[Athen] FW: Refreshable Braille and Nemeth code

Ron Stewart ron at ahead.org
Thu Jul 16 18:57:07 PDT 2009

Forward from Mr. Comden

Others have covered some of the high points.

Once you price outsourcing, you may reconsider creating some (or all)
materials in-house.

Converting the scanned books via OCR (FineReader and/or InftyReader) and
then editing to LaTeX can greatly ease conversion to Nemeth in Duxbury. You
may already have a number of students on campus you can hire to edit these
materials -- students who both know the material as well as LaTeX

We've never had enough funds for an 80 cell display. Most students over the
years have been happy to find a half size display available, and many have
preferred to use their own more portable devices. And yes, these notetakers
can double as displays.

-*- Dan Comden danc at washington.edu
Access Technology Lab www.washington.edu/computing/atl
University of Washington UW Technology

-----Original Message-----
From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of Kathy Cahill
Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2009 11:40 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: [Athen] Refreshable Braille and Nemeth code

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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