Monday, September 20, 2010

Mass Market Accessible Books

We've worked with O'Reilly Media for a long time. They were the first publisher to sign on to deliver their books electronically to Bookshare back in 2003, and gave us permission to provide their books outside the U.S. We take their files and convert them to the DAISY format which is a digital format designed specifically to create accessible materials for people with print disabilities. The big advantage of DAISY over typical scanned files is that DAISY includes much more extensive navigation (chapters, sections, page numbers, etc.).

More and more publishers are asking that we return to them the DAISY files we create. We're excited about this trend and the opportunities it creates for the commercial availability of mass market accessible books.

O'Reilly is again leading the charge. Check out this O'Reilly's announcement that their ebook bundles now include DAISY talking book format files to see the fabulous work they're doing. Why is this a big deal? Because Bookshare is only available for people who qualify under a very narrow copyright exemption. Making these files available as part of the mass market product, O'Reilly is ensuring that EVERYONE who can benefit from accessible materials can actually get them.

3 comments:

Darrell said...

What does this development mean for continued availability of O'Reilly titles on Bookshare? Will they continue to be provided or is it only for purchase now?

Jim Fruchterman said...

I don't see any signs that O'Reilly is planning on changing our long-standing relationship. I do think people who can afford to buy O'Reilly's books should consider financially supporting a publisher with such a long-standing interest in helping people with disabilities.

mhakkinen said...

Some added background on mass market books and accessible versions: in March 2003, TimeWarner AudioBooks released "The Jester" by James Patterson on audio CD, and included the DAISY version on the disc. This was directly as a result of the prototype accessible book we had built for TimeWarner and IPM of "A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." in 2000.

Glad to see O'Reilly doing the right thing!