Accessible Mathematics Solution Infty from Japan Came to Ankara via our Association’s Organization

Computer software Infty, which brought a technological solution to disable people’s problem of accessing math sources and was developed in Japan, came to Ankara on August 26-27 2013 via Association of Visually Impaired in Education. Experts of maths and informatics alongside with people from our country who are working on visually impaired’s access to information attended to the workshops that was coordinated in the first day of the visit. At the end of those studies, the opinion of the foundation for the software’s adaptation to Turkish can be structured was prepondarating among the participants.

A trip to Anatolian Civilizations Museum was arranged through our association’s organization in the second day of the visit. Our guests inspected the historical artifacts with interest and were pleased with the trip. After that, the associations that develop policies about Infty Project in terms of disabled people arranged a meeting at Ankara Bar Association Education and Culture Center to inform Non Governmental Organizations.

Association of Visually Impaired in Education’s president Emre Taşgın who initiated the meeting said that “When we think about how hard it is for visually impaired people to access math sources, Infty software is going to be revolutionary in long terms.”. Emre Taşgın stated that for this to happen, they think the software should be adapted to Turkish and they have contacted with the Infty Project team. He also claimed to provide any contribution to bring this program to our country through their association.

The meeting continued with Infty Project team’s presentations. Masakazu Suzuki who spoke first expressed that Infty team consist of three members that are working in different universities, and they are aiming to make visually impaired people access a paper with full of mathematics formulas by scanning the paper as a basis and create an accessible mathematics document with this project. Suzuki said that the software can be used in Japanese and English and he is happy with the proposal that our country made. He continued his speech by explaining Infty’s features. He stated that Infty was developed to transfer printed mathematics formulas into digital media in brief explanation and the software consist of three components. He summarized his speech by saying, “Infty Reader which is an OCT software is used for transferring printed math formulas to digital media, ChattyInfty is used for reading math sources that is transferred to digital media, InftyEditor is used for working on those outputs.”.

After that, Katsuhito who is also a visually impaired mathematics teacher and lectures non-disabled people continued the speech by giving information about how does the software work to participants and showed demos. Yamaguchi showed demos in English about how to convert a math document into an accessible format through OCR process, to make even the most difficult math problems accessible for visually impaired people with this program in detail and to create a math document. He also gave clues about software’s partly Turkish translated parts. Yamaguchi said that he is using this program to prepare documents for his students when he is giving lectures to the those who actually see him and the software is drawing interest in Japan and USA. He underlined that a visually impaired person can do their math homework with ease by using this program and follow the lectures.

Emre Taşgın spoke at the end of the meeting and stated that this organization is a result of a correspondence series that lasted around a year. He expressed his appreciation to the Japanese guests who came to our country. Some of the participants also wanted to show their appreciation to the guests and the meeting ended with a clarinet show.
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