[Athen] a dream realized - learning points training STEM faculty
jhori at ucdavis.edu
Fri Dec 18 10:28:26 PST 2015
Thank you Krista for that "case study" that you shared below, and in the essence of sharing...I'd like to share my findings as well! Forgive the cross postings...
MORE MATH RESOURCES!!
Which screenreaders read math? What formats are suggested? What plug-ins are needed? Find out with the Math Matrix: http://msf.mathmlcloud.org/
* Enter an assistive technology used by the student and hit enter to see what formats work with each other...A work in progress.
MathML Cloud Home: https://wiki.benetech.org/display/MATH/Home
MathML Cloud how to: https://www.mathmlcloud.org/#/how-to-use-this-tool
MathML Cloud conversion tool: https://www.mathmlcloud.org/
* Convert ASCII, MathML, or LaTeX into SVG/PNG with alt text.
Convert handwriting into MathML, LaTeX, or a Symbol Tree: http://webdemo.myscript.com/#/home
* There are a few android and iOS apps which will also perform this function and email you the code.
Need to perform math conversions? Try out Central Washington's Central Access Reader (CAR): https://www.cwu.edu/central-access/reader
* CAR is the reader used by students to read math content (converted into HTML) in web browsers.
* Central Access Toolbar (CAT) is the tool to assist with Math conversions.
o Used along with InftyReader, it "cleans" the InftyReader math output
o This is only meant for math content and not the text areas of the book, use the regular OCR program which you are currently using.
o You'll have to contact them for access to the tool, but they are willing to share their technology.
You can use InftyEditor to convert handwriting into Math: http://www.inftyproject.org/en/software.html
* Demo is available here: http://www.inftyproject.org/en/demo.html
* InftyReader is needed for Math OCR and costs money, InftyEditor is the free Math Editor.
Draw Math equations and convert into LaTeX symbol: http://detexify.kirelabs.org/classify.html
* Web based or desktop app available.
Convert Word with Math into DAISY with Math: http://sensusaccess.com/convert-a-file
* PDF with Math content? Try converting to Word first, verify the math conversions, and then convert into DAISY if needed.
Use Dragon, along with MathTalk/Scientific Notebook, to speak math aloud: http://metroplexvoice.com/
Are you a tinkerer? You may want to try out Windows Speech Recognition's Spoken Math Editor: http://www.inftyreader.org/?p=67
* Worked on this one for a little while with Steve from IDEAL and got it working after editing the macros, here's a link to my dropbox if you would like to grab it for yourself: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wq1wbhiaqj11onl/AADMBJsKX73D7weWdg_iVcW7a?dl=0 (the files linked on the web site will not work and edits are needed, edits done for files in dropbox)
* I created a tutorial on macro creation as I found limitations which others should be aware of.
* You can create equations from scratch somewhat slowly, but found entering an equation name vocally to not give great results...but hey, everything is free for this one and you can try out different vocal entries using the macros.
Blind Math resource: http://www.tsbvi.edu/math
* Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Too many resources available on this site to list here, but if you're looking for something, you'll find it here. The web master for this school is involved with EVERYTHING, including 3D printing for STEM.
I hope this helps all! If there's something else that you're looking for, shoot me an email...I have a lot of bookmarked content available.
Accessible Technology Analyst
Student Disability Center
54 Cowell Building
Davis, CA 95616
From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Waldron, Tammy
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2015 8:12 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] a dream realized - learning points training STEM faculty
Thank you Krista!
This is incredibly helpful information. Would you be willing to provide more information on the steps to use MathType and MathML?
Tammy Waldron, M.Ed
Quality Matters Coordinator
Educational Technology Department
Division of College Support Services
The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences
The Christ Hospital Health Network
2139 Auburn Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45219
Office Telephone: 513-585-2900
Email: tammy.waldron at thechristcollege.edu<mailto:tammy.waldron at thechristcollege.edu>
Visit us at www.thechristcollege.edu<http://www.thechristcollege.edu/>
TCCNHS is committed to a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, ethnicity, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, or economic status and all other legally protected classes. The College's full Non-Discriminatory Statement can be located at: http://www.thechristcollege.edu/
From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of KRISTA L. GREEAR
Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2015 8:55 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: [Athen] a dream realized - learning points training STEM faculty
This month, my colleague Dan and myself, had the blessed opportunity to present to all of the faculty in the STEM School at one of our campuses regarding math accessibility. The rest of the email is a summary of the events that led to this meeting. At the end is a summary of what I learned.
Hopefully, this real "case study" will be helpful as you move forward to improve the accessibility of STEM content on your campus.
