Learn about EN 301 549 from Funka

With sponsorship from Microsoft, the Swedish accessibility company, Funka, recently produced a series of instructional videos explaining EN 301 549. EN 301 549 is a European standard for accessibility requirements in the public procurement of ICT products and services. ICT stands for accessible information and communication technology.

  1. Video 1: What is accessibility in an ICT context. What is the EN 301 549. How does procurement help accessibility. Who should watch this video series.
  2. Video 2: Integration of accessibility and the EN 301 549 into the procurement process. How does it fit into an ICT project value chain. What to expect from ICT suppliers in terms of conformance claim. How to control the deliverable is actually meeting the requirements.
  3. Video 3: Explaining the structure of the EN 301 549. Explaining functional performance statements (chapter 4). Technical requirements (chapter 5-13). The relationship between the two (Annex B) and testing criteria (Annex C).
  4. Video 4: Functional performance
  5. Video 5: Generic requirements

These videos are published under the creative commons license CC BY-NC 4.0. All videos have transcripts.

Learn more about Funka on their website. Funka and Accessibility: Funka was started in the 1990s as a joint, non-profit initiative among all disability organisations in Sweden. The knowledge, staff and technology of the non profit was turned into a privately owned company in 2000. Today, we are market leaders in the field of accessibility and enjoy a close relationship to end user organisations, which ensures a unique level of quality control in everything we do.

If you know Swedish, you can visit the Swedish version of Funka. They are on Twitter as @FunkaNu. You might consider signing up for the Funka monthly newsletter.  Updated

Follow the Microsoft accessibility team on Twitter as @MSFTEnable. They were the source and inspiration for this article.

Now, get your popcorn and get ready for video 1. When you watch them on YouTube, you will find links to the subsequent videos in the video navigation section.


NISO and DAISY Consortium Publish Authoring and Interchange Framework Standard

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) and the DAISY Consortium announce the publication of the new American National Standard Authoring and Interchange Framework for Adaptive XML Publishing Specification (ANSI/NISO Z39.98-2012). The standard defines how to represent digital information using XML to produce documents suitable for transformation into different universally accessible formats. The standard is a revision, extension, and enhancement of Specifications for the Digital Talking Book (DTB), commonly referred to as the DAISY standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005(R2012)). The DAISY Consortium is the Maintenance Agency for both standards.

Note: The Evolution of Accessible Publishing: Revising the Z39.86 DAISY Standard, March 2011.  New

"The A&I Framework is a modular, extensible architecture to permit the creation of any number of content representation models, each custom-tailored for a particular kind of information resource," states Markus Gylling, Chief Technology Officer at the DAISY Consortium and Technical Chair of the DAISY Revision Working Group. "It also provides support for new output formats, which can be added and implemented as the need arises. 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."

"Organizations in the DAISY community and in the mainstream of publishing have been looking for an XML framework that is powerful and flexible," states George Kerscher, Secretary General for the DAISY Consortium and Administrative Chair of the DAISY Revision Working Group. "The Authoring and Interchange Framework not only meets this need, it expands the possibility of what can be produced for the existing community of users of DAISY books and also enlarges the potential audience of both developers and users of resources that conform to this standard. New applications using this standard could include electronic magazines as well as digital books, text to speech rendering for e-readers, and multimedia publications."

"Although the new A&I Framework standard is intended to replace the Digital Talking Book standard," explains Todd Carpenter, NISO Executive Director, "feedback during trial use of the standard indicated that content providers and device manufacturers would need a transition period of several years due to the significance of the changes in the standard. To meet this need, the existing DTB standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.86) was reaffirmed for another five years and the A&I Framework was assigned a new standard number (ANSI/NISO Z39.98)."

The A&I Framework standard will be of interest to any organization using an XML authoring workflow, developers and publishers of universally accessible digital publications, and agencies interested in creating profiles for new document types to integrate into distribution formats, such as EPUB.

Both the A&I Framework standard and the Digital Talking Book standard are available for free download from the NISO website and the DAISY Consortium website.

The DAISY Specification offers a flexible and navigable reading experience for people who are blind or print disabled. The current version of the specification DAISY 3 is also a NISO Standard for digital talking books (DTB) which offers the print-disabled user a significantly enhanced reading experience—one that is much closer to that of the sighted reader using a print book.  New

DAISY Status  New

The DAISY Standard is managed and maintained by The DAISY Consortium. The current version of the DAISY standard is DAISY 3, released in 2005. Copies of the full standard and specification can be accessed within the DAISY 3 sub-menu.

DAISY 2, the previous version of the standard, also has full details available within the DAISY 2 sub-menu.

Z39.98 Authoring and Interchange Framework  New

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.