[BlindMath] Giving presentations

Godfrey, Jonathan A.J.Godfrey at massey.ac.nz
Wed Oct 11 17:28:24 UTC 2017


Beamer is using a pdf so screen readers can't process the content any better than any other pdf created using LaTeX. I've seen several blind people use it, but they've needed to have an extensive set of notes with the slide content for themselves.  I've never given it serious consideration as a tool that works well for blind people, and aside from  a few test documents as part of my own experimentation, I've never created a real presentation using beamer.

I have used power point quite successfully, and still do if the material from old courses is what I need to cover in a current class. I needed to add alt tags to the graphics that were the equations and several other modifications, but the slide show was self-contained for me and the students alike. I have not created a new power point for at least three years . In fact, I'm struggling to work out when I last did so. I always relied on sighted support to ensure the slide shows were good enough for the audience.

I now use markdown to generate HTML. The content can be rendered as a single long HTML document which I wander down just like any other document, or I can turn it into a slidey presentation which has proven quite accessible thus far. 

My primary reason for using markdown was the fact that I can incorporate graphics and text output from R, but I would now do so even if the presentation had no R content in it. My reasons are mostly accessibility related. I know the math content is read to me and I can move around my document quickly and effectively with my screen reader. Being HTML means that if the students at the back want the font larger, I can deliver that with the press of a couple of keys. My reliance of sighted support has diminished as a consequence. I have needed to get advice on the suitability of some graphics for their readability but the rest is now done by me alone.

With respect to writing on the board:

I do it, but my writing is as untidy as anyone else's can get. I always read what I'm writing as I write it. On a single board, I use perhaps four lines of content with each line being quite large. Writing large means mistakes of an inch are relatively minor in comparison to the "font" size.
I only need to keep track of how many lines I have written thus far, which aren't going to be that many in a stats course anyway. Copious equations would be in the slides and not on the board.

I also use every board the room has to offer. Perhaps the job I have the most trouble with is the re-using of a board. My wiping skills are sometimes lacking and occasionally it feels like my thorough wiping endeavours are more of a gym work out than ought to be the case. I do ask the class if the board  is clean enough fairly often.


-----Original Message-----
From: BlindMath [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Lukasz Grabowski via BlindMath
Sent: Thursday, 12 October 2017 3:14 a.m.
To: blindmath at nfbnet.org
Cc: Łukasz Grabowski
Subject: Re: [BlindMath] Giving presentations

Maybe a naive question: why would beamer class in latex commonly used by mathematics lecturers be unsuitable?


On Wed, 11 Oct 2017 09:57:58 -0400
Aqil Sajjad via BlindMath <blindmath at nfbnet.org> wrote:

> What do people use for giving lectures or presentations involving 
> math, especially where you may also need to write some equations live 
> while talking, as a sighted person would do on a board? Also, how is 
> chatty infty for giving presentations?
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