[Athen] Math and Braille Star 80

Sean J Keegan skeegan at stanford.edu
Mon Jan 7 12:07:55 PST 2013

> We have recently purchased a Braille Star 80 for our assistive
technology lab.
> I am a sighted person and I don’t read braille. We have a blind
student who
> reads braille and is a physics major. Does anyone know if/how to get the
> display to read math equations?

Hi Sheila,

How are you preparing the materials for the student? Are you
transcribing into Nemeth braille?

One of the challenges we encountered when creating Nemeth braille for
students using refreshable braille displays was the formatting did not
always get retained compared to creating hard-copy materials. Our
students were using BrailleNote devices and, depending on the content,
we found that the equations or formulae could lose the requisite
formatting when converted into a format compatible with the braille
display. This was particularly problematic when dealing with matrices.

For producing math content, we generally started with MS Word documents
and used MathType to enter equations. From there, we converted into
Nemeth using Duxbury 11.1 and then reviewed the content to verify the
conversion was accurate. We also did a lot of tactile graphic creation
for students, which is often overlooked as an important component in the

Take care,
Sean Keegan
Associate Director, Assistive Technology
Office of Accessible Education - Stanford University

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