[Athen] Accessible Cryptography for a Blind Student?
ats169 at psu.edu
Thu May 8 16:14:40 PDT 2014
A math instructor who will have a blind student (JAWS user, Word Doc, IE
and Firefox, and some but not fluent Braille) in her course this summer has
wisely anticipated the following access challenge:
"I'm planning to have most of the course focus on number theory and
combinatorics, which are both very arithmetic subjects. I shouldn't need
many pictures or diagrams. But I was hoping to spend a little bit of time
on classical cryptology, and have students try their hands at
code-breaking. Typically how this works is that I would write some
message, encode it, and give the students the encoded message to decode.
For example, if I were teaching substitution cyphers, I might give them
KZ KG MIJIO'G ZHJ GQI UNPG SKOWGI, OHGQKOV MHWUF VIG FHOI.
which decode to IF IT WEREN'T FOR THE LAST MINUTE, NOTHING WOULD GET DONE.
(K is substituted for I, Z for F, G for T, etc). Such problems are
solved by noticing which letters or sequences of letters appear most often,
and making guesses.
I'm wondering if you think there is a way to convert these problems into an
accessible format. Reading the encoded message aloud would probably not
be very helpful, although some braille alphabet equivalent might work. I'm
hoping that this will be somehow feasible, because these types of problems
are very engaging. The cryptology section would probably be at the end of
the course, so we have time to figure it out. I just thought I would
mention it now in case it is going to be difficult."
I have of course emailed the student to see what might work best for them
but any suggestions from the list would be deeply appreciated!
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the athen-list