Guide
# How to use JAWS Braille Math Editor

## Learn how your braille student can access and complete math assignments using the JAWS Braille Math Editor and a braille display!

Once an accessible math worksheet has been created using Microsoft Word and Equation Editor (see “Resources on how to create accessible math” at the bottom of this post), now your student is ready to complete the assignment using JAWS Braille Math Editor and a refreshable braille display. The Braille Math Editor is part of both JAWS and Fusion software applications and currently enables students to access and complete the math equations in **Nemeth braille** and **UEB braille** code using a refreshable braille. (The Braille Math Editor began supporting UEB braille in July 2024.)

- Students must have
**Microsoft Word Office 365**to use the Braille Math Editor- Note: Educators can create accessible math equations using other versions of Microsoft Word; however, students must use Microsoft Word Office 365 to be able to access and complete assignments using a screen reader)
- Google Docs does not play well with math equations – it is strongly recommended to use Microsoft Word for math equations!

- JAWS must be set to English – United States
- In settings, when choosing Nemeth math code, Grade 1 or Grade 2 must be selected (do not leave unchecked)
- If UEB is desired, in settings, change the math code to UEB (See Digital UEB Math & Braille Editor in Word with JAWS UEB Mode video below for details)
- Students must have a refreshable braille display or notetaker paired with their computer to edit or complete the math problem.

The JAWS math software is referred Braille Math Editor (BME) even though there are two ways to interact with the equation. JAWS users can access math equations as Braille Math Viewer or Braille Math Editor. JAWS will announce the mathematical expressions correctly.

The Braille Math Viewer is a **read only** view; the equation or formula cannot be accidently edited. The Braille Math Viewer enables the student to be able to explore all the parts of the equation and to navigate through partial expression within the equation. This enables the student to explore the expression in detail and at a speed in which the student can absorb the information. Students can listen as JAWS announces the equation and can read the equation in Nemeth braille on a refreshable braille display.

When a student encounters a math equation or formula in a Word document, JAWS will read the equation and then announce, “Math content”.

Most JAWS commands are a single command, which means one or more keys are pressed simultaneously. Example: Control + C is one command to produce the action to “copy”. To open the Braille Math Viewer or the Braille Math Editor, you must use a “layered key command” – two sperate commands are required to produce one action. To open the Braille Math Viewer, press the layered key command, Insert + Space followed by Equals.

- To open the Braille Math Viewer, Insert + Space followed by Equals

- To move between parts of the expression, use the Leftand Right Arrows
- To focus in on a partial expression, press Down Arrow
- To return to the whole expression, press Up Arrow
- To read all the partial expressions at the current nesting level, press Insert + Up Arrow
- To read the current partial expression, press Num Pad 5 or Insert + Numb pad 5
- From within the Math Viewer, press ESC or Alt + F4 to exit and return to the web page or document.

The Braille Math Editor is used by students to input their own equations and in Office 365, to edit existing equations in Word documents. Students use the Braille Math Editor to complete math problems and assignments.

When a student encounters a math equation or formula in a Word document, JAWS will read the equation and then announce, “Math content”. To open the Braille Math Editor, press Insert + Space followed by Shift + Equals. Listen carefully to the equation.

Note: Students who use a Focus braille display can also press dots 3+4+6+7+ space to open the Braille Math Editor.

When the Braille Math Editor opens, the focus is placed into an edit text field. The computer screen will display simulated braille dots with the visual print equation below. The braille display will show the equation in Nemeth braille.

Place the cursor in the desired location; many math problems will have the equals sign at the end of the expression followed by the inputted answer. In this scenario, navigate to the end of the document and left arrow once so that JAWS announces “Equals”. Use 6 key braille entry on the braille display. When done entering the answer, press Enter. Pressing Enter will close the edit text field and the answer will be inserted into the document. The answer is also copied into the clipboard so that it can be pasted into other applications.

Note: After inserting or modifying an equation in Word from the Math Editor, the blinking cursor (dots 7 and 8) on the braille display always remains at the beginning of the math content, even as you move by character with the Left and Right Arrows. If you need to insert another line of math content, first press the Endkey to move to the end of the current math content and then press Enter.

JAWS Math Viewer and Editor Demo YouTube video by Neal and Eli, posted on CATT-NW YouTube channel (video demonstrates Nemeth braille code):

The next video demonstrates how to set JAWS to UEB braille math code and then demonstrates the Braille Math Editor.

Digital UEB Math & Braille Editor in Word with JAWS UEB Mode by Dr. Denise Robinson, Tech Vision

- Braille Math Editor: Student Video Tutorial by Campbell Rutherford for P2T
- Video: JAWS Braille Math Editor by Tech Tip Tuesday YouTube video by eye.t (excellent quick demo)

- Accessible Math Editor: Word (includes video tutorials)
- Note: The Equation Editor in Microsoft Word is a robust, mainstream math tool frequently used by gen ed math teachers and professors to create math worksheets)

- Video: Demo of Equation Editor (Sara Larkin demonstrates using Equation Editor in Microsoft Word)
- Creating accessible materials and classroom strategies: Summary page
- Digital Math: Workflows from teacher to student and student to teacher (includes handouts for Microsoft Word Equation Editor)

By Diane Brauner

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