[nabs-l] struggling with Math

Steve Jacobson steve.jacobson at visi.com
Sun Aug 28 19:49:34 UTC 2016


Kayla,

Kenedy or others here can probably give you more specific advice on this
since I am removed from the college scene, but I think your best bet is to
concentrate on working with someone to go through your textbook at this
point.  Whether one calls that person a reader, a tutor, or maybe even a
note-taker, doesn't matter.  In general, it is really very difficult to
count on being able to scan a math or statistics book effectively and have
that be your only source.  I'm not saying it is impossible, but ideally, one
would check ahead of time to see if an accessible version is available from
the publisher or from another source.  Checking BookShare and Learning Ally
is still not a bad idea just in case,.  However, while you are doing that
checking you need to look for other options for moving ahead before you get
too far behind.  If you are using a note-taker already, going through what
was covered in class will make up some for not having the textbook right
now.  If your DSS office will not make a reader available even if your
textbook is not available, it is possible that your state agency could still
help although they will be reluctant to do so.  As I understand it,
Vocational Rehabilitation can still provide money for readers, but they
don't like to do that and might need a lot of convincing.  You might also be
helped by contacting whatever tutoring services are available at your
school, and possibly between tutoring services and your DSS office there
might be a creative way to get the information from your textbook.
Unfortunately, having to work all of this out after your class has started
is not a simple matter.  .  You can likely still get through this course,
but you will probably have to use a number of approaches at the same time to
do it.  Being certain to check whether your book is available in an
accessible format from another source is probably the first thing to do if
you have not done that already.  Along those lines, if the same book is
available from a source but it is an older edition, it is still likely worth
using.  I once got a copy of the fourth edition of a math book in braille
and my instructor was using the fifth edition.  I only found a couple of the
exercises to be different.

Good luck to you.

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: Sunday, August 28, 2016 11:00 AM
To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
Cc: Kayla James <christgirl813 at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] struggling with Math

I am already in the Math class. It's my first college Math class and
my first one without Braille books and tactile aids. I only intend to
take any minimum required Math. Disability services said I'd get a
note taker, but they don't do readers for textbooks. So far, I've used
the scanner and WindowEyes at school to scan my work this week. School
started last Monday.

On 8/28/16, Steve Jacobson via NABS-L <nabs-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> 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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