BlindMath is a software that allows users with visual impairment to read and create papers with math formulas. It is a result of a work begun several years ago, and it's based on some simple considerations:
- Blind students can use a computer, thanks to new technologies;
- They can write and read text in autonomy, if they have a tool with the right aids;
- The difficulty of math is connected to its large use of symbolism, which is not used by accessibility softwares.
The student can read, modify or create new papers thanks to the interface, which can be used in a simple and intuitive way only using hearing and touch.
BlindMath uses a screen reader and/or a Braille display. The language used to encode content is LaTex. This is a math language with markers which represents the whole objects through a text code.
LaTex is red yet transformed in common math language, using even the possibilities offered by the screen reader Jaws® by Freedom Scientific. The content of the document can appear on Braille display translated in the corresponding standard math Braille code. The user uses LaTex in input and output in a very clear way, because the direction of the syntax and the mechanism for the elaboration, and the comprehension of the math formulas inside the document, is committed to BlindMath.
In each moment on screen the formula is shown in its usual math symbols, thanks to a Internet Explorer plug-in (TechExplorer® by Integre Technical Publishing Co.), for the sighted who wants to cooperate or simply follow the work made by the blind person.
In this way the software is a useful tool to help inclusion of the visual impairment student, because it have windows for the writing in black of the document content. This, encourage the interaction between blind and sighted users in class or in studying places.