Linear Access to Mathematic for Braille Device and Audio-synthesis

Blind people have always considered the study of Mathematics as a difficult problem to solve, that strongly hindered the chance to approach scientific studies for generations of visually impaired people. The use of computer is very large among blind students, who appreciate more and more its advantages (speed, efficiency, access to a large quantity of papers, almost unlimited), yet in the field of Mathematics, the benefits are still limited, due to its complex symbols and its bi-dimensional writing.

The LAMBDA-project team designed a system based on the functional integration of a linear mathematical code and an editor for the visualization, the writing and the manipulation of the text.

The code (Lambda Mathematical Code) directly derives from MathML and it was designed to be used with Braille peripherals and the vocal synthesis. It is automatically convertible, in real time and without mistakes, into an equivalent MathML version and, through it, into the most popular mathematical formats (LaTeX, MathType, Mathematica...), both input and output.

The editor allows to write and to manipulate mathematical expressions in a linear way and provides a series of compensatory functions. In fact, the user is supplied with some aids to reduce the difficulties in understanding and managing the text, due to the visual handicap and to the need to use a linear code to manage the formulas. LAMBDA was meant for secondary-school to university students; some basic skills in computer science are necessary

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