[Blindmath] [Blind math] Somewhat positive yet disappointing press release

Patti Mitchell patti at 4dewitt.com
Fri May 27 09:10:15 CDT 2011


Yes I agree. Looking at the big picture if Windows finally does as well as
Macintosh's Voice Over - they will be including speech in its operating
system that works and everyone who has a computer will have access to voice.

I am wary of software I have to train teachers/assistants to use. They
usually are not very techie.

Patti Mitchell
De Witt & Associates
Consultants on Accessibility and Training
700 Godwin Ave.
STE 110
Midland Park, NJ 07432
201-447-6500 x216
973-202-3123 Cell

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-----Original Message-----
From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of Ken Perry
Sent: Friday, May 27, 2011 9:19 AM
To: 'Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics'
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] [Blind math] Somewhat positive yet disappointing
press release

See that is the problem I don't think access should have to depend on any
screen reader.  With the way active content can be done now and speech can
be transmitted online it would be much better to make the content talk.
While I sometimes argue the point that is made with a system like Emacspeak
there is something to accessible content without a screen reader having to
be involved.  

For example can you imagine what it would be like if the Movie companies had
said we will make it possible for screen readers to make our movies
accessible but it will be up to the companies who make them to implement the
our api to make them talk?  It would be much better if the publishers make
their tests and books accessible without depending on software the user is
using.  For example if you have a graph or a it would be better to put it in
several formats that different access technology can deal with.  For that
matter maybe even recorded spoken word for some of the descriptive.  If each
publisher did it then the access comes default.  

In sina's example a company like Pearsons could use math player to have
access to the equations spoken  and maybe in the future brailed if they need
it but that should work no matter the screen access program.

So I guess what I would like to see is accessible content not content that
someone needs to make accessible.


Ken

Ken

-----Original Message-----
From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of Stephen L Noble
Sent: Friday, May 27, 2011 8:03 AM
To: 'Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics'
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Somewhat positive yet disappointing press release

The work in question is not designed to limit math usage to any particular
screen reader. Any screen reader can modify their product to support math.
Indeed, JAWS already supports math speech when using IE plus MathPlayer. The
grant in question takes this work much further, however. Let me quote what
Neil Soiffer said: "Freedom Scientific did not want to participate in the
grant, GW Micro did." 

Nothing will stop JAWS, NVDA, or any other screen reader from implementing
the same functionality that will be in Window-Eyes as a result of this
research project. It simply means that they have to make math access a
priority and devote the necessary development resources to make it happen.
It certainly isn't the fault of companies like ETS or Design Science that
the folks that make JAWS do not see math support as all that  important. The
quickest way to get screen reader vendors interested in math support is for
customers (including big customers like state service agencies) to tell them
that this is a priority and
you know it can be done.   

I have had countless discussions with vendors for years about the need for
better math support. What they usually tell me is that there is not enough
demand for increased math functionality to warrant expending development
time to make it happen. Often, they tell me that I am the only person who
ever mentions it. Here's a quote copied and pasted from an email I received
a vendor not too long ago:
"...we choose features based on the scenarios they complete and on the
customer feedback we here. We've heard your feedback loud and clear and we
will take it into account. At this point there's nothing further we need
from you." 
So, the point is that vendors need to hear from customers, large and small,
that they need to put in the work to get better math support in their
products.

--Steve Noble 
   

>>> Ken Perry <kperry at blinksoft.com> 5/27/2011 7:14 AM >>>
No iI said they should use standards like html 5 to make it work there are
all kinds of things they could do from using flash to control the reading of
text or html descriptive recordings that can be controlled by the web page
and not by the screen reader.  What I am trying to say is this should not be
geared to one or another screen reader.  GW being involved may not be the
greatest way to go.  What I mean is if we are all forced to use Window-eyes
just to read math that would be silly.

Ken

-----Original Message-----
From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org
[mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Sina Bahram
Sent: Friday, May 27, 2011 1:04 AM
To: 'Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics'
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Somewhat positive yet disappointing press release


Ok, now let's discuss some real mathematics, not highschool arithmetic.

Please state a standards compliant, AT agnostic,  way of stating the reamon
zeta function?

Here's the function

zeta(x)=1/(Gamma(x))int_0^infty(u^(x-1))/(e^u-1)du

I'd like that read outloud sensibly please.

Several techniques exist, but you say there's a standards compliant way to
do this, without freedom's intervention. What would that be?

