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Software for Automatic Conversion of Professional Journals to Fully Accessible Fo
Phone: (541) 754-4002
Phone: (541) 754-4002
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The long range goal of this project is to create technologies that permit authors and publishers of professional journals to make their content available in the DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) XML (eXtensible Markup Language) format that is fully usable by all people, in particular by people who are blind or have other severe print disabilities. The Phase I collaboration between the American Physical Society (APS) and ViewPlus demonstrated conclusively that transformation of the text and math from the current APS format to DAISY XML is straightforward, and only minimal editorial time is required to transform figures to the accessible DAISY SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic) format. The specific aim of this Phase II SBIR project is to develop publishing software and procedures permitting present content to be repurposed so that at least minimal quality DAISY XML journal articles can be made available immediately. The APS is expected to implement the new publishing method first and then be followed by other scholarly publishers. Several other software applications will also be developed that enable authors to submit figures directly in high quality DAISY SVG form so that future DAISY XML publications will be much more than minimal. DAISY SVG figures can: contain all the data illustrated in the figure contain meta data facilitating much improved classification by digital libraries be excellently searchable. These mainstream advantages of DAISY SVG are substantial and are very likely to lead authors of scholarly literature to quickly adopt DAISY SVG as their format of choice. As part of the Phase I project, DAISY prototypes were created for all articles in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters, the flagship journal of the American Physical Society. These prototypes were complete with fully accessible text, math, and graphics. They were demonstrated at three 2008 professional meetings of scholarly publishers and librarians to rave reviews. Text and math is spoken by a screen reader. DAISY SVG figures appear in the DAISY article and are available as SVG links to blind users. Exercising the link opens the figure in the IVEO SVG Viewer. A blind user creates a tactile copy on any ViewPlus embosser, places it on a touchpad, and reads the text labels and titles and descriptions of graphical elements by pressing on their tactile image and hearing them spoken by the IVEO SVG Viewer application. This audio- tactile access method is known to provide blind people excellent access to figures. This new publishing paradigm would vastly improve accessibility by people with print disabilities to scholarly publications and lead to improvements in their educational and professional opportunities and quality of life. Quality of life issues for blind people are part of the mission of the National Eye Institute.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *