[Athen] more than one question!

John Gardner john.gardner at orst.edu
Tue Apr 24 14:49:05 PDT 2007

Hello Jean, the answer to your first question is "yes", there have been
many blind students complete BS degrees in computer science or software
engineering. It hasn't been easy for most, but things are improving

The answer to your second question is yes as well, although a blind person
needs more than a Tiger embosser to gain access to graphics. She needs to
use IVEO in conjunction with that embosser, and occasionally may need some
additional assistance from a sighted editor for really complex graphics.
However a dedicated blind person can access most graphics without
assistance, particularly the kinds of graphics common in computer science,
physics, and mathematics. I know - I do it all the time. On the scale of
access technologies, IVEO is a real bargain. ViewPlus sells the authoring
software (IVEO Creator) and a touchpad for $1000. With that combination one
can create and read accessible IVEO SVG files from any computer application,
import from PDF, import from bit maps, and scan in from paper documents.
Pardon me for this self-promotion, but since this is the answer you were
hoping for, I presume you forgive me.

Several people have already answered your final question. I agree that it's
worth keeping up with open source developments. However Terry is mistaken
about Thunder. Although Paul Blenkhorn, Thunder author, has a rather
different business model from most, Thunder is not open source. I'll guess
he's be open to collaboration for making Thunder work in Pakistan though.


-----Original Message-----
From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of Jean Salzer
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2007 11:56 AM
To: athen at athenpro.org
Subject: [Athen] more than one question!

Hi all,

I just met with some folks from a small, private college in the area.
They are interested in learning more about how colleges have accommodated
totally blind students with computer science majors. We had some discussion
of assistive technology, however, part of their concern is the world of
windows and graphics versus just 'code'.

Question #1 - is there anyone out there who has been able to accommodate a
qualified blind student through a 4-year degree program for software

Question #2 - how well can the Tiger embosser and software work with Jaws so
the students can create tactile representations of the graphics they'll need
for coursework completion?

Question #3 - the students are siblings from Pakistan. Their principle goal
with regard to completing this degree is to create a screen reading system
similar to Jaws in Pakistani languages. Besides connecting with Freedom
Scientific, are there any other suggestions for achievement of this goal
besides them doing it themselves after 4-5 arduous years in a software
engineering program?

Thanks in advance.

More information about the athen-list mailing list