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Festival des Arts Numériques Libres

Creating Accessible Documents, DAISY and Braille with OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice Writer

Speaker(s) : Christophe Strobbe, Vincent Spiewak, Bert Frees

  • Language : Anglais
  • Level : Newbie
  • Nature : Conference
  • Date : Monday 11 July 2011
  • Schedule : 17h00
  • Duration : 40 minutes

Place : Bâtiment Droit - 1er étage - Amphi Carré de Malberg


OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice Writer enable authors to create accessible documents, i.e. documents that are accessible to people with disabilities, regardless of the tools they use to access content: a screen, a speech synthesizer, a Braille display or a special pointing device. Authors need to be aware of a number of techniques to achieve this, for example, structuring a document by means of headings, providing text alternatives for images and other objects, creating accessible tables, using colours that provide sufficient contrast, etcetera. An accessible document is not only valuable in itself but is also a requirement for the creation of accessible export formats such as digital talking books (DAISY format), Braille and PDF. OpenDocument Text (ODT) can be converted to a DAISY book with the odt2daisy extension, and to Braille with the odt2braille extension. Both odt2daisy and odt2braille are open-source extensions for OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice Writer and were developed at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium in the framework of the European project AEGIS. The presentation will also demonstrate accessible auhoring practices, odt2daisy, odt2braille and an open-source accessibility checker for OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice Writer.


Christophe Strobbe is a researcher specialised in web accessibility; he has been working for the research group DocArch (Document Architectures) of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Leuven, Belgium) since 2001. He has contributed to the European projects VISUAL (2001-2004), IDCnet (2002-2005), BenToWeb (2004-2007), @Science (2006-2008), USEM (2007-2010), STAND4ALL (2009-2010) and eGovMoNet (2008-2010), AEGIS (2008-2012) and SSEDIC (2010-2012), and to a number of university projects with the goal to increase accessibility of the university’s ICT infrastructure. During the BenToWeb project he also contributed to the Unified Web Evaluation Methodology (UWEM). He has been a member of W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG) since April 2005, co-facilitator of WAI Test Samples Development Task Force (TSD TF) since July 2006 and member of the Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group (ERT WG) since March 2011. In the AEGIS project he has, among other things, been involved in odt2daisy, odt2braille and an accessibility checker for LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org.

Vincent Spiewak studied informatics (Informatique, filière STL, spécialité Technologie applicatives) at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6 in Paris, France, where he started working on odt2book, the precursor of odt2daisy. In the summer of 2008, his project was awarded a Gold Award in Sun’s Community Innovation Program. In the second half of 2009 he continued developing odt2dtbook, which was renamed to odt2daisy. Vincent currently works as a software engineer at the Vision IT Group.

Bert Frees has a Master degree in Electrical Engineering from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. After graduating in 2009 he started working at the research group DocArch (Document Architectures) of the same University. He has been doing research on Braille since December 2009. He is developing odt2braille in the context of the AEGIS project.



Attached documents

slides (english)
slides (english) (opendocument presentation - 3.8 Mb)
transparents (français)
transparents (français) (opendocument presentation - 6.8 Mb)