Getting Your Scores to Blind, Partially Sighted, and Print-Disabled Musicians
The international DAISY Consortium and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) invite music publishers, composers, and music-setters/engravers to take part in our upcoming online Round Table on Accessible Music Publishing.
The event aims to explore and understand various sector requirements, through presentations and discussions between:
- mainstream music publishers (including exam boards)
- braille and other accessible format producers
- blind, partially sighted, and print-disabled musicians
- music setters/engravers
- music notation software producers.
We will discuss steps that the global sector can take to ensure equitable access to published scores, in response to legislation and to take advantage of technological advances, with the aim of establishing a sector Working Group and trialling some solutions.
Many literary publishers worldwide are already engaged in the highly efficient ‘born accessible’ workflow, using standards such as ePub to enable rapid access to printed books for people with print disabilities (blind, partially sighted, or otherwise print-disabled).
However, the music sector is yet to adopt a streamlined inclusive approach, meaning that accessible scores are difficult for print-disabled musicians to obtain. Often, manual transcription from a standard-print copy into braille or modified stave notation (large print) is the only option. This is a significant barrier to equitable access for blind and partially sighted people, in music education, professionally, and those exploring music for leisure. From a publisher’s perspective, it can be difficult to know how best to fulfil customer requests for accessible formats of music scores when there is no recognised process.
The DAISY Consortium and RNIB have been working on improving access to music scores for print-disabled musicians, particularly braille readers, with improvements to file format standards, notation, editing and conversion tools and new guidance on accessible publishing.
Round Table Objectives
Through this Round Table we hope to find a model for accessible music publishing which proves efficient for publishers, music setters and braille production houses alike, and:
- open a dialog between those involved in music publishing and accessible format production.
- discuss sector needs for well-structured master and MusicXML files for effective and efficient conversion into accessible formats, particularly music braille and modified stave notation.
- discuss publisher working practices to explore whether their needs and practices would accommodate the creation of well-structured master and MusicXML files as part of their music-setting processes.
- establish a working group and trials to create accessibility-friendly master and MusicXML scores for print-disabled musicians, ready for conversion into accessible formats.
About the DAISY Consortium
DAISY is an international non-profit membership organization working with over 150 partners all around the world to improve access to reading for people with print disabilities. We work closely with technology companies, standards agencies and publishers to ensure that the reading and publishing technology of tomorrow provide an accessible future for all. We have a dedicated workstream around access to music braille.
• Home page: https://daisy.org/
• DAISY Music Braille Project: https://daisy.org/activities/projects/music-braille/
RNIB, the Royal National Institute of Blind People, is the UK’s leading sight loss charity. We offer practical and emotional support to blind and partially sighted people, their families and carers. We raise awareness of the experiences of blind and partially sighted people and campaign for change to make our society more accessible for all. We want to change our world so there are no barriers to people with sight loss.
About the UK Publishing Accessibility Action Group
One of our speakers will present experience from the literary publishing sector. The UK Publishing Accessibility Action Group is a supportive community that fosters collaboration and encourages companies and publishing professionals in their accessibility journey. Our aim is to ensure that publications can be read by people with print disabilities. Its members include representatives from the publishing industry, publishing bodies, publishing technology organisations, disability associations, and people with lived experience of print disability.
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