Making Digital Publishing Accessible to Persons Who are Blind and Print Disabled


Content in XML, such as in the DAISY, NIMAS, or IDPF Open Publication Structure, presents no barriers to persons who are blind or print disabled. However, mainstream commercial user interfaces have been unusable “despite the availability of the wide range of Assistive Technology (AT) such as screen readers. This panel presentation will explore the initiatives to make digitally published materials accessible to customers who are blind and print disabled.

Photo of George Kerscher

George Kerscher

Daisy Consortium

George Kerscher Ph.D. – “In the Information Age, access to information is a fundamental human right.”

George Kerscher began his IT innovations in 1987 and coined the term “print disabled.” George is dedicated to developing technologies that make information not only accessible, but also fully functional in the hands of persons who are blind or who have a print disability. He believes properly designed information systems can make all information accessible to all people and is working to push evolving technologies in this direction.

As Secretary General of the DAISY Consortium and President of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), Kerscher is a recognized international leader in document access. In addition, Kerscher is the Senior Officer of Accessible Technology at Learning Ally in the USA. He chairs the DAISY/NISO Standards committee, the EPUB Maintenance working group and the W3C’s Steering Council for the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). George also serves on the USA National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) Board.

Arnie Zucker

NDS Technologies Ltd.

Senior Analyst at the world’s leading satellite and cable conditional access supplier. Over 20 years experience in software and security systems.

Ivan Lagacé


Biography coming soon.

Photo of Garth Conboy

Garth Conboy

eBook Technologies, Inc.

Garth Conboy is a founding member of the IDPF, and currently serves as the Chairman of the IDPF Board of Directors. He has chaired or vice-chaired the numerous technical working groups that have developed and evolved the EPUB standard since its inception.

Garth is co-founder and President of eBook Technologies, Incorporated (ETI). The ETI team played significant roles in pioneering the eBook market, releasing the first commercial eBooks in 1998 and they continue to drive innovation in electronic book systems. ETI provides and licenses a leading end-to-end electronic book platform offering a full range of eBook products and services. The company possesses deep industry knowledge and the end-to-end technology components to support both enterprise and consumer eBook publishing: content acquisition, conversion, wholesaling, retailing, DRM, distribution, and reading.

Prior to co-founding ETI, Garth served as the General Manager and Vice President of Software Engineering for the Gemstar eBook Group. In these positions he was responsible for the operation of the division: platform and server engineering, quality assurance, content acquisition, content operations, content engineering, and customer support.

Garth is inventor or co-inventor of numerous eBook-related patents; technologies include: cryptography and secure content distribution, eBook UI, resource/database dynamic conversion for cross-platform applications, and optimal paginated document presentation. Prior to its acquisition by Gemstar in 2000, Garth held the position of Vice President of Software Engineering at SoftBook Press leading the platform, content tools, and content engineering teams.

Prior to the eBook effort, Garth founded Pacer Software in 1980 and served as its CEO guiding it to a successful acquisition in 1995.


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Silver Sponsors

  • Accenture
  • Adobe Systems, Inc.
  • Antenna House
  • Appingo
  • Bookbank
  • codeMantra
  • Connotate
  • HCL Technologies
  • Innodata Isogen, Inc.
  • itechne
  • LibreDigital
  • Lulu
  • Malloy
  • Mark Logic
  • Media Services Group
  • Microsoft Live Search Books
  • Near-Time
  • Qoop
  • RSuite
  • Value Chain International

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  • Publishers Weekly

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