A Scientific Word Processor for the Blind

WinTriangle is a specialized RTF word processor capable of displaying and voicing conventional text and the symbols commonly used in math and scientific expressions. It evolved from the extended text editor of the DOS Triangle program. WinTriangle has menus and hot keys permitting access to and voicing of a number of Windows screen fonts including the Triangle.ttf font containing markup symbols permitting virtually any math or scientific expression to be expressed in a linear form.

One of the goals of WinTriangle is to provide a common format usable by sighted and blind people. WinTriangle completes the loop permitting essentially total written communication of scientific information between sighted and blind people. The remainder of this communication loop is provided by embossers using the Tiger tactile graphics and braille embossing technology and the Accessible Graphing Calculator, both developed within the Science Access Project and now commercially available from ViewPlus Technologies.

WinTriangle information is generated on computers, and computer literacy is required of both the blind and sighted users of these technologies. Otherwise, the learning curve is small for blind users and even smaller for sighted users. No knowledge of braille is required.

The initial beta version of WinTriangle was introduced in September, 2001 and has been used successfully by several blind university students who are majoring in science and engineering. Textbooks are made accessible in a combination of hard copy and electronic files readable with WinTriangle. Faculty members have provided homework assignments and examinations either in a form printable on the Tiger embosser or in Triangle notation. The students work out the assignments or exam questions and turn the WinTriangle RTF files in directly to their teachers or teaching assistants. No assistance is needed from readers, scribes, or braille translators.

WinTriangle became an open source project of the Oregon State University Technology Assistance Program in summer 2005.

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Last updated January 20, 2005