Math and accessibility

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What are the best ways to display math expressions accessibly on the
Web - eg as an image with appropriate alt text, as MathML, or some
other alternative?

Re: Math and accessibility

On 17 Oct 2005 wrote:

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Some examples at

A detailed discussion at /

Netscape 3.04 does everything I need, and it's utterly reliable.
Why should I switch?         Peter T. Daniels in <news:sci.lang>

Re: Math and accessibility

On Mon, 17 Oct 2005, wrote:

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If you ask me, there *is* no absolutely "best" way - it depends on the
audience as well as on the material.  There are various discussions on
the web for your background reading, so I'll just express some
personal views here.

Specialists are probably familiar with writing their equations in
latex format - ours do it routinely for their publications, for
example - which is *one* definite convention for writing equations in
a linearised format - and so it's quite sensible, for such readers, to
provide latex source as the "accessible" form of the equation, no
matter what you do to get the visual result that you desire.

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It can produce the desired visual result on an appropriate browser;
and there are assistive technologies already developed (Google finds
some); but I think (though I could be wrong!) that there are
relatively few assistive technology users yet who would be comfortable
with that and nothing else, particularly if your mathematics is
complex.  Assistive technology can give useful results with relatively
simple mathematical expressions, but when things get complex they
appear to get quite clumsy.  Are you already familiar with this area

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I think you need to be more specific about your requirements and your
intended audience, seeing that there are inevitably compromises to be
made.  And these compromises will shift with time - so try not to do
anything which paints yourself into a corner.

So look for processes which can derive whatever you decide that you
want, from some portable master document that will be valuable over
time, rather than trying to laboriously paste-together something that
does the current job well but isn't suitable for re-use when another
format becomes preferable.  I haven't tried this yet but it looks
interesting: - a
tex-to-mathml translator.

hope this helps a bit

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