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"DAISY" Standards

The name DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) is used to refer to two related NISO standards that were developed with the DAISY Consortium, an international association formed in May 1996 by talking book libraries to lead the worldwide transition from analog to digital talking books. The DAISY Consortium is the officially appointed maintenance agency for the DAISY standards (Z39.86 and Z39.98)

ANSI/NISO Z39.98-2012, Authoring and Interchange Framework for Adaptive XML Publishing Specification

ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005 (R2012), Specifications for the Digital Talking Book [DAISY 3]

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ANSI/NISO Z39.98-2012, Authoring and Interchange Framework for Adaptive XML Publishing Specification

The Authoring and Interchange (A&I;) Framework was initiated as a revision to the Digital Talking Book (DTB) standard (Z39.86). This revision was a major redesign of the DAISY standard, marking a paradigm shift in our approach to authoring and distribution of accessible materials in general, and DAISY in particular. Due to the substantive nature of the changes and the lack of backward compatibility with the previous DTB standard, it was decided to issue the A&I; Framework with a new standard number (Z39.98) and reaffirm the Z39.86 standard for another five years.

The Z39.98 Authoring and Interchange Framework for Adaptive XML Publishing Specification (Z39.98-AI) defines a framework in which to develop XML markup languages to represent different kinds of information resources (books, periodicals, etc.), with the intent of producing documents suitable for transformation into different universally accessible formats. It uses a modular, extensible architecture to permit the creation of any number of document models, each custom-tailored for a particular kind of information resource.

The standard does not impose limitations on what distribution formats can be created from it; e-text, Braille, large print, and EPUB are among formats that can be produced in conformance with the standard.

ANSI Approval Date: 7/9/2012

Maintenance Agency: DAISY Consortium

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Z39.98 Resources


ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005 (R2012), Specifications for the Digital Talking Book [DAISY 3]

The Digital Talking Book (DTB) 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. It uses established and new specifications to delineate the structure of DTBs whose content can range from XML text only, to text with corresponding spoken audio, to audio with little or no text. DTBs are designed to make print material accessible and navigable for blind or otherwise print-disabled persons.

ANSI Approval Date: 04/12/05; reaffirmation approved 4/16/2012

Maintenance Agency: DAISY Consortium

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Z39.86 Resources


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The first DAISY Standard was proprietary, originating in Sweden in 1994. In 1997, the DAISY Consortium decided to adopt open standards based on file formats being developed for the Internet. The DAISY 2.0 Specification was released in 1998, and the 2.02 recommendation was approved in February 2001. Release of DAISY 3, the ANSI/NISO Z39.86 2002 Standard, was official in March 2002. This Standard was jointly developed by the DAISY Consortium, The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (part of the Library of Congress), and a variety of other organizations in North America.

The 2002 version of the Digital Talking Book standard has been withdrawn and superseded by Z39.86-2005 (R2012). Information regarding this earlier version is provided for organizations that are still supporting the older version. The DAISY Consortium also has information related to the superseded version at their website.

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