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Virtual Pencil Algebra Software

The goal of this program is to create an environment on a computer that allows pencil impaired (visually impaired) students to learn and solve higher-level math problems with the help of JAWS Talking Software.
Visual Impairment Level: 
Zero Vision

What it does?
Presents an Algebraic equation audibly in an understandable fashion, so blind students can more effectively "read" the equation
Enables them to navigate around an Algebraic equation, including reading out equation specific location information.
Provides a mechanism to input data and manipulate the equation, making it possible for the student to work through and solve the problem
Has following Capabilities:
Reading Equations - When working through an Algebraic equation, a blind student first needs to have the ability to have the entire equation "read" to them, to get an overview. So, it is important to develop a method to present the entire equation verbally, in an easily understandable way. VPAlgebra will read the equation, describing the various parts with phrases like "the quantity squared", "square root of", and "fraction of". Naturally the entire equation is displayed visually on the screen, with fractions, radicals, quantities, exponents, etc., in the students choice of colours and font sizes.
Navigating Equations - After reading the entire equation, it is important for the student to be able to navigate to any point within the equation. In addition, a method needs to be developed that will provide, on demand, an exact description of the current location. A sighted student can visually see and understand the location; however, blind students need this information textually. Therefore terms such as operand, quantity and fraction are used, and prefix specifiers such as first, second, third, are used to indicate locations of these macro elements. Otherwise, the appropriate term for sub-elements, such as numerator, denominator, sub (subscript) and Exponent (superscript) are used. A focus rectangle, like in a spread sheet, points out visually where the focus or insertion point is in the equation.
There are commands for navigation among the elements at any particular level, to access sub-elements, and to back out to additional macro elements such as quantities and fractions. There are other commands to navigate among these macro elements, regardless of the current location. The users have the option to assign their own preferred keystroke to these commands. This approach provides access to, and location information about, any point in an Algebraic equation for students using the keyboard or the mouse or other alternative input devices.
Manipulating Equations - Although it is very valuable to have the ability to navigate to any point in an equation, a student must also be able to manipulate elements of the equation at that location. This manipulation includes editing, copying and inserting elements.
It is difficult for pencil impaired students to take a complicated equation, and re-write it manipulating portions along the way. Commands to perform each of these operations have been developed, so the equation can be re-written and solved a piece at a time. These steps are all recorded and saved so they can be reviewed later, or printed out to hand in to a sighted teacher.

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Alternate Text: 
Works the JAWS talking software
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