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Fw: Design Science Awarded NSF Grant to Research Mathematics Accessibility

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Sun, 14 Dec 2003 07:01:48 -0500
Message-ID: <006f01c3c23a$0ec79b40$6401a8c0@handsontech>
To: "wai-ig list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve Pattison" <srp@bigpond.net.au>
To: "GUI-TALK" <gui-talk@nfbnet.org>
Sent: Saturday, December 13, 2003 11:58 PM
Subject: Design Science Awarded NSF Grant to Research Mathematics

From: bobm@dessci.com (Bob Mathews)
Newsgroups: alt.comp.blind-users


If you are interested in MathML, or involved in scientific publishing,
research or education, you may find this of interest. The full press
release is pasted below, or you can read it on our site.


Please contact Bruce Virga at brucev@dessci.com if you have any

Bob Mathews
For Immediate Release

Design Science Awarded NSF Grant to Research Mathematics Accessibility

Plans to Bring Math Web Content under Section 508 of the
Rehabilitation Act

LONG BEACH, California - December 9, 2003 - Design Science announced
today it has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to
research ways of making mathematical content accessible to people with
vision disabilities. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act mandates
that federal agencies make web content accessible to those with visual
disabilities, including blindness, low vision, dyslexia and other
learning disabilities. While assistive technologies exist today that
make textual content accessible to such people, making the same
technology work for mathematical content has been problematic. With
this grant, Design Science hopes to make significant progress toward
the goal of making math accessible.

The ultimate goal is to enable those with vision disabilities to be
able to work with mathematical content in web pages. The research
project will explore the audio rendering of math as an enhancement to
commercially available screen reader software that can already speak
the non-math text in web pages to the reader. Some of the enhancements
to be examined are keyboard navigation within a mathematical
expression, highlighting of sub-expressions as they are spoken, and
enlarging the visual size of math expressions for partially sighted
readers. "The current practice of publishing math on the web as PDF or
equation images makes the math essentially invisible to the
vision-impaired reader. Embedding the math in the web page as MathML
allows us to do much better." said Dr. Neil Soiffer, Senior Scientist
at Design Science and the grant's Principal Investigator.

MathML is an XML-based language for representing mathematics that was
published as a Recommendation by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
in 1998. Since MathML captures the meaning and structure of
mathematics, it enables a wide range of applications. In addition to
making it possible to have math spoken to visually disabled readers,
it also enables searching for mathematical expressions within content
and interoperability with the growing number of computational
applications that understand MathML. "MathML enables a new generation
of web technology that focuses on the meaning of math and science
concepts, not merely its display. Mathematics is the language of
science and technology -- it deserves to be just as accessible as
textual content." said Dr. Robert Miner, Design Science's Director of
New Product Development. Design Science is an industry leader in
MathML technology, with extensive MathML expertise, several
MathML-based product-lines and market penetration into education and
research. So developing new ways of adding value to MathML-aware
content is a natural step for Design Science.

About Design Science, Inc. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Long
Beach, California, Design Science develops software used by educators,
scientists and publishing professionals, including MathType, Equation
Editor in Microsoft Office, WebEQ, MathFlow, MathPlayer and TeXaide,
to communicate on the web and in print. For more information please
visit <http://www.dessci.com>.


Bruce Virga
VP, Sales & Marketing

Design Science, Inc.
"How Science Communicates"
MathType, WebEQ, MathPlayer, MathFlow, Equation Editor, TeXaide

Regards Steve,
MSN Messenger:  internetuser383@hotmail.com
Received on Sunday, 14 December 2003 07:06:11 UTC

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