Revising the Digital Talking Book Standard

The NISO membership has approved a new working group to revise the DAISY/NISO Digital Talking Book Standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.86). Of critical importance to the visually impaired community, this standard defines the format and content of the electronic file set that comprises a digital talking book (DTB) and establishes a limited set of requirements for DTB playback devices.  The goal of the revision is to modularize and update it to take advantage of improved technologies.   The DAISY (Digital Accessible Information SYstem) Consortium serves as the maintenance agency for the standard, which was first released in 2002.  Earlier this year, the “Save as DAISY” plugin was included in Microsoft’s Office suite.  More information was published in an article last November and the official plug-in release from Microsoft.  The availability of this plug-in provides wide accessibility of the standard for broad consumer application.   A working group roster is now being formed. Anyone who would like to join this working group, or be part of the affiliated interest group, should contact Karen Wetzel, NISO’s Standards Program Manager.