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October 2013 Software Development Update

2013 October 31
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by Amaya Webster

New Partnership with ETS on Haptics
DIAGRAM subcontracts allow us to take advantage of expertise across the community in order to further progress on our goals of advancing tools and technology for accessible digital images. We are delighted to announce a brand-new project that DIAGRAM is now funding for 2013-2014.  The research project, “Integrating Haptic Feedback for Image-based STEM Assessments within eTextBooks,” led by Mark Hakkinen, will build upon existing research at ETS in tablet-based haptic display of graphical information and extend it to explore the inclusion of this technology to eTextBooks based on EPUB3. As the first step, ETS will develop a prototype, haptic-enabled version of an EPUB3 sample eTextBook containing approximately 10-16 interactive quiz items incorporating line graphs and shapes, implemented using a prototype of HapticCSS. The sample publication will be tailored to visually impaired students in grades 6-8 and focus on questions regarding identification of geometric shapes and line graphs. We are excited to see this work progress in the critical realm of assessment.

Tools Working Group Update
The next meeting of the DIAGRAM Tools Working Group is expected to take place in November 2013. Please let co-chairs Gerardo Capiel or Geoff Freed know if you have ideas to contribute for the next quarterly meeting in November. In the meantime, visit the Tools Working Group wiki page for notes from past meetings.

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