[Blindmath] Accessible Physics Concepts for Blind Students

Ken Perry kperry at blinksoft.com
Wed Jun 15 12:08:06 CDT 2011


Hmm then could you not just put that stuff in the meta tags rather than the
titles? 

Ken

-----Original Message-----
From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of Richard Baldwin
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 12:48 PM
To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Accessible Physics Concepts for Blind Students

I appreciate the comments about redundancy in the use of the term "Blind
Students". Let me explain my reasons for doing it that way and then I
welcome additional comments. Basically I repeat that term over and over for
at least two reasons:

The first reason has to do with search engines. The most likely way for a
blind student to find this material is to do a search on Google, Bing,
Yahoo, or some other major search engine. I would like for the students to
be able to enter the following keywords in any order into the search box on
a major search engine and get at least one hit on one or more of the modules
on the first output page from the search engine.

physics accessible blind

After all, it doesn't do any good to publish online material if the target
audience for that material can never find it. And it is very easy for
material to become totally lost on the Internet. As of today, those keywords
will produce at least one hit on the first output page from Google, Bing,
and Yahoo search, so in that respect, I have been successful.

Sometimes it is necessary to do silly things to compete for position in the
search engines, and putting the word "blind" in the title of every module is
one of those silly things that seems to help.

The second reason is more complicated. It has to do with the organization of
the Connexions web site. This web site is designed for the publication of
educational material, and it is also designed to make it possible for
instructors at various institutions to share material published by
themselves and others.

When you visit the Table of Contents for "Accessible Physics Concepts for
Blind Students" and you see the list of titles, what you are seeing is a
list of titles for independent documents that are referred to by the website
designers as modules. Each module is totally unrelated to every other
module. They only become related to one another when someone like myself
creates a "collection" of modules written by myself and potentially by
others as well.

The name of the collection is "Accessible Physics Concepts for Blind
Students." That collection groups together a set of independent modules,
each of which has its own title. Then it lists the titles of those modules
in a prescribed order under the Table of Contents for the collection. (You
may have noticed that each module has its own Table of Contents as well.) It
just happens that so far, I haven't found any other modules on the web site
that I want to include in the collection. However, I am encouraging an
acquaintance of mine to publish some related material on the Connexions
website so that I can include some of that material in my physics
collection.

The design concept for the Connexions website is that every module should be
capable of standing alone. Let's consider a hypothetical example.

Assume hypothetically that one of you decides to create a collection having
to do with education for the disabled, including issues associated with a
variety of disabilities. Although these modules don't actually exist, lets
assume that they do exist and that you are able create a collection that
includes the following modules listed under the Table of Contents for your
Collection. Assume that you elect to use the following title for your
collection: "Educational Barriers for Disabled Students in American Public
Schools"

Your Table of Contents might look something like the following:

Accessibility Issues for Physically Impaired Students in Texas schools
The Need for Better Communication Resources for the Hearing Impaired in
Public Schools in New York
Brief Trigonometry Tutorial for Blind Students
Math Accessibility Improvements for Blind and Visually Impaired Students on
a Nationwide Basis
Montana's New Initiative for Improved Reading Education for Students with
Dyslexia

The reason that I am emphasizing blindness in these modules is, quite
frankly, the target audience consists of blind students -- not low vision
students, not visually impaired students, not dyslexic students, but blind
students. I believe that if I keep that target audience in mind in
everything that I write, the material will also be accessible for low vision
and other visually impaired students.

And, I am trying to use all of the tricks that I have learned during 18
years of online publishing to improve the chances that the target audience
will be able to find the material.

Thanks,
Dick Baldwin



On Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 10:50 AM, Christine Szostak
<szostak.1 at osu.edu>wrote:

