[Athen] reading aloud mathematics

Zach zm290 at msstate.edu
Mon May 8 08:23:53 PDT 2017

Just thought I’d also throw in my $0.02. As a blind graduate student in animal science, I am having my statistics text book recorded by human readers. My DSS office and I worked out an arrangement whereby student employees read the book, one page at a time, in accordance with Abraham Nemeth’s ‘MATHSPEAK’ standards. Each page is recorded as its own MP3 file in a shared drop box folder. Regrettably I fear this may not be the least expensive option when you consider the time it takes to read a page of text and math notation, my MP3 files average 0.093 hr/printed page, times ~1000 pages, 93.2 hr of active reading, I expect there is some time needed to practice reading so we’ll call it 100 hr, and that multiplied by the going salary of student workers ($10/hr), so probably in the $1,000-1,200 range.



Zachary Mason

M.S. Student

Animal and Dairy Sciences

Mississippi State University

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Joseph Polizzotto
Sent: Thursday, May 04, 2017 9:03 PM
To: 'Access Technology Higher Education Network' <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] reading aloud mathematics

Hi Kevin:

I would first try converting a few pages of the material from DOCX into DAISY format.

I recommend using MathDAISY by Design Science ($179), MathType, and the free Save As DAISY plug-in for MS Word (PC version only) for this purpose. Consider using the Custom Speech Text feature in MathType (from the Edit menu) to improve the way that some equations are pronounced. It’s a good idea to produce the DAISY book on a machine that has a high-quality TTS voice, as well. :)

For playback of DAISY books, the student has a choice of apps. For Android, I recommend Darwin Reader; for iOS, I recommend Voice of DAISY. A lite version of Voice of DAISY is available.

Another option is simply creating audio files of some equations or an entire document using Central Access Reader’s Export as MP3 option. Be sure to play the document back first and adjust the math library in CAR, if necessary. Also, make sure to have a higher quality TTS voice available on the computer. Press CTRL + M to save as MP3 in CAR. You can then transfer the MP3 of the Math document to a student’s mobile device. I recommend using VoiceDream Reader for iOS or Android when playing back an MP3, since the student can make bookmarks and adjust the speed of playback very easily.

Another option with CAR is to save the DOCX file as HTML with PNG images (CTRL + SHIFT + P), which have alternate text descriptions of the math content. The student could open the HTML file on an iOS device and use the two finger swipe down method to launch Apple’s text to speech feature. Apple’s TTS will voice the alternate text in the images of the HTML file.

A final possibility involves using a screen reader on a mobile device. If you want to explore that route, VoiceOver for iOS can read and interact with math in iBooks (EPUB) and Safari (HTML +MathML). On an Android device, the HTML file plus alternate text versions of the math could be read by TalkBack.



From: Athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Kevin Andrews
Sent: Thursday, May 04, 2017 4:40 PM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Athen] reading aloud mathematics

HI fellow pros! I have a student who is gradually losing their sight, and as a result, is asking for an an e-reader of some type that could read aloud equations for calculus and physics such as derivatives, integrals, and Greek letter (which are used constantly). I don't even know if it exists because the math is quite complex. Is this something we could accomplish with something like Math ML and Math Type? I am not a math-minded person myself, but rather I'm inquiring as our office's AT Coordinator and am admittedly very rocky in this specific area. Any insights is greatly appreciated!




Kevin Andrews
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Accessible Technology Coordinator
Disability Resource Center
University of California, Santa Cruz
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