[Athen] Refreshable Braille and Nemeth code

Kathy Cahill kcahill at MIT.EDU
Thu Jul 16 11:39:41 PDT 2009

Dear Colleagues;

We have an incoming freshman who is blind and will be using lots of
technology. Given his courseload (Calculus, Chemistry, Physics and a
humanities class), he is going to be needing detailed access to
mathematical and scientific information. He is a JAWS user already and
knows Nemeth. So, that's good.

The student has indicated he would prefer to access the math and science
in Braille. So, I have some questions for you:

1. We are considering recommending a refreshable Braille display for
him. Can refreshable Braille displays do Nemeth? My understanding is
that the screen reader software is the intermediary between the
information on the screen and the Braille display. So, if JAWS can't do
math, how does the Nemeth code get to the refreshable Braille display?

2. Can Braille notetakers function as refreshable Braille devices? Is
it recommended?

3. If our student prefers hardcopies of any of his textbooks in
Braille, we will need to outsource it. Do you have any recommendations
of places that do Nemeth translation and embossing?

Thanks for any sage advice!


Kathleen Cahill
Adaptive Technology Specialist
MIT ATIC (Adaptive Technology) Lab
77 Mass. Ave. 7-143
Cambridge MA 02139
(617) 253-5111
kcahill at mit.edu

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