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## 1. Subject: Ubuntube

Christine Szostak szostak.1@osu.edu
Mon Jul 28 2008
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I have just started learning to use Ubuntube as our lab is doing some major transitioning (i.e., all of our computers will have either or both Ubuntube and MSWindows). Thus, I was wondering if anyone here has had a lot of experience with Orca and what your thoughts are. I will likely be using it most heavily, at least at first, for programming experiments and collecting data. Thus, if anyone can provide me with information regarding their views... I would sincerely appreciate any thoughts. Also, as an avid long-term JAWS user, does anyone know if JAWS commands can be used with Orca (i.e., is there a way to set the key stroke short cuts to match or nearly match JAWS commands).
Christine M. Szostak
Language Perception Laboratory
Department of Psychology, Cognitive Area
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio
szostak.1 at osu.edu

### Responses:

Michael Whapples mwhapples@aim.com
Tue Jul 29 2008
Hello,
Dealing with this in a few parts.
I use a Linux machine now nearly all the time, so it is useable, although there are some areas where things aren't quite so good. Another thing is that ubuntu is only one of many Linux distributions, and certainly isn't the ultimate solution, you may wish to look at other distributions as well (although if you have ubuntu experts around you then ubuntu may be best as they should be able to help you sort out any ubuntu specific problems). I personally use slackware, but I know many don't even want to go that far.
The first place to go for any orca information is the orca WIKI http://live.gnome.org/Orca.
There you will also find the orca mailing list, which would be a better place for getting answers to questions about orca.
As for the usage of orca, the underlying ideas of how orca works is different to those of windows screen readers such as Jaws. Orca relies on the accessibility APIs in Linux, so doesn't have the same information about how the information is physically being shown on the screen. Orca does not have a screen review mode; its review mode moves you by accessible objects. Although orca has this review mode, you need it much less than in windows screen readers as the gnome desktop is designed to have greater accessibility built in by default (eg. all applications should have adequate keyboard navigation that you wouldn't need a mouse). Due to these differences in design, it may be hard to make a Jaws like keyset for it as certain features won't map from one to the other, although you can customize the keystrokes of orca to what you want.

Senk, Mark J. (CDC/NIOSH/NPPTL) zia7@cdc.gov
Tue Jul 29 2008
www.blindcooltech.com has some podcast reviews of Linux and the Orca screen reader
Look for: Configuring Orca, Installing Ubuntu 804 With Orca, Linux Accessibility Demo

## 2. Subject: Mathematica

Liesbeth Blankhart e.c.blankhart@planet.nl
Fri Sep 25 2009
Hello all,
I am new to all this. My son Kees is a Braille student, 18, he's just started Physics at the university of Utrecht, the Netherlands, and practically the first to do this over here. As you can imagine, we face a lot of challenges. One of them is, the faculty uses the software program Mathematica, an algebraic calculator. Kees is not able to transfer this program to his Braille device. Does anyone have experience with this, or do you know similar software that does work with a Braille device?
Kees uses inftyreader to transfer pdf to LateX and is now learning to read this, but it is a slow process. Does it work better with human readable LateX? Any other tips are most welcome. Physics and maths are absolutely Kees' talents, but overcoming all these mountains can sometimes be demotivating.
Elisabeth Blankhart

### Responses:

Stewart Dickson MathArt@Emsh.CalArts.edu
Fri Sep 25 2009
Hi,
At the Wolfram Research Web Site (Just a few blocks away from my office...)
http://search.wolfram.com/?query=Braille&x=0&y=0
I find: http://www.wolfram.com/news/strickland.html
Blind Optical Physicist Pursues Technical Career with the Aid of Mathematica
One of these devices is an electronic notepad and display device that enables him to write and review "refreshable Braille." Another is a small camera connected to a tactile display made of vibrating pins that essentially allow him to feel pictures. To aid his technical writing, Strickland developed a Mathematica program that converts Braille into rich text. He inputs Braille into his computer with an electronic notepad that stores the Braille in its internal memory. The notepad's electronic display allows Strickland to edit and review the Braille. When he is satisfied with his work, Strickland transfers the electronic Braille to his PC where the Mathematica program converts it to rich text. The rich text can then be manipulated with a word processor. Strickland has also written Mathematica procedures that replace certain character sequences with equations or other graphics.
He might be the only one who has done this. I have sent a query to Wolfram Research Technical Support to see if they have more details.
-Stewart, http://us.imdb.com/Name?Stewart+Dickson
Visualization Programmer, Beckman Institute - South Facility, Room 12
2100 S. Goodwin Urbana, IL 61801 http://www.isp.uiuc.edu/~sdickson
Ph: 217-333-3923 Fax: 217-244-1827
email: sdickson@illinois.edu
http://emsh.calarts.edu/~mathart/MathArt_siteMap.html

