[Blindmath] A query about accessibility through a screen reader of mathematical content

Sabra Ewing sabra1023 at gmail.com
Tue Apr 12 03:10:06 UTC 2016


I think most blind people just read it before they compiled. After they compiled, it is for a sighted person so they don't care if they can read it. As for a screen reader that would read math the best, I would suggest NVDA. It is free. Also, there is the Pearson equation editor, which is designed for braille users. It is much more natural to use and you don't have to deal with constant errors from trying to compile, but fullscreen reduce port isn't here for that yet. I believe that braille support is the most important, especially for higher-level math, so I am glad they started with that. If you are fine with reading in braille and using a screen reader doesn't matter as much, you could try that. Sighted people like their math so different then the way we like ours that it is really hard to have something where you can read and write in the same format. To get in the way sighted people like it, the program has to convert it to a different format or you have to do that by compiling something. If you just want to read equations for your own use, you can just write them The normal way that they always are. Well, I suppose for us it is the normal way and for sighted people is the abnormal way. Computers like our way better anyways, so it really makes more sense just to leave them if you are writing them for yourself. Maybe there is a way for a program to convert what you wrote into an object and then put alternative text in the object so that you can read what you have written and sighted people think it is the way they like it, But now, we have just reached the stage where you no longer have to write in computer braille. You can do your math in the way that you learned to read it, andyou can make it look good for sighted colleagues and professors, but yet at the stage where it translates back and forth so seamlessly that you feel like you can read it all the time and sighted people feel like it looks good all the time. Now you can at least produce correctly formatted equations without having to know a programming language though. I don't know what has happened because we haven't had any math or science technology apart from a tactile drawing board for blind people for like 50 years and now all the sudden, things are taking off, so what you want will probably exist in the near future. So you can wait for that while I wait for more seamless 3-D printing technology. I had to specifically avoid a biology class that involved identifying plant cells and other things with a microscope. I had thought we could simply order some three dimensional models and I can just use those, but they don't exist and they have so many details that they are too hard to make by hand. What you want is probably coming before my pocket sized, Affordable 3-D printer with accessible image capturing technology though. Then, I could just bring it to class, take a picture of the plant cell, and a little drawer with the three-dimensional image inside would pop up in a few seconds later. Sorry, I'm getting way off topic. That is all I have though. There could be something else I don't know about.

Sabra Ewing

> On Apr 11, 2016, at 9:35 AM, Saaqib Mahmuud via Blindmath <blindmath at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> 
> Hello to everyone at the BlindMath mailing list. 
> 
> I have the following query. 
> 
> These days, I'm using WinEdit 9.1 and MikeTex 2.9.5845 for typesetting mathematical documents. 
> 
> After typing in my content, I press Alt + A to go to the Accessories menu, followed by ENTER to activate the Compile menu item. I've just learnt that the desired keystroke is F9. 
> 
> The above procedure produces a PDF file with the mathematical content with the formatting I'd done using the LATEX commands. 
> 
> Now my question is, is the mathematical content of this PDF file going to be accessible (and, if so, to what extent?) to a blind user through a screen reading program such as JAWS, NVDA, or WinEyes? 
> 
> Would this PDF file emboss correctly into braille if I emboss it directly using a braille embosser such as the Index Braille's Everest-D V4 braille embosser? 
> 
> Which screen reader does the best job of making the mathematical content thus created accessible to a blind person?
> Please be sure to reply to the above questions in a thorough enough manner as your input will help make maths accessible for the blind of an under-developed region!
> 
> Regards. 
> 
> Sincerely, 
> Saaqib Mahmood, 
> Lecturer in Mathematics, 
> Govt. Postgrad. College (GPGC) No. 1, 
> Abbottabad, PAKISTAN
> Kund Malyaar, Muhallah Musa Zai, Nawan Shehr, 
> Abbottabad, PAKISTAN
> Phone: +92-346-952-7638 (mobile), +92-334-541-7958 (mobile + WhatsApp + Viber) 
> Skype: saaqib.mahmood
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
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