[Blindmath] Math Production Question

John Gardner john.gardner at orst.edu
Thu Dec 22 13:40:13 CST 2011

I'll add four comments to George's below.  Details on all of the
technologies I describe are available on the www.acccess2science.com web
site.  Math in the Duxbury application mentioned by George is also
documented on that site.

John Gardner

-----Original Message-----
From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of George Bell
Sent: Thursday, December 22, 2011 10:48 AM
To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Math Production Question

Hi James,

You've asked a heck of a lot in a short space.

If we leave diagrams aside for a moment, various output formats from
Large Print to Braille can be done using INFTY to scan if needs be.
You save the scan as an XML file, whereupon it can be brought into
Word 2007 or 2010

It's an easy job then to convert what will be Word's Math objects into
MathType objects using MathType to do this.

You are then ready to do any corrections and editing, paying
particular attention to the Word Styles used.

When you have a decent Word file, again it's a relatively easy
operation, if required, to convert the whole document, including the
math object into Large Print, although you will need to review the
enlargement and possible edit where appropriate.

The very same original file may then be simply brought into Duxbury
11.1 for conversion to Braille, but here you do need to carefully
proof read the braille.

JAG: You can also use TSS with a ViewPlus embosser.  If you use an embosser
that also prints ink, TSS will give you both the braille and ink.  It will
print ink words above braille and print the ink equation over the braille.

Gain with the same original Word file, you can prepare for DAISY.

Graphics are a different matter, and there are many who are
experienced in this field here.  
JAG: There are several ways to handle the graphics.  I can only tell you the
two ways to do it with ViewPlus software.  One is to make a stand-alone
tactile graphic.  Scan in a graphic, import into MS Word, stretch to as big
as will fit on what page size you are using, then put text boxes over any
(bit-mapped) text labels and type in that same text.  TSS will then convert
that text to braille.  Be sure that the text boxes are large enough for the
braille!    Then emboss, with ink again if you have the right embosser.  You
usually need to write a descriptive paragraph explaining what the figure is
all about and include it in braille.  Some (unfortunately small fraction) of
your braille-reading blind students will be able to understand this figure.
The second method is to use audio-tactile access with IVEO.  Audio-tactile
graphics are much easier for most blind students to understand.  To make an
audio-tactile graphic, you import the scanned image into IVEO Creator Pro,
and the bit-mapped-text is automatically converted to real text.  You also
usually need to add some information into the file about what the various
objects in the figure are, just as you need to write a descriptive paragraph
about a stand-alone tactile figure.  Then emboss it, make a computer and
touchpad available to the student who will hear text labels and that
information in audio when text or objects are pressed.

I will add that I'm currently testing
out a Phoenix graphics and braille embosser, but it is too early to
report progress.

Scientific Notebook is possible something to consider later but so far
in our school system, it's not proved to be required.  Perhaps when we
advance to University level we will need it, but there are few enough
doing decent math at the school level.
JAG: You don't need Scientific Notebook for anything.  You can write any
conceivable math expression with MathType in MS Word, and TSS will translate
it into Nemeth perfectly.

We're also looking at how we may obtain speech output from the Word
file, and will be tackling that in the New Year.
JAG: Easy.  Export to a MathPlayer-format HTML file using the MathType
"Publish as Math Page" menu item.  Then open in Internet Explorer in which
the free MathPlayer plug-in is installed.  Check with the MathPlayer
manufacturer (Design Science) web site to set various IE security options
properly.  Then read the Word document, including equations in audio with
any screen reader.

All the best, and Seasons Greetings,


-----Original Message-----
From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org
[mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of James McCarthy
Sent: 22 December 2011 17:34
To: 'Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics'
Subject: [Blindmath] Math Production Question

I operate an instructional materials access center making accessible
textbooks in the state of Maryland. I personally have little knowledge
of stem materials, but am committed to providing as accessible a stem
experience as possible. I am an avid follower of this list, though
rarely post, however, I now seek your advice. To date, we have not had
any capacity to provide accessible mathematic materials. However, we
strive to change this to the extent it is feasible. We are purchasing
the entire Infty Reader suite and can purchase most of the remaining
software we will need.
Obviously MathType seems essential and I think MathDAISY may also be
something we require. I am less sure of the role of Scientific
Notebook, though I have some notes stating it is helpful and perhaps
essential for a production house. Any thoughts from others on this


James McCarthy, J.D.

Maryland Accessible Textbook Program Coordinator

Maryland Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

415 Park Avenue

Baltimore, MD 21201

Phone: (410) 230-2453

Fax: (410) 333-2095

Email: jmccart at lbph.lib.md.us


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