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DIAGRAM Advisory Board Meeting Minutes, 4/1

2013 April 2
by Amaya Webster

Below are minutes from the DIAGRAM Advisory Board Meeting on April 1, 2013.

Attendees: Laurie Vasquez, Lore Schindler, Helen Popper, Elaine Ober, Brian McDonald, Jim Downs, Jane Thompson, Lucia Hasty, Glinda Hill, Larry Goldberg, Geoff Freed, Bryan Gould, Madeleine Rothberg, Betsy Beaumon, Ike Presley, Anh Bui, Sue-Ann Ma, Julie Noblitt

1)     Review of current subcontracts

  • a)    NBP’s SVG conversion software and 3D printing report: completed last year
  • b)    Touch Graphics tactile graphics decision tree: in testing phase
  • c)     Richard Ladner’s QR codes for tactile graphic labels: in testing phase
  • d)    gh’s math notation tool: in testing phase
  • e)     ViewPlus usability study for audio-tactiles: on hold pending additional work on the samples

2)    Overview of new subcontract parameters and process

  • a)    call for ideas went out to working groups and advisory board
  • b)    groups came back with lists of ideas; DIAGRAM team of co-pis reviewed
  • c)     began reaching out to some potential partners to better understand scope and feasibility
  • d)    looking for feedback from Advisory Board on short list; also looking for potential partners to carry out the work
  • e)     Approximately $170K in subcontracts to be awarded
  • f)     Decisions to be made by the end of April

3)    Subcontract Candidates for next round

  • a)    Fill-in-the-blank templates for common image descriptions, based on NCAM Guidelines to be incorporated into authoring tools (e.g.templates to be incorporated into Poet description guidance wizard). Extension of current subcontract.
    • i)     Lucia: tool is built from NCAM guidelines. they’ve done a great job of getting examples and templates will be built on those
  • b)    Image accessibility integration into common authoring tools, including Word and Power Point.
    • i)     Laurie: really talking about the uneducated audience, teachers working with students; any tools that we can put in their hands for ease of use while developing the content is good
    • ii)   Betsy: in addition to teachers, professors, and folks in education directly, the more we can get tools for authors the better, even people are authoring stuff for publication are using Word
    • iii) Larry: we heard from publishers that authors use every tool and they are the best ones to provide things like description; we asked what tools do you think would help you facilitate images being accessible; they talked about a number of tools, things that would fit in production process; how could they interface a just in time subject matter experty; how they can assure descriptions get carried through production process
    • iv)  is this something that we’re talking to microsoft? or do we envision this as add-on
    • v)    ACTION: Laurie to look up Microsoft connection she met on the way back from CSUN
    • vi)  Ike: we can connect this to touchgraphics tool to help authors know whether they should describe their images
    • vii)Elaine: people at Pearson think Poet is wonderful but the file formats it accepts are all post-production and we need something from the beginning; at Pearson we are looking at structured authoring tools that look like MS Word, but has an xml editor running behind it; but authors will still be authoring in Word; anything that gives Poet functionality to Word would  be great; should get in touch with companies working on xml rich text editor type tools
  • c)     Expanded research on use of 3D printing for tactile graphics or 3D educational objects specifically in schools; survey the curent state of the field and also get first hand accounts from folks using 3D printing in an educational setting
    • i)     Brian: machine shops and industrial arts depts are buying 3d printers, would be great to look at this from a special ed point of view in other areas; NBP has been continuing work doing own testing though on a hiatus right now
    • ii)   Lore: LAUSD purchased our first 3d printer, it’s a kit; taken several weeks for us to build it; took my first 3d printer class this weekend, we’re all excited about the potential of it; started to explore to find out if students in CAD classes to create 3 dimensional objects at BeezMaker; going to pursue through district to see if some high schools are using or are planning to
    • iii) Betsy: some county ed offices have 3d printers; there are certainly a smattering all over the country talking about what they are doing with their 3d printers; we could see if its realistic
    • iv)  Lucia: could you put on the list for TVI asking if anyone is doing anything with 3D printers; quick way to put together information
    • v)    ACTION: Lore could put query about 3D printing out on transcriber list
    • vi)  ACTION: Send Ike content of what to say and he can distribute to other listserves
    • vii)Laurie: Purdue is doing some work on 3d printer objects, higher ed is doing work
  • d)    Library of accessible image widgets (smart images) for EPUB 3 that are optimized for display via Readium. Meets DIAGRAM goals of promoting smart image widgets and reference implementations of new standards.
    • i)     Benetech has built web reader based on Readium; work on Readium is being continued by Readium Foundation
    • ii)   Helen: as a parent and as a professor, I do rely on maps and Google Maps and those you can drill down; can we  get guidance from TV Raman to start with drilling down with that content already there in map form?
  • e)     Advancing work on MathJax TTS rendering. Part of meeting DIAGRAM goal of exploring improved math navigation.
    • i)     Helen: think not just about mathjax and voice but also about converting MathML into LaTex; it’s a format that is easy for kids and high school teachers and it works with Duxbury to get it into braille; by doing voice only you are doing something that you would never think would be ok for a sighted kid; voice is not as manipulable
    • ii)   Elaine: we’re using mathml and mathjax and having an internal meeting in not too distant future; will send any needs that emerge from those meetings
    • iii) Laurie: recommend speaking with Sean Keegan

4)    Additional funded projects: these are projects we will do with more direct oversight or contribution from Benetech and the core DIAGRAM team

  • a)    Image accessibility checker and repair tool as part of EPUB 3 Checker. Part of work we are already committed to. Image checker for DAISY already done as adjunct pool for Poet
  • b)    Project management and/or content production for DIAGRAM sample book.

5)    Feedback, suggestions, and questions

  • a)    Laurie: of the candidates we’ve run through, which has the greatest chance of immediate power where there’s not a lot of time to locate a lot of resources?
  • b)    Laurie: I like the templates; anything that helps people make decisions on how to describe is important; 3d is upon us if we can catch the wave we could benefit a great deal; widgets has a lot of layers to it; anything around math there’s a lot of work going on especially browser based
  • c)     Elaine: I like the widgets
  • d)    Lore: anything that can help math be more accessible; that’s usually the biggest stumbling block for students
  • e)     ACTION: Anh/Julie to create a place for people to comment on the subcontracts with a 1-2 sentence description for each
  • f)     Next steps are to gather more feedback and any additional ideas that emerge, find partners, and make a final decision on which to move forward with

6)    DIAGRAM getting together in person again?

  • a)    Not this year, but planning something for the next year. DIAGRAM technically funded for only two in-person meetings during the project duration.


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