[Athen] FW: DIAGRAM Digital Digest August - September 2016

Gaeir Dietrich gdietrich at htctu.net
Tue Sep 27 14:14:11 PDT 2016

FYI: Some of you might find this newsletter of interest

Subject: DIAGRAM Digital Digest August - September 2016


Table of Contents

1. Have You Heard

o Year 2 Of DIAGRAM + Has Officially Begun

o George Kerscher Joins Benetech

o BISG 2016 Honors

o The DIAGRAM Report

o Speech Rule Engine Expansion work

o Accessible Image Repository-Registry

o Certification of an EPUB Publication for Accessibility

o Reading Systems Testing

o Animal watch

2. Working Group Updates

o Overview

o General Advisory Committee

o Standards

o 3D Tactiles Standards

o Content

o Developers

3. DIAGRAM Out And About

4. What We Are Reading

5. Community Spotlight

Have You Heard

Year 2 of DIAGRAM + Has Officially Begun

by Amaya Webster

Dear DIAGRAM Community,
Welcome to the second year of the DIAGRAM Center + award. It’s hard to believe that the year has gone by so quickly, but as they say, “time flies when you’re having fun” and it’s certainly been a fun and exciting year, during which DIAGRAM both concluded some activities from the original DIAGRAM award and worked on projects for the new award. Some highlights include:

* The release of the <http://benetech.us6.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=f60684bd5c&e=c4026d2baf> Quick Start Guide for 3D printing in education
* The release of the <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=6ea81c9387&e=c4026d2baf> DIAGRAM Extended Image Description Guidelines
* The <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=17ddf96212&e=c4026d2baf> Math Code Sprint which resulted in 3 working prototypes:

* “BAM” (Bundling Accessible Mathematics), a web-based tool produced by the that allows users to switch to their preferred mode of accessing math content on A photograph of DIAGRAM community members hard at work at the CSUN 2016 Math Sprint. <https://gallery.mailchimp.com/1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39/images/69ff4aeb-9c7e-446e-91fa-2ab9aa3ac84f.jpg> the fly (e.g. use your AT to read MathML versus PNG with alt or SVG with alt).
* A prototype that connected the open source tools and resources: NVDA, Speech Rule Engine, and the recently released ClearSpeak rule set. And by the end of the day, the team was able to demonstrate NVDA reading MathML using the ClearSpeak rule set.
* a demo using MathJax and D3

* Three <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=243e8effe1&e=c4026d2baf> new DIAGRAM reports from our partners at WGBH’s National Center for Accessible Media

* An update to our series on image description metadata, rounding up the latest in standards and recommendations which can be read on our <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=e6bc622f93&e=c4026d2baf> website or downloaded as a <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=a94dd2c840&e=c4026d2baf> word doc.
* A write up of the results from an updated DIAGRAM Reading Technology Survey, identifying trends in how people who are blind and have low vision obtain and access reading materials. Available on our <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=aceed1cf11&e=c4026d2baf> website, or as a <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=9ec869a58e&e=c4026d2baf> word doc.
* A brand new report that focuses on the existing technology currently being used to create accessible web interactives. It is available for download as a <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=58d92a0a36&e=c4026d2baf> word doc.

* Creation of the <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=cd6108afe2&e=c4026d2baf> DIAGRAM Developers Working group which is focusing on the development and sharing of code for accessibility in education.
* Creation of a new working group, the Benetech Beta Testers, which will help inform the creation and user experience of our new and upcoming tools and prototypes.

A photograph of DIAGRAM team members Sue-Ann and Lisa working with Labs team member John Higgins on DIAGRAM + year 2 planning. <https://gallery.mailchimp.com/1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39/images/f9fbc7bd-f02d-4a2b-829f-1c1a70c46b53.png> Not to be outdone Year Two is already off to an exciting start. The Content working group is working on new resources including a top tips guide for making digital content braille conversion friendly, and the developers working group sub group is working on making drag and drop accessible. And that’s not all. This year will be chock full of new activity. A few brief highlights below:

1. The creation and publication of the DIAGRAM Report which will explore and disseminate information about a wide range of new technologies, industry standards, and best practices that specifically address multi-modal access to education for students with disabilities.
2. A prototype of the highly anticipated Accessible Image Repository and Registry (AIRR )
3. The beginning of an open GitHub repository of reusable demonstration code for the most common interactions and modalities
4. In partnership with WGBH/NCAM, development and field testing of exemplary accessible STEM digital learning assets (including videos and activities) for young children with disabilities, based on the popular program PEEP and the Big Wide World funded by NSF and broadcast on PBS stations.

