Hypertext-based audial study materials for the blind

Contact person: Anton S. Konushin (ktosh@graphics.cs.msu.ru)

Introduction

Traditionaly, study marterials like lectures, textbooks, etc. have been presented to blind and visually impaired students as continous sound files, sometimes broken into several parts.

Absence of structure and content-based navigation do not help students in better understanding the audial material. Almost any study text is initially broken down into sections and subsections, has in-text references to formulas, sections, paragraphs, has footnotes attached to some of the objects.

Reproducing these entities in a sound file singificantly simplify working with such texts. This project is devoted to creating a set of tools for creating these hypertext-like ('hyper-sound') audial documents and for 'reading' them:

The document is broken down into continous audio fragments, organized into hierarchical structure (document tree) with navigation between and inside document tree levels;
To support in-text references, that do not fit into tree structure - 'free' links to arbitrary document tree nodes are used;
Special 'footnote' fragments, not included into document tree can be attached to any tree node;
The playback software is controlled by keyboard shortcuts, touchpad or by GUI with very large buttons (depending on the visual abilites of the student);
Software for both creating and playback of 'hyper-sound' document is being developed.

'Hypersound' editor screenshot 'Hypersound' player screenshot

Team