[Athen] Braille Translation Software

John Gardner gardnerj at onid.orst.edu
Thu Dec 11 10:37:07 PST 2014

Hello all. I have no argument with what has been said in this subject line, but since Cynthia has an EmPrint, it may be useful to know what she might best use it for.

Teresa is right that you probably don’t want to use the EmPrint to braille out an etire book. It is hard to imagine why any student would want the entire book brailled unless she does not have a braille display. My recommendation would be for her to read the Word file using LEAN Math to read the equations. I know that several people on this list are now using LEAN Math successfully. But I also know some students who like to have the math in a hard copy list. I do strongly recommend using the EmPrint and TSS braille translator for this purpose. It is very useful to have the Nemeth braille accompanied by the ink equation. TSS uses liblouis, and the liblouis team has worked very hard to make its Nemeth translation perfect. To my knowledge it still does not emboss matrices properly aligned, but otherwise it should be error free. If anybody does find Nemeth errors, please send a bug report directly to me, and I’ll do my best to get it fixed.

Finally, you obviously want to use the EmPrint to emboss the graphics. Since your student is a good braille reader, she can probably make use of tactile graphics, but I hope you will at least try using IVEO (audio-tactile access) for the graphics. Line art scientific graphics are particularly easy to convert with IVEO. You hardly have to do anything except import into IVEO Creator Pro, save, and emboss.

Full disclosure – I am founder of ViewPlus so I am not exactly a neutral observer.

John Gardner

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Teresa Haven
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2014 9:39 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network; gdietrich at htctu.net
Subject: Re: [Athen] Braille Translation Software

My experience has been that Duxbury + MathType can create good quality Nemeth – but it also has some hiccups, particularly with higher-level math such as calculus and differential equations. The spacing must be absolutely perfect (and that might not be the same as spacing for print math) or the braille can come out wrong. Luckily we had a braille proofreader on staff who was able to catch the oddball errors when they occurred and manually fix them. We learned that for lower-level math the conversion was generally quite clean, but in higher-level textbooks we had to do very close proofreading and a fair amount of correction.


Teresa Haven, Ph.D.

Accessibility Analyst, Northern Arizona University

Co-Chair, AHEAD Standing Committee on Technology

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Jane Berk
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2014 10:29 AM
To: gdietrich at htctu.net; athen-list at u.washington.edu
Subject: Re: [Athen] Braille Translation Software

I did not know that Duxbury will create Nemeth by using MathType.... Does it convert to good quality Nemeth or does it require further editing before it can be produced? Any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated, since at the moment we are outsourcing all of our math and physics-related Braille because we are not familiar with Nemeth.


Jane Berk
AT Educational Assistant
Assistive Computer Technology Service
Services to Students with Disabilities
MacEwan University

Room 7-198 D3 CCC

10700 - 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5J 4S2

E: berkj at macewan.ca

T: 780-497-5826

F: 780-497-4018


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>>> "Gaeir Dietrich" <gdietrich at htctu.net> 12/11/14 9:40 AM >>>

Definitely Duxbury—the big advantage of Duxbury for the colleges is that you do not need very much knowledge of braille in order to use it. You can set up your documents in MS Word with all the styles and formatting. You can even use Math Type in Word to create Nemeth math braille with Duxbury.


Gaeir (rhymes with "fire") Dietrich
408-996-6047 or 408-996-4636


From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Heidi Scher
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2014 6:50 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: Re: [Athen] Braille Translation Software

Hi Cyndi!

Dux is definitely the way to go! I second Teresa's comments. Also, you might want to talk with the student to be sure that they want actual hard copy. Most students these days re using a computer with refreshable braille displays for the bulk of their books. About the only thing that we output to hard copy these days is tactile graphics or reference materials that they need at a moment's notice.

Hope all is well!


Heidi Scher, M.S., CRC
Associate Director
Center for Educational Access
University of Arkansas
ARKU 104
Fayetteville, AR 72701
479.575.7445 fax
479.575.3646 tdd

On Wed, Dec 10, 2014 at 12:51 PM, Yurkovich, Cynthia Ann <cyurko at udel.edu> wrote:


I am in the process of researching Braille Translation Software for purchase. Could you share your recommendations? I have heard that Duxbury is effective but want to review all recommended software. We have an Emprint SpotDot Color Braille Printer on campus and the student is requesting printed Braille textbooks.

Cynthia Yurkovich

Alternate Format Coordinator

Office of Disability Support Services

University of Delaware

240 Academy Street

Alison Hall, Suite 130

Newark, DE 19716


Cyurko at udel.edu

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