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Software for Automatic Conversion of Professional Journals to Fully Accessible Fo

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R43EY018799-01
Agency Tracking Number: EY018799
Amount: $100,001.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2007-2
Solicitation Year: 2008
Award Year: 2008
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
United States
DUNS: 023960367
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: (541) 754-4002
Research Institution

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The long range goal of this project is to create technologies that permit authors and publishers of professional journals easily to make their content available in a form that is fully usable by all people, in particul
ar by people who are blind or have other severe print disabilities. The specific aim of this Phase I SBIR project is to assess the feasibility of automatic transformation of current journals published by the American Physical Society into DAISY (Digital Ac
cessible Information SYstem) format. DAISY ( is an international standard for electronic documents accessible to all people, but in particular to people with disabilities who cannot read normal printed materials. The PI was a member of
the DAISY working group that recently expanded the DAISY specifications to include math in form of the MathML markup language and is a member of the current DAISY working group developing guidelines for including graphical information as accessible Scalab
le Vector Graphics (SVG). As part of this proposal, DAISY prototypes will be created for all articles in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters, the flagship journal of the American Physical Society. These prototypes will be complete with fully accessib
le text, math, and graphics. Text and math access should be excellent. The greatest challenge is making the graphics accessible. ViewPlus has already developed technologies that make possible universal access to graphical information in well-structured ann
otated SVG format. Automatic conversion of current APS content would include no annotations, so some figures would not be excellently accessible. If automatic conversion gives acceptable access to most content, it is feasible to provide current APS and pos
sibly many other professional society journals in accessible form. Human editors could quickly improve figures on demand to add annotations and correct text errors. Improved accessibility to automatically converted content is achievable in the future with
improved authoring and publishing technologies. This project could stimulate vast improvements in accessibility by people with print disabilities to technical publications and any other literature in which graphical information is important. Better informa
tion access obviously can lead to improvement in educational and professional opportunities and quality of life for people who are blind or have other severe print disabilities. Quality of life issues for blind people are part of the mission of the Nationa
l Eye Institute.This proposal is relevant to the mission of the National Eye Institute, because it could lead to making scientific professional journals available to blind professionals immediately on publication without need for intervention by human assi
stants. It should also increase pressure on other publishers to make their literature universally accessible. This achievement would have an obviously highly beneficial direct effect on education and professional opportunities, mental health, and quality o
f life of blind people. Mental health and quality of life issues for blind people are parts of the mission of the National Eye Institute.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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