[Athen] Math Accessibility - Again....

Cassandra L. Tex Cassandra.Tex at humboldt.edu
Thu Apr 25 08:21:59 PDT 2013

Hi All,

We have instructional designers who are designing a Statistics course that
will be completely online through our LMS (Moodle). They understand that
the course needs to be accessible, and I’ve told them about the process for
making math accessible (well-structured Word doc, equations entered with
MathType, publish to MathPage with MathML and IE behavior).

They have some concerns:

1. They recommend that folks use FireFox, not IE.

2. The folks with Mac’s don’t have an IE option.

Their thought is to provide accessible PDF files with detailed (spoken math
language) alt text for the equation gifs. This option doesn’t seem
desirable to me because they are not experts in math/statistics and will
need the instructor to type out the spoken math of each equation.

My thought is to provide accessible PDF files with less detailed alt text
for equation gifs. In addition, they can provide the files produced after
publishing to MathPage. Essentially they would be providing two versions
of the document.

I’ve read a little bit about MathJax, but it’s teetering on the edge of my

1. Is MathJax simply code that is put at the beginning of an HTML

2. What role does entering equations into a Word document with
MathType play in using MathJax (does that question even make sense?)

It seems that with MathJax, only one document needs to be provided. For
those using IE and MathPlayer, the experience will be as if Word and
MathType were used (i.e., the equations will be able to be read). For
those using other browsers, the equations will display correctly.

My ultimate question….HOW does one “use” MathJax and get to a document that
displays correctly across browsers and works with IE/MathPlayer to speak
the equations with the appropriate AT so that only one document needs to be

I hope this question makes sense!


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