[Blindmath] suggestions for accessible 3d graphing paper giids

Amanda Lacy lacy925 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 23 00:41:35 UTC 2013


I didn't even know the word "perspective" until I was in college. Early in 
high school I remember being told that the reason I couldn't understand 
those 3D pictures was because I wasn't trying hard enough. So I tried to 
imagine how I could take a 3D object and make it into what was on the 
paper - by flattening it, of course. If I flattened a sphere, fore example, 
I would get a circle, which is pretty much what they would show when they 
meant sphere, but if I flattened a box I would never, ever get that strange 
thing that was on the page. Maybe I was supposed to unfold it like a 
cardboard box? I really tried to solve this puzzle but couldn't. A sighted 
tutor at the Texas School for the Blind recently told me that he could teach 
people who were blind from birth to interpret these representations, but I 
have never once heard of someone like myself being able to comprehend them. 
I've heard of at least one person memorizing the basic shapes, but no real 
understanding had taken place. Has anyone who has never seen been able to 
touch a raised 3D picture and truly know what it's supposed to represent?
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John G. Heim" <jheim at math.wisc.edu>
To: "Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics" 
<blindmath at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Friday, November 22, 2013 2:31 PM
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] suggestions for accessible 3d graphing paper giids


> People don't realize that drawing in perspective is an invention. Before 
> some time around 1300, when creating  paintings, artists didn't regularly 
> even do things like make objects smaller to make them look like they were 
> further away. These days, sighted people take this concept of perspective 
> for granted but for most of human history, it didn't even exist.
>
> I work on the 5th floor in  the math building on the campus of the 
> University of Wisconsin. On the wall by the elevator, there is a raised 
> number 5. Under that is the number 5 in braille. That raised number would 
> mean nothing to someone who has never seen the number 5 in print. I am 
> presuming it's there for people who lost their sight.  But the braille 5 
> and the printed 5 are equally valid representations of the concept of 5. 
> Certainly the printed symbol 5 would be recognized by more people even so, 
> they are equally valid representations of the concept of the number 5.
>
> A graph is just like that. A graph is not the actual data, it's a symbolic 
> representation of the data. Any decent instructor would know that.  Yet, 
> all too often on this list, we hear of instructors saying that math is too 
> visual by nature for a blind student to grasp.  It's ridiculous.
>
> There is absolutely nothing in mathematics that is innately visual.  In 
> fact, the less you rely on the symbolic representations of the concepts, 
> the better off you are. It's impossible to communicate mathematical 
> concepts without symbols -- words, print, or braill -- these are all 
> symbols. But when you are working on the concepts in your own mind, the 
> symbols can only get in the way. If adequate tools existed for 3D 
> graphics,  a blind student might very well be better at it than a sighted 
> student who might be locked into this inadequate perspective drawing 
> concept.
>
>
>
>
> On 11/22/13 11:46, sabra1023 wrote:
>> I think if you're going to graphic having the Z axis in the air would be 
>> the best option. I've been blind from birth, and while I understand that 
>> sighted people delude themselves into thinking a one dimensional picture 
>> is a three-dimensional object, I do not understand most of the time how 
>> they come to their conclusions about this. They continually treat their 
>> pictures as if they're actually objects, which annoys me to no end. 
>> Through school, I was just given tactile pictures and taught the way 
>> cited people learn. As a result, I thought there was something wrong with 
>> my brain and that I could never succeed in math because I couldn't 
>> understand their pictures, methods for representing things, and examples. 
>> I have come to learn that my brain processes information differently then 
>> cited people, but I am still debating with myself as to whether this 
>> means it isn't working or not. The point is that now, I can do well in 
>> math without their difficult and unnatural ways of doing th
> in
>>   gs holding me back. When sighted people look at three-dimensional 
>> representations, there really looking at optical illusions. My brain 
>> doesn't process these illusions. I think it means I'll be better equipped 
>> to do math beyond the third dimension, but it also means I can't tolerate 
>> an accurate representation of the third dimension and beyond. The z-axis 
>> may appear to be floating above the quadrant, but it actually isn't 
>> because The quadrant is now three-dimensional. That's why I think it's 
>> even bad for sighted people to represent three dimensions as pictures.
