Monday, November 13, 2006

Post-conference thoughts; RFB&D going digital...soon!

I have just returned from the AHEAD in Texas annual fall conference, held last week in San Marcos. It was good to spend time with some old friends and co-workers to discuss current issues facing the DSS field.

Overall, I enjoyed myself and networked with some sharp professionals in the field. I am still sorting through the notes and information I gathered on the trip. When I have made progress towards this end, I will post some of this information here.

There is one thing in particular that I learned about and want to make sure you are aware of. If you or your institution are subscribers to
Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic
Or RFB&D, as they are commonly called, make sure that you note the date when they are going digital.

As of July, 2007, the books provided by RFB&D will only be available in the DAISY digital audio format. This means that the 4-track cassette players you or your students have will no longer play books from RFB&D after that date.

The discontinuation of cassette tapes is a move that has been in progress for a couple of years, but is quickly approaching full fruition. The advent of digital technology has brought the service provided by this organization to the modern age.
If you still have 4-track cassette players sitting around your office, , don’t despair. There may still be a need for them, because the Texas State Library, which also provides talking books for those with print disabilities is not converting its library to a digital file format. They will still continue using 4-track cassette tapes, so those highly specialized players you have may still be of some use.

However, if you continue using RFB&D as a provider of books in an accessible format, you will need a DAISY reader, if you don’t already have one. These players are available in both software and hardware versions.

I’ll be back here soon to post information and thoughts from the AHEAD in Texas conference.

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