DAISY textbooks in Montenegro
Aferdita Berisaj, a 9th-grade pupil at Mileva Lajovic Lalatovic Primary School, Montenegro.
In 2013, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched a project across Montenegro to produce DAISY-standard audio-visual books and make them available in mainstream primary schools. The project aims to make learning materials accessible to students who have difficulties in using printed materials, such as children with learning difficulties, low vision, blindness or dyslexia, and at the same time to enable them to study alongside their peers to create an inclusive educational environment. The project started in 25 schools and was expanded to 70 by 2019.
The audio-visual DAISY textbooks allow learners to listen to the audiobook and navigate through it, browsing through chapters and lines, bookmarking elements, making notes and accessing other multimedia content. They are intended for all children, but are especially beneficial for pupils who have difficulty reading printed texts. So far, within the Montenegro project 10 regular textbooks have been converted into DAISY format and teams of teachers in almost half of all primary schools have been trained to use DAISY as part of regular teaching practice.
Enablers / Barriers:
DAISY books allow a much more interactive experience than normal audiobooks, and make the learning experience much easier and effective. They are relatively easy to create and most reading software are free and open source. In addition, the DAISY book production pipeline is well developed and standardized and can be scaled for most types of printed materials.
On the other hand, the fact that DAISY books require specialized software loaded on the computer might be a barrier for some users. In addition, only a fraction of books (or e-books) get republished to conform to DAISY specifications, and the overall tendency is to transitioning accessible publishing from the DAISY standards to the EPUB 3 specifications.
Blind and low vision, Print disabilities, DAISY, Read aloud, TTS (text-to-speech)