> Agree completely. The redundancy actually starts to get a bit annoying to
> read after a while though the descriptions are excellent.
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Peter Donahue" <pdonahue2 at satx.rr.com>
>
> To: "Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics" <
> blindmath at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 11:37 AM
>
> Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Accessible Physics Concepts for Blind Students
>
>
>  Hello Richard and everyone,
>>
>>   The link worked. However I find the section titles rather repetitious.
>> We're told at the outset that this is an E-Book dealing with "Accessible
>> Physics Concepts for Blind Students." The titles of the links could be
>> shortened a bit by removing the phrase "For Blind Students" from each
one.
>> Instead of reading,
>>
>> "Energy -- Power for Blind Students" simply saying "Energy Power" is
>> sufficient in my book. It's not that we want blindness to be hidden.
>> Rather
>> it's a matter of link names being no longer than they need to be to get
>> their point across.   Otherwise this is a great project that will benefit
>> many. All the best.
>>
>> Peter Donahue
>>
>>
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Richard Baldwin" <
>> baldwin at dickbaldwin.com>
>> To: "Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics"
>> <blindmath at nfbnet.org>
>> Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 1:01 AM
>> Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Accessible Physics Concepts for Blind Students
>>
>>
>> Someone earlier made the following comment:
>>
>> 2. You need to locate the Navigation heading to reach the table
>> of  content for the course
>>
>> I went back and talked to the lady in website support and she told me
that
>> the following unpublished URL will cause you to land on the Table of
>> Contents for the Collection.
>>
>> http://cnx.org/content/col11294/latest/#cnx_sidebar_column
>>
>> Since I don't use a screen reader and I am addicted to the use of a mouse
>> instead of keyboard navigation, I don't know how to test it. Give it a
try
>> and let me know if this is what you meant.
>>
>> Dick Baldwin
>>
>> On Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 10:14 PM, Birkir R. Gunnarsson <
>> birkir.gunnarsson at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>  Hi John
>>>
>>> I certainly would've mentioned BrailleBlaster as well, only it had
>>> already been mentioned elsewhere.
>>> It's a small world and a handful of guys that are making things happen
>>> for accessible math.
>>> The Japanese Infty project has the best accessible math editor with
>>> Chatty Infty (if you know TeX you can use Word with MathType installed
>>> successfully as well), or expoert ChattyInfty document to that medium
>>> for embossing.
>>> They also have InftyReader, an application for scanning hardcopy or
>>> electronic format math (PDF images for instance), pretty much the only
>>> scanning solution for math.
>>> But this is probably not overly helpful to someone wanting to make
>>> math accessible on his web site.
>>>
>>>
>>> On 6/15/11, John J. Boyer <john.boyer at abilitiessoft.com> wrote:
>>> > Birkir,
>>> >
>>> > Thanks for the information and the links. I notice that you mention
TSS
>>> > from ViewPlus Technologies. The company is one of the sponsors of
>>> > BrailleBlaster. It will go beyond TSS and be cross-platform.
>>> >
>>> > John
>>> >
>>> > On Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 02:32:08AM +0000, Birkir Gunarsson wrote:
>>> >> Some helpful links:
>>> >> WAI-ARIA draft/document
>>> >> http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/aria.php
>>> >>
>>> >> Note that ARIA support still differs across both browsers and screen
>>> >> readers, and I believe the specification is a final draft,not
official
>>> >> W3C standard yet.
>>> >> This is the right solution for the future certainly, but just keep in
>>> >> mind that you may still get complaints for some time (months
>>> >> probably).
>>> >> But if everyone shies away from implementing new things because they
>>> >> have not become a standard, they will never become a standard.
>>> >> I can't comment on the site in question, but I would've thought using
>>> >> headings of different levels might help clarify and keep the site
>>> >> organizied, as well as making site navigation easier.
>>> >> see the WebAIM article:
>>> >> http://webaim.org/techniques/semanticstructure/
>>> >>
>>> >> For math using MathJax (http://www.mathjax.org) or embed MathML for
>>> >> mathematics will allow users to play math in smost screen readers
>>> >> using MathPlayer from Design Science (www.dessci.com). MP is IE8
>>> >> compatible and there's work in IE9 and Firefox compatibility I
believe
>>> >> (Neil Soiffer will comment on that soon I am sure, he is the
developer
>>> >> for MathPlayer).
>>> >> MathML can also be embossed into braille by both Duxbury DBT and TSS
>>> >> from ViewPlus (though the preferred source format is Word with
>>> >> MathML).
