Webinars: Latest Developments in Accessible Math in Browsers and Ebooks

ARCHIVE: Latest Developments in Accessible Math in Browsers and Ebooks

Live Broadcast Held On: Tuesday, November 3, 2015 
Length: 1.5 hours  
Fee: $39 for members; $79 for nonmembers

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Speakers: Sue-Ann Ma, Product Manager, Literacy, Benetech; Charles LaPierre, Senior Software Engineer, Benetech

Target Audience: Content architects, ebook producers, educational textbook publishers, web developers

Skill Level: Intermediate

Overview: It's been a time of rapid growth in the accessibility of math content. In this session, the speakers will discuss what is being done to help make MathML a widely adopted standard so that new content will become accessible upon creation. We will also discuss what can be done about the large amount of mathematical content that already exists in the form of an image and therefore needs to be retrofitted to become accessible. 

Presenters will show and discuss tools publishers and other content creators can use to make their digital math content accessible.
  • An open-source tool, “MathML Cloud,” that automatically delivers both the image publishers need and the description students need while saving the MathML to the cloud for future use as new technologies emerge.
  • An open-source, web-based training and application tool, “Poet,” that makes it faster, easier, and cheaper to create image descriptions for in existing DAISY and EPUB books. With Poet, it is possible to crowd source the creation of image descriptions, including math images, which can reduce both the cost for content creators and delivery time for end-users.

Speaker Bios: 

Sue-Ann Ma is a Product Manager at the DIAGRAM Center, a research and development hub launched by Benetech and funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Since joining Benetech, Sue-Ann has been involved in a variety of collaborative projects geared towards setting standards and providing tools to make digital content and images accessible, particularly in the area of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). This includes authoring tools for images and mathematical equations, specifications for accessibility metadata, and training resources for creating image descriptions. Prior to joining Benetech, she spent several years as a Project Manager implementing sourcing systems for corporate retail in Asia and as a Product Manager for a US-based foreign language publishing house. Sue-Ann attained her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and her master’s degree from Harvard University

Charles LaPierre has been a pioneer in accessible product development since 1993. He invented an accessible GPS system for the visually impaired and, under the auspices of Arkenstone (the predecessor to the technology nonprofit Benetech), worked on various accessible reading and writing systems. In 2000, Charles transitioned over to Benetech where he co-developed a human rights information system for its Human Rights Program and developed accessible tools for Benetech’s digital library for people with print disabilities, Bookshare. In 2006 Charles became the CTO of Sendero Group, bringing to market his GPS invention, used by over 7,000 people worldwide. In 2014 Charles rejoined Benetech as Senior Software Engineer and continues to work with both the Human Rights and Global Literacy Programs. Charles was the keynote speaker at the 2005 ACB Blind Programmers Conference and is co-contributor of a chapter for the book “Assistive Technology for Visually Impaired and Blind People.” He is currently the co-chair of the Accessibility Taskforce for the W3C’s Digital Publishing Interest Group. Charles has a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Electrical Engineering / Computer Systems from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.



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