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New IVEO - Audio/Tactile Graphics Made Easy

Proposal No: 2722

Bios & Handouts


  • John Gardner, Prof., ViewPlus

Disability Area:          

Topic Area:                  

Length of Session (in hours): 2-hrFormat: Lab Expertise Level: All Levels Type of session: General Conference

Summary of Session

The new wizard-driven IVEO Transformer Pro will be used to transform several typical STEM bit map graphics to IVEO SVG. These graphics will be embossed on a ViewPlus embosser. They are then audio-tactually read using the new auto-recognizing auto-calibrating IVEO InSight end user system.


Few blind people can access graphics that are too complex to be easily described in words. The ViewPlus IVEO system permits such graphics to be accessed by the audio-tactile method. ViewPlus has responded to user requests to make IVEO document creation easier, features on tactile copies more distinguishable, and the end-user reading experience simpler. IVEO Transformer Pro is a wizard-driven application for converting bit-map graphics to accessible IVEO SVG format. The tactile image can be manipulated easily to increase tactile contrast, manipulate fill patterns, etc. Text can be embossed “as-is” or replaced by braille. If printed on a ViewPlus printer-embosser the visual image is unchanged. The new InSight reading system uses a camera that automatically recognizes the tactile page and recalls the correct SVG file. It also auto-calibrates, so the end user needs only to drop the tactile copy on the desk and start reading. Transformer Pro and Insight will b used in the lab.


  1. It is easy to transform STEM graphics to audio-tactile accessible form.
  2. It is easy to customize tactile copy for contrast, use of patterns or not, to individual tastes.
  3. End users who need access to complex graphics finally have good access.

Speaker Bio(s)

John Gardner

John Gardner received a PhD in physics from the University of Illinois. He has been a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania and Oregon State University. He has also held visiting positions at the Technical University of Munich, University of Warwick, Imperial College, Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, University of Stuttgart, and the University of Konstanz. Oregon State was his home for 30 years as an active faculty member and where he has been Professor Emeritus since 2003. He is known as an expert on point defects in solids and several fields of experimental solid state physics. He lost his sight unexpectedly in 1988 and became interested in accessibility of complex information, including math and graphics. In 1996 he founded ViewPlus Technologies, which has grown into a multi-million dollar company producing information-access hardware and software. ViewPlus is the leading manufacturer of tactile graphics and braille embossers in the world. He has received numerous awards and has given invited presentations on both physics and information accessibility at universities and conferences on five continents.