>>> >> In csae you are wondering about PDF, it is not very screen reader
>>> >> friendly with math, though there have been some experiments with
>>> >> making MathPlayer work with PDF, and those who can read pure TeX can
>>> >> use it inside an accessible (tagged) PDF document.
>>> >> For graphics use SVG for all graphs. This is another area still under
>>> >> Assistive Technology development, but SVG is a key concept of UDL, U
>>> >> of Washington has done embossing work as well as APH (as mentioned
>>> >> above).
>>> >> SVG and MathML are both core technologies of HTML5 and ePub3 so
future
>>> >> websites and eBooks can create a STEM accessibility world that
>>> >> hitherto has been completely out of reach for most visually imapred
>>> >> people.
>>> >> Of course there has been a lot of the "chicken and egg" situation in
>>> >> this field. Due to little interest of end users in STEM accessibility
>>> >> it has been hard to encourage Assistive Technology development and
>>> >> hard to persuade publishers to consider these formats, but the lack
of
>>> >> available material in accessible formats is the key to increasing
>>> >> participation and interest from the print disabled community (for
>>> >> discussion of ptint disabled see http://www.readingrights.org ..
>>> >> people with visual and cognitive impairments stand to benefit hugely
>>> >> from multi media interfacing with STEM material).
>>> >> Getting content authors and professionals on-board with this movement
>>> >> is key to revolutionizing the accessibility in the field, so welcome
>>> >> on board.
>>> >> Final pointer for you would be http://www.access2science.org
>>> >> This is a relativelynew website but has a lot of information
regarding
>>> >> STEM accessibility, both producing and consuming.
>>> >> hth
>>> >> -B
>>> >>
>>> >> On 6/15/11, Ken Perry <kperry at blinksoft.com> wrote:
>>> >> > I work for the American printing house for the blind.  Please write
>>> >> > me
>>> >> > an
>>> >> > email at kperry at aph.org and I will get your tactile graphics
>>> request
>>> to
>>> >> > the
>>> >> > right person tomorrow morning.  You can find more information about
>>> APH
>>> >> > at
>>> >> > www.aph.org.
>>> >> >
>>> >> > Ken
>>> >> >
>>> >> > -----Original Message-----
>>> >> > From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:
>>> blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org]
>>> >> > On
>>> >> > Behalf Of Richard Baldwin
>>> >> > Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 9:02 PM
>>> >> > To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
>>> >> > Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Accessible Physics Concepts for Blind
>>> Students
>>> >> >
>>> >> > Hello Lucas,
>>> >> >
>>> >> > I'm new to this list and I'm not certain exactly how it works. I'm
>>> going
>>> >> > to
>>> >> > hit reply and hope that does everything necessary for me to to
reply
>>> to
>>> >> > the
>>> >> > members of the list.
>>> >> >
>>> >> > I appreciate the compliment. As you read through the material, >> >
>>> please
>>> >> > let me
>>> >> > know if you have any suggestions for improvement.
>>> >> >
>>> >> > I am hard at work right now trying to find a way to incorporate
>>> tactile
>>> >> > graphics into the material. If you know of an organization that >>
>
>>> would
>>> be
>>> >> > willing to use a ViewPlus embosser to emboss SVG files for
students,
>>> >> > preferably for free, or for a nominal fee, please let me know.
>>> >> >
>>> >> > Yes, you may use my material in your project.
>>> >> >
>>> >> > I am publishing this material under a Creative Commons license (see
>>> >> > http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
>>> >> >
>>> >> > I am going to copy a couple of links from the Connexions website
>>> >> > below
>>> >> > to
>>> >> > help you in that regard.
>>> >> >
>>> >> > How to reuse and attribute this content (see
>>> >> >
>>> http://cnx.org/content/col11294/1.32/content_info#cnx_attribution_header
>>> )
>>> >> > How to cite  and attribute this content (
>>> >> > http://cnx.org/content/col11294/1.32/content_info#cnx_cite_header)
>>> >> >
>>> >> > If you would like to republish the translation on the Connexions
>>> >> > website,
>>> >> > I'm sure they would be happy for you to publish it there.
>>> >> >
>>> >> > Wishing you the best,
>>> >> > Dick Baldwin
>>> >> >
>>> >> >
>>> >> > On Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 7:26 PM, Lucas Radaelli
>>> >> > <lucasradaelli at gmail.com>wrote:
>>> >> >
>>> >> >> Richard,
>>> >> >>
>>> >> >> 1. The site has too many headings, and using ARIA landmarks would
>>> have
>>> >> > been
>>> >> >> better.
>>> >> >>
>>> >> >>
>>> >> >> I took a look at the website, and it is amazing your work, I
didn't
>>> >> >> know it. The way it is, it is easy to navigate by headers.
>>> >> >>
>>> >> >> I also would like to know if you let me use your material in my
>>> >> >> project. I live in Brazil and probably a lot of blind students
here
>>> >> >> don't know English yet, so it would be interesting to translate >>
>>> >> your
>>> >> >> book into my language...
>>> >> >>
