Screen-Reader Based Contextual Exploration of Mathematical Formulas in Brazilian Portuguese: Design, User Evaluation and Teaching Scenario in the Context of Numerical Analysis
Keywords:Screen reader, Mathematical formulas, Visual Disabilities
Although screen readers have made significant technological advancements, mathematics remains a challenging subject for people with visual disabilities. Due to its complex notations and abstract nature, mathematics presents difficulties in understanding through means other than visual. Consequently, reading mathematical content with screen readers poses challenges such as ambiguity, comprehension of long formulas, and identification of specific elements. Furthermore, even with reading difficulties, few screen readers support reading this type of content in Portuguese. This study presents an extension of a previous study which described the development and evaluation of an add-on for NVDA, which enables contextual exploration and navigation of mathematical formulas. The add-on, called Access8Math-NavMatBR, allows for internal exploration of formulas by providing contextual delineations of mathematical elements with support for the Brazilian variant of the Portuguese language. Based on the open-source Access8Math add-on, the new version was developed and evaluated in usability tests with six people with visual disabilities. Results showed that the new system improved understanding of formulas and provided better access to specific elements through formulas abstraction. The evaluation identified 52 issues, such as problems with commands and interaction approaches, verbalization by the screen reader, and platform structure. This extended version extends the analysis by presenting a teaching scenario in the context of numerical analysis and how the contextual exploration can be applied to aid in the understanding of complex elements. The paper presents design implications for systems for reading mathematical formulas in the Brazilian context and considerations for exploring patterns used by Brazilian users when reading and browsing mathematical formulas, dialoguing with the practical example presented.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Hérlon Manollo C. Guedes, Paula C. Figueira Cardoso, Evelise Roman Corbalan Góis Freire, Willian M. Watanabe, André Pimenta Freire
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