[Blindmath] Somewhat positive yet disappointing press release

Birkir R. Gunnarsson birkir.gunnarsson at gmail.com
Sun May 29 10:18:18 CDT 2011


Steve

We're going way outside the realm of math I suppose. But I wanted to
say that I tested a spreadsheet app on the Mac and it was absolutely
impossible to do anything in it. Voiceover could not tell apart cells
with numbers or formulas or comments, and it was tricky to navigate.
I used the Numbers app from the iWork packages, not Excel for Mac, so
there could be a difference.
But in my testing spreadsheet programming or calculations is not
doable with Voiceover at this time.
If you ahve other sources that indicate Voiceover works better with a
spreadsheet app I'd be happy to hear about it on or off list.
Cheers
-Birkir


On 5/29/11, Steve Jacobson <steve.jacobson at visi.com> wrote:
> Ken,
>
> You are all right then with a publisher choosing the voice you will here as
> long as it is streamed and you don't have to use a screen reader?  It won't
> bother you if they don't implement interruptability when you want to skip to
> the next paragraph?  Interruptatbility is often overlooked along with other
> things
> that we take for granted with our screen reader.  You won't mind if they
> don't stream with and without punctuation, or don't provide a way to get aq
> spelling?  If they use a synthesizer that mispronounces a name used
> throughout a long book, you won't mind not having an exception dictionary?
> If we
> want this stuff to me accessible and useful, we have to have general
> standards that are not too bad to follow and a screen reader that will
> handle some of
> the interface issues.  I find your dream world to be a nightmare world
> because there are simply some subtleties that I get from my screen reader
> that
> general developers just don't get.  Let me give you a trivial example.  A
> commercial entity created a talking thermostat that I bought.  It's very
> good, but if I
> want to turn it down five degrees, it has to complete the announcement of
> each setting before it will accept the next press of the DOWN arrow, so a
> job
> that should take a little more than a second takes perhaps seven or eight
> seconds.  It's not a big deal, but it's the kind of thing I have seen when
> less
> experienced entities try to make things accessible for me.  Perhaps we need
> some kind of funding to help people get screen readers, and maybe there will
> be something built right into Windows at some point.  I have misgivings
> about that, too, but that is a separate issue.  If my brother were building
> a web
> page and I told him that for me to use it he needed only to look at the WCAG
> standards, he'd give up.  I'm not saying they are bad, just that they
> already
> are more than most people can digest.  I truly wish it could all be done as
> you suggest, but the inconsistency and the variability that we would
> experience
> in my opinion would likely be very difficult.  It could be we are too picky
> about what we feel we need when interacting with a computer;, but often the
> inexperienced developer thinks that accessibility is to great by itself that
> they don't consider efficiency at all.  College students can't afford that,
> and neither
> can those of us who are working.  Unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect
> world, and we are forced to make compromises.  I think there is just too
> much
> to lose in what you are suggesting, and it just isn't likely to happen in
> the short run.  As much as Apple is doing, there are still apps there that
> are not
> accessible.  As I understand it, spreadsheets are accessible but not has
> seamlessly as in Windows.  However, the inclusion of a screen reader is very
> interesting and may set a trend that will get us part way to your ideal
> situation.  However, since VoiceOver on Apple is free, nobody else is
> developing a
> screen reader and there is no competition.  We'll have to see how that all
> works out.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Steve Jacobson
>
> On Sat, 28 May 2011 23:37:19 -0400, Ken Perry wrote:
>
>>If mathml does not render the math in an accessible manor without screen
>>access software then I don't see it as accessible.  It would be like saying
>>tall browsers are low vision compliant if you have a screen enlarger.  If
>>mathml is really going to be accessible then it should have streaming audio
>>that reads the math to you but again this is a dream world.  One in which I
>>can sit at anyones computer and use it.  Sort of like a Mac but on
>>stearoiods
>
>>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 12:55 PM
>>To: 'Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics'
>>Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Somewhat positive yet disappointing press release
>
>>By the way, this is standards compliant. Ken mentioned standards, and yet
>>this entire conversation is about authors who use
>>standards like MathML for example.
>
>>It's like saying, why does jaws need to support html5 specific elements, if
>>everything is standards compliant then it will
>>automagically work. That makes no sense. The standards are there, affording
>>jaws and others a stable target to develop against and
>>clear guidelines to implement; however, they are not doing so.
>
>>Take care,
>>Sina
>
>
>
>
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
>>Behalf Of Neil Soiffer
>>Sent: Friday, May 27, 2011 1:07 AM
>>To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
>>Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Somewhat positive yet disappointing press release
>
>>There are definitely things that authors can do to improve access, and
>>Pearson has been a leader in the textbook field in producing accessible
>>materials.  I commend you/Pearson on providing long descriptions of graphs
>>and charts. Doing so greatly increases the readability/understandability of
>>math texts.  MathPlayer does nothing for those kinds of content, although I
>>suspect John Gardner might chime in about the importance of using SVG for
>>that kind of content.
>
>>Unfortunately, there is only so much you can do as an author to enhance
>>accessibility.  For example, do you have a way so that Nemeth code is
>>generated for expressions or some other math code for those outside the US?
>>What about navigation of the math?  If screen readers make the appropriate
>>calls to MathPlayer (in the future), then those other capabilities will be
>>present, and they will be present with no effort from the author.
>
>>Neil Soiffer
>>Senior Scientist
>>Design Science, Inc.
>>www.dessci.com
>>~ Makers of MathType, MathFlow, MathPlayer, MathDaisy, Equation Editor ~
>
>>On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 9:45 PM, Ken Perry <kperry at blinksoft.com> wrote:
>
>>> 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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