So as we kick of this new year of our new award we want to take a moment to thank all of you for being a part of our community. Without you we would never have accomplished all that we did over the last year, and this upcoming year would not be as exciting as it is!
A group photograph of DIAGRAM community members smiling with their arms raised. <https://gallery.mailchimp.com/1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39/images/f078590f-bdf5-4a91-bcbb-75324c585d42.jpg>

George Kerscher Joins Benetech as Senior Advisor for Global Literacy

A head shot of George Kerscher. <https://gallery.mailchimp.com/1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39/images/4135c37f-8c8a-46a5-b204-785e3eeb9152.jpg> We are thrilled to announce that George Kerscher has joined Benetech as Senior Advisor for Global Literacy! An icon in the industry, having begun his IT innovations in 1987, George brings a wealth of experience and long-time leadership in the accessible information field. “We are extremely pleased to welcome George to Benetech and Bookshare,” said Brad Turner, Vice President of Global Literacy at Benetech. “His technology vision and deep experience will continue to advance our accessibility approach at Benetech, namely making information not only accessible, but also fully functional for persons who are blind or have a print disability.” George’s responsibilities will include strategy and planning for higher education and libraries as well as projects for the visually impaired as part of Benetech’s Bookshare and Born Accessible initiatives to make all ebooks fully accessible when they are first created. Needless to say, we here at DIAGRAM are also extremely excited to have George on board in this new capacity and are eager to see how the Born Accessible work will continue to develop with his contributions. He will of course also continue the fantastic standards work he has been shepherding for the DIAGRAM community as well. The official press release can be read on the <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=4602799e9d&e=c4026d2baf> Benetech Blog.

BISG 2016 Honors: Congratulations George Kerscher and Robin Seaman

by Amaya Webster

George Kerscher has been nominated and is currently on the shortlist for two awards, the BISG Industry Champion Award and the BISG Industry Innovation Award. the BISG Industry Champion Award honors an individual whose efforts have gone beyond the requirements of his or her position to advance the publishing industry while embracing BISG’s mission to facilitate innovation and shared solutions for the benefit of all companies and practitioners who create, produce, and distribute published content. The BISG Industry Innovation Award salutes the company or individual who boldly reimagines what publishing is and can be. Congratulations George on these truly impressive and well earned nominations!

Robin seaman, was awarded the BISG Distinguished Service Award. The award is given in recognition of an individual’s outstanding work on behalf of BISG. This year the award is being presented to the BISG Committee Chairs and BISG Working Group Chairs in recognition of all their hard work and efforts in the area of standards and best practices. Congratulations Robin Seaman, BISG Accessibility Working Group Chair, for being one of the people being honored, you deserve it!

You can read the full announcement on the BISG <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=b8ec3d140e&e=c4026d2baf> website.


by Amaya Webster

Work on the first annual DIAGRAM Report will be kicking off this month. The end product will be an annual will interactive, web based report that focuses on emerging technologies with the potential to benefit students with disabilities. Over the next few months we will be polling the DIAGRAM community at large to find what technology is out there, what people are using, and what they are interested in using. The report will be targeted at mid stage adopters such as educators and policy makers. If there are areas of exploration you would like to suggest as potential report topics please feel welcome to do so. In fact, we encourage people to send in ideas of technology we should explore. Topic suggestions can be sent to either <mailto:charlesl at benetech.org> Charles or <mailto:lisaw at benetech.org> Lisa.

