New Release of Axis 360 Provides Accessibility Solutions for the Blind
CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Baker & Taylor, Inc., the world’s largest distributor of digital and physical books, today announced an important new release of its Axis 360 digital media platform that allows visually-impaired ebook users to have full access and use of their library’s digital collections.
Baker & Taylor worked closely with the National Federation of the Blind on the development of the service, which makes Axis 360 fully compatible with the leading assistive screen-reader technologies that blind people use to interact with computers and the World Wide Web. These include: JAWS (Job Access with Speech), Window-Eyes, NVDA (non-visual desktop access) and System Access To Go. Now, the entire digital library experience – from discovering new titles to checking them out, to reading them on the Blio ereader – is available to blind patrons and students, and to others with reading disabilities, in accordance with the mandates of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“Libraries take their commitment to serve their entire community very seriously, and this new version of Axis 360 helps them meet the needs of all their customers,” said George Coe, President of Library & Education at Baker & Taylor. “We all know that interest in ebooks is surging. Now, visually-impaired individuals can share in the convenience, excitement and enjoyment of the newest and best digital content.”
Released last year by Baker & Taylor, Axis 360 is a digital media circulation and management platform used by many of the country’s top libraries. It allows patrons to discover digital content, which they can then read using the Blio ereader.
“We are thrilled that the Axis 360 platform will enable libraries to open up the world of ebooks to the blind and to millions of other persons with reading disabilities throughout the United States,” said Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “There is no other solution libraries can offer that provides the full spectrum of content choices, tools and ease of use for people who have difficulty reading or people who cannot read ordinary print. We will certainly work with libraries across the country to ensure that they fully exploit what Axis 360 can uniquely offer.”
The new upgrade was implemented for all Axis 360 libraries and will serve as the platform for all ongoing development and future growth of Baker & Taylor’s digital media library.
About Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor, Inc. (www.baker-taylor.com) is the world’s largest distributor of books, digital content and entertainment products. The company offers cutting-edge digital media services and innovative technology platforms to thousands of publishers, libraries and retailers worldwide. Baker & Taylor also offers industry-leading customized library services and retail merchandising solutions. Charlotte, N.C.-based Baker & Taylor is majority owned by Castle Harlan Partners IV, L.P., an institutional private equity fund managed by Castle Harlan, Inc., a leading private equity investment firm.
About the National Federation of the Blind
With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind is the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States. The NFB improves blind people’s lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence. It is the leading force in the blindness field today and the voice of the nation’s blind. In January 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training center in the United States for the blind led by the blind.
SOURCE Baker & Taylor, Inc.