Case Study - NLB adopts DAISY
In this case study we learn how the National Library for the Blind (NLB) recently completed a four month project, to evaluate the benefits of offering full text and audio DAISY books to their members. The National Library for the Blind (NLB) is a registered charity and a leading agency in the provision of library and information services for visually impaired people.
The National Library for the Blind (NLB) recently completed a four month project, to evaluate the benefits of offering full text and audio DAISY books to their members. Over 400 blind and visually impaired members signed up for the project. Each participant received a free copy of Dolphin's EasyReader DAISY player and a selection of twenty synthetically-voiced, full text and audio DAISY books.
"I would really like to see this work, as it has great potential especially for educational material. The combined text and audio would be great for textbooks."
A DAISY book (Digital Accessible Information System), is a form of electronic book which brings together a number of different formats (text, audio and pictures) into a single accessible, navigable digital talking book. It contains all of the features of an audio book with the added benefits of full text, allowing navigation, search and find features and the ability to add bookmarks and footnotes.
DAISY books can be played on PCs using a software player, such as Dolphin’s EasyReader or using hardware players and stereo equipment that supports MP3 output. All of the twenty titles used in the trial were created using Dolphin’s latest Publisher content creation software, and each of the project members was issued with a copy of Dolphin’s EasyReader software player, for playing the books.
What did the people think?
The overwhelming response was very positive. 84% stated that they found the DAISY books very useful and over 80% found the ability to navigate through the books extremely beneficial. Nearly 90% of people liked the ability to alter the reading speed of the books and over 70% also enjoyed being able to search the text in the book; features only available with DAISY books. Most people were satisfied with the use of a speech synthesiser to create the audio within the book and appreciated that using this method, DAISY books could be created more quickly for members.
86% of those people involved in the trial want NLB to continue creating and offering DAISY books in the future!
What did the participants say?
“I would be happy to listen to any voice that saved me having to scan in thousands of pages.”
“I would really like to see this work, as it has great potential especially for educational material. The combined text and audio would be great for textbooks.”
Commenting on the conclusions of the DAISY project, Sarah Home, Daisy Project Manager from the NLB said “The results have been astonishing. Everyone at NLB believed that there were significant benefits associated with DAISY digital talking books, however, we were not sure how well these would be recognised by our members.
It is clear that DAISY books offer a way forward for total inclusion, and by using speech synthesisers, blind and low vision readers are able to enjoy more books, more quickly. The trial has been a resounding success, so much so that we plan to extend our DAISY book service. NLB will be working with Dolphin and the RNIB to bring greater levels of accessibility to our members through the expansion of our DAISY book service in the future.”
Steve Palmer Dolphin CEO comments
“It is great that the benefits of DAISY books were recognised through this trial, it also gave everyone involved plenty of high quality user feedback. Dolphin is pleased to partner NLB and the RNIB in the future expansion of the DAISY book service offered by NLB. This additional service will offer their members more choices in the type of accessible information they wish to receive.”