Generating Audio-Tactile and Web-Accessible SVG Graphics

Bios & Handouts

Scheduled at 8:00am in Standley II Lab on Thursday November, 17.



  • Volker Sorge, Dr, Progressive Accessibility Sol.
  • John Gardner, Prof, ViewPlus Technologies, Inc.

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 2-hr
  • Format: Lab
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


We instruct on fully automatically creating accessible SVG diagrams for chemistry with rich descriptions. We demonstrate how the diagrams can be embossed for audio-tactile reading or alternatively embedded into web content to be interactively explored in a browser with synchronized speech, highlighting and magnification.


Diagrams are an important means of conveying information in STEM subjects and are ubiquitous in teaching material. Since they need to be understood in fine detail, their precise description is often very difficult and time consuming.

We present a plugin for the IVEO Creator software that allows the automatic generation of accessible chemical diagrams. It generates fully described diagrams in SVG format either from bitmap images or from unique chemical identifiers, requiring only minimal human intervention. The resulting images can be embossed for audio-tactile reading or embedded into web content to be interactively explored using the DIAGcess web front end.

In our session participants will get hands-on experience on * working with the IVEO software to generate audio-tactile diagrams * employing the DIAGcess web explorer to interact with diagrams in web content.

While the software currently focuses on chemical diagrams, it will be extended to other STEM subjects in the future.


  1. Generation of audio-tactile accessible chemical diagrams
  2. Creation of web content with universally accessible, interactive SVG diagrams
  3. Latest features of the IVEO software suite

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Vision

Topic Areas

Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Volker Sorge

Volker heads the Scientific Document Analysis Groups at Birmingham University and is Managing Director of Progressive Accessibility Solutions, a company concentrating on assistive technologies for STEM content. He is working primarily diagram recognition, mathematical document analysis and handwriting recognition. Practical applications of his research includes making scientific content accessible with a particular focus on Web technologies and eBooks. He has been working as a Visiting Scientist with Google on math integration into ChromeVox. He is a member of the MathJax consortium responsible for the integration of accessible rendering of mathematical formulas on the web and is working. With his startup company he is building accessibility solutions that exploit image recognition technology to generate accessible STEM diagrams.

John Gardner

John is Professor Emeritus of Physics at Oregon State University, and the founder and president of ViewPlus Technologies, Inc., a major access technology company with worldwide sales of millions of dollars per year. John has presented hundreds of seminars, colloquia, and workshops; he has given contributed and invited conference talks on physics and on information access by people with disabilities throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. He is considered a leading expert on access to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) information.