Take care,
Sina



-----Original Message-----
From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org
[mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Ken Perry
Sent: Friday, May 27, 2011 12:46 AM
To: 'Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics'
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Somewhat positive yet disappointing press release

Well from talking to the Pearsons coders they are trying to make the subject
matter accessible no matter the access difficulties. For example in the
chapter I have in front of me right now if you go to a diagram that is a bar
chart.  Or how about a parabola it has access in two ways one is a long desc
like alt that works in any screen reader but another for a better
description is you click on the picture and it brings up a full description
of the graph in question as if a person was describing it to you.  They are
using math player to read the functions and things and the test I took as a
sample was accessible whether I be totally blind, visually impaired, or a
regular sighted user.  I just think if things are designed correctly it
doesn't matter the access software.  

Ken

-----Original Message-----
From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org
[mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Steve Jacobson
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2011 10:41 PM
To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics; patti at 4dewitt.com
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Somewhat positive yet disappointing press release

Maybe Neil will feel like explaining more, but the odds are that whatever GW
Micro does will likely benefit Freedom Scientific.  I must say that I'm a
little surprised that people would feel that Freedom Scientific was wronged
here when they chose to not put anything into this project and to sit back
and benefit from the work of others.  I'm not sure there is any way to
interpret math in a way that is so standard that screen readers won't have
to do some work.  In addition, the model of how software is made accessible
is changing and screen readers are having to make some adjustments.  We are
very much moving away from MSAA toward UI Automation, and this does require
some effort on the part of screen readers.  Over time, there will be more
standard ways of handling this, but it does worry me some that there seems
to be a significant amount of work that screen readers have to do to make
individual software accessible.  Time will tell how it all works out.

Best regards,

Steve Jacobson

On Fri, 27 May 2011 01:26:06 +0000, patti at 4dewitt.com wrote:

>In addition, as a technology teacher of the blind in nj, most kids are

>at the mercy of the commission or the schools for their technology. 
>They get them
jaws most times.
>Universal access is my dream. It should all be interconnected On the 
>other hand, Jaws users have a huge underground of script writers who 
>may already have solved my problem

>Sent on the Sprint. Now Network from my BlackBerry.

>-----Original Message-----
>From: "Ken Perry" <kperry at blinksoft.com>
>Sender: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org
>Date: Thu, 26 May 2011 20:57:31
>To: 'Blind Math list for those interested in 
>mathematics'<blindmath at nfbnet.org>
>Reply-To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
>	<blindmath at nfbnet.org>
>Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Somewhat positive yet disappointing press 
>release

>See this is where I have to ask.  If you use standards like html 5 and

>make sure that things are more than just accessible to screen readers

>it won't be hard for companies like FS to keep it accessible.  This 
>shouldn't be a war against companies it should be a war to make Math 
>accessible whether a person uses sight or sound or smell to read math.
 
>If standards of the world are followed rather than making up a
standard 
>just for the blind then it won't be an issue.

>Ken

>-----Original Message-----
>From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org
>[mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Neil Soiffer
>Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2011 4:13 PM
>To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
>Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Somewhat positive yet disappointing press 
>release

>We are adding new functionality (eg, navigation for math and being
able 
>to read math directly in a word doc without saving to a web page
first).
>Unless JAWS or other AT adds code to their product to take make the 
>appropriate calls to the new interfaces that get defined, it won't
pick 
>up that new functionality.

>Neil Soiffer
>Senior Scientist
>Design Science, Inc.
>www.dessci.com


>On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 12:32 PM, Patti Mitchell <patti at 4dewitt.com>
wrote:

>> Is Jaws using something else?
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org 
>> [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] 
>> On
>> Behalf Of Neil Soiffer
>> Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2011 3:08 PM
>> To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
>> Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Somewhat positive yet disappointing press 
>> release
>>
>> We would like as many screen readers as possible to be part of this
work.
>> Freedom Scientific did not want to participate in the grant, GW
Micro
did.
>> I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you want math support

>> in
>your
>> AT, you need to make it very clear to your AT vendor that if they 
>> don't support math well, you'll use a different product that does.
>>
>> Neil Soiffer
>> Senior Scientist
>> Design Science, Inc.
>> www.dessci.com 
>> ~ Makers of MathType, MathFlow, MathPlayer, MathDaisy, Equation 
>> Editor ~
>>
>>
>> On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 10:30 AM, Jose Tamayo <jtblas at hotmail.com>
wrote:
>>
>> > In the press release below, JAWS is not mentioned at all.  This is

>> > such a significant press release yet a market player such as JAWS

>> > is not even mentioned, any reason?
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > http://www.dessci.com/en/company/press/releases/110524.htm 
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > http://www.
>> >
>> > dessci.com/en/company/press/releases/110524.htm
>> >
>> > >
>> >
>> >
>> >
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