I have a chronic visual handicap and am in need of adequate level of accessibility support while learning and teaching mathematics from and to the visually challenged as well as the sighted.

I'm familiar with the JAWS for Windows screen reading program and the MAGic screen magnification program, both developed by the Freedom Scientific Inc. JAWS offers very little access to mathematical text (in fact none for .djvu files), whereas MAGic 9.5's magnification levels of 2x and higher are too big for my liking (as it requires too much of scrolling) and the magnification levels of below 2x tend to make the display less clearly visible.

I'm unable to afford a newer version of MAGic and so have to content myself with the demo version.

As of now, I use the High Contrast Black (Large) display setting in Windows XP, along with the Windows Inverted (Xtra Large) mouse pointer scheme with trail and highlighting-upon-pressing-the-CTRL-key enabled.

I prefer reading books in .djvu format with the contrast enabled, or the .pdf text files with colors replaced by the Windows High Contrast color setting (but struggle to read scanned .pdf documents since the text within those pages appears black on a white background, notwithstanding the High Contrast setting).

Typesetting maths is often too tedious and time consuming for me, whether it be in WinEdit (with MikeTex at the back end) or as MathJax on the Mathematics Stack Exchange website.

I've also downloaded and installed a program called WinTriangle, software developed by a Prof. Frank Gardner of the physics department at the Oregon State University. But I'm not sure how to utilise it.

I'm aware of the BlindMaths mailing list, but over there the information is too spread out! I don't think there is any repository of audio / video tutorials, for example, on how to make the best possible use of WinTriangle.

During my teaching of mathematics, I often find myself to be too slow while writing on the board. Often, drawing figures also proves to be too uphill a task. I'm not yet finished with a proof and the lecture hour goes by!

I always find myself to be struggling to complete the course.

Here in Pakistan, there is no individual or organisation working on making maths accessible to the blind and visually impaired.

With this backdrop, any advice and suggestions, please?

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    $\begingroup$ When I was a student at university I have had a topology teacher who was completely blind. We had class in a room with a blackboard. He used to send one of the students to the blackboard to write down what he was dictating. He was even able to walk a student through drawing a diagram on the board (and correcting the student if they made mistakes!). He was an awesome teacher. $\endgroup$
    – Stef
    Sep 20 at 9:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Stef thank you very much for your comment. I was amazed to read about that topology teachers of yours. Which university was (or is) he at? Could you please tell me more about him? He is certainly someone I can learn and get motivation from. $\endgroup$ Sep 27 at 6:44

1 Answer 1


I can only address one point - writing on the board slowly. I am also slow writing on the board, not because of any handicap. A few years ago we got a smart board (interactive white board) and I was able to prepare parts of the lecture in advance on smart notebook software. You can put things on different pages and save it to use again for your next class. They also have a screen that you can use to slowly unveil the parts that you want to show so it is almost like you the students are watching you write it.

If you don't have access to a Smart Board, perhaps you can do what I did when the Smart Board needed repair and I couldn't use it. I borrowed an easel from the preschool and used am exta-large pad that fit over the easel. I wrote on different pages in advance and found this helpful.

At this point I don't know how I managed to conduct a class without writing in advance. Good luck.


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