[nabs-l] struggling with Math

Steve Jacobson steve.jacobson at visi.com
Sun Aug 28 13:53:05 UTC 2016


Kayla,

I majored in math many years ago before we had much of the current
technology, but my interest in math has continued so I try to remain
current.  I say this partly to let you know that blind people can do math
and also to make the point that one sometimes has to look at all options,
technical and nontechnical.

Are you interested in math in a way that will cause you to take a lot of
classes, or is your goal going to be to just get through the minimum
requirements?  That will affect how you go about addressing this.  

First, to answer your specific question, it isn't the scanner that needs to
be able to deal with math, rather it is the OCR software.  There is a
product for scanning math but it is quite expensive, and it doesn't just
magically give you a perfectly accessible textbook.  From what I have heard,
it is sometimes necessary to use that product together with other OCR
products to get one accessible copy because other products recognize text
better.  In addition, there are issues of how to display math so that it can
be read by a screen reader and/or a Braille Note.  All of this can be done,
and people who are heavily involved in math do this successfully.  There is
a mathematical typesetting language called Latex, and many people learn to
read that language directly and can get copies of math tests that way from
publishers, and some of us have learned to write LATEX to create printouts.
.  There is something called MATHML that can be made to be accessible.  I am
purposely not going into more detail because I don't think that will help
right now, but I want you to know why it matters how interested you are in
math.  We even have a separate list called BlindMath on NFBNET where math
professionals deal with a lot of these topics.

Having said all of this, what does this mean for you right now?  Are you
working with a disabled Students' office on your campus?  What has already
been done to find out what is available for you?  How are your braille
skills in general?  I would caution you against feeling you have to master
the entire Nemeth Code to take a required math course, it would work better
to learn the basics and then what you need as you go.  Although it probably
isn't a preferred approach, it is possible to learn math by working with a
reader or even a audio recording if it is done well.  Learning to interact
with someone to read the text might be a better short term solution rather
than trying to understand some of the processes I mentioned above.  With a
little lead time, there are places that might be able to braille or scan
your math books if you are almost ready to start a math course.  In that
approach, knowing enough Nemeth Code so you can take some notes for
reviewing later will help very much.  Getting math books in braille can be
done with some lead time.  This is getting harder to have done, though, but
your Disabled Students' Office or even your state agency may know whether
there are any agencies that you can work with.  If you are going to start
your first math class in a week but have no idea how to handle the
textbooks, you might need to find a way to put off taking your math course
so you can investigate some of this.

It is very natural to be scared of facing something new, and I know what I
have written here probably doesn't make you feel much better.  However, it
can be done, and I and others can make better suggestions if we know more
about what you've already done and how interested you are going to be in
mathematics.

Best regards,

Steve Jacobson




-----Original Message-----
From: NABS-L [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Kayla James via
NABS-L
Sent: Saturday, August 27, 2016 11:23 PM
To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
Cc: Kayla James <christgirl813 at gmail.com>
Subject: [nabs-l] struggling with Math

Hello, everyone,
I'm struggling in Math a little. Does any know of scanners that can
scan textbooks and pick up the Math symbols?
I have a BrailleNote Apex. I'm still trying to work out the Nemeth code.
I also have a MacBook Air. If there are any scanners that can hook up
to it that anyone knows of, please let me know.
I could really use the help. I'm scared, because it's so early in the
year, but I want to do well.

Kayla



On 8/27/16, Caitlin Best via NABS-L <nabs-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Chicago manual of style 15 and 16 editions.
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
>> On Aug 27, 2016, at 17:54, Justin Williams via NABS-L <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
>> wrote:
>>
>> What format are you using?
>> Justin
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: NABS-L [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Keight Best
>> via
>> NABS-L
>> Sent: Saturday, August 27, 2016 6:54 PM
>> To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list
>> <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
>> Cc: Keight Best <bestca21 at gmail.com>
>> Subject: [nabs-l] Citation Sites
>>
>> Hello everyone,
>> I hope you are doing well. I am curious to know which websites you use in
>> order to cite materials and create bibliographies. A professor of mine
>> recommended Zotero, but I am not entirely sure how accessible/usable it
>> is
>> with JAWS. Currently, I am using RefWorks, with seems to work fine.
>> Thoughts
>> appreciated.
>> Cheers,
>> Caitlin
>>
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