In keeping with the DIAGRAM Center goal of dramatically changing the way image and graphic content for accessible instructional materials (AIM) is produced and accessed, DIAGRAM both creates tools and partners with other organizations to develop tools that achieve this goal.
- The Poet Image Description Tool Poet is an open-source image description tool that makes it easier to create image descriptions for DAISY books and to allow crowdsourcing of image descriptions to reduce cost. The tool is used to add image descriptions to existing books and may be accessed from the Benetech hosting environment, or the code may be downloaded, installed, and managed in the user’s own environment. It includes a feature called Math Helper which allows a user to transcribe math into a machine-readable format (MathML).
DIAGRAM Development Partnerships ("subcontracts")
The 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. They reflect a push toward cutting-edge solutions for different modalities, providing research on promising new technologies. We look forward to updating the DIAGRAM community on the progress of these initiatives and additional upcoming initiatives that are in the works now during the coming year.
- Decision Tree
Developed by Touch Graphics, Inc., the Decision Tree (Word document) is a tool for choosing which print images need tactiles and which need descriptions. A digital decision tree allows the creation of tools that will expedite the work of making textbooks accessible by allowing non-specialists to make good decisions about which images need what kind of treatment to make them accessible. The tool was found to be a successful method for novices to categorize images (mean 66% correct). Future improvements to the tool's success will come with better understanding and agreement among experts as to whether certain images need verbal or tactile treatment. The open-source tool was built using Lime Survey, and you can see it by visiting this link. The related survey questions and the xml are freely available. A flow chart is also available (Word version here) that shows how the decision process was captured in the sorting rubric.
- Tactile Graphics with a Voice The Tactile Graphics Project at the University of Washington has created the TGV (Tactile Graphics with a Voice), a QR-code reading app that allows text within images to be read and voiced by a mobile device such as an iPhone or Android phone. For those who are interested in creating tactile graphics that include QR-codes for embedded text in images, there is a revised Tactile Graphics Assistant Manual (PDF version here) that includes information about how to include QR-codes. The TGV Design Document is available for both the iOS (PDF version here) and for the Android (PDF version here). The open source code is available for both the iOS version and the Android version of TGV as well.
Funded Development Projects in Process
- Description Templates for Common Graphics - Touch Graphics with Lucia Hasty, Yue-Ting Siu, Josh Miele, and Val Morash Description templates for common graphics. Rather than being expected to develop unique prose for each image they are tasked to describe, image describers should be supported to describe according to established guidelines. This will simplify their work, and may reduce cognitive load for readers. This project will create software that prompts describers with image description templates for common types of graphics, based on the NCAM STEM description guidelines.Image describers will respond to questions regarding the basic characteristics of a diagram, and then be guided through a fill-in-the-blanks process, which will generate the first paragraph of an image description. The describer is then free to edit that paragraph and to append additional explanatory language. An assessment program built into the proposed project will provide feedback on the consistency and accuracy of descriptions provided by users of the templates.
- Web-Accessible Virtual Electronic Scratchpad (WAVES) - gh, LLC Tool that will enable students and teachers to easily type Algebraic equations for any purpose, such as homework or other assignments. Can be used in Digital Talking Books, online learning, accessible assessment, and other applications.
Please refer to our Research Overview page to see a listing of the research subcontracts completed or in progress.