[LINK] Fwd: vip-l: Fwd: NASA Software Achieves Breakthrough in
jwhit at melbpc.org.au
Wed Aug 30 11:38:24 EST 2006
[apologies for the strange formatting at the end for some reason]
>>To: nfb-rd at lothlorien.nfbcal.org
>>From: David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
>NASA Software Achieves Breakthrough in Accessibility
>NASA recently released an innovative Open Source software suite that may
>forever change how blind and vision-impaired users "see" complex graphs.
>The <http://prime.jsc.nasa.gov/Math Description Engine Software
>Development Kit (MDE SDK) is a reusable software library that generates
>text, sound and visual representations of graphs found in both math and
>Visually-impaired computer users access these alternative text and sound
>descriptions through the use of a screen reader and standard computer speakers.
>The MDE (Math Description Engine) distinguishes itself from other
>accessibility software by determining the key characteristics of a graph
>"on the fly." Using this determination, it builds natural-language text
>descriptions that enable visually-impaired users to view spatial
>relationships through sound alone.
>Designed with both flexibility and ease-of-use in mind, the SDK (Software
>Development Kit) allows web and software developers to adapt the MDE's
>graph descriptions to a variety of applications. Some key audiences who
>might benefit from the MDE SDK include, but are not limited to:
> * developers of education products and support tools
> * special needs education researchers
> * assistive technology researchers and vendors
> * the accessible-web community
> * sonification researchers
> * organizations with websites containing graphical data displays.
>The NASA software program, MathTrax, is one example of how MDE technology
>serves as a powerful learning tool for sighted users as well. Acting as a
>virtual math and science assistant, MathTrax engages both the eyes and
>ears of these students to increase overall comprehension.
>The MDE software library was created by NASA's Information Accessibility
>Lab (IAL), under the direction of Dr. Robert O. Shelton, a blind
>mathematician. The IAL's mission is to develop technologies that increase
>accessibility to NASA's vast library of outreach products and to release
>these same technologies to the public for further application and development.
>The MDE SDK is currently available for download under an Open Source
>license at <http://prime.jsc.nasa.gov/mdehttp://prime.jsc.nasa.gov/mde.
>Visit the site today to learn more about the program and how you can play
>an integral role in developing the future of accessible graphing technology.
>To learn more about the MDE SDK or MathTrax, please email Terry Hodgson at
>mailto:terry.r.hodgson at nasa.gov
>The NASA Learning Technologies Team
>Information Accessibility Lab
>mailto:info at email@example.com
JLWhitaker Associates, Melbourne Victoria
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
'Seed planting is often the most important step. Without the seed, there is
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