[Blindmath] Math Textbook Accesibility Questions: HELP!

Lisa Bongiorno Lisa.Bongiorno at dhs.state.nj.us
Wed Jun 29 06:49:13 CDT 2011


I have an idea as to the complexity of the graphics you are faced with.
Have you tried QickTac from Duxbury?  It should be a free download. You
may have to use a thermoform machine to get clean, clear graphics.

-----Original Message-----
From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org]
On Behalf Of Andrew Cioffi
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 5:45 PM
To: blindmath at nfbnet.org
Subject: [Blindmath] Math Textbook Accesibility Questions: HELP!

Hi folks,

I am new to the field of making materials accessible for blind or low
vision students.

My current challenge: students has requested that his math text be made
available in LaTeX code.  The publisher has provided that full text in
PDF files by chapter.  I have tried numerous things, and am not getting
any clear results.

I would like to preface this all by the fact that I have very limited
background of LaTeX, and cannot use it author any source code

I have downloaded the free trial version of ifntyreader, and have used
it with mixed results.  For any of the chapters provided by the
publisher, ifnty won't recognize them until I open them and save them as
a copy.  Each chapter is about 150 pages, so it takes quite a while for
ifnty to trudge through (roughly one hour per chapter).  The output
LOOKS like LaTeX, but sometimes the ifntyreader only outputs a TIFF of
each page.  Other times, it provides some jumbled LaTeX output.

I have figured out that the problem with the output is that information
exists in multiple columns in the publisher provided PDFs and it appears
that the output is created linearly (forgive me if I am using incorrect
terminology here), hence the jumbled LaTeX.  Is there a way to get
around this?  Is there a program that can be used to modify the layout
of the PDF to make it all exist in one column?

My ifnty demo runs out in about 12 days, so I am trying to figure some
of these issues out before deciding on whether to buy the program or
not.

I also tried printing pages and scanning them in, and THEN running them
through inftyreader.  This produced the same jumbled output, now with
lots of typos to be corrected.  Not sure that this is the route to go.

How have folks dealt with scanning text book pages into ifnty that
happen to have some complex layouts???

The student is ultimately looking to receive his materials for this
course in a format that can accurately be read by a screen reader.  Any
thoughts on what is the most effective and reliable way to convert these
publisher provided PDFs?

Did I mention that he is an engineering major that will be starting in
September???

There is MUCH helpful information in the Blindmath archives, and I am
thankful for any help that you all may be able to provide.

Andrew Cioffi
Assistant Director
Office Location: 73 Tremont Street, 7th Floor
Mailing Address: 8 Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (617) 994-6820
Email: acioffi at suffolk.edu<mailto:kbehling at suffolk.edu>
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