Speech Rule Engine Expansion work

By Sue-Ann Ma

In March 2016, the DIAGRAM Center hosted a one-day code sprint in efforts to work on the next generation of tools and services to support accessible digital mathematics. The event involved over 20 leading developers with technical and accessibility expertise and resulted in riveting discussions, A photograph of Mark Hakinnen, Marshall Sunnes, Daniel Marques, Murray Sargent, Volker Sorge, Neil Soiffer and Wunji Lau working together at the 2016 math sprint. <https://gallery.mailchimp.com/1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39/images/4993128c-4336-4d4f-9f78-0aa027a1ce00.jpg> brainstorms, as well as a few teams that was able to produce some preliminary prototypes. Building on the collaboration from the event, the DIAGRAM is starting new work with Volker Sorge of the MathJax Consortium, University of Birmingham, and creator of the Speech Rule Engine, to work towards broadening the reach of the technology to additional tools and mediums such as: screen readers, audio files, and braille.

The proposed project involves enhancing the existing Speech Rule Engine, which is an open source math rendering engine currently used by major technology tools including: <http://benetech.us6.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=a8585f8a37&e=c4026d2baf> MathJax (and our <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=6534b8b394&e=c4026d2baf> MathML Cloud tool built on top of it), <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=535cc4c91c&e=c4026d2baf> ChromeVox, other assistive technology including <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=6b0a13332a&e=c4026d2baf> STEM Reader and <http://benetech.us6.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=b6b011dfbd&e=c4026d2baf> TextHelp. Coupled with other resources and partners, this Speech Rule Engine work paves the way for more advanced auto-transcription for specific subject matters, user demographics, math disciplines, languages, and additional mediums (e.g. audio and braille). We are really excited about this upcoming work and look forward to kicking things off this fall. Stay tuned for more information on how we plan to work with members of the DIAGRAM Center community to develop and test this work and of course, to learn when you can check it out for yourself!

Accessible Image Repository-Registry

by Sue-Ann Ma

This quarter, we kicked off development for the highly anticipated Accessible Image Repository-Registry. Working with Sina Bahram of Prime Access Consulting, our initial prototype aims to address some needs and answer some uncertainties when it comes to providing accessible alternatives for visual content. Our primary goal for this phase of development is to throw together a quick prototype where various DIAGRAM members can share, host, tag, and search accessible image alternatives (i.e. text-based descriptions, 2D embossed files, 3D models). We also plan to couple this iterative development work with limited user feedback tests with various DSS (Disability Student Services) offices, TVIs (teachers of the visually impaired), and Parents/Friends of End-Users to refine our requirements and goals for this tool. Look out for upcoming requests for alpha testers on this collection of shared resources.

Certification of an EPUB Publication for Accessibility

by George Kerscher and Charles LaPierre

There is a fundamental need to be able to certify that a given EPUB book is accessible so that people who need accessible books, or are purchasing accessible material for a people who need them, can be confidence that what they are buying, is in fact accessible. A concept we have been referring to as “buy accessible” – or the ability to know beyond doubt that what you are purchasing will meet your accessibility needs.

Benetech and DAISY have formed a partnership under the <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=b49ede5b8a&e=c4026d2baf> Google Impact Award to address this area of need. Once there is an approved EPUB specification, we can begin to test for accessibility. The process used for testing will document a step by step approach to certify that an EPUB publication is truly accessible. The process includes the use of human examination and special software designed to test for accessibility features and create a report on what has been found. The report will flag errors, and identify places where human judgment is needed to check a particular item, for example is the alt-text in this image meaningful. The development of the process is already underway and we are looking at the use of existing HTML accessibility checkers to build upon. We know that there are specific accessibility tests that need to be developed that go beyond HTML and WCAG, these will be built into this new accessibility checking tool. Make sure to stay tuned for updates on our progress and to learn about what the specific accessibility tests will be!