Roopakshi Pathania r_akshi_tgk@yahoo.com
Sun Sep 27 2009
Hi, To answer your second question and my favorite topic first, yes Human Readable TeX or HRTeX is easier to read at least for a beginner in LaTeX. In HRTeX format, only the symbols, equations, and formulae are in the LaTeX notation. If your sun intends to submit assignments in LaTeX, then he would need to learn the normal LaTeX format as well. Whether LaTeX or HRTeX, it is important to proofread the final output. For example, InftyReader often mistakes W for \omega and 0 for \theta. Now, if someone who has no knowledge of how do the symbols may look like, she/ he might not be able to independently proofread the document.
You mention that your sun uses a Braille display. Does he have the ability to hear? I ask this because the creators of Mathematica have many websites built on the technology of Mathematica and the Mathematical expressions on them are all accessible with a screen reader.
Take a look at this website http://mathworld.wolfram.com/
There has been some work done to sonify the graphs plotted by Mathematica through the use of software called the vOICe. http://www.seeingwithsound.com/winmath.htm
Finally, you may also be interested in this presentation.
http://river-valley.tv/mathematica-and-matlab/

Stewart Dickson MathArt@Emsh.CalArts.edu
Wed Oct 14 2009
From Wolfram Technical Support:
The only example that I know of for someone connecting a Braille device to Mathematica was an optical physicist, http://www.wolfram.com/news/strickland.html
(This story was from 2004.)
Connecting to the Mathematica kernel, rather than the typesetting front end, might be more effective. Depending on the available drivers and interfaces for the inftyreader or other Braille device, one could probably connect to it with MathLink (C language) or J/Link (Java language). My apologies for the delay.
Bruce Miller Technical Support Wolfram Research, Inc. support@wolfram.com
http://support.wolfram.com

## 3. Subject: Linux

Matthew Cooper matdawg17@gmail.com
Sat Jan 2 2010
I have heard that Linux is something to consider using. I have limited knowledge about this os and would love some information on how a blind person could use this. Do screen readers, Braille displays, and other devices work? Thanks! Matt

### Responses:

Michael Whapples mwhapples@aim.com
Sat Jan 2 1 2010
Yes linux is perfectly accessible and in my mind in certain ways superior to windows, however there may be certain things you can't do with it and windows may be the only option (eg. if you want to use the IVEO for diagrams I think windows will be the only option).
One thing I strongly advise is get to understand the system, the directory layout is different (it doesn't start on drive letters, you mount (insert) your drives where you want in the file system), most devices can be accessed as files, some notation is different (eg. the path separator, normally \ (backslash) on windows is the / (stroke) character on linux), etc. Generally a good way to find out these basic things is by using it through the command line interface. Once you know how to refer to things (eg. hard disks, redirect output and input, etc.) on linux then move on to trying the graphical interface. I suggest doing that because so many come from windows expecting windows and the graphical interface is sufficiently close to windows they don’t recognize the differences and the changes they need to make to their working style and so pretty soon can find themselves in a mess without a clue of how to get out of it. Also don't forget the internet is a wealth of information and tutorials when it comes to Linux, the answer is probably out there it’s a matter of finding it.
Now to what is available:
* Brltty, a system for controlling a Braille display. It also reads the screen in the command line mode and orca the graphical screen reader can use brltty for Braille output when you use the graphical desktop.
* Speakup, a command line screen reader only producing speech output. Speakup slightly differs from other screen readers as it can be built right into the Linux kernel (the part right at the heart of the operating system) and rarely fails.
* Emacspeak, this is a bit of a must if you want to use LaTeX, it’s an extremely powerful editor. To be accurate, emacs is the editor, emacspeak is a add on for emacs which makes emacs speak. As emacspeak is working so much closer to emacs and has access to some of the internal information it means it can give very good detailed output, rather than making a good guess. As a side note you may also want to look at the VI editor, another powerful editor but it doesn't have any speech add on.
VI is preferred by some as it needs less key presses (I don't think it’s uncommon for emacs to use multiple multi key presses to do one action).
* Orca, I chose to leave to last as I think may be should be learnt last as it could be too tempting just to use the GUI and muddle your way through for a bit. Well orca is a screen reader for the graphical desktop environment (the GNOME desktop). Orca can produce speech, Braille and magnification. Orca purely relies on the accessibility API of the desktop system and any application which doesn't participate in the supported accessibility API will be inaccessible (a good example is Skype, there is a Linux version but it is written the KDE desktop graphical toolkit and so doesn't use the GNOME accessibility API).
As for other software which you may need for your course, there's lots available, again may be name ones you know you will need and the Linux equivalent can be named, there's just too much to list on its own here.

