Topics

NVDA & Mathematical Notation


 

Hello All,

         My most recent client is a student who is going to be taking a number of statistics classes with a lot of material containing complex mathematical formulae.  I have repeatedly heard that NVDA is by far the best screen reader when it comes to reading mathematical notation correctly.  That being said, I do not know either:

  • how one goes about making NVDA do this
  • what formatting is required in the electronic text, whether online or in PDF files (or whatever), that is necessary for NVDA to work with them

any guidance that's specific to NVDA, or even broader information regarding dealing with mathematical notation assistive technology, would be much appreciated.  Any non-NVDA info can be taken off list, if that's required, but this is such a peculiar niche that pulling in as much information as possible would be good for future readers of the forum.

I have to believe that, no matter how good any of the screen readers or the like have gotten, that there will be occasions where a real, live human reader is going to be necessary to deal with certain texts, particularly those only available "on paper."  I've yet to find anything, e.g. OpenBook or the like, that can "snap" math texts and create anything functional from anything other than the bits of regular text between the math.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Brian


 

Hello All,

         I wouldn't normally do this, but I'm giving this message a "repeat bump" because I fear it may have gotten lost in the deluge of the last day.  If anyone has experiences and/or expertise with NVDA and mathematical texts or any other assistive technology and math texts please chime in.

         My most recent client is a student who is going to be taking a number of statistics classes with a lot of material containing complex mathematical formulae.  I have repeatedly heard that NVDA is by far the best screen reader when it comes to reading mathematical notation correctly.  That being said, I do not know either:

  • how one goes about making NVDA do this
  • what formatting is required in the electronic text, whether online or in PDF files (or whatever), that is necessary for NVDA to work with them

any guidance that's specific to NVDA, or even broader information regarding dealing with mathematical notation assistive technology, would be much appreciated.  Any non-NVDA info can be taken off list, if that's required, but this is such a peculiar niche that pulling in as much information as possible would be good for future readers of the forum.

I have to believe that, no matter how good any of the screen readers or the like have gotten, that there will be occasions where a real, live human reader is going to be necessary to deal with certain texts, particularly those only available "on paper."  I've yet to find anything, e.g. OpenBook or the like, that can "snap" math texts and create anything functional from anything other than the bits of regular text between the math.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Brian


Patrick Le Baudour
 

Hello,
I don't know much, too recent in blindness, but since nobody else replied yet, here is what i know:
apart from unicode symbols added (not much use for complex formulas, but sometimes handy), there is the possibility to use MathPlayer directly once it is installed. It allows to read MathML content. It can be downloaded at http://www.dessci.com/en/products/mathplayer/ .

It is a far from perfect solution, there are other things around, but nothing is complete and, as far as I know, there is no free tool to read pdf mathematical content (and that would be like the holy grail as most math ressources are in pdf) .
You probably can have many more and more accurate informations on the blind math mailing list: http://nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindmath_nfbnet.org

-- Patrick

Le 20/04/2016 02:06, Brian Vogel a écrit :
Hello All,

My most recent client is a student who is going to be taking a
number of statistics classes with a lot of material containing complex
mathematical formulae. I have repeatedly heard that NVDA is by far the
best screen reader when it comes to reading mathematical notation
correctly. That being said, I do not know either:

* how one goes about making NVDA do this
* what formatting is required in the electronic text, whether online
or in PDF files (or whatever), that is necessary for NVDA to work
with them

any guidance that's specific to NVDA, or even broader information
regarding dealing with mathematical notation assistive technology, would
be much appreciated. Any non-NVDA info can be taken off list, if that's
required, but this is such a peculiar niche that pulling in as much
information as possible would be good for future readers of the forum.

I have to believe that, no matter how good any of the screen readers or
the like have gotten, that there will be occasions where a real, live
human reader is going to be necessary to deal with certain texts,
particularly those only available "on paper." I've yet to find
anything, e.g. OpenBook or the like, that can "snap" math texts and
create anything functional from anything other than the bits of regular
text between the math. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Brian


 

Patrick,

          Thanks much for that pointer to the blind math mailing list.  I'm trying to get my client "as connected" as possible before he returns for his final semester in the fall and so he's got somewhere to turn during grad school.

Brian


Bhavya shah
 

Hi Brian,
Sure, Blindmath is the best resource and list for getting Math
accessibility questions, whether general, practical or technological
resolved, all naturally from a visually impaired's standpoint.
With regards to your first question, you can get NVDA to read
mathematical content which is in a format readible to it of course,
you simply need to install Math Player. No configuration or changes or
additional packages for NVDA are specifically required. For typing
math, I use MathType, alike Math Player from Design Science, which too
has extensive support and compatibility with NVDA.
Also, please ensure that your client is using an up-to-date version of
NVDA and related mathematical assistive technologies, as this
mathematical content reading and navigation functionality was added in
the not-so-distant past.
Just for your information, the NVDACon International 2016 Users and
Developers Conference 10th Anniversary edition features a specialized
NVDA and Maths Accessibility session i.e. '◦ April 29, 2016: NVDA and
math (Community): 14:00 UTC (presenters: Derek Riemer (University of
Colorado at Boulder and NvDA contributor), Sina Bahram (Prime Access
Consulting)).' You might want to yourself or inform your student about
potential participation in especially this session of the conference
to gain an in-depth insight as to how NVDA handles mathematics and an
opportunity to get questions answered for actual long-time users and
developers working in the mathematics and assistive technology
accessibility field. For more information about NVDACon International
2016, please visit its homepage at www.nvda-kr.org/en/nvdacon.php
Thanks.

On 4/21/16, Brian Vogel <britechguy@gmail.com> wrote:
Patrick,

          Thanks much for that pointer to the blind math mailing list.  I'm
trying to get my client "as connected" as possible before he returns for his
final semester in the fall and so he's got somewhere to turn during grad
school.

Brian
--
Warm Regards
Bhavya Shah
Using NVDA (Non Visual Desktop Access) free and open source screen
reader for Microsoft Windows
To download a copy of the free screen reader NVDA, please visit
http://www.nvaccess.org/
Using Google Talkback on Motorolla G second generation Lollipop 5.0.2
Reach me through the following means:
Mobile: +91 7506221750
E-mail id: bhavya.shah125@gmail.com
Skype id : bhavya.09


 

Bhavya,

         Thank you for this incredibly comprehensive response.  I just returned from a marathon tutoring session with this client and will definitely pass along this information.  While the computer science department from which I earned my bachelor's degree was developed out of the mathematics department, it's been several decades since I dealt with calculus, statistics, or anything vaguely like these on a daily basis.   I certainly never had any experience with this in regard to issues unique to someone who is blind or visually-impaired, which is why I turned here for help.

          I will let my client know about the NVDACon as a whole and the Maths Accessibility session in particular.  He has enough residual vision that he is not really a screen reader user, but using NVDA as a "mathematical reader" might be a very good thing for him to try.

Thanks Again,

Brian