Project Plan & Status
The ClearSpeak rules and preferences have been implemented in MathPlayer 4.
Integration with NVDA
The free, open-source screen reader, NVDA, now integrates with MathPlayer in
the Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers, as well as in Microsoft Word. Speech
and navigation are fully supported.
Integration with Word
MathPlayer 4 now includes integration with Microsoft Word. Users can either
use the included MathPlayer toolbar to speak and navigate math, or use NVDA or
WindowEyes to integrate speech of the math into the speech of the remainder of a
Word document. It is no longer necessary to create an xhtml file or to use
Internet Explorer to listen to math expressions.
Full keyboard-based non-linear (structural) navigation through expressions
has been implemented and is available in the downloadable MathPlayer 4.
MathType now includes methods for specifying speech preferences (e.g. whether
a fraction is spoken as [something] over [something], as a common fraction (e.g.
three fifths), or in various other ways that are useful in different
instructional or testing settings. A simplified tool is available for generating
preference files for this purpose. Additionally, authors can specify the exact
text to speak for a given expression, and can (when publishing to the web)
specify which of the three available speech styles (MathSpeak, Simple Speech, or
ClearSpeak) should be used.
The project included four feedback studies and a final pilot. All of the
studies are complete, and the data has been analyzed. Reports from the studies
are in various stages of completion. The research questions addressed by the
feedback studies are:
- Does ClearSpeak improve over the existing speech styles? What elements
of ClearSpeak improve accessibility over existing scripting methods for
students at various levels of familiarity with the mathematical content?
(Feedback Study 1; publication of an ETS Research Report is pending.)
- How can ClearSpeak be further enhanced with prosodic elements to improve
the comprehensibility of certain kinds of math structures? (Feedback Study
2; an ETS Research Report is in review for publication.)
- Can students with good AT skills navigate within the expression using
ClearSpeak and the navigation tools developed? If not, what changes are
needed to improve independent navigation? (Feedback Study 3)
- Can teachers use the authoring tools successfully to create accessible
materials? (Feedback Study 4)
The pilot study evaluated the feasibility of implementing the authoring,
speaking, and navigation tools in an authentic education delivery setting, and
evaluated the promise of the tools to operate as intended to produce the outcome
of increased audio accessibility of math for students with visual impairments. A
report is in development.