[texhax] TeX for the blind

William Adams will.adams at frycomm.com
Fri Dec 8 15:47:32 CET 2006

On Dec 7, 2006, at 12:12 PM, Glenn Ledder wrote:

> Do you know of any software that can produce TeX output that can be  
> read by
> a screen reader, such as JAWS, or that can produce Braille output?

Not a .pdf, no. I think there may've been research on Braille --- but  
isn't there a special notation / extension for math done in Braille  

Some discussion of this here:

But it's 12 years old? Here's a company doing something along these  
lines: http://www.duxburysystems.com (Windows only apparently).

This sort of thing may get better for .pdfs once the Stixfonts  
( http://www.stixfonts.org/ ) are available, but even then will  
probably need improvements in screen reader support ('cause I'm not  
convinced that they'll read out a superscripted ``2'' as ``squared'').

As a test on that, try a .pdf of $a^2 + b^2 = c^2$ --- someone needs  
to teach these screen reader folks that the Pythagorean theorem is  
_not_ ``a2 plus b2 equals c2''.

Really though, (La)TeX source is quite readable and concise and a  
reasonably linear representation, so should be suitable for use by a  
screen reader if it'll accept plain text files.


William Adams
senior graphic designer
Fry Communications

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