One of the first research efforts performed by the Center has been a comparison of DAISY Talking Books (DTB) and e-book hardware and software. The tables in the section present the features and functional testing results for the devices or applications in the following categories:
- DTB Hardware
- DTB Software
- DTB Authoring Software
- e-book Hardware
- e-book Software
- Image Authoring Software
You can view the entire set of matrices on one page or view them individually by following the appropriate category links. As this research continues, the tables in this section will be updated accordingly.
Image Description Metadata for Accessibility
This working paper, Potential Use of Image Description Metadata for Accessibility (click here for Word version), originally published in March 2011, outlines the current barriers and opportunities for providing image description within publishing tools, technologies, and production processes. Ongoing discussion with standards groups, Adobe and other tool developers is exploring the feasibility of extending support for alt text and longdesc within image formats and authoring tools. In April 2012, an Addendum to the report was produced, covering relevant developments over the past year, including the release of DIAGRAM-sponsored tools for image description and the content model for image description metadata.
This report, DIAGRAM Center Product Analyses (click here for Word version), captures the status of the field as of June 2011 and provides baseline data to measure future progress within the field related to support of specific accessibility features within DTB and e-book technologies. Throughout the life of the DIAGRAM Center, the WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) will continue to conduct and revisit product evaluations and the matrix will be regularly updated to provide all stakeholders with a current listing of capabilities and feature sets.
Reading Technology Survey
In February 2012, the DIAGRAM Center conducted a Reading Technology Survey (click here for Word version) in order to better understand what technologies are being used currently by blind and visually impaired readers. Most of the 230 respondents were blind and employed, retired, or in school. In every category of reading material, the same five reading technologies dominated the responses, with screen readers leading the way. As anticipated, the brief survey provides fodder for additional follow up studies.
SVG and 3D Printing Report
In the DIAGRAM-sponsored report Assessments of Raster-to-Vector (SVG) Conversion software and 3D Printers for Tactile Graphics (click here for Word version) National Braille Press assesses SVG software to find a version that is affordable, and easy to use for publishers and individual content providers, so that they can incorporate SVGs in materials at the beginning of the production cycle. The report also looks at the viability of current 3D printing technology for use in the creation of tactile graphics.
Funded Projects in Process
ViewPlus Technologies, Inc. (subcontract)
- Guidelines for Audio-Tactiles - An in-depth usability study of text-tactile graphics in order to create best-practice guidelines for software developers or anyone who creates or edits SVG files. Will include guidelines for how to create images that are accessible visually, audibly, and audio-tactually.
Touch Graphics (subcontract)
- Decision Tree - Tool for choosing which print images need tactiles and which need descriptions. A digital decision tree that will allow the creation of tools that will expedite the work of making textbooks accessible by allowing even non-specialists to make good decisions about which images need what kind of treatment to make them accessible.
gh, LLC (subcontract)
- Web-Accessible Virtual Electronic Scratchpad (WAVES) - 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.
Richard Ladner, University of Washington (subcontract)
- Tactile Graphics with a Voice - Text within images can be converted into a QR code that can be affixed to the graphic allowing the image to be read and voiced by a smart phone.
Mathematics e-Text Research Center (MeTRC), University of Oregon
- MeTRC - Evaluating the efficacy of text descriptions of math-related images for visually-impaired students.