21 March 2017
Making maths accessible
A2i’s phone rings: “Hello! We have a visually impaired student at Liverpool Hope University who has enrolled on the BA Mathematics course. She’ll need course documents transcribed every week into Braille and e-text, with touchable diagrams. Can you help?” Yes, A2i can!
Many transcribers may balk at this request, but for Susie and Rosie – heading up A2i’s maths transcription team – this is a challenge relished. While Susie has a degree in maths, Rosie has an engineering background, forming a very able team to accurately produce degree-level maths transcriptions.
A2i works closely with Liverpool Hope to meet their student’s needs, transcribing her course documents in good time, allowing her equal access to the same teaching and education as her fellow sighted students. The course includes calculus, geometry and matrices, so Rosie and Susie’s high-level expertise is crucial.
Staff at Liverpool Hope University email A2i the course documents in pdf format. The A2i team then set to work transcribing the documents into e-text. Although the student reads and uses Braille, she prefers her course documents in e-text, meaning she can access her documents on her computer using specialist read-aloud software. We also worked with the student to adapt our standard A2i transcription style to suit her needs by developing a specialist glossary.
To complement the maths e-text, Rosie and Susie produce tactile diagrams to transcribe graphs, 3D representations, geometry and other diagrams in the course materials. Tactile diagrams translate a visual image into a tactile one; they use raised surfaces so blind and visually impaired people can feel them. We also transcribe labels and text around the diagrams using the latest industry-standard Braille maths code (UEB).
A2i keeps to a strict weekly timetable, live-transcribing documents as the course progresses, so the student has equal access to Liverpool Hope’s BA Mathematics and Special Educational Needs degree course. Once the e-text transcription is completed, we email it to the University and send the tactile diagram via first class post, so they can give it out alongside materials for sighted students.
A2i produces Braille and e-text maths, including exam papers, for many other university and academic customers. If you want further information, or have any queries about our transcription services, please get in touch.
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