September 2012 NIMAC Survey: Using NIMAS in Braille and Large Print Production September 2012 Survey • 27 Braille and Large Print Producers* were surveyed on their use of NIMAS, including: – – – – Formats produced Conversion software used Suggestions for improving conversion software Suggestions for improving NIMAS • 25 Authorized Users (AUs) and Accessible Media Producers (AMPs) responded. *The NIMAC sent this survey to all braille and large print producers who participated in our spring survey and agreed to follow up contact on their responses. Respondents by Account Type Respondents by Account Type • 44% Accessible Media Producer • 36% Authorized User • 20% Both Braille Formats Produced Braille Formats Produced Responses to this question show that the majority of respondents who produce braille create both embossed and digital braille: • 20% Embossed braille • 16% BRF • 60% Both Braille Translation Software Used Braille Translation Software Used • • • • Braille 2000: Duxbury: Megadots: Tiger Software Suite: 71% 58% 38% 33% • Other programs: – – – – – Phoenix embosser and associated software Corel MS Word Paint Microbraille Polkadot Converting NIMAS Before Import into Braille Software Converting NIMAS Before Import into Braille Software • Techadapt Accessible Media Center: 50% (9 respondents) • NIMPRO: 44% (8 respondents) • DAISY Pipeline: 11% (2 respondents) Converting NIMAS Before Import into Braille Software • There is currently no braille translation software that can directly import NIMAS XML. • NIMAS users must convert the XML into an intermediate format before importing into the conversion software. • Braille 2000 users typically use the Techadapt Accessible Media Center (TAMC) software to back convert XML to RTF. • Duxbury users import NIMAS into NIMPRO software to convert it into a format that Duxbury can use. Software Used for Large Print Software Used for Large Print • Question 6 was short answer. • Of 7 respondents: – – – – 29% use Dolphin (2 respondents) 43% use Word (3 respondents) 14% use Adobe (1 respondent) 14% use multiple programs depending on student need (1 respondent) Why NIMAS is Used for Large Print Why NIMAS is Used for Large Print • Ease of access to files in NIMAC: 43% • Quality of NIMAS enhances large print: 29% • Ability to reflow text/reformat to improve accessibility: 43% • Use of NIMAS is faster than scanning: 43% Why NIMAS is Used for Large Print • Additional comments: – Using NIMAS keeps in line with a workflow with a single source input and multiple format outputs. – There are few tags compared to publisher RTF files. How Has NIMAS Improved Large Print Production? How Has NIMAS Improved Large Print Production? • 56% of respondents reported that the conversion process is faster. • 22% reported that the final product is of higher quality. • 44% reported that the use of NIMAS has not noticeably affected the large print production process. More about Braille: NIMAS Conversion for Import into Braille Software NIMAS Conversion for Import into Braille Software • As mentioned earlier, NIMAS must be converted into another format before import into braille translation software. • Responses were equally divided with 52.4% of respondents stating that they convert into Word, and the same percentage reporting converting into RTF. Why NIMAS is Used in Braille Production Why NIMAS is Used in Braille Production • It’s faster than scanning the book: 85% • NIMAS is higher quality than a scanned file: 75% • Ease of access to files in NIMAC: 65% • Unable to acquire other formats directly from publisher: 25% How NIMAS has Improved Braille Production How NIMAS has Improved Braille Production • Conversion is faster: 90% • Source file quality is better: 70% • Less formatting is required than with other file formats: 50% • NIMAS has not noticeably changed braille conversion process: 20% Large Print Production: Hard Copy versus Digital What Type of Large Print Do You Provide? Of 13 large print producers who responded to the question: • 60% produce hard copy and digital (8) • 38% produce only hard copy (5) • No respondents reported they produce only digital Digital Large Print Formats Question 13 was a short answer question, and some respondents reported more than one digital format. The 7 respondents reported the following: • • • • • • PDF: Word: HTML: DAISY: EPUB: RTF: 6 3 1 1 1 1 respondents respondents respondent respondent respondent respondent Recommendations for Improving Braille Translation Software • [I] like the way we can clean it up in NIMPRO and then format it. [I do] not necessarily know if it can be improved. • A way to import math would be very helpful. • Allow direct translation of NIMAS file to braille. • That all programs would automatically open NIMAS files. • Mathematics/science are still difficult to translate into braille. Recommendations for Improving the NIMAS Format • • • • Include image descriptions in NIMAS XML files (3 respondents) Include math content in the XML file /use MathML (4 respondents) Include digital files for tactile graphics in NIMAS (1 respondent) Make large files easier to download (1 respondent) Additional Comments and Observations* • • • Braille production is much easier and quicker if we can get the files from NIMAC It has helped speed up the transcription process. It has been difficult at times downloading, and converting however, when it works it’s fantastic! Having on-site programming knowledge has been great that when codes in the NIMAS file appear that the converter doesn't recognize we fix it. Or when multiple tagging or languages are used in the same NIMAS file we can fix it. So that most NIMAS files lately have been converting without the usual glitches. *A few of the comments on these final slides were responses to other questions; however, since the comments were not directly related to the other questions asked, they are included here instead. Additional Comments and Observations • • As we move to an ever increasing digital curriculum we need to anticipate the needs of students with various disabilities and incorporate universal design requirements for all publishers of textbooks for students to include graphics displays or metadata for graphics described. There are many, many errors in every NIMAS file. Some are worse than others. Often, we find entire problems are different in the file than the published textbook.* *Because the survey was anonymous, we are not able to identify the user to follow up on this comment; however, the very small number of file quality complaints we receive each year does not support this comment. We strongly encourage all users to report any file errors and have a long-standing procedure in place for exploring problems and requiring file resubmission when errors are confirmed. Additional Comments and Observations • • • • • • Keep doing what you’re doing! Bob Stepp at Braille2000 is working on a major revision which will make working with NIMAS files a lot easier. I have full confidence that version 2 will be a wonderful piece of software. Would be good to have PDF version of book available via the NIMAC. About 80% of the time, we still end up scanning the book because NIMAS file quality varies widely, and many books are not available. Improve the quality of the files, each year the quality gets better and better, but some of the older files are of poor quality. For the large print, it would be nice if the graphics were included on the same page as in the text. For Braille, Word files are so much easier to convert than the HTML/PDF files. NIMAC Reflections • Survey results underscore the need for better tools for braille and large print production. • Despite technical limitations in conversion software, NIMAS has had a positive impact for producers of braille and large print. • There is interest among users in improving the NIMAS standard, especially with regard to image descriptions and access to math content. • Local training and technical support for those working with NIMAS is still needed. NIMAC Next Steps: Building on Progress and Success NIMAC will continue to: • Support the development of tools to facilitate production of braille, large print, and other accessible formats. • Seek feedback on quality of NIMAS files, and work collaboratively with the NIMAS Board/AIM Center at CAST as they provide essential technical assistance to accessible media producers. • Reach out to AUs, AMPs, publishers and conversion houses to improve users’ experience with NIMAC and NIMAS.