Attending the Cal-State Northridge Conference (CSUN) is always a great experience. Even after 30 years in the assistive technology field, I am amazed and excited about the options that are being developed and the tools available for use by my students as well as in creating accessible content. The conference is attended by people from many countries and also by individuals with visual impairments and blindness. The vendor hall included 120 vendors, which allowed for hands-on trials of different products and personal discussions with vendors, some who were from other countries looking for distributors of their products. Not only is the vendor hall busy, people are coming and going, using various technology, canes or service dogs for navigation within the conference hotel. If someone needed assistance getting to places, not only were there volunteers from the conference, but an atmosphere of working together to get to sessions and to dialogue on a common purpose of accessibility. Pretty cool. And Stevie Wonder usually makes an appearance in the vendor hall- I heard he was in the hotel but didn’t see him this time.
Creating accessible math content was discussed in many sessions. Here are the highlights.
Benetech’s DIAGRAM Center continues to work on developing tools.
- Benetech’s work on accessible math, as a part of their work on testing reading systems that will render math. Current work is with over 800 publishers and includes partnering with Humanware. Work is in progress on math epub books.
- The Math Support Finder is in Beta. If all fields are selected as “any”, a list of all the current information is populated.
- The session on What Lies Ahead for Accessible Math covered the work that Benetech and DIAGRAM have done to date. Many options are being researched including using images of math with alt text and ARIA details with MathML.
- Slide decks for Benetech’s Diagram Center’s presentations
- Vital Source Content Studio and Wiris math editor for creating math and chemical formulas. Math is rendered with alt descriptions.
- The Logan Project from Auburn University at Montgomery, and the development of unique audio methods for teaching and assessing college math. The project is working on obtaining funding to develop math software that is universally designed so that Logan can be independent in completing math homework.
- Central Access Reader (free) and its new toolbar
- While Central Access Reader is not currently screen-reader compatible, it can export documents as a fully accessible HTML file. Work is in progress to create an interface for blind users.
- SAS University Edition Statistics Software Free software for advanced statistical analysis.
- QuickStart Guide on how to use the University Edition