The DIAGRAM Center partner organizations have each led technology initiatives that fundamentally changed how people with visual and print disabilities experience and interact with all forms of media — from DAISY’s development of the ANSI/NISO standard, to NCAMs work on image description and the effective practices required to create them.
WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) pioneered the use of audio description on broadcast television, launching the Descriptive Video Service (DVS) over the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in 1990. A founding member of the Web Accessibility Initiative, NCAM led the way for description on the Web and worked with the DAISY Consortium within the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) to define standard approaches for access to images and multimedia within the DAISY and ePub format.
From 2003-2006, NCAM conducted a multi-year study of eBook software and hardware accessibility challenges and opportunities. Also, with National Science Foundation-funding, NCAM led a collaborative research project with DAISY, RFB&D, AFB and APH to research effective practices for describing complex images for learners with disabilities. In addition, NCAM collaborated with Bookshare on creating methods to integrate image descriptions within NIMAS files.
U.S. Fund for DAISY (USFDAISY) is a 501(c)(3) organization that administers U.S. based projects and provides financial support for the DAISY Consortium in accordance with its mission. That shared mission is to develop and promote international standards and technologies which enable equal access to information and knowledge by all people with print disabilities and which also benefit the wider community. The DAISY Standard is the most widely adopted access technology for reading in the world. Over 100,000 DAISY files are currently available in the U.S. through the National Library Service, Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D) and Bookshare, all DAISY Consortium members. In addition, all AT devices on the market from companies including HumanWare, Plextor, gh, Dolphin, Freedom Scientific, Kurzweil and HIMS support DAISY technology.