Making Our Music Library Accessible for People with Print Disabilities

May 21, 2024 - By 
A collage of images showing a music score, a pair of hands reading braille and a group of people dacing to music being played on their headphones.

At ChoirCommunity, one of our guiding principles has always been to make the highest quality choral music affordable and accessible to as many choirs as possible. It was therefore a great pleasure to be invited by one of our customers, Daisy Higman, to the Accessible Music Publishing Action Group earlier this year.

This group has been set up by the international DAISY Consortium, which is the home of tools, standards, advice and best practices to ensure that people with print disabilities can access media of all types, and RNIB, the Royal National Institute of Blind People.

The Accessible Music Publishing Action Group focuses on supporting music publishers, engravers, composers, and anyone creating music scores, to ensure that they create those scores in a way which is accessible for blind and other print-disabled musicians to quickly and effectively read the music in their preferred reading format, whether that is braille, modified stave notation, or digitally in notation tools and dedicated apps.

At ChoirCommunity, we realised that we were already a long way down the path of being able to offer this from our website since all our music scores are in a digital format which could be converted to one which is compatible with the reading and converter tools mentioned above.

Thanks to one of our team, Tim Allen who is something of an expert in music engraving, as well as the MusicXML format which is the basis for creating accessible scores, we worked with the DAISY Consortium to ensure that we could create sheet music files which conformed with the best practice standards which have been set.

As a result, we are now in a position to launch our accessible music offering! The way it will work is as follows:

  • If you or a member of your choir needs any of our scores to be in an accessible music format, please contact us with your request by email at: hello@choircommunity.net
  • To set you up as a member of the accessible music choir community, we just need you to complete an application form to confirm that you meet the eligibility criteria. We’ll be happy to talk with you about your requirements when you contact us.
  • Once your application has been approved by ChoirCommunity, whenever you purchase a sheet music title from us, you will also receive the sheet music in MusicXML format, fully compatible with accessible digital tools such as braille music converters and notation tools. We will also be able to send you backdated files for music purchased before joining the service upon request.

If you are interested in registering for this, or would simply like to discuss this further with us, please get in touch at: hello@choircommunity.net

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