Operational Plan 2019-20
Chartered Project: Transition to Inclusive EPUB 3 eco System (TIES)

[Approved in October 2019 DAISY Consortium board meeting]


Submitted by: George Kerscher & Avneesh Singh

Last updated on: September 26, 2019 by Avneesh Singh


Transition to Inclusive EPUB 3 eco System (TIES) 1

Brief introduction. 1

Outline of the plan for 2019-20. 2

Milestones or priorities. 3

Resources. 5

Dependencies & Risks. 5


Transition to Inclusive EPUB 3 eco System (TIES)

Nature of activity: Chartered Project

Brief introduction

DAISY Consortiumís experts have led the ground breaking advancement of embedding accessibility features in the main stream EPUB 3 specifications. This advancement has opened tremendous opportunities for inclusive publishing, and has the potential to lead us to an era in which all the published materials are born accessible.

But at this point of time, the DAISY consortium finds itself at cross roads. On one hand our experts are leading ground breaking advancements in accessible publishing, on the other hand our members & their patrons are continuing with the existing DAISY technology on which they have invested for many years, as a result they are not able to reap the benefits of the innovations achieved in Accessible EPUB 3 specifications.

The need for integration with the main stream standards & technologies is very well recognized across the DAISY membership, but it raises many practical questions in the minds of not only the production managers who are expecting guidance, but also the business heads of the member organizations who need to define the new business strategies for the coming years. Some of the questions asked are:

     How can we migrate our large production and distribution systems built around DAISY 3/2.02 efficiently to EPUB 3?

     When is the right time to start the process of up gradation, what would be the switching cost & how long will it take?

     What benefit will it provide from a business point of view?

     What benefit will it provide to the patrons?

     Will the transition lead to patrons utilizing commercial publications? Can the worlds of specialized publications and born accessible publications coexist?

     Have the main stream reading systems achieved the level of accessibility and usability that could encourage our patrons to switch?

And so on..

The Transition to Inclusive EPUB 3 eco system project intends to answer such critical questions by bringing the experts from DAISY members together, and developing the path for migration to EPUB 3 eco system.

Furthermore, the production systems analysis undertaken by TIES will help in setting priorities for the feature list for the DAISY Consortiumís open source tools, Pipeline 2, Obi and Tobi, and will also help in determination of the priorities of relevant mainstream products and projects like Readium 2.


Outline of the plan for 2019-20

TIES project was instrumental in bringing the DAISY members together for ensuring that further development of EPUB 3 incorporates their requirements. Other achievements in the production processes include synchronization of schema.org accessibility metadata with ONIX accessibility metadata, development of demanded Navigable Audio-Only EPUB 3 Guidelines, techniques for advance accessibility features like extended descriptions etc., incorporation of preformatted Braille in EPUB 3 publications, & more. On the reading system side, a major impact is visible in the commercial reading systems. The commercial reading systems are becoming more & more accessible, and DAISY Consortiumís reading systems screening methodology is gaining acceptance.

The most important achievement of the TIES project is the emergence of the baseline accessibility initiative, which is establishing a new identity of DAISY Consortium in the worldwide publishing eco system.

The project roadmap for 2019-20is formulated to facilitate the migration of DAISY members to EPUB 3 while developing the inclusive publishing ecosystem. The roadmap follows the following two parallel dimensions.

a)         Up gradation of production systems

The main objectives include

         Ensure that the requirements of DAISY members are addressed in further development of EPUB 3, WP/PWP, EPUB Next and related standards (for example TOC and navigation, synchronization of text and audio etc.).

       Develop techniques and best practices for production of accessible EPUB 3 and enhancing the accessibility of born accessible EPUB publications. Production systems must have a target specification, for this reason the development of the standards and best practices are essential.

        Facilitate & encourage DAISY members to migrate to EPUB 3 production systems.

        Identify the production workflow related requirements of the members and prioritize them in the DAISY Consortiumís open source tools.


b)        Consumption (reading systems)

Ensure the availability of EPUB reading systems that provide a great reading experience with eyes, ears & fingers. The main objectives are:

       Contribute to open source reading systems like Readium 2 & Readium SDK

       Encourage technology developers to develop accessible reading systems that provide great reading experience with eyes, ears & fingers. DAISY Consortiumís reading system screening methodology is an effective tool for this purpose.

       Help universities, schools and end users in identifying the accessible reading systems suitable for them.


Milestones or priorities

Milestones are the concrete deliverables set forth on the basis of confirmed resources (either we have staff or we have confirmed funds and/or resource commitments).

Priorities are the deliverables based on external contributions, our influence on others, available opportunities etc.

Milestone May 2020

a)       Up gradation of production systems.

     Represent DAISY members in W3C Publishing Working Group and EPUB 3 Community Group to ensure that the requirements of DAISY community are incorporated in future versions of publishing standards.

Remark: Other tasks are listed in priorities.


b)††† Consumption (reading systems)

†††††† †Remark: It is mostly based on influence and therefore listed in priorities.


Milestone October 2020

a)     Up gradation of production systems

     Contribute to further development and maintenance of publishing standards in W3C Publishing Working Group and EPUB 3 Community Group to ensure that the requirements of DAISY community are addressed to the extent possible.

     Determine the plan ahead, on basis of production processes analysis.

†††† Remark: Other tasks are listed in priorities.

b) ††Consumption (reading systems)

†††††† Remark: It is mostly based on influence and therefore listed in priorities.


Priorities for 2020

a)     Up gradation of production systems.

     Develop best practices for production of accessible EPUB 3 and for adding accessibility enhancements to born accessible publications.

     Develop a document for recommending spoken clues for DPUB ARIA to screen readers.

     Develop a test Book (EPPUB 3) for DPUB ARIA.

     Work with DAISY members to improve and utilize the new specification for commercial audio books being developed in publishing working group.

     Ensure that future revisions of EPUB 3 and web publications provide the essential support for including preformatted Braille in publications. Braille can be included as a complete Braille rendition, as well as snippets of preformatted Braille for enhancing accessibility of specific parts of the publication

     Work with DAISY members to identify best ways to facilitate aggressive DAISY members in transition to EPUB 3 production systems

     Provide a platform to members for sharing the workflows and other knowledge related to production of accessible EPUB 3.

     Continue Collaboration with DIAGRAM standards working group to work towards common objectives like extended descriptions and MathML techniques, representation of chemistry, annotations, and other modern web technologies.

b)†††† Consumption (reading systems)

       Help in improving feature set of open source Readium 2 reading systems for people with disabilities to build confidence for consumption of EPUB 3 content.

       Continue encouraging the developers of DAISY players for adding support for EPUB 3 and its successor (WP, EPUB Next) in their products.

       The detailed plan of the Reading Systems Evaluation sub project is described in the separate document named Chartered-TIES-Subproject-Reading Systems Evaluation.








†Table 1 showing the % FTE for team members

S. No.




George Kerscher



Avneesh Singh



Marisa Demeglio



Romain Deltour



Daniel Weck



Prashant Verma



Richard Orme



Total (FTE)

0.71 FTE


Total (US$)

70 K



Table 2: Direct cost in US$.

S. No.




Face to face meetings

0 K



2 K


Other costs (Misc.)

0 K



2 K


Dependencies & Risks


       High dependence on membersí participation.

       The deliverables are dependent on the influence on the external standardization work.

       Dependence on collaborations with the organizations like BISG & W3C.


     Publishers in different regions of the world may be migrating to EPUB 3 at different paces. This can cause problems in the unified approach.

     The ongoing work on the Web and EPUB annotations may change the nature of the work that our members are doing. Some adjustments to their business models may happen.