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Currently, research is in the works to make mathematics more accessible to the blind, and the following projects are just completed, undergoing beta testing, or still in the planning/prototype stage. For more information on their work in progress contact:

Design Science, Inc.
140 Pine Avenue, 4th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90802
Phone: 800-827-0685 (no technical support calls at this number)
Main: 562-432-2920
Fax: 562-432-2857
Contact: Neil Soiffer

MathPlayer's Math-to-Speech Technology. MathPlayer 2.0 makes math in web pages accessible to visually impaired readers.

Dr. Neil Soiffer, Senior Scientist at Design Science, will be presenting a session at CSUN 2005 entitled, "Advances In Accessible Web-Based Mathematics." He'll discuss how the recent reauthorization of the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and ongoing standards and technology development will make mathematical expressions on web pages and other media accessible to everyone. He will also be demonstrating how math in web pages can be made accessible today. The talk takes place noon Wednesday, March 16th, in Marriott's Boston Room. A session abstract is available from CSUN:

For more on math accessibility(

Dotless Braille
Contact: Susan Jolly

Nemeth Back Translator

They are almost finished developing open source software, BackNem, to back-translate all linear (but not yet spatially-arranged) Nemeth braille expressions to MathML. BackNem is written in Java so it can be installed on any computer. The generated MathML can then be displayed as print math by using any number of freely available browsers. Examples include Microsoft Internet Explorer in conjunction with the MathPlayer (see Design Science above) plug-in as well as Netscape.

They plan to make a beta test version of BackNem available starting in September 2004. Please watch Dotless Braille for details. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. IIS-0312487.

gh, LLC
1305 Cumberland Avenue
West Lafayette, IN 47906
Phone: (765) 775-3776
Toll Free: (866) MY-3-DOTS [693-3687 ]
FAX: (765) 775-2501
E-mail: gh  

MathSpeak" Initiative

A grant from the Indiana 21st Century Research and Technology Fund was awarded to gh, LLC in the Summer of 2004 to develop MathSpeak". gh was chosen by Indiana's Department of Commerce to research and develop a standard for the production of Digital Talking Book versions of Math and Science Books (using MathSpeak"), and a software player (the gh PLAYER") module that can properly render the math and science both aurally and visually. Specifically, several mathematics textbooks, one science textbook, and a standardized test involving math and science are being prepared in this format by gh and tested among print disabled students in a variety of settings.

Henter Math, LLC
Phone: 888-533-MATH (6284) or 727-347-1313
FAX: 727-302-9422
Website: http://www.hent

Virtual Pencil

VPAlgebra is now available! Henter Math is pleased to announce the release of Virtual Pencil Algebra, computer software for interactive access to algebra for students who are blind or visually impaired. This standard Windows application presents the equations visually for the sighted teachers, and audibly for the blind students.

MathMonkeys, LLC
26 Church Street, Harvard Square
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617.497.2096
FAX: 617.497.2116
ht tp://

Math Speak. In MathEQ Expression Editor highlight an expression and MathSpeak This to hear your computer read the expression as a human would read it aloud.

National Institute of Standards and Technology ( NIST)
NIST, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 3460,
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-3460
(301) 975-NIST (6478)
TTY (301) 975-8295

NIST Prototype Tactile Visual Display

Computer scientists and engineers at NIST have created a tactile graphic display that brings electronic images to the blind and visually impaired in the same way that Braille makes words readable.

Tactile Dynamics, Inc.
110 Commerce Drive, Suite 210
Fayetteville, GA 30214
Tel: 770-716-9222
Fax: 770-716-9599
Website: no longer active

TDI Full-Page Braille Display

Their patent was awarded in November 2004.  They have worked out most of the manufacturing issues and should have demo units available mid spring 2005.

Many innovations evolved as the development process progressed.  Originally, they anticipated a bdm (braille display module) 30-dots by 30-dots as a basic component out of which larger displays could be assembled.  A lot of time and little funds encouraged them to simplify the assembly steps further.  A standard industrial technology, which they discovered recently, permits the manufacture of displays as 1 unit as big as 24-inches by 24-inches.  They can consequently offer 2 initial models, text-only with 6-dot and 8-dot characters, 20 cells by 6 lines and 40 cells by 25 lines at retail prices $2600 and $5200 approximately.

The current design does permit braille text as well as tactile graphics.  Dot elements are spaced uniformly on the grid so this is possible.  They want braille product developers  to create the necessary driver software before we enter the tactile graphics arena.

They will be presenting at CSUN in March 2005 and anticipate a prototype will be available for show and tell.

Touch Graphics
330 West 38 Street Suite 1204
New York, NY 10018 USA
Phone: 212-375-6341
FAX: 646-452-4211
Contact: Steven Landau

TTT: Talking Tactile Tablet

TouchGraphics Company has begun work on a sophisticated Authoring Tool that will allow teachers of blind and visually impaired students to create their own talking tactile pictures for the TTT, a new computer peripheral device. This site will offer news on the product as it is developed, and will provide special information to members of the Teachers' Design Collaborative, a group of experts in the field who are participating in the Research & Design process. Check in regularly to learn of our progress, and to find out about an exciting opportunity to receive free materials in exchange for your participation in the development process.

ViewPlus Technologies, Inc.
1853 SW Airport Avenue
Corvallis, Oregon 97333
Phone: 541.754.4002
Fax: 541.738.6505

The Accessible Graphing Calculator (AGC) is new and improved.

AGC is a scientific calculator that provides voiced feedback, and can even make those graphs accessible by audio. Extremely versatile it can import data from Excel ® and a host of other applications. Sighted users can use the access the AGC through a slick visual user interface. And, of course, it can print perfect tactile copies of graphs in seconds by printing directly to any Tiger Embosser. The AGC is accessible to anyone who can use a computer, regardless of ability, allowing the user to concentrate on math, not on learning the tools to access it.

Ink & braille - plus ink & tactile graphics. The Tiger TM Pro embosser now has the option to print ink text and emboss braille concurrently, and even overprint.

IVEO Software with Touch Pad - allows you to touch, hear, and see electronic documents simultaneously.