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Microsoft, DAISY: Making reading easier for people with print disabilities

8 May 2008

Microsoft has joined with industry and advocacy group leaders worldwide to launch new software that will make it easier for anyone to create documents and content that will be accessible for blind and print-disabled individuals.

The new Save as DAISY XML add-in, designed for Microsoft Office Word 2007, Word 2003 and Word XP, will allow users to save Open XML-based text files into DAISY XML, the foundation of the globally accepted DAISY Standard for reading and publishing navigable multimedia content (http://www.daisy.org).

The add-in was created through an open source project with Microsoft, Sonata Software Ltd. and the Digital Accessible Information SYstem (DAISY) Consortium and can be downloaded by Microsoft Office Word users for free at http://www.openxmlcommunity.org/daisy.

On its website, Microsoft states that groups such as the World Health Organization and the World Blind Union estimate that more than 160 million people throughout the world are either blind or have a significant impairment to their vision. In addition, there are hundreds of millions of people with physical, developmental, or learning disabilities who can benefit from the applications of DAISY.


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