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Poet image description tool: Now with enhanced training module, EPUB 3 support

2014 October 14
Submitted by Sue-Ann Ma, Product Manager, Benetech
Benetech released an updated version of Poet, our open-source image description tool, on Friday, September 26th. The highlight of the update is our new Image Description Training Module. The new training module introduces novice describers to the importance of providing accessible images and leverages important research from DIAGRAM Center partners to provide more user-centric tools that help describers figure out “When to describe?” This first phase would not have been possible without the subcontract research work from Touch Graphics on their Decision Tree and online templates that guide novice image describers. Concepts from the Accessible Image Sample Book from the DIAGRAM Content Working Group were also integrated into the module. Feedback from users has been very positive. As one veteran “image slammer” from a Benetech university partner program put it:
“The new training is easily found all on one section of the POET website. It is short, concise, aesthetically pleasing and easy to understand. I love it!!!” – Rachel Schwartz, SIP Internship Director, Brigham Young University
The latest release also expands file format support so that image descriptions can now be created on Poet for EPUB3 files (previously limited to DAISY). Descriptions are tagged in accordance with industry-standard specifications, also noted as item #7 on the DIAGRAM Center’s “Top Tips for Creating Accessible EPUB3 Files.” Additionally, Poet’s updated Image Checker tool (login required) makes it possible for users to do a quick review of various types of image descriptions (such as alt, captions, aria-describedBy, aria-describedAt, longdesc) embedded in an EPUB3 file.
Benetech looks forward to growing the new training module, incorporating additional reference guides, best practice examples, and hands-on exercises with the continued involvement of the DIAGRAM Center community. Please feel free to take it for a spin and send us feedback. We welcome any and all comments and suggestions.

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