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Creating and Using Accessible Mathematical Content. Gaeir Dietrich [email protected] Steve Jacobs [email protected] Steve Noble [email protected] INTRODUCTION The Learning Relationship. Instructor. Instructional Pathway. Assessment

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Creating and using accessible mathematical content l.jpg
Creating and Using Accessible Mathematical Content

Gaeir Dietrich [email protected]

Steve Jacobs [email protected]

Steve Noble [email protected]

Introduction the learning relationship l.jpg
INTRODUCTIONThe Learning Relationship







Instructional pathways common forms l.jpg
Instructional PathwaysCommon Forms










Instructional pathways common problems for math l.jpg
Instructional PathwaysCommon Problems for Math

  • Text Books – common OCR applications ignore math; publisher PDFs use images

  • Study Sheets – similar issues to textbooks; sometimes also handwritten

  • Web sites and CMS – math equations on the web typically are images

  • Classroom Instruction – how to take accessible math notes?; math verbalization not standard

Assessment pathways common forms l.jpg
Assessment PathwaysCommon Forms









Assessment pathways common problems for math l.jpg
Assessment PathwaysCommon Problems for Math

  • Tests & Quizzes – special treatment needed for AT to work; students with handwriting issues

  • Papers – problem of accessible entry of math equation in word processing applications

  • Homework – problem of sighted teachers and blind students being able to use same formats

  • Online Activities – how to put accessible math equations on the web; web based math editors?

Instructional pathways common solutions for math l.jpg
Instructional PathwaysCommon Solutions for Math

Math Textbook

Hard Copy











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  • InftyReader

    • Math OCR software

    • Data conversion

  • InftyEditor

    • Editor of math documents

  • ChattyInfty

    • InftyEditor + speech output

    • Authoring and editing tool of math documents for visually impaired users

Www dessci com mathtype mathtype l.jpg MathType

  • Commonly used mainstream WYSIWYG math editor

  • Works well as math handwriting accommodation

  • Provides for GUI, keyboard or LaTeX math entry

  • Exports and imports MathML or LaTeX

  • Can be used with DBT or Tiger to create Nemeth braille

  • Issue: Not a natively accessible editor with JAWS

  • Issue: Equations in Word documents must be exported for use with synthetic speech or braille

Www dessci com mathplayer mathplayer l.jpg MathPlayer

  • Commonly used mainstream add-on for IE

  • Allows web pages or local files containing MathML equations to be displayed in IE

  • Acts as a transparent accessibility linkage between IE and assistive technologies

  • After installation requires no user intervention

  • Works with many AT applications: JAWS, WindowEyes, TextHelp R&W or BA, Serotek

Www dessci com mathdaisy mathdaisy l.jpg MathDaisy

  • Requires MS Word, MS Save As DAISY add-in, and MathType.

  • Adds "Save As DAISY" to Word's File menu

  • Saves document as a DAISY Digital Talking Book with MathML equations

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  • All braille uses the same 63 symbols

    • Context gives meaning

    • Seven braille codes

  • Each code is slightly different

    • Uncontracted braille

    • Contracted braille

    • Nemeth math braille

    • CBC (computer braille code)

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Bottom Line

  • Not all students who read braille read Nemeth math braille

  • Be sure to ask!

  • Reality check: If the student does not know Nemeth, s/he is unlikely to learn it just to take a math class.

Nemeth braille example l.jpg
Nemeth Braille Example

  • Numbers

    • 1234567890

    • #1234567890

  • Symbols

    • x² + 2x + 2 = 10

    • x^2"+2x+2 .k #10

Creating math braille l.jpg
Creating Math Braille

  • Use MS Word with MathType

    • Or use Scientific Notebook

  • Use MathType to create equations

  • Use styles in MS Word

    • Body text, normal

    • Headings 1-3

    • List, list bullet, list number

    • Index

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Reality Check

  • Nemeth created with MathType (or Scientific Notebook) may have significant errors

  • Have the book done by a Nemeth transcriber

  • Try doing handouts in-house

    • Check with your student to make sure the braille is acceptable

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Nemeth Braille Resources

  • American Printing House for the Blind hosts the Louis Database

    • Anyone can search for Braille materials


  • ATPC

    • Sell Braille to all systems


  • Hadley School for the Blind

    • Free courses


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Scientific Calculator

  • Orion TI-36X

    • Hand-held, talks

    • American Printing House for the Blind


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Other Calculators


    • Search on “calculator”


    • Software, simple talking calculator, free


    • Talking calculator for Windows and Mac


    • Accessible stats calculator

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Software Calculator

  • Audio Graphing Calculator

    • Computer software, talks

    • ViewPlus Technology

    • Note: Graphs can be printed on Tiger Embosser or to PIAF paper

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  • Free from NASA


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Web Resource