Back in March I attended CSUN. It was a little smaller this year, but it is still by far the biggest disability conference around. I spoke with many different people, some representing vendors, some representing their schools, and some representing themselves. I couldn't possibly list everyone by name, but I do want to use this space to thank all of you for your comments and insights. It is the people that go to CSUN that make CSUN such an exciting conference to attend.
There was lots of news and excitement at CSUN that surrounded DAISY this year:
- "Save as DAISY for Word" was officially released at the start of CSUN, although I didn't see any formal announcement at CSUN. You can read the press release and you can find links to it from DAISY's page on Save As DAISY - Microsoft.
- Our soon to be released MathDaisy product works with the Save as DAISY Word add-in to make the math in DAISY books accessible.
- There are two math-aware DAISY book players: Dolphin's EasyReader and gh's PLAYER. In the Design Science booth, both Paul Topping (Design Science's President and CEO) and I were busy showing off how easy it is to create DAISY books with math and what the result looks like on those two players. People were impressed.
I gave a joint talk with Dennis Leas from gh and Masakazu Suzuki from Kyushu University entitled Word, Math, and DAISY: It All Adds Up. Given that the talk was at 8am, a surprisingly large number of people turned up. I don't think they were disappointed. Our talk was split among the three of us:
- Prof Suzuki showed InftyReader converting a scanned document into a Word document with the math being represented as MathType objects.
- I then took that document, fixed up the few problems it had, and used Save As Daisy (together with MathType and MathDaisy) to create a DAISY book.
- Dennis Leas delivered up the final course (his metaphor) showing it playing in the gh Player.
All along the way, we explained what was going on behind the scenes, things to watch out for, and things to be amazed by :-).
There were at least 10 talks about DAISY this year:
- The DAISY newsletter mentions our talk and some of the other talks.
- Dennis and I even managed to get our picture in the newsletter; we only seem to be able to get our picture in publications targeted at people who are blind...
For those that missed it, a 24 year run of CSUN being in Los Angeles came to an end this year. Next year the conference will be in San Diego. No more having to walk between two hotels. Hopefully that means even more time to talk with people. I hope to see many of those I met this year at CSUN next year.