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.
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