edward personal.edward@gmail.com
Sat Jan 2 2010
Hello Wondering how I can put windows and ubintu on one machine? I am attending college for comp sci and they encourage linix instead of windows.

Lloyd Rasmussen lras@loc.gov
Mon Jan 4 2010
You will get a number of Linux proponents on this e-mail list. It takes considerable effort to set up and learn to use, but it may be worth it, depending on the direction your studies take.
In thinking about a list of useful software for engineering, don't overlook Excel or other spreadsheet programs. They are not Matlab or Mathematica, but Excel works well with Windows screen readers and provides a wealth of methods for manipulating and displaying numerical data. Bookshare has a book, a few years old now, about scientific and engineering uses of Excel.

Jason White Jason@jasonjgw.net
Mon Jan 4 2010
Lloyd Rasmussen lras@loc.gov wrote:
You will get a number of Linux proponents on this e-mail list.  It takes considerable effort to set up and learn to use, but it may be worth it, depending on the direction your studies take.
It isn't difficult to set up, and the amount of learning involved depends on your background. For example, if you've used a version of Unix previously, even if only as a user rather than as an administrator, Linux will be fairly easy to adapt to. People coming from Microsoft Windows who have never used any other operating system tend to find it considerably harder, however, perhaps in part because they think their Windows knowledge will transfer to a somewhat different software environment, which it apparently doesn't.
I agree with the observation that if you are interested in mathematics, computer science or other technical disciplines, there is a wealth of software available under Linux, much of which is accessible from the shell prompt. For this purpose, I would recommend installing Debian or Ubuntu or a Linux distribution derived from one of these, since the number of mathematics-related packages available for these distributions will considerably ease the task of installing and maintaining the software. You don't want to have to spend unnecessary time compiling software from source code and installing it when this can be avoided by obtaining a pre-packaged version for which the installation is completely automated.
A recent addition to the available mathematics packages which has been discussed on other mailing list is Sagemath, which combines a number of tools into a single environment.
I don't know how accessible it is, however, although it is reputed to have ashell-based user interface as well as one that requires a Web browser.

Michael Whapples mwhapples@aim.com
Tue Jan 5 2010
Jason, your point about using something like debian is a very good point and that is precisely why I moved to debian. I did like slackware but I found I was doing too much in maintaining the system, apt really helps reduce that work.
As for other things relating to what distribution to use, I won't go there today as everyone has their favorite which they must defend, personally I never could recommend ubuntu now.

## 4. Subject: Wx Maxima- An Accessible, Computer Algebra System

Jamal Mazrui empower@smart.net
Fri Jan 7 2011
It seems rare these days to find sophisticated software with a graphical user interface that is accessible, even though that was apparently not a design goal of the project. Thus, I want to encourage folks to check out wxMaxima if they have an interest in using software for mathematics work, or if they have an interest in a cross-platform development approach that results in accessible GUIs. wxMaxima is a free, open source "computer algebra system" available at http://maxima.sourceforge.net/
It uses wxWidgets as its GUI library, which wraps native controls of the operating system, and hence, implements the accessible API of that platform. It includes the Maxima console-mode, command-line interface as well, which is also accessible with any screen reader. In my opinion, this project is worth spreading the word about and showing support for!