DAISY Reading Systems Testing Group Parners with Benetech

by George Kerscher and Amaya Webster

The DAISY Reading System Testing Group was formed to test how different Reading Systems perform with different types of Assistive Technology and which functions are or are not supported. For example, the group might test how well a refreshable braille device works with Jaws to read a book using Kindle. Upon completion of the test, which examines things like ease of navigation, media overlays, etc. the reading system will be scored and that score eventually published, so that user of assistive technology can determine with ease what system would work best for their needs. Much the way DIAGRAM’s <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=3c27fdce18&e=c4026d2baf> Math Support Finder works for users needing access to accessible math.
We are delighted to announce that the Reading System Testing Group will be partnering with Benetech to further our goals of certification and buy accessible materials. DIAGRAM’s own Amaya Webster has just started as the community manager for the Reading System Testing group. Amaya, among other things, will help to identify volunteers to test Assistive Technology (AT) used in conjunction with reading system software on all platforms.
The work, available at <http://benetech.us6.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=3ac1a22a87&e=c4026d2baf> http://www.epubtest.org continues to identify great EPUB reading systems, and some that have real challenges. Follow the accessibility <http://benetech.us6.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=db1fe3713c&e=c4026d2baf> link on <http://benetech.us6.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=c1bfb47b8e&e=c4026d2baf> epubtest and you can review the scores for the fundamental testing of 28 reading systems. Yes, there are a few that have 100% accessibility scores. The VitalSource “Bookshelf” is in the lead on all platforms. We have tested the reading systems in conjunction with JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver, and Talkback using speech output and are currently looking to test for braille support. If you have expertise with refreshable braille and would be interested in conducting a reading system test, please contact <mailto:amayaw at benetech.org> Amaya who can help you get started.

AnimalWatch Vi: Building Graphics Literacy

by Amaya Webster

We are excited to share a project that Lisa Wadors Verne, Benetech’s Program Manager: Education, Research & Partnerships, began working on with the University of Arizona and others on July 1, 2016. The goal of the project is to support middle school students with visual impairments in building their ability to gather information from graphics (bar graphs, maps, scatterplots etc.) as they gain skills in solving math word problems and learn about environmental science issues such as the impact of plastics on marine life.

The project is collecting examples of graphics in books, apps, web sites, worksheets etc. that have been difficult for children in grades 4 and up to interpret and are interested in the experiences or community members have had both with children who are braille readers and those who are print readers.
To help facilitate the collection process and gathering of experiences, there is a contest and participants will be entered to win one of two $25 Amazon gift cards. You’ll need to have a copy of the graphic (and ideally the text that surrounds it from the page or screen) in order to be eligible to win. To share your experiences and enter the contest go to <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=b8ea6dd055&e=c4026d2baf> https://uarizona.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cNNGxMovfbUH2Xr. Feel free to distribute this invitation to others who might have an examples they are willing to share.
Thanks and good luck!

Working Group and Committee Updates

General Overview

by Amaya Webster

The DIAGRAM working groups are a large part of who the DIAGRAM Center is and why we’ve been so successful. They lend their expertise and experience to a wide breadth of issues and areas, and sometimes, as diverse as those areas are, they somehow manage to overlap. So in addition to the individual working group updates, we wanted to take a second to not only call attention to the amazing force of impact that are the working groups, but highlight where their efforts overlap.

The Standards, 3D Tactiles Standards and Content Working groups have all been working on representations of braille. The Standards Working Group has been working on representing braille metadata, the Tactile Standards Working Group on standards for including braille on 3d objects and the Content Working Group on Top Tips for publishing content that is braille conversion friendly.

This braille work is in addition to the work that the Standards group continues to make headway on with the EPUB 3.1 standard and with <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=c7663cd97b&e=c4026d2baf> Diagrammar as a container for image alternatives. The Tactiles group is also working on documenting lessons learned on printing and using 3d shapes.

The Content and Developers working groups are both working on digital interactives and are tasked with thinking through these areas for students with print disabilities and students with disabilities that aren’t print disabilities. The Content Working Group has been busy updating the Accessible Image Sample Book with sample interactives while the Developers Working Group is tackling the technical challenge of some of the most common functions, starting with a sub-group focused on drag and drop.

We will be exploring these areas of overlap further at an upcoming Working Group Co-Chairs meeting which is in the process of being scheduled and would welcome suggestions from any of our community members on ways to take advantage of it. If you have an idea please send it to info at diagramcenter.org or to Amaya directly at amayaw at benetech.org.

DIAGRAM General Adviosry Committee

by Amaya Webster

The Diagram general Advisory Committee held their final meeting of the year on August 17, 2016. The group was treated to an overview of the work the Working Groups are doing and where there is overlap between the groups.

The Advisory committee was also introduced to the production plan for the first annual DIAGRAM Report. Work on the report will be kicking of this month and will continue through the year. The report is scheduled to be published at the end of 2017.