>>> >> >> Thank you!
>>> >> >>
>>> >> >> 2011/6/14, Richard Baldwin <baldwin at dickbaldwin.com>:
>>> >> >> > I am the author of the eBook in the subject line.
>>> >> >> >
>>> >> >> > I just learned of this list and subscribed to it.
>>> >> >> >
>>> >> >> > I was happy to find several comments about my eBook and about
the
>>> >> >> > site
>>> >> > in
>>> >> >> > the recent archives. I have a couple of questions.
>>> >> >> >
>>> >> >> > The comments were:
>>> >> >> >
>>> >> >> > 1. The site has too many headings, and using ARIA landmarks
would
>>> >> >> > have
>>> >> >> been
>>> >> >> > better.
>>> >> >> >
>>> >> >> > 2. You need to locate the Navigation heading to reach the table
>>> >> >> > of
>>> >> >> content
>>> >> >> > for the course.
>>> >> >> >
>>> >> >> > 3. You might consider adding information on the BrailleBlaster
>>> >> >> > project,
>>> >> >> > which
>>> >> >> > will target especially STEM. There is an article on me and the
>>> >> >> > project
>>> >> > on
>>> >> >> > the April DAISY Planet. To find it, look for my name.
>>> >> >> >
>>> >> >> > My questions are:
>>> >> >> >
>>> >> >> > Regarding item 1 above, does this refer to the navigational
>>> material
>>> >> > that
>>> >> >> > belongs to the site, or to the format of the modules that I have
>>> >> >> > written
>>> >> >> and
>>> >> >> > posted on the site?
>>> >> >> >
>>> >> >> > I'm not familiar with the term ARIA landmarks and my first look
>>> >> >> > at
>>> >> >> > what
>>> >> >> the
>>> >> >> > W3C has to say about the topic wasn't very enlightening. Can
>>> someone
>>> >> >> point
>>> >> >> > me to a beginner's tutorial on the topic? If that is a better
>>> >> >> > approach,
>>> >> > I
>>> >> >> > will be happy to switch to it once I know what it is and how to
>>> >> >> > do
>>> >> >> > it.
>>> >> >> >
>>> >> >> > Regarding item 2 above, I am assuming that this has to do with
>>
>>> >> > the
>>> >> >> > organizational structure of the site itself and not with the
>>> material
>>> >> >> that I
>>> >> >> > have posted there. Is that a correct assumption?
>>> >> >> >
>>> >> >> > Regarding item 3 above, at this point I simply don't know enough
>>> >> >> > about
>>> >> >> > BrailleBlaster to talk about it. However, once I find a break in
>>> >> >> > writing
>>> >> >> > technical modules for the eBook, I plan to provide a page
>>> containing
>>> >> >> > a
>>> >> >> > variety of resources, and I will certainly include a link to the
>>> >> >> > BrailleBlaster site when I post those resources.
>>> >> >> >
>>> >> >> > Thanks for the comments,
>>> >> >> > Dick Baldwin
>>> >> >> > _______________________________________________
>>> >> >> > Blindmath mailing list
>>> >> >> > Blindmath at nfbnet.org
>>> >> >> > http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindmath_nfbnet.org
>>> >> >> > To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account
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>>> for
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>>> >> >>
>>> >> >
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>>>
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>>> >> > mail.com
>>> >> >> >
>>> >> >>
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>>> >> > dwin.com
>>> >> >>
>>> >> >
>>> >> >
>>> >> >
>>> >> > --
>>> >> > Richard G. Baldwin (Dick Baldwin)
>>> >> > Home of Baldwin's on-line Java Tutorials
>>> >> > http://www.DickBaldwin.com
>>> >> >
>>> >> > Professor of Computer Information Technology
>>> >> > Austin Community College
>>> >> > (512) 223-4758
>>> >> > mailto:Baldwin at DickBaldwin.com
>>> >> > http://www.austincc.edu/baldwin/
>>> >> > _______________________________________________
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>>>
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>>> >> > t.com
>>> >> >
>>> >> >
>>> >> > _______________________________________________
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%40gmail.com
>>> >> >
>>> >>
>>> >> _______________________________________________
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>>> >
>>> > --
>>> > John J. Boyer; President, Chief Software Developer
>>> > Abilitiessoft, Inc.
>>> > http://www.abilitiessoft.com
>>> > Madison, Wisconsin USA
>>> > Developing software for people with disabilities
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > _______________________________________________
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>>
>>
>> --
>> Richard G. Baldwin (Dick Baldwin)
>> Home of Baldwin's on-line Java Tutorials
>> http://www.DickBaldwin.com
>>
>> Professor of Computer Information Technology
>> Austin Community College
>> (512) 223-4758
>> mailto:Baldwin at DickBaldwin.com
>> http://www.austincc.edu/baldwin/
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-- 
Richard G. Baldwin (Dick Baldwin)
Home of Baldwin's on-line Java Tutorials
http://www.DickBaldwin.com

Professor of Computer Information Technology
Austin Community College
(512) 223-4758
mailto:Baldwin at DickBaldwin.com
http://www.austincc.edu/baldwin/
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