[Blindmath] Calculus, Mathematica, and the Macintosh

Ron Stewart ron at ahead.org
Fri Jan 24 02:14:38 UTC 2014

Good evening Kyle, I appreciate your hard work and am not meaning to criticize your personal efforts but enough is enough.

The issues of accessibility in your company's products were brought to their attention over a decade ago, and for the most part they have done nothing to address them.  I know the student you wrote it for and he is extremely technologically proficient, the typical student is not. This is reflective of the ongoing issues with the major vendors in this space in regard to accessibility. How does this kluge allow for equivalent access. The typical student in higher education does not know how to work from the command line most don’t even know what that is.

Just some food for thought in 2014. To  be commercial viable your company's products as well as that of all the major vendors need to be equivalently accessible for all users. It should not have to be documented through your support channels it just needs to happen.

Ron Stewart

-----Original Message-----
From: Blindmath [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Kyle Keane
Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2014 6:15 PM
To: blindmath at nfbnet.org
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Calculus, Mathematica, and the Macintosh

Hi Andrew, 

I work at Wolfram Research, makers of Mathematica. Please email or call the company to let them know that you are blind and want to use the product, this needs to be documented through mainstream support channels. There is a contact form at http://www.wolfram.com/support/contact/email/ or you can call them at 1-800-wolfram (1-800-965-3726). 

There is a command line interface to Mathematica (also known as a kernel), here is a link with information. If the contents of the output seems strange try wrapping your code in the function InputForm[], e.g. InputForm[Integrate[x^3],x]. You can also run the following code before doing anything else "$Post=InputForm", which will apply the function InputForm to all outputs before displaying them. 

I also have a program that I wrote that allows Mathematica to be used from any accessible text editor. I wrote it for a physics grad student at Harvard who is blind. Email me at kylek at wolfram.com and I'll send the program to you with instructions. I'll make sure that you get the resources that you need. 

Kyle Keane, PhD 
Research Programmer 
Education Software Technology 
Wolfram Research Incorporated 
217-398-0700 ext. 5220 
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