Inc. has
been instrumental in this development. "We're really pleased to be
leading the effort to make math accessible to everyone," said Neil
Soiffer, Chair of the DAISY MathML Modular Extension Working Group and a
Senior Scientist at Design Science. "Design Science is the leading
vendor for math authoring tools. Many of these can be used to create
DAISY content and we have developed new tools to assist in the process
of creating DAISY books."

"This is fantastic news for students and professionals with
disabilities," said Steve Noble, Director of Accessibility Policy for
Design Science. "Now that accessible math is part of the DAISY Standard,
the future is really bright for students who have been yearning to study
math and science subjects-and even make a career out of it-but have
always been hit hard by the absence of accessible materials. Now those
days are over."

Vendors are moving swiftly to support the new specification in DAISY
applications. The specification also provides for backward
compatibility, so older DAISY players will be able to use newer content,
albeit without being able to take advantage of all the new capabilities
of math materials written to the new standard.

Although the current DAISY/NISO Z39.86-2005 Digital Talking Book
Standard has been widely adopted by the accessibility community, the
only available method of integrating math content relied on using images
with alt text tags. Alt text tags for math equations provide only the
most limited level of accessibility and are very difficult to author in
a consistent manner. Using MathML allows all of the valuable features of
a digital talking book to work for math just as it does for literary
text, like support for large print, customizable speech, Braille,
navigation, and synchronized highlighting.

The Specification for a Digital Talking Book Modular Extension for
Mathematics is available on the DAISY website at
http://www.daisy.org/projects/mathml/mathml-in-daisy-spec.html

For further information, see also the DAISY Consortium Press Release at
http://www.daisy.org/news/news_detail.asp?NewsId=296

About MathML
MathML is an XML-based language for representing mathematics that was
published as a Recommendation by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in
1998. Since MathML captures the meaning and structure of mathematics, it
enables a wide range of applications. In addition to making it possible
to have math spoken to print disabled readers, it also enables searching
for mathematical expressions within content and interoperability with
the growing number of computational applications that understand MathML.
For more information about MathML see http://www.w3.org/Math/

About the DAISY Consortium
The DAISY Consortium was founded in 1996 and consists of a growing
membership of organizations around the world committed to developing
equitable access to information for people who have a print disability.
DAISY's vision is that all published information, at time of release to
the general population, be available in an accessible, highly
functional, feature rich format and at no greater cost, to persons with
print disabilities. For more information about the DAISY Consortium see
http://www.daisy.org/

About Design Science, Inc.
Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Long Beach, California, Design
Science develops software used by educators, scientists and publishing
professionals, including MathType, Equation Editor in Microsoft Office,
WebEQ, MathFlow, MathPlayer and TeXaide, to communicate on the web and
in print.

###

Design Science staff available for interviews:
Steve Noble, Director of Accessibility Policy, steven@dessci.com
Neil Soiffer, Senior Scientist, neils@dessci.com

Press Contact:
Bruce Virga
Vice President, Sales
+1(800)827-0685
+1(562)432-2920
Design Science, Inc.
140 Pine Avenue, 4th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90802
USA
Received on Thursday, 29 March 2007 18:50:45 GMT

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