[Irl-dean] EUAIN Demonstrator: Accessible Information & Multichannel publishing Application

Joshue O Connor joshue.oconnor at ncbi.ie
Mon Jun 26 14:52:24 IST 2006

Hello All,

I am sure that many of you will find this very interesting.  The "EUAIN Demonstrator" is a project being developed by BrailleNet  as a part of the Euain (www.euain.org) initiative.  For a bit of background, I have included some info from the euain.org site. 

<euain background>

EUAIN is: The EUAIN project (European Accessible Information Network) is funded by the eInclusion thread of the European Commission 6th framework IST programme and co-ordinated by FNB Amsterdam. 

Their main objectives are to:

   1. To bring together all the players in the information provision and e-publishing chain in order to achieve the critical mass significantly to enhance the provision of accessible information at a European level 
   2. To create a self-sustaining network which can offer the necessary expertise, shared knowledge, technological tools and distribution platforms to all those involved in the provision of accessible information and in particular to provide a collaborative platform for content creators to find information, tools, advice and solutions
   3. To raise awareness and stimulate the adoption at local, regional, national and european levels of the emerg-ing formats and standards for the provision of accessible information and to find ways of ensuring that technological protection measures do not inadvertently impede legitimate access to information by people with print impairments 
   4. To stimulate and support the adoption of new distribution channels and appropriate business solutions in order to help achieve faster, prompter and less expensive production and distribution of accessible information

</euain background>

As a result of their involvement with EUAIN, BrailleNet have come up with a web application that can take a structured document and by a conjunction
of XML/XSLT magic can output to several other structured formats, including HTML. More precisely the demonstrator can provide :

−	automatic converters to generate accessible documents from source files or files that can be imported in software used to produce adapted documents;
−	technical solutions and guidelines to produce source documents in standard file formats that can be used by the converters;
−	a tools to check the level of structure of source documents;
−	a tools demonstrating how accessible documents can be protected against unlawful use without damaging access conditions for people using assistive technologies. 

Even more precisely, the following formats should be exported by the converters:
−	accessible electronic documents (HTML files following W3C guidelines, and/or PDF files following the Adobe specifications regarding accessibility);
−	electronic documents ready for embossed Braille production;
−	electronic documents ready for large print production,
−	electronic documents ready for digital talking books production.

The idea being to promote the creation of and adherence to the use of structured documents in order to facilitate easy structured output across several formats. This approach not only intends to improve the accessibility of the documents but, in simple terms, means the use of one structured source document that can be used to  produce other documents, as required.

I have tried it and it is very promising, it does not however convert the structured XML document into tagged PDF, and the outputted document lacked an appropriate language specification and character mapping, although the test XML document did contained them, (I have checked, and they do, lang="fr' and encoding="utf-8" but Adobe Acrobat didn't catch them).  It does allow an XML/HTML/Open Document Format file to be converted to a large print PDF doc for print impaired users, and I think this work is very promising.

To test the demonstrator go to http://demonstrator.euain.org

Please do check it out, feel free to create your own XML docs and see what it outputs.You have to register to use it and I have a "Read-me" file that I will send
to whoever wants it, though the same info is included on the site. Once you are registered you can then download test documents or use your own.

Please send your feedback to BrialleNet using the form, or to myself, and I will relay it back directly to EUAIN.


Joshue O Connor

Senior  Accessibility Consultant

Centre for Inclusive Technology (CFIT)
National Council for the Blind of Ireland

Website: http://www.cfit.ie
E-Mail: joshue.oconnor at cfit.ie
Tel: 01 8821980 


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