What is a DAISY player?
DAISY players are used to play DAISY audio books and are designed to be used by people with print impairments. They are suitable for people with reading difficulties resulting from dyslexia, but primarily they are designed for people with visual impairments. As such DAISY players tend to have large, clearly marked buttons that are easy to find through touch. Because of their simplicity DAISY readers are often used by people with intellectual impairments, and their form factor makes them suitable for people with physical difficulties, too. DAISY readers also play standard audio books and music CDs.
What are DAISY books?
DAISY multimedia uses a combination of MP3 audio and XML to create an accessible book, newspaper, article, magazine or another text format. The books are compatible with synthesised speech, recorded speech, refreshable braille and large print. The features available depend on the hardware or software used to read the DAISY multimedia file, and the type of DAISY file that was made.
Where can I find DAISY books (and other multimedia)?
You can download DAISY books and other multimedia from Bookshare and the NLS (in the USA). If you live in the UK you can buy DAISY books on CD from the RNIB or join the free RNIB Talking Books rental library (the RNIB Overdrive electronic library does not currently support the DAISY format).
Where can I find DAISY players?
There was a time when the RNIB used to loan a free DAISY player for all subscribers of the RNIB Talking Books service (itself a free service). On their website, RNIB claim that the DAISY players are in less demand now that the use of CDs has reduced, and as such they no longer provide them. However, DAISY players are available to buy online from manufacturers such as HumanWare.
What about software that reads DAISY files?
You can download apps and software that read DAISY files. Here’s a small selection: