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The Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award
Letter of Recommendation Form
Thank you for your support of the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards program.
Please complete the form below to submit your letter of recommendation in support of the award nominee. Recommendations cannot exceed 800 words. You will not be able to submit your recommendation if the maximum word count exceeds 800 words.
Please note that recommendations should come from someone other than the person who nominated the candidate.
Please note that required fields on this form are indicated by an asterisk (*).
* Nominee Name:
* Your First Name:
* Your Last Name:
* Your State:
* Your Phone Number:
* Your Email Address:
* Your Relationship to Nominee:
Please enter your letter of recommendation in the text area provided below:
April 11, 2023 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award Committee National Federation of the Blind 200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place Baltimore, Maryland 21230 Re: Support letter on behalf of Neil Soiffer Dear Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award Committee: It is my distinct pleasure to submit this letter in support of the nomination of Neil Soiffer for the NFB Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award. I have worked closely with Neil Soiffer in many capacities for much of the last eighteen years, ranging our time as former co-workers, jointly authoring articles and book chapters, co-presenting at conferences, and serving together on various technical committees and standards panels. For all those years, Dr. Soiffer has been an instrumental advocate for making mathematics accessible to the blind, and has led much of the technical innovation which has made digital mathematics content supportable by modern screen readers and braille displays. Neil Soiffer also served as a technical consultant for Pearson School Assessments, and provided important expertise around making equation editing in assessment contexts more accessible to blind students. Neil’s devotion to the cause of math accessibility is well demonstrated by the fact that he has continued to devote full-time efforts to open-source technology development and open-source standards work without his work being funded by an employer or a grant. He is currently chairing the W3C Math Working Group and is leading the efforts to develop the new MathML 4.0 specification, which is the foundation for accessible digital math content. His work has culminated most recently in the development and release of MathCAT, a free open-source library of math accessibility tools. MathCAT has already been integrated into the NVDA screen reader, and provides a level of high-accuracy math speech and Nemeth and UEB math braille support far exceeding all other math-capable screen readers available today. Further, since MathCAT is open source, any other screen reader or braille technology vendor can integrate it without licensing. By improving high quality access to math speech and braille, this technology will go a long way towards widening the path for blind students to master higher level mathematics, and for blind scientists, engineers, and other professionals to gain equal access to mathematics and science content. I sincerely hope that the NFB will recognize the great work Neil has done over the many years by awarding him the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award. Sincerely, Stephen L. Noble Principal Researcher for Accessibility Pearson School Assessments firstname.lastname@example.org
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