The last meeting topic was the DIAGRAM 2017 offsite which is held at the beginning of summer usually, though not always, in the DC area. The off site is a chance for the community to come together and strategize on what is needed in the field and the best way to achieve the goals of the DIAGRAM Center. Previous off sites have been held at Airlie in near Washington, DC, and Asilomar in Pacific Grove, California.

DIAGRAM Standards Working Group Update

by George Kerscher and Charles LaPierre

The IDPF’s EPUB Accessibility Task force has finished its second editors draft of our Conformance and Discovery Requirements for EPUB Publications which can be viewed at: <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=8878a779f2&e=c4026d2baf> http://www.idpf.org/epub/a11y/accessibility.html and its companion EPUB Accessibility Techniques document: <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=5f69af813b&e=c4026d2baf> http://www.idpf.org/epub/a11y/techniques/techniques.htm. The specification will be put to the IDPF membership for approval in Q4 of 2016. Once approved, Benetech and DAISY can begin to move forward on the accessibility testing for the certification work. Exciting news indeed, so stay tuned for updates!

As an integral part of discoverability for accessible content we have a proposal into <http://benetech.us6.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=62117b6fd6&e=c4026d2baf> schema.org to add accessibility specific metadata. This proposal is currently on <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=b8522ecec8&e=c4026d2baf> schema.org's pending webpage located at <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=51641875d9&e=c4026d2baf> http://pending.webschemas.org.

DIAGRAM 3D Tactiles Standards Working Group Update

by Amaya Webster

After a leave of absence, Mia Lipner will be resuming her role as chair of the 3D Tactiles Standards Working Group. The group would like to extend their thanks to Jim Allan who has been the acting chair in Mia’s absence and did a great job of keeping the group running. Thanks Jim and welcome back Mia!

In other news, The DIAGRAM 3D Tactiles Standards Working Group has created a document that seeks to inform object creators about the best way to add braille to 3D objects. The group worked with braille readers from the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in San Francisco, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and participants from our IMLS-sponsored National Forum on 3D Printing and Education to test the readability of braille created in various with many different types of printers like Makerbot, MakerGear, TypeA and Ultimaker to name a few. In the end, the group found that ‘vertical braille’ is the best method of printing braille with a 3D printer. The resource is available for download as a <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=088052ab7e&e=c4026d2baf> Microsoft Word Document.

DIAGRAM Content Working Group Update

by Amaya Webster

The Content Working Group held their Q3 meeting on August 16. The group is hard at work developing a new resource for publishers that will provide the top tips for making digital content braille conversion friendly. They are also working on expanding the <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=26b916e4ab&e=c4026d2baf> Accessible Image Sample Book to include a new section on accessible multimedia and a new section on accessible interactives. Stay tuned for progress updates!

DIAGRAM Developers Working Group Update

by Charles LaPierre

The DIAGRAM Developers working group has had its second meeting since being formed earlier this year. Two noteworthy areas to mention are:

1. Formation of a new “D&D” (Drag and Drop) subgroup who will explore the various accessible ways to make drag and drop interactives accessible. So far Sina Bahram, Charles LaPierre, Volker Sorge, and a yet to be appointed member of Mark Hakkenin’s team at ETS will participate in this subgroup, others are welcome to participate as well.

2. During the meeting a review of the IDPF’s latest EPUB 3.1 accessibility techniques document, concerning how to encode MathML with an appropriate fallback solution, it was discovered that there might be some serious accessibility concerns. Charles has already begun meeting with the IDPF accessibility task force, W3C’s ARIA 1.1 authoring practices working group and DIAGRAM Center’s Developers working group members Sina Bahram and Volker Sorge to discuss this issue and ultimately come up with a best practices on how to include MathML in an EPUB document.

The developers working group is still looking for additional participants. If you or someone you know has a passion for accessible coding we would love to hear from you. For more information please contact Charles LaPierre, the Technical Lead for DIAGRAM at Charlesl[at]benetech[dot]org.

DIAGRAM Out And About

* DIAGRAM at Microsoft
July 16, 2016 in Mountain View, CA
Sue-Ann Ma and Amaya Webster presented the Poet Image Description Training Module to the Microsoft Power Point Team at their Mountain View office with the Redmond, Washington team joining remotely via video conference. The event, which was referred to as an image slam, was in actuality a combination of presentation, training and user testing.