## 5.Subject: SAGE

Alex Hall mehgcap@gmail.com
Wed Jan 19 2011
Hi all, I am starting calc 2 this semester. Apparently, we use a program called SAGE. How is this for accessibility? What should I know about this, or should I just seek an alternative? Thanks in advance. -- Have a great day, Alex (msg sent from GMail website) mehgcap@gmail.com; http://www.facebook.com/mehgcap

### Responses:

Alastair Irving alastair.irving@sjc.ox.ac.uk
Wed Jan 19 2011
Hi Sage has two interfaces, a command line one and a web-based one that you access via a browser. I use the command line interface all the time and it’s perfectly accessible. I've never used the web based interface but imagine it will be much harder to work with. Sage only runs on linux, so you will need a linux installation. If you don't want to install linux just for that then you should find out if you can get access to a linux machine with sage which you can SSH into. Best wishes

Roopakshi Pathania r_akshi_tgk@yahoo.com
Wed Jan 19 2011
When I first came across Sage, they were planning a native port for Windows. If you check the main page, it looks like they still haven't started it. http://windows.sagemath.org/
But if you go to the download page, there are a couple of binaries. http://windows.sagemath.org/download.html Of course as they mention, Sage can be run on Cygwin. One more thing: when I have tried to access publicly available Sage worksheets, they were not particularly accessible as I couldn't seem to distinguish between Math and Python code for Math. That's probably because they are using MathJax or JSMath and I cannot seem to ever manage to read MathML served that way.

Sean Tikkun jaquis@mac.com
Thu Jan 20 2011
I'm curious what your Calc 2 class will be doing with SAGE? Wolfram research is a CAS leader and has put most of the mathematical engine on Wolfram Alpha. They also released 2 apps over the weekend that give preset menus and data boxes for iPad/iPod use. It's really slick and paired with a Bluetooth refreshable braille display... will I'm just starting to have fun with that. I'm certain there are limitations... But I'm curious if anyone can compare the two. The Alg and Calc app really are driving close to TI-80 series functions in a really simple, and screen reader accessible, format. Graphs will always be a challenge, but it allows for a table of values instead of graph for evaluation. I've been hitting them with e-mail suggestions for a few months. No response, but maybe they were already working on it.

Alex Hall mehgcap@gmail.com
Thu Jan 20 2011
I am not sure what we would use it for, but it would be a project to be worked on alongside the rest of the class work. Tomorrow we will find out if the professor is going to continue SAGE or let us work on research projects and present them at the end of the year instead. If the latter, this whole SAGE thing will go away. Wolfram has an iPhone app? I recently got an iPod and would love to try this. Is it free?

Sean Tikkun jaquis@mac.com
Thu Jan 20 2011
They have 3 apps. Wolfram alpha is a trim down interface to their web CAS/info system. The wolfram alpha interface is really worth the $1.99, since it saves old searches and exports and drags to other apps nicely. My blind student produces graphs and pastes them into Pages to produce print materials that blow away his sighted peers' pen and pencil work. For my money the alg and calc course asst. is worth the$1.99 and $2.99 respectively. Just to save me the trouble of not mistyping something on a touchscreen and have all the syntax completed for me. They also produced a Music Theory app for$1.99 that I'm dying to dig into... But I'm buried in apps right now prepping an iPad for teacher’s course. The output in table forms doesn't always read in an easy way, but when used with a refreshable braille display I was pretty happy with what I got. I was using a Focus 40 Blue. Did I mention I LOVE MY JOB?

Roopakshi Pathania r_akshi_tgk@yahoo.com
Thu Jan 20 2011
Hmmm, thanks for the suggestions. I use Wolfram Alpha on the web, but never thought to look it up in the apps store.
As I had written to this list before, I'm looking around the store for accessible apps for Math and other technical stuff.
Equation Genius was my first accessible Math app discovery.

## 6. Subject: Wikki Use with JAWS: A Question

Christine Szostak szostak.1@osu.edu
Fri Jan 28 2011
Hi Listers,
I was wondering if anyone here has had success with creating/contributing to a Wikki (sorry for spelling if incorrect) with JAWS (preferably V 8, 9, or 10).
If so, what type of Wikki did you find JAWS worked the best with.
My advisor and I are considering putting one together that I will be heavily involved in both the construction of and contribution on for a project we are involved in and my only prior experience was unsuccessful. Unfortunately, I am not certain of the type though I think it was a media version.
Any information or suggestions would be much appreciated!
many thanks,
Christine
Christine M. Szostak
Doctoral Candidate
Language Perception Laboratory
Department of Psychology, Cognitive Area
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio
szostak.1@osu.edu

### Responses:

Fri Jan 28 2011
I am in a similar process and I have heard that Drupal v6 and v7 arequite accessible and I know of people who use it to write up Wikis and blogs. I will post more when I have tried it out, but Media wiki is also fairly accessible, at least with Jaws 11 (not sure why it would not be with 10, but who knows).

