A special thanks to Chris Von See of  TechAdapt Accessible Media Center (TAMC) for this guest feature.

Background to TechAdapt Accessible Media Centre (TAMC)

TAMC was born in the United States in 2006 out of a need to provide easy and effective conversion options for DAISY (Digital Accessible Information SYstem) digital books and NIMAS (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard, a derivative of DAISY) file sets.

Its primary goal is to provide educational agencies, parents, teachers, and others with the ability to quickly and easily convert books into consumer-ready formats suitable for use both with and without additional learning support or reading tools.

Since that first release in 2006, TAMC has grown to provide many new capabilities, and now serves individuals across the United States. In particular, TAMC is in widespread use by braille transcribers desiring to use DAISY or NIMAS file sets as input to their braille transcription, by accessible media specialists who need to convert text-only DAISY books to audio format using TextAloud, Balabolka or another similar audio package, and by education agencies that want to leverage free DAISY and NIMAS content with students without requiring the installation and maintenance of additional reader hardware or software.

What Can TAMC Do?

Currently, TAMC can read two different file types: NIMAS file sets (from the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Center in Kentucky) and DAISY file sets (often from Bookshare or other DAISY producers).  These formats can be converted to:

  • Rich Text Format (RTF) files, which can be opened by any of the thousands of applications or hardware devices that understand this file format. RTF has been used in conjunction with screen readers, software magnifiers and other devices for many years, and it remains one of the most widely-used file formats ever.
  • HTML, the popular file format understood by every Web browser. HTML-formatted books produced with TAMC include not only the content of the book, but navigation panes that allow users to easily find information by heading or page number. In addition, the background color and the font color and size of the content can be adjusted for maximum contrast and readability. TAMC’s HTML books require only a Web browser to read - no network connection or external software or plugins are required.
  • Text-only DAISY, the digital talking book standard in use by libraries and educational institutions around the world. DAISY’s strong navigation facilities and support for synchronized text and audio, combined with the features of DAISY reader software and hardware, can significantly facilitate the reading process for print-impaired individuals.

TechAdapt Accessible Media Center - example of conversion options

In a soon-to-be-released new version, TAMC will also provide the ability to read Microsoft Word files and convert them to these same three output formats.  In the future TAMC will be extended even more to read additional content types - such as the OpenOffice file format, PDFs, and Microsoft PowerPoint and Excel files – and to produce other accessible media formats such as audio, DAISY books with synchronized text and audio, and braille.

Where To Get TAMC

TAMC is a free program available via the Internet from http://www.accessiblemediacenter.com.  The system runs on both the Windows and Mac OS X systems.  Email support is available free of charge, and we try to respond to issues as quickly as possible.

If you’d like to be informed when new releases are available, please let us know at [email protected].