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Resources for Users of R

created and maintained by Jonathan Godfrey
School of Mathematical and Computational Sciences, Massey University,
Palmerston North, New Zealand

Last updated: 9 February 2024

At the bottom of pages on this site are links for files that can be downloaded and used for whatever purpose you like. I only ask that you give credit where credit is due.

I am also developing an on-line presence for some of the work presented here. Your feedback on these initiatives is most definitely appreciated.

Please contact Dr Jonathan Godfrey if you experience any problems working with the documents and files. Constructive feedback on developments to any of the documents is also appreciated.

Here are some brief descriptions of the contents of the pages and files found on them. Each family of files have similar beginnings to their filenames. All pdf files include the version of R that was used to create the document. Add-on packages have the extension zip or tar.gz and you need to choose the appropriate version for your operating system.

Review of Statistical Software options

I am often asked why I recommend R as the preferred tool for blind people. I've decided to document my experiences and those of other blind people working with statistical software on my statistical software review page.

Let's Use R Now, or LURN

The LURN document is aimed at complete novice R users. It gives a basic introduction to many tasks covered in introductory courses in Statistics. Only the base installation of R is required. Versions of this document show which version of R was used in its creation and the most recent of the files will have the most recent developments in this document's evolution.

The basic structure of the pdf version of this e-book is that the user can use either the bookmarks or the index to find what they are looking for. The document is arranged to make browsing an option through use of hyperlinks wherever possible. The reader needs to know what they want to achieve; if it is explicit then the index might be best, or the bookmarks (table of contents) can be used when it is notional.

I have also created web pages of this material, and since 2017, the web based version was the my main interest. Click here to enter the Let's Use R Now e-book.

As this document is evolving and being developed when time allows, it is driven by the readers' interests. If you like using what LURN has to offer in its current form and want to see more included to meet your needs, then drop me a line and I will see what I can do to help.

LURN for blind R users

Many enquiries I deal with are about how a blind user can operate R. It's possible, and in fact is easier than most other software I've had to work with in the past.

Click here to enter the Blind edition of Let's Use R Now e-book.

The BrailleR project

This project is my attempt to assist other blind users interpret the graphical output that many R commands automatically generate. Originally, I did not want to do any more than provide a text interpretation of what the sighted user can read off the graphic. Much of this material is able to be extracted via the print() command, but using that command can occasionally provide a more detailed listing of what information is stored by R (in the background) so that the graphics can be formed.

In many instances where I saw a need for interpretation, the stored objects provide a bewildering amount of information where the sighted user can glance at the graphic and know what to do, assuming their statistical skills are up to the job. The plan is to develop functionality that will highlight the same problems a sighted user will pick up from the graphic in a textual form. This requires some expertise in the creation of the textual information that can recognize the problems without suggesting the remedy.

n the whole, the functionality of the add-on package i am developing is therefore aimed at informing rather than guiding the blind user. Enhancements will come from my own needs and inspiration until such time as other contributors are found, or blind users express themselves about any unment needs they may encounter.

To gain use of the added functionality, the blind user will need to install the add-on package (a one-off task), load the add-on package in any new R session using the library(BrailleR) command, and then wrap the VI() command around the commands that may lead to visual information that may need interpretting. Note the letters V and I are capitalized. An example is
which would create a histogram of 1000 random values taken from a standard normal distribution.

Further discussion of this project and its developments, support documentation and associated publications appear on the BrailleR Project homepage.

Please double click the following files to open/download