Pranav Lal pranav.lal@gmail.com
Fri Jan 28 2011
Christine,
Docu wiki works well. For most wiki's you just click on the link called "edit" and then edit using the wiki markup language. These languages vary in their syntax. Most of your work will be done in one big edit box.

Andrew Stacey andrew.stacey@math.ntnu.no
Sat Jan 29 2011
I've no idea about how it works with JAWS, but if you want to do maths on a wiki and want that in MathML rather than as images then I recommend instiki.

## 7. Subject: Math Tools

Ruchi Patil ruchi_patil@samruddha.net
Thu Mar 3 2011
Hi,
I am a mother of a 7 yr old blind kid. I want to know about the best math softwares available. I am presently using hentermath vp arithmetic for him. They have algebra too. Wanted to know if there are any tools for geometry and calculus too.
Regards,
Ruchi

### Responses:

Lisa Bongiorno Lisa.Bongiorno@dhs.state.nj.us
Fri Mar 4 2011
APH puts out a product called "MathWindows" It's a magnetic board with magnets that have print and Braille on it. The child can do any mathematical computation (basic math, algebra, geometry) with it.

Peti Peti edelweis85@gmail.com
Fri Mar 18 2011
Hello,
I am a student of the Szent István University in Hungary, Békéscsaba and I study economic engineering. I would like to write my BSc Thesis on the technical equipments helping for blind and low vision users. I am especially interested in how these equipments are used in the Mathematics education.
During my research I found some information about the following programs:
MathDaisy, WinTriangle, Lambda Project, MathTrax, and AGC Software.
Unfortunately these programs are not available in Hungarian language; as a result in Hungary these programs are not used for Mathematic teaching or learning. Therefore in Hungary I could not find anyone to help with their opinion and experience of the above mentioned programs.
I would like to ask your help and provide information about your personal experience of these or any similar software or other methods used in education. I am especially interested in the advantages and disadvantages of the programs. If you do not have any experience of the subject, I would greatly appreciate if you forward my email to someone who has used this (or any similar) programs during learning.
Yours faithfully
Peter Deutsch
Email: peter.deutsc@gmail.com

Ruchi Patil ruchi_patil@samruddha.net
Sat Mar 19 2011
Dear Peter,
I am using a product called Vp Arithmetic by hentermath people for my 7 year old son and have loved it for it's step by step instruction. They also have a product called Vp algebra, which I have not tried.
I had also tried a product called Mathflash, but was not very happy with it. And also one by Marvelsoft, but virtual pencil was the one I liked the most.
I would also like to hear from you about the best tools for Maths, what are your findings, also are there any software tools for geometry?
Warm regards,
Ruchi

Pranav Lal pranav.lal@gmail.com
Sat Mar 19 2011
Ruchi,
What is the problem that you are trying to solve? If the problem is the showing of math working, then you can use a word processor for the job.
Pranav

Ruchi Patil ruchi_patil@samruddha.net
Sat Mar 19 2011
Dear Pranav,
I am trying to look for geometry software tools. Will be seeing the ones on the list including the one by NASA in the coming weeks. Just want to be forearmed, before the curriculum demands.
Let me know if there are any.
Regards,
Ruchi

Pranav Lal
Sun Mar 20 2011
Hi Ruchi,
What do you expect the tool to do? Do you need him to use something like a graphing calculater? Do you want your son to be able to draw the shapes himself

Ruchi Patil
Mon Mar 21 2011
I am basically looking for a coreldraw kind of a geometry tool, which helps him, draw lines, angles, triangles on keyboard commands on computer. He is in class 2 and am looking probably a few years ahead. I have the rubber mat, and plastic sheet, but he is not enjoying it.
I will be looking at the tools mentioned in the list and see which can be useful.

Pranav Lal
Mon Mar 21 2011
Hi Ruchi,
Consider using Microsoft Logo. You can enter commands like line etc. However, you will have to teach your son about coordinates etc. In addition, ghow do you expect him to see what he has drawn? One option would be a tactile embosser. Alternatively consider drawing charts using Excel. I suspect you are going to need a set of tools.
If you want to do basic shapes, another tool you may want to try is the vOICe from http://www.seeingwithsound.com. I should warn you that this program has a learning curve

Ruchi Patil
Wed Mar 23 2011
Dear Pranav,
I am just entering the world of maths with a class 2 level son, am not aware of any math word processors, could you please suggest some.

