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Tools Working Group Meeting: 11/30/2012

2012 December 3
by Amaya Webster


Tools Working Group: Minutes for 11/30/2012


  • Geoff Freed – NCAM, co-chair
  • Gerardo Capiel – Benetech, co-chair
  • Anh Bui – Benetech
  • Kathi Fletcher – OERPUB , open source authoring tool for structured educational content (designed for OER) (in HTML5), want to make sure it is easy to do accessible content (images, tables, math, video/audio, interactive content)
  • John Gardner – viewplus; qrcodes on steroids, math accessibility (LEAN Math), paper on (direct link to John Gardner’s paper is )
  • Julie Noblitt – Benetech
  • Steve Noble – implementation studies/research in the classroom; part of METRIC project; BRIDGE project; also with ETS creating accessible math for tests
  • George Kerscher – OBI for DTB creation; TOBI for image description (EPUB3, DAISY 3); Save-as-DAISY add-in for MSFT Word and OpenOffice; DAISY Pipeline (upgrade older DAISY to EPUB3, convert other formats to HTML5);
  • Ed Summers – Smart Graphics; audio embossing (tactile overlays); mostly involving iPad
  • Diane Brauner (teacher of visually impaired on campus at SAS)
  • Ron Stewart – Poet tool, Describe project out of Stanford with Sean Kegan
  • Josh Miele – DIVX, web-based video description
  • Ge Vue – Benetech
  • Richard Ladner – UofW, qr codes in tactile images for text/speech

Neil Soiffer, DesignScience



General discussion:

Gerardo:  Meet once per quarter; continue work and ideas begun at Asilomar; report on progress to advisory board. Summary of goals (see below).

Richard:  Any work involving tactile graphics?

Gerardo:  Discussed a bit at Asilomar.  Might fit best under reference implementations.  Would like Poet to support tactile graphics.

George:  Content model can identify file that can be used for printing a tactile graphic.  TOBI does this now.  Nothing that facilitates the production of the graphic, however.  3D printing is also supported in content model.

Richard:  Any consideration for easing process of creating large numbers of tactile graphics?

Josh:  Working on project involving tactile graphics under DIAGRAM sub-contract.  Need to make sure there are tools for rendering formats (SVG, others) into tactile graphics, as well as determining what graphics actually NEED to be converted to tactile (not all figures need to be turned into tactiles).

Richard:  all figures should be accessible.

Josh:  but not all need to be converted to tactile graphics.

John: more often than not figures in higher-ed textbooks need to be turned into tactiles.

Josh:  broadly agree, but in K-12 not all figures need to be converted (many are eye-candy, e.g.).

George:  content model can also identify the concept that is core to the tactile graphic.  If a tactile doesn’t exist for a particular graphic, perhaps one exists for a similar one and so can use the tactile for the similar figure.

John:  fine for some applications.  Purpose of studies JG is doing is to figure out what is good enough for users who need alternative representations.  Ed:  agree– what is good enough?  Perhaps one deliverable of this WG are determining tiers of access.  What figures/images need what kind of alternatives (text description, tactile, SVG, etc.).

Gerardo:  putting together info on creation tactile graphics (list of resources). Need to assign people to help with specific goals (listed below).  Geoff and Gerardo will follow up on this. Will have a quarterly call, but would like to see discussion between calls.  All notes will be in a shared space.  Might create a Google group (or use some other tool) for the working group; good to have a way for group members to communicate online.  Gerardo will put together some kind of group mechanism in about a week; contact him via e-mail ( w/suggestions. Will create a wiki page that will list demos and other resources.

Josh:  Video description should be considered in the working group as well.

Ed:  agree.  SAS as a set of video resources for grades 6-12 that need description. Gerardo:  agree.  Video in EPUB3, Web pages, etc.  Will think about how to incorporate video descriptions into goals. George:  issue of linking out of a base resource to external description.  @longdesc currently doesn’t do this; other methods are being considered to fix this problem. Gerardo:  thanks and close.  Future calls will focus more on action items.


1.       Welcome and introductions (10 minutes)

2.       Purpose of the Working Groups (5 minutes)

  • a.       Meet once a quarter to provide feedback on work
  • b.      Review deliverables and suggest new priorities within scope
  • c.       Act like an ongoing version of the Asilomar breakout groups
  • d.      Offer expert guidance, and , in some cases, execution of specific work
  • e.      Report back to the Advisory Board findings and suggestions

3.       Review of 2012-2015 Outreach Working Group Goals from Asilomar (30 minutes, see Goals below:)

4.  Identify owners and action items for each of the goals (10 minutes)

5.       Logistics and next steps (5 minutes)

  • a.      Meeting roles
  • b.      Meeting frequency and scheduling
  • c.       Communicating in between meetings – Google Group?

Tools Working Group Goals and Related Thoughts Under Each

  1. Reference implementation of tools supporting accessible math, multi-modal accessible images, and content model so tools builders and content creators know what works
    • DIAGRAM Content Model: Readium, Poet, Toby
    • Evangelize other reading systems implementing the content model
      1. IDEAL ePub 3 Reader
      2. Blio
      3. Apple
      4. Dolphin
      5. Humanware?
      6. DDReader (DAISY, not EPUB 3)
      7. ReadHear from Gh
  2. Sample EPUB 3 with content model on IDPF
    • Sample SVG with the content model
  3. Readium support for described SVG and MathML
  4. need to consider other naming for “content model”
  5. Support for interactive accessible image widgets so we can inspire more smart image creation
    1. library of smart images
    2. need imagemap support in content model
    3. plugin model for Poet to support tools like an imagemap tool
    4. be able to find, download and share accessible image widgets / smart images via Poet?
  6. Enhance accessible math navigation and explore math manipulation and annotation so students can work better with math content
    2. discuss any additional standards needs for accessible / navigable math
    3. provide mechanism to share development work in this space
    4. need to consider whether to expand the group here with members of math working group.  considerations: neil soiffer of decision science
  7. Accessible Image Coverage checker for EPUB3 so content creators can tell if they are creating accessible materials
    1. track activity of IDPF work on epubCheck and interactive accessibility checker
  8. Exploring ways of making the production and delivery of tactiles easier
  9. Video description?

Smart Graphics Demos from Ed Summers at SAS

Line chart:

Scatter plot:

Finding Tanzania on a map of Africa:

Creating EPUB 3 from DAISY and Word from George Kerscher

Step1: Prepare the document in Microsoft Word for conversion to accessible formats. Use styles to markup all important elements of the document such as headings and sub-sections. Footnotes, tables, lists need to be created using the MS Word features. DAISY specific styles need to be applied to page numbers, author name, captions etc. Make sure to provide ALT TEXT(short description) to all images.    Instructions are available in DAISYpedia at [1].

Step 2: Convert the document to DAISY XML file. Validate the document from the Accessibility ribbon. Then convert it to DAISY XML file. This step is described at [2]

Step 3: Use Pipeline 2 to convert the XML file to EPUB 3. Use command line such as

dp2.exe dtbook-to-epub3 –i-source=Path_of_DTBook_file –x-output-dir=Output_folder opt-epub3-filename=Name_for_the_EPUB_file.epub

Pipeline can be downloaded from [3] and instructions are at [4]





Bookshare Integration with Readium with VoiceOver and Chrome Self-Voicing TTS

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