University of Washington
Disability Resources for Students
Accessible Text & Technology Manager
This opportunity came to us because of working with a student who needed accessible math, more so for a learning disability then a visual impairment. This student kept finding barriers and shared this with the Director of Undergraduate Academic Services for the STEM School. The Director took this student seriously and initiated 3 meetings from Feb 2015-Dec 2015. I am the Alternate Format Manager for all of our campuses and Dan is the manager of the Access Technology Center.
First meeting was between myself, Dan, the Disability Resources Director, School of STEM Dean, Textbooks Chairman for STEM School, University's ADA Coordinator and Director of Undergraduate Academic Services. We demoed the basics of math accessibility, highlighting that images of math are not accessible. We introduced MathType and explained the benefits of MathML. I demoed how a PDF with math is inaccessible and does not work with text-to-speech technology. We discussed how online learning tools like MyMathLab, WilelyPlus, WebAssign, Connect are often not accessible. We shared how publisher files are often not accessible for STEM content.
Second meeting was presenting to the Math department about the basics of math accessibility. Myself and my student worker (Masters student in Chemical Engineering and the main person who converted accessible math books) presented to the Math department, consisting of about 10 instructors and some of the key administrators from the first meeting. We gave a short into to disability law. I was able to ask questions like how faculty choose textbooks, write exams, what they use to assign homework, what file types they use for worksheets/handouts. Again, we demoed text-to-speech technology with inaccessible and accessible math content. Again, we discussed online math products, how to handle classes that required the use of inaccessible specialized software when it is an industry standard, the need to create good quality scans, understand the difference between image files and text selectable files, and discussed the merits of MathType. Professors understood the lead time needed to convert math (my office asked for six weeks' notice to convert anything into braille or to convert a STEM book into an accessible format). The instructors brought up the good point that if they only get the formal notification a week or two before the term starts, that is not enough time to work on converting their own materials into accessible formats. This started a discussion about how early to notify faculty members about student's accommodations. We highly discourage the use of making equations and images.
At the most recent meeting, Dan and I presented to the entire STEM school. This included the math, science, technology, and engineering departments. There were around 50 instructors in the room along with several administrators like the Dean of the STEM school, the University's ADA Coordinator and Director of Undergraduate Academic Services, and the campuses Disability Services Director. This meeting was part of their quarterly meeting schedule.
The meeting started with that campuses disability services director and the ADA coordinator creating a framework for why we are talking about disability - namely the legal ramifications.
Dan and I demonstrated text-to-speech technology, talked about PDFs and why they often present barriers, introduced MathML and discussed why MathType is our recommended tool. We did ask them some questions since we have making assumptions this whole time about how content is created.
Who is using LaTeX?
What are they using to produce LaTeX or math content?
Several tools. Emax, Tech Stop, Win tech, MS Word Math Editor, 1 or 2 people used MathType.
Who is heard of MathML?
Very small percentage, perhaps 5-10%.
Who is using PDFs?
Who is using Word docs?
Who is using Windows platforms?
Who is using Mac platforms?
Who is using Linex platforms?
How are people creating PDFs?
Half a PDFs from word, half are scanning files, very few are finding PDFs online.
How are PDFs being delivered?
Namely through our LMS, Canvas.
We also demonstrated the built-in text recognition tool of Adobe Acrobat Pro for non-STEM materials. This sparked a discussion whether that software was readily available to faculty.
We shared a simplified explanation of why math accessibility is so complex. There are factors that have to align and work together to produce the desired result. The file type (PDF, word doc, HTML), the content within that file (LaTeX, images, MathML, text), and the tool of the end user (Screen reader, TTS, speech recognition). Sometimes, we may also need to consider the specific versions of a browser or adaptive technology.
Discussed the differences between LaTeX and MathML and why MathML is the better choice.
We did not share much about creating accessible math in the web environment.
Since many of these folks use campus, we did demonstrate the Canvas Equation Editor and how MathType can work with that.
The group asked about the accessibility of publisher files. We got to share how I have yet to see an accessible math book, directly from the publisher without any additional markup.
They also asked basic questions like what types of disabilities they are most likely to see and what are common accommodations.
The three main takeaways that we boiled the presentation down to (1) avoid graphics for math (2) reconsider PDF for stem content and (3) use MathType for Word content.
Outcomes from the Dec 2015 meeting
* The learning technologist is eager to partner with disability services
* The STEM school is looking at an institutional license of MathType and possibly Adobe acrobat pro
* The faculty would love a hands-on workshop for using MathType
* Open to future trainings
What I learned overall about training folks in STEM accessibility
* Demonstrating is key. Demonstrate the tools the students with disabilities use with the files that they are given. Show, don't only tell.
* Simplify math accessibility. We all know that converting stem content is highly complex.
* Use the terms that we use. Say text-to-speech or screen reader. Faculty members need to know the differences between the two.
* Give them simple, tangible
* Always try to get administration support first, so buying software is a much smoother process.
* Know the products/methods your faculty are using
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