Microsoft, DAISY To Assist People With Sight Problems

Converts text files to audio

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Microsoft has introduced a new software add-in to assist those who are blind or partially sighted with turning printed Word documents into audio files.

The "Save as DAISY XML" add-in enables text files to be converted into audio files.  DAISY is an acronym for Digital Accessible Information System. The add-in was developed by Microsoft, Sonata Software, and the DAISY Consortium as an open source project.

It can be downloaded for free and works with Microsoft Word 2007, Word 2003 and Word XP.

Users will be able to save Open XML text files as DAISY XML, which can be formatted into DAISY Digital Talking Book using another software tool, Pipeline, a new version of which was released today.

"Microsoft’s initiative to put ‘Save as DAISY XML’ in Microsoft Word is the first step to bring fully accessible content to people who are blind or who have a print disability," said George Kerscher, secretary general of the DAISY Consortium.

"We know that much of the information in documents today is created with Microsoft Word; this new add-in provides an unprecedented leap forward in the worldwide effort to make information available to all."

Microsoft, DAISY To Assist People With Sight Problems
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