More Accessible Math

The LEAN Math Notation
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7382)


Blind people generally access written information linearly – through Braille or speech/audio. Math can be written in linear form, e.g. LaTeX, MathML, computer programming languages, or word descriptions. These forms are too verbose to be practical for reading any but the simplest math equations. They are even worse for authoring or "doing pencil and paper math". Braille is more useful, but relatively few blind people are fluent in any of the many special Braille math codes, none of which is robust enough for back-translation to be useful for authoring math. The authors of this paper have developed a very compact notation, which could be the basis of a new math Braille font, but which is useful today for reading / writing using computers with all common speech screen readers. Translators to/from MathML have been written and integrated with Microsoft Word / MathType. Preliminary usability data will be reported.


linear math notation Braille math codes audio math 


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  1. 1.
    Mathematical Markup Language (MathML) Version 3.0,
  2. 2.
    MathJax: beautiful math in all browsers,
  3. 3.
    LaTex – a document preparation system,
  4. 4.
    Whapples M.: Producing HTML and MathML from LaTeX by using tex4ht,
  5. 5.
    Braille Translation Software from Duxbury Systems,
  6. 6.
    MathType and MathPlayer are applications from Design Science, Inc.,
  7. 7.
  8. 8.
    Tiger Software Suite is a set of Braille applications bundled with ViewPlus embossers,
  9. 9.
    The Infty Research Group,
  10. 10.
    The ChattyInfty application by the Infty Research Group,
  11. 11.
    The Science Access Project, Department of Physics. Oregon State University,
  12. 12.
    LAMBDA Linear Access to Mathematic for Braille Device and Audio-synthesis,

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ViewPlus Technologies, IncCorvallisUSA

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