Accessing Graphical Information in Future DAISY Books

This presentation was a demonstration of graphics access similar to what is anticipated for future DAISY books. Portable DAISY audio players will provide at least the title and description of the graphic. Fully aware DAISY software viewers will have much richer capabilities. The graphic itself will be displayed on screen. When focus moves to that figure, a link is exposed, and the user may exercise the link to open that figure in the ViewPlus IVEO Viewer, which will be bundled with DAISY viewers. A tactile graphic may be created by printing to a ViewPlus embosser or to a printer used to make swell paper tactiles. The tactile image may be made by an agency or by an end user having such printing hardware. Once the tactile image is obtained, it is viewed by placing it on a touchpad, touching text or graphical objects and hearing the text or object labels spoken. Audio information is also displayed in a status bar that can be a convenience to a user with low vision or by a Braille user.

Additional capabilities may be available in DAISY books, such as the ability to open figures in the Viewer with focus on a certain object (e.g. a discussion of London could open the UK map with focus on London). The figures could be much richer than just the image in the book. For example, a figure of Western Europe with capital cities was shown that permitted one to open a more detailed view of the UK. The UK figure showed all major cities. Other capabilities, including ability to associate human voice recordings or non-audio sounds with objects were demonstrated.

Authoring of IVEO SVG graphics was discussed. IVEO Creator is a very powerful authoring application permitting simple graphics to be authored and for images to be imported from scanned paper or from almost any electronic format. Creator makes most visible text accessible. It also has capabilities for adding information to objects within the file – such as titles or descriptions that are accessible in speech or Braille.

John Gardner, who is a blind physicist, discussed his use of IVEO to access scientific figures, many of which are fully accessible without any intervention by a sighted helper. He imports PDF or scanned images into IVEO Creator, embosses the pages, then selects the images to be enlarged. The process recognizes text and makes it accessible. Many images in physics literature are understandable tactually once the text labels on such images are accessible. It is not always feasible to convert text on images automatically to Braille, because there is often too little room for Braille. IVEO tactile images do not require that text be in Braille, since the text can be spoken or displayed separately on refreshable Braille displays.

IVEO Viewer is free and can be downloaded, along with numerous IVEO examples, from the ViewPlus web site

Development of the IVEO Creator application was supported in part by Small Business Innovation (SBIR) Research grants from the US National Science Foundation. Development of other IVEO software has been supported in part by SBIR grants from the US National Institutes of Health.

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