Pranav Lal
Wed Mar 23 2011
Hi Ruchi,
You don't need a specific math word processor though scientific notebook comes to mind. You can use Microsoft Word with Math Type or win Triangle.
Having said the above, unless you want math symbols like alpha, beta, gamma, square root, you can use even notepad to do basic math using linear notation. For instance,
(2x^2)+3x+5
3(x^2)+9x+9
You could even consider: LaTex but I suspect that would be over kill at this stage.
Pranav

Neil Soiffer NeilS@dessci.com
Sat Mar 19 2011
Peter,
You left off MathPlayer[1] from your list -- it is a free plug-in for Internet Explorer that works with lots of assistive technology[2] to generate speech for math. It is widely used in the US[3].
We are going to release an international version of MathPlayer near the end of April. It has support for about 12 different languages. The translations were done by volunteers and we are interested in supporting more languages. If you would be interested in doing a translation to Hungarian, please contact me.
The languages we think we will have support for in MathPlayer are:
English
German (could use some additional work -- volunteers?)
Greek
Spanish
Danish
French
Italian
Finish
Swedish
Norwegian
Icelandic
Dutch
Japanese
Chinese
If anyone on the list would like to do a translation to a language not on that list, please contact me. Translations take between one and three weeks, depending on your speed and on how complete a job you want to do for the very long list of Unicode math characters. There is only fame and glory in doing a translation -- no fortune.
Neil
[1] www.dessci.com/en/products/mathplayer/manual.htm
[2] www.dessci.com/en/solutions/access/atsupport.htm
[3] accessiblemath@dessci.com/2011/01/mathplayer-usage-takes-off.html

Mike Moore mikeis@talktalk.net
Mon Mar 21 2011
Hello,
While working with a student, I used a cutting of a notice board, sticking the large tacks into it and used rubber bands, cds, and profilled grided paper. For angles, the RNIB do plastic sticks for drawing circles. I stuck a pin through the holes at the ends of two of them and moved them out to create an angle. By using another two of these, it was possible to demonstrate bisection of an angle etc.
Kindest,
Mike Moore
(Student Mentor)

## 8. Subject: Accessible Math Packages

Joseph C. Lininger jbahm@pcdesk.net
Good afternoon/evening folks,
I'm wondering which math solutions (matlab and such) are accessible under windows with window-eyes and/or under Linux using speakup screen reader. At this exact moment, I need to be able to do operations you'd typically do in Linear algebra, reduce matrices, invert matrices, perform vector operations, etc. I will almost certainly need to use it later on in my math studies for more involved things as well. Can anyone make suggestions? I tried Matlab because that's what my instructor wants the class to use for large matrices, but discovered the installer didn't even work. (java it looks like) Is that how the entire package is? I'm also interested in using R for some other math stuff I'm working on if that is accessible, and would like input on these packages and otherb suggestions if you have them. Thanks in advance.
Joe

### Responses:

Tue Mar 29 2011
Joe
R in command line mode is probably your best option for these types f things at the moment.
I used to use software called Gauss, about 10 years ago, that did a remarkably good job with regressions, matrices and such, but it was, like I said, 10 years ago, back when Matlab 6 was pretty accessible.
SPSS pre version 15 is pretty accessible, post Java switch, not really.
This is all on Windows.
I would suggest you take a look at R, to begin with.
Excel is remarkably accessible, and some things it does pretty well, but matrices and vectors, not so much, though you can trick it into doing all sorts of things.
Cheers
-Birkir

Trevor Saunders trev.saunders@gmail.com
Tue Mar 29 2011
well, no idea about windows, but I would expect the java installer for I have no idea about windows, but I'd expect the matlab installer to work fine with orca, I'm not sure if there's a text based installer for linux, I've never used matlab myself. You might consider octave which is an open source program which is intended to be a drop in replacement for matlab, which may work better for your purposes since you won't need to deal with an installer.
Trev

Alysha anjeans@att.net
Tue Mar 29 2011
Hi Joe,
I work with MATLAB a lot with JAWS and have found it to be very easy to use. I did not find the installer to be accessible, but after you get it installed, you can tweak a few settings that allow it to work with screen readers. After that, you can do pretty much everything by typing text and reviewing results in the command window or creating m-files in the MATLAB editor. There's a set of instructions on setting MATLAB up to work with screen readers at
http://www.mathworks.com/help/techdoc/matlab_env/bqwp009-1.html
It may or may not work with Window Eyes, but it's worth a try.
Alysha