* DIAGRAM at AER International Conference
July 21, 2016 in Jacksonville, FL
Sue-Ann Ma joined DIAGRAM community member Steve Noble as part of a panel on Accessible math in as session titled “Math Materials: Making Them Accessible” at this year’s AER conference. They discussed the issues faced by students with visual impairment in accessing Math and STEM curricular materials, shared what is working and what resources are available for teachers and students.

* DIAGRAM at OSEP Project Directors Meeting
August 3, 2016 in Washington D.C
Brad Turner and Lisa Wadors presented on “The Future of Accessible Educational Materials” at this year’s Project Directors Meeting. Their session addressed the future of educational materials and how accessible content needs to be created to eliminate barriers for people with disabilities.

* DIAGRAM at <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=6ea9339044&e=c4026d2baf> Tailoring the Reading Experience to Meet Individual Needs
August 10-12, 2016 in Louisville, KY
Lisa Wadors presented a session on the <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=d5dc731f8a&e=c4026d2baf> Diagrammar tool which is a data model for image description metadata at this IFLA and APH satellite conference.

* Benetech at <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=8ee25395fb&e=c4026d2baf> W3C Technical Plenary / Advisory Committee Meetings
September 19 – 23, 2016 in Lisbon, Portugal
George Kerscher was the moderator and Charles LaPierre a panelist for a session entitled “Accessibility: Electronic Documents and Web Convergence” at this year’s TPAC conference.

* DIAGRAM at the BISG (Book Industry Study Group) <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=86c1fa30ec&e=c4026d2baf> Annual Meeting of Members
September 30, 2016 in New York, New York
Robin Seaman will be speaking to approximately 200 of BISG’s most engaged members delivering an update on accessible publishing.

What We Are Reading

A big thank you to all of you who sent us articles to be included in this edition of “What We Are Reading” Please keep them coming! You can send them to info[at]Diagramcenter[org] or to me directly at amayaw[at]benetech[dot]org.

* Su Park worked with Pearson to develop new software and hardware that allows students using Braille to interact with math on a computer. Read her story in the article <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=b74fe9d9d4&e=c4026d2baf> A blind high school senior helps make learning history
* Researchers at Thammasat University in Thailand have created something that will potentially make it a lot cheaper for the blind to read. Read <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=04e5576bdc&e=c4026d2baf> Thai university creates cheap, touchable ink for the blind to learn more.
* Strides in special education have not caught up with technology, leaving disabled students in the digital dust as their peers type and swipe through daily lessons. <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=8e19e84ff8&e=c4026d2baf> Schoolchildren with disabilities face digital gap is an article that discusses the issue and what some people and agencies are doing about it.
* Long-Term Training with a Brain-Machine Interface-Based Gait Protocol Induces Partial Neurological Recovery in Paraplegic Patients. Learn more at <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=305c915d0e&e=c4026d2baf> http://www.nature.com/articles/srep30383.
* DIAGRAM Community member Saqib Shaikh, an engineer at Microsoft, has developed technology to help compensate for the sight he lost at a very young age. The technology leverages a range of leading-edge technologies, including visual recognition and advanced machine learning, and was featured in the article <http://benetech.us6.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=bff659c432&e=c4026d2baf> The Partnership of the Future.
* Deep learning research company will use 1m anonymised eye scans to train a neural network to identify early signs of degenerative eye conditions. Read the article <http://benetech.us6.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=0b93c8e763&e=c4026d2baf> Google DeepMind pairs with NHS to use machine learning to fight blindness to learn more.
* A clutch of entrepreneurs have set aside cash and raised funds to build apps and devices for people with disabilities. Learn more about their efforts and what they’ve built at <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=fcc8d63edc&e=c4026d2baf> http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/trend-tracking/startups-products-for-disabilities/articleshow/53468249.cms
* Tulane University has created a guide to help teachers create classroom resources that are accessible. The guide is under the creative commons license and is available at <http://benetech.us6.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=0c96c28020&e=c4026d2baf> https://accessiblesyllabus.tulane.edu/text/
* A Working Draft of <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=0188922d5f&e=c4026d2baf> Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.1 is available for review. It is intended to be the last Working Draft before the specification becomes a Candidate Recommendation.
* Innovation in food packaging and ‘use-by date’ labels being tested at the University of Chester combining sustainability with tech for the print disabled. The full article can be read at <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=e04b3fc052&e=c4026d2baf> https://www.chester.ac.uk/node/37608 .