>>
>>> On Nov 22, 2013, at 4:58 AM, "Mary Woodyard" <marywoodyard at comcast.net> 
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> My son will be starting a 3d graphing unit that is fairly short (2 
>>> weeks) in
>>> about a week.  He spent some time searching online with his Math tutor 
>>> for
>>> 3d Graphing paper and this is the graph paper that they found that 
>>> worked
>>> the best for his vision from what they were able to find in free 3d 
>>> graph
>>> paper options.  Does anyone know of a more accessible free (or low cost)
>>> option?
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>>
>>> Mary Woodyard
>>> Parent, 17 year old visually impaired student
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Blindmath [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of
>>> blindmath-request at nfbnet.org
>>> Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2013 7:00 AM
>>> To: blindmath at nfbnet.org
>>> Subject: Blindmath Digest, Vol 88, Issue 12
>>>
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>>>
>>> Today's Topics:
>>>
>>>    1. Re: Latex training (John Gardner)
>>>    2. A project to advance MathML support in browsers (Andrew Stacey)
>>>
>>>
>>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>
>>> Message: 1
>>> Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2013 20:21:50 -0800
>>> From: "John Gardner" <gardnerj at onid.orst.edu>
>>> To: "'Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics'"
>>>     <blindmath at nfbnet.org>
>>> Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Latex training
>>> Message-ID: <00cd01cee671$334eac90$99ec05b0$@orst.edu>
>>> Content-Type: text/plain;    charset="us-ascii"
>>>
>>> Another suggestion.  There's lots of Latex materials on
>>> www.access2science.com
>>>
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Blindmath [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of 
>>> Godfrey,
>>> Jonathan
>>> Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 1:42 PM
>>> To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
>>> Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Latex training
>>>
>>> Hi Paul,
>>>
>>> I haven't got access to the net with sufficient time to find the exact 
>>> link
>>> for you but look for the Summery University held in conjunction with the
>>> ICCHP. Sessions were recorded from 2010 onwards. I'm not sure if the 
>>> 2013
>>> ones are uploaded yet but the files mentioned should all be there for
>>> reference purposes.
>>> J
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Blindmath [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Paul
>>> Chapin
>>> Sent: Thursday, 21 November 2013 8:51 a.m.
>>> To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
>>> Subject: [Blindmath] Latex training
>>>
>>> Hi,
>>>
>>> I'm looking for suggestions for material, courses, tutorials or anything
>>> else that can be used to teach a student the basics of Latex.
>>>
>>> Paul Chapin
>>> Academic Technology Specialist
>>> Amherst College
>>> X2144
>>>
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>>>
>>> ------------------------------
>>>
>>> Message: 2
>>> Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2013 09:00:00 +0100
>>> From: Andrew Stacey <andrew.stacey at math.ntnu.no>
>>> To: Blindmath <blindmath at nfbnet.org>
>>> Subject: [Blindmath] A project to advance MathML support in browsers
>>> Message-ID: <20131121080000.GA590 at dhcp-020041.wlan.ntnu.no>
>>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
>>>
>>> Dear all,
>>>
>>> I'd like to bring to everyone's attention a project to advance browser 
>>> and
>>> e-reader support for MathML.  The project description itself is very
>>> detailed, and explicitly mentions the issue of accessibility in the
>>> motivation section.
>>>
>>> The person behind this project is Fr?d?ric Wang.  He is one of the 
>>> people
>>> who has worked hard on MathML support in browser technology over the 
>>> last
>>> few years, so is best placed to know what the issues are and what the 
>>> next
>>> stage in development should be.  So if anyone is going to improved 
>>> matters,
>>> he's the best choice.
>>>
>>> He's looking for funding so that he can spend some time concentrating on
>>> MathML development and the website is on a crowd-funding site where 
>>> people
>>> can contribute.  The actual amount that he is trying to raise is not
>>> actually all that much, particularly given the wide-ranging benefits 
>>> that
>>> could follow from this.
>>>
>>> I hope that all of you will consider supporting this project, and that 
>>> some
>>> of you will actually do so.
>>>
>>> The website is: http://www.ulule.com/mathematics-ebooks/
>>>
>>> Andrew Stacey
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> ------------------------------
>>>
>>> Subject: Digest Footer
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>>> ------------------------------
>>>
>>> End of Blindmath Digest, Vol 88, Issue 12
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>>
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>
> -- 
> ---
> John G. Heim, 608-263-4189, jheim at math.wisc.edu
>
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