Math Braille / Voice Output in HTML
We offer Limpet as another option to the MathPlayer plug-in. This tool is a great support for blind and partially sighted readers of mathematical content on any website.
MathPlayer plug-in generates speech and braille representation of mathematical formulas. Currently supported braille codes are Nemeth, Marburg, UKMaths, and Woluwe. Many of the most popular Windows screen readers, such as NVDA, Window-Eyes, JAWS, HAL, Supernova, Serotek System Access, MAGic, Read & Write and BrowseAloud, will work with MathPlayer to speak the math in the page along with the words. (Cited from the MathPlayer websites, the section "MathPlayer User Manual"). Moreover MathPlayer plug-in is localized in Czech language.
Disadvantages of MathPlayer in 2013
As we described in the section Introduction, in the end of the year 2013 we were motivated to create Limpet as we wanted to ensure the accessibility of electronical questionnaires for blind students of the course Introduction to Logic. That time, despite all the helpful features of MathPlayer, there were unfortunately two serious disadvantages of the tool:
- Blind MS Windows users were able to read maths with MathPlayer only if they downgraded MS Internet Explorer 11 to the older version 9.
- MathPlayer 3.0 didn't provide Czech users with a braille output according to the Czech Six Dot Braille Code for typing mathematics. Two of the course students were totally blind and strongly prefered to read mathematics in braille.
Limpet vs. MathPlayer Today
There are several differences between Limpet and MathPlayer at this time. If we consider users of MS Windows:
- In comparison with MathPlayer, Limpet can be used with any well known internet browser and screenreader, not only with Internet Explorer 9 or Mozilla Firefox together with NVDA.
- Czech blind users of Limpet can read mathematics on refreshable braille displays according to the Czech Six Dot Braille Code.
- Authors using MS Word need to buy the MathType commercial software so they are able to create a mathematical website supported by MathPlayer. If you plan to publish a mathematical document with Limpet, you can only prepare it in MS Word and use a free TexToLimpet template.
- MathPlayer gives readers more options concerning languages support, functionality, tools for students with dyslexia, etc. Limpet is focused on blind users of refreshable braille displays and screenreaders.
- In comparison with MathPlayer, the set of mathematical symbols supported by Limpet is reduced up to the most important 200 simple and compound elements.