Section 4.34 Braille Best Practices
This is an evolving list of best practices for authoring (and publishing) so that a conversion to braille is as useful as possible for the blind reader.
Many recommendations for mathematics will be useful to any reader, but perhaps even moreso for a blind reader, so read Section 4.10. Recommendations here may also improve your project for all readers. See Chapter 33 for more about the mechanics of producing output as braille.
Braille uses various devices to indicate division headings, since font weight, size, and color are not available. These include starting on a new page, centering text, preceding with a blank lines, standard levels of indentation (4 or 6 cells), and combinations of these devices.
In a conversion from PreTeXt, the text of each heading is the number of the division, followed by the title. So the formatting and the presence of a hierarchical number are together good clues that a new division is starting. And the number of parts in the hierarchical number will also serve as a precise indicator of the depth of the division.
As a publisher, you can “turn off” division numbering below some level (Section 44.2). Think carefully about the impact this will have on a blind reader, since lesser division headings will be harder to recognize without a leading number.
<sidebyside>can be a very useful device, but think carefully about its suitability. As of 2022-11-30, we have yet to even handle them carefully in a braille conversion. And if your panels hold images, that is even harder, since we do not have good support for tactile images yet.
In any event, we will likely “unwind” a
<sidebyside>into a series of its panels running down the page, rather than across, along with a note about how many panels to expect. So when you author a
<sidebyside>, consider how this alternate presentation in braille will be received by the reader.