Community Spotlight

Spotlight on Derek Riemer

Derek Riemer is currently in his senior year at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he is majoring in computer science. He is interested in <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=c73f0f979a&e=c4026d2baf> human centered computing, <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=39398cfde6&e=c4026d2baf> accessibility and <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=8a162565b1&e=c4026d2baf> UniversalDesign. Derek, a self-described “baby engineer”, has already racked up a laundry list of accomplishments including being an Eagle Scout, the recipient of the Super Student award at Ralston Valley High school, a contributor to the NVDA screen reader project and most recently Benetech’s summer engineering intern which we want to call attention to because he did an outstanding job.

Over the course of the eight week internship, Derek worked on a variety of projects including adding dyslexic font support to Readium’s open source reader which is scheduled to be included in their 0.25 October release. He also worked towards building out the Diagrammar content model through the addition of alternative modalities like additional text and tactile graphics files by integrating Diagrammar into an EPUB book using custom web elements.

He was a joy to work with and impressed everyone on our team. Charles LaPierre, Technical Lead for DIAGRAM positively glowed about Derek saying, “I have worked with a number of interns over the years and this by far has been the most rewarding experience.”

So thank you Derek for a great summer! We enjoyed your positive energy and curious nature. We wish you the best of luck with your new school year and look forward to continuing to work with you through the DIAGRAM Center’s Developers Working Group!

Spotlight on Jacob Wobbrock and Richard Ladner

The University of Washington has very strong research programs in accessible computing. Jacob O. Wobbrock, professor in the Information School, leads the <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=1d74a3b853&e=c4026d2baf> Mobile and Accessible Design Lab and Richard E. Ladner, professor in Computer Science and Engineering leads the Accessibility Research Group. For the past five years both have focused on mobile platforms, smart phones and tablets. Wobbrock’s primary research has been on low-level interaction with computer screens. He is the inventor of EdgeWrite, a unistroke text entry method for people with certain mobility related disabilities. He and his student Shaun Kane were the first to demonstrate that modern touchscreens could be made accessible using gestures and speech output in the seminal paper “Slide Rule, Making Touch Screens Accessible to Blind People Using Multi-Touch Interaction Techniques.” Ladner’s primary research focuses on accessibility applications for blind, deaf, and deaf-blind people. He is the creator of the Tactile Graphics Assistant, which provides software and a workflow to quickly transform all the figures in textbooks into a tactile format. He worked with the DIAGRAM Center to extend that work to quickly translate figures to tactile/auditory format. Instead of Braille in the tactile graphic, QR codes with the same information are printed in the same location as the Braille where they can be scanned and spoken using a smartphone. He also created the ASL-STEM Forum, an online forum, for people to upload videos of American Sign Language for scientific terms. His student, Jeff Bigham, created WebAnywhere, a web-based screen reader that can be used from any computer without downloading any software. His student, Shiri Azenkot, created Perkinput, a Braille-based technique to enter text on a touch screen. Former Ph.D. students of Wobbrock and Ladner teach at Harvard, University of Colorado, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell Tech in New York City, and the University of Iowa, where they all continue to do accessibility research. Other former Ph.D. students are at Apple, Google, and Intel where they develop accessible products and services.

Professor Ladner also serves on the DIAGRAM Center Advisory Committee and several Working Groups and is a recent recipient of the <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=4482c97b28&e=c4026d2baf> 2016 SIGACCESS Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computing and Accessibility which recognizes individuals who have made significant and lasting contributions to the development of computing technologies that improve the accessibility of media and services to people with disabilities. Congratulations Professor Ladner and thank you both for all that you do!

IDEA's that Work logo <https://gallery.mailchimp.com/1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39/images/ccd7797c-8552-4b26-b58e-f897d7a3d8d0.jpg> The DIAGRAM Center is a <http://benetech.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1d9f34cfc6f8747bac437fb39&id=eb27ded828&e=c4026d2baf> Benetech initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (Cooperative Agreement #H327B100001). Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the U.S. Department of Education.


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