Software for Automatically Making Diagrams Accessible

Period of Performance: 09/01/2016 - 08/31/2017

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Viewplus Technologies, Inc.
CORVALLIS, OR 97333
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Abstract Diagrams are an important means of conveying scientific information from statistics and graphs in new articles to illustrations of teaching material in STEM subjects. However, even in electronic material, diagrams are commonly given in standard image formats leaving them inaccessible for visually impaired readers, denying them access to news, information and learning material. The eventual goal of this project is therefore to develop a software solution that can recognize most standard diagrams automatically and create an audio/tactile accessible version. The specific aim of the Phase I project is to ? develop a generic recognizer for a wide variety of scientific diagrams, ? create a rule-based method for enriching the result with semantic information that is easily adaptable for a diverse range for diagrams, ? save results in the ViewPlus IVEO intelligent Scalable Vector Graphic format. IVEO information is easily readable by most blind people whether or not they can read braille and by many other people with print disabilities. The software will be tested by volunteer transcribers and blind end users during the development, and their feedback will guide development.