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Which Assistive Technology Products Have Math Support?

There is a growing number of assistive technology (AT) products with math support, ranging from synthetic speech output of math equations to braille support. Design Science works with AT vendors to assist them in developing accessible math support for their customers. We provide the following list to help keep you informed on the current status of math support in AT products.

Note: The features listed are for the most current version of the software. Older versions may or may not have these features.

Reader Tools

The following table lists a number of the most popular synthetic speech reading tools, including screen reader applications and literacy support tools.

PRODUCT VENDOR Accessibility Partner Basic Math Speech Advanced Math Speech Synchronized Math Highlighting Refreshable Math Braille Support
Browsealoud Texthelp Yes Yes No Yes N/A
ClaroRead for PC Claro No Yes No No No
HAL Dolphin No Yes No N/A No
JAWS Freedom Scientific No Yes No N/A No
Kurzweil 1000 Kurzweil Yes Coming soon No N/A No
Kurzweil 3000 Kurzweil Yes Yes Yes Yes N/A
MAGic with speech Freedom Scientific No Yes No No N/A
NVDA NVDA-project N/A Yes No No No
Read&Write Gold Texthelp Yes Yes No Yes N/A
Supernova Dolphin No Yes No No No
System Access Serotek Yes Yes No N/A No
Window-Eyes GW Micro Yes Yes Yes N/A No
WYNN Freedom Scientific No Yes No No N/A
ZoomText Reader Ai Squared Yes Yes No No N/A

Tactile and Braille Translation Software

Here are some of the most commonly used translation software for the creation of hard copy tactile materials.

PRODUCT VENDOR Accessibility Partner DotsPlus Math Math Braille Equation Editor Support MathType Support MathML Support
Braille2000 Computer Application Specialties No No Yes No No Coming soon
Braille Maker Cragside AccessABILITY No No Yes Coming soon Coming soon No
Duxbury Braille Translator Duxbury Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
Tiger Software Suite ViewPlus Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
WinBraille Index Braille No No Yes Yes No No

DAISY Playback Software

This table lists some of the most popular DAISY Digital Talking Book software players.

PRODUCT VENDOR Accessibility Partner Basic Math Speech Advanced Math Speech Synchronized Math Highlighting Refreshable Math Braille Support
AMIS DAISY for All Project N/A No No No No
Book Wizard Reader American Printing House N/A No No No No
EasyReader Dolphin No Yes No No No
eClipseReader IRTI No No No No No
ReadHear PC gh Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Victor Reader Soft HumanWare Yes No No No No

DAISY Production and Conversion Tools

Some of the most commonly used production and conversion tools for creating DAISY Digital Talking Books, and in some cases for converting to other formats:

PRODUCT VENDOR Accessibility Partner MathML Support
Book Wizard Producer American Printing House N/A No
CAST NIMAS Conversion Tool CAST N/A Yes
DAISY Pipeline DAISY Consortium Yes Yes (requires MathDaisy)
Dolphin Publisher Dolphin No No
DTBMaker Wyoming Medical Center N/A No
EasyConverter Dolphin No No
EasyProducer Dolphin No No
eClipseWriter Professional IRTI No No
TechAdapt Accessible Media Center TechAdapt No Yes

Authoring Software that supports DAISY or XHTML+MathML Export

The following table lists document authoring software that can be used to create DAISY or XHTML files with accessible math.

PRODUCT VENDOR Accessibility Partner Supports DAISY Export w/Math Supports XHTML+MathML Export
MS Office Word Microsoft No Yes (requires "Save as DAISY XML" add-in) Yes (requires MathType)
OpenOffice Writer OpenOffice.org N/A Yes (requires Text To DAISY DTB" extension) Yes (requires "Writer2html" extension)

Terminology Key

Accessibility Partner: Vendors who have signed up for our Accessibility Partners program and work with us to provide math accessibility in their products. Organizations whose institutional status or bylaws may prevent them from signing our partner agreement are listed as N/A, for not applicable.

Basic Math Speech: When using synthetic speech, these products will generate spoken math for math equations that have been created using MathML within HTML or XHTML documents, DAISY Digital Talking Books or NIMAS student-ready textbook files. This functionality currently requires the use of Internet Explorer plus the free MathPlayer plug-in.

Advanced Math Speech: When using synthetic speech, these products provide a much richer math listening experience over Basic Math Speech by letting the user hear pitch intonation changes for math expression elements like superscripts, and elongated pauses at junctures in long equations. Advanced Math Speech enhances auditory understanding of complex math equations, making them easier for listeners to comprehend. This functionality currently requires the use of Internet Explorer plus the free MathPlayer plug-in.

Synchronized Math Highlighting: When using speech products that provide visual display of text with synchronized background highlighting, these applications will also provide integrated math equation display with visual background color highlighting of individual equation elements as they are spoken. Synchronized math highlighting helps to reinforce auditory understanding of math equations, and can aid students with attention deficits or other learning issues. This functionality currently requires the use of Internet Explorer plus the free MathPlayer plug-in. Products that are not designed to support synchronized highlighting are listed as N/A, for not applicable.

Refreshable Math Braille Support: A refreshable braille display is an electro-mechanical peripheral device connected to a computer and used for the instantaneous tactile display of text in braille. Any synthetic speech reader application that supports refreshable braille displays will be able to provide standard computer braille output, providing it also supports Basic Math Speech. However, reader applications that provide Refreshable Math Braille Support will instead generate tactile display of true math braille codes, such as Nemeth code or UK math code. This provides the highest level of detailed math information to the experienced braille user, and is extremely helpful in properly decoding complex math equations. This functionality currently requires the use of Internet Explorer plus the free MathPlayer plug-in. Products that are not designed to support refreshable braille displays are listed as N/A, for not applicable.

DotsPlus Math: DotsPlus braille is a set of tactile font characters that are substituted for standard print characters, containing information in a combined tactile format of both braille and raised graphic symbols that approximate the shape and layout of standard print math notation. Some blind students prefer using DotsPlus math over true math braille codes and find it easier to learn.

Math Braille: Outputs true math braille codes, such as Nemeth code or UK math code. This provides the highest level of detailed math information to the experienced braille user, and is extremely helpful in properly decoding complex math equations.

Equation Editor Support: Supporting Tactile and Braille Translation Software applications are capable of directly importing MS Word documents containing math equations authored with the MS Equation Editor.

MathType Support: Supporting Tactile and Braille Translation Software applications are capable of directly importing MS Word documents containing math equations authored with MathType.

MathML Support: Supporting Tactile and Braille Translation Software applications are capable of directly importing XHTML or DAISY/NIMAS XML files containing MathML equations. Supporting DAISY Conversion and Production Tools are capable of creating DAISY+MathML Digital Talking Books or XHTML+MathML documents.

Supports DAISY Export w/Math: Supporting Authoring Software applications are capable of creating DAISY/NIMAS XML files containing MathML equations.

Supports XHTML+MathML Export: Supporting Authoring Software applications are capable of creating XHTML+MathML documents.

Instructions to Vendors

Design Science is constantly working with vendors to help them support accessible math in their products. If you have a product that provides accessible math support that we have failed to list or have listed incorrectly, or if we can assist you in getting accessible math support into your product, please contact us.

We invite vendors who are working on accessible math support to become one of our Accessibility Partners. For a listing of the vendors who are already Accessibility Partners, please see our Accessibility Partners web page.

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