[Blindmath] New member

Michael Whapples mwhapples at aim.com
Mon Mar 24 09:23:54 UTC 2014


Hello,
Regarding tools/software. I gather from your email you do know some 
LaTeX, is that correct? That certainly can be a very useful tool to 
know, although the learning curve can be quite steep, hence if you 
already know some its a big start.

If you ever feel that writing the entire document in LaTeX is too much 
then there is mathType so you can write your equations in a Word 
document. With that either you can use LaTeX notation and get MathType 
to convert it, or as John Gardner has mentioned then LEAN math from 
ViewPlus provides another way to enter/edit math into Mathtype 
equations. There possibly are other advantages to LEAN math as it can 
place useful text (either a Braille string suitable for a Braille 
display or a words description good for speech) into the alt-tag of the 
MathType equation and so makes reading the document easier.

If you are interested in LEAN math then probably the best option is to 
contact John Gardner off list.

As for other tools, cannot think of any specialist ones. May be worth 
checking with the university whether they will expect you to use any 
particular tools (eg. for my course I needed to use MatLab which had 
certain accessibility issues to work around).

Regarding the Apple Mac, I am not sure I would particularly recommend 
it. This is for two reasons mainly:
* Limitations of the screen reader: VoiceOver is the only real choice of 
screen reader for MacOSX, but in word processors it can be limited (eg. 
I found no satisfactory way of editing a table in a word processor, I 
tried Pages, TextEdit and OpenOffice) and Apple accessibility when I 
contacted them showed no indication of wanting to fix it. The best 
option for document editing on the Mac is LaTeX and I must note TeXShop 
does actually work quite well with VoiceOver.
* Lack of software: Most third party software vendors write software for 
where they will make the most sales, accessibility software, 
particularly that for maths, is a limited enough market that it is 
unlikely that there is a Mac version available.

Sorry to sound negative about the Mac, my point mainly being make sure 
it can do what you need if you decide to go that way.

It is unfortunate as Apple have done some great things in accessibility. 
One thing worth mentioning here is the math support they have added to 
IOS7 on iPads/iPhones/iPodTouches in the safari browser (VoiceOver 
allows you to explore a MathML based equation with speech and Nemeth 
Braille).

Should you want to contact me off list as well then feel free to do so.

Michael Whapples
On 24/03/2014 05:07, Dániel Hajas wrote:
> Dear Steve and Michael,
>
> Thank you for the welcome. I am sure I will profit from reading this list.
>
> I will keep in mind your notice about my stay int he UK Michael. If you wish
> we might even have a conversation in private on what to expect as a blind
> physicist int he UK in terms of research or other work related to physics.
>
> I am planning to read the archive of this mailing list but until then I
> would like to ask if there is a aid technology (software/tool) that a blind
> person working with mathematics and science must have. Something that is a
> great invention and makes work a lot easier.
>
> Currently I have only experience with Windows operating system, though just
> recently got a Macbook as a loan from my department to test the abilities of
> the screen reader in terms of scientific work.
> I am a JAWS for Windows user (both 11.0 and 14.0). Have a little experience
> with Voice Over on iPhone too.
> Also in my attention are LaTeX-Access project, which was a revolutionary
> turn in my abilities to read maths. Occasionally I write JAWS scripts for
> simple exercises.
> I have a little experience with Python as well. Lately I found few other
> softwares that seem to be of great value.
> One of these is the infinity project, which can help a lot with transferring
> data from image files to tex documents, hence using LaTeX access makes it
> easier to read.
> Also I have been advised to check GnUPlot for graphing purposes besides
> Python.
>
> These are the maths related aid softwares I heard of so far and the screen
> readers as well.
>
> I am interested in anything related to reading and writing maths and also
> producing and interpreting diagrams and graphs. Of course I am happy to
> receive any info on accessible sources of study materials related to maths,
> physics and computer science.
>
> Best wishes to all,
> Daniel
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Blindmath [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Michael
> Whapples
> Sent: Sunday, March 23, 2014 6:10 PM
> To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
> Subject: Re: [Blindmath] New member
>
> I would also like to say welcome to you Daniel, particularly to another
> physicist, I studied theoretical physics at Nottingham university between
> 2003 and 2007.
>
> You may want to keep in mind most people on this list are based in the US.
> My point here is just to say that if you expect an answer might need to be
> specific to you being in the UK (eg. want grants might be available to fund
> specialist equipment for your studies) then you may wish to remind us of
> that fact when asking the question so that you get more relevant answers.
>
> Regards
>
> Michael Whapples
> On 23/03/2014 14:27, Steve Jacobson wrote:
>> Dániel,
>>
>> Welcome to the list.  There are quite a mix of people here but we're
>> all interested in helping each other and other blind people succeed in
> studying mathematics.  I was a math major way back in the early 1970's when
> there was very little technology while others here are instrumental in
> producing some of the modern solutions that many students take for granted.
> I hope you find this list useful.
>> Best regards,
>>
>> Steve Jacobson
>>
>> On Sun, 23 Mar 2014 06:13:39 -0000, Dániel Hajas wrote:
>>
>>> Dear all,
>>> I have just recently joined the mailing list and would like to
>>> introduce myself in few words.
>>> I am Daniel Hajas, a 20 years old blind student. I am studying
>>> theoretical physics at the University of Sussex in England.
>>> I lost my vision about 4 years ago. I am very passionate about
>>> mathematics and science in general. Therefore I am looking for all
>>> sorts of accessible ways of doing maths. I don't only want to look
>>> for various accessibility options to make my life easier but also to
>>> contribute to the development of the adaption process.
>>> I look forward to joining the discussions on this mailing list and
>>> learning
>> >from you.
>>
>>> Best wishes,
>>> Daniel
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>>
>>
>>
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