[Athen] Google Chrome & math accessibility

Wink Harner foreigntype at gmail.com
Tue Nov 12 18:26:01 PST 2013

Karen, Phyllis and everyone else,

First I don’t speak for “everyone else” and sometimes speaking for myself is
even questionable (!), but here is my collection of information:

IE 10 & 11 no longer support the Math Player Plugin from Design Science. DS
has been in touch with MS about this and apparently MS has no plans on
allowing plugs (of any kind) in their browsers. So the IE & Math ML reader
with Math Player is no longer viable.

Just a few days ago, Google announced it would no longer support math
plugins for their Chrome Vox, although it still works to some extent, it is
not a really viable option for any long term solution.

Others –Jayme, Sean, Terry, Ron, Greg and others—can pipe in about what DOES
(sort of) work, but we are as technology specialists left pretty much dead
in the water with options right now. There are some promising options coming
along with accessible (audible) EPUB3 documents, but it is all in beta
version to my knowledge.

I sure would like to see our brains come together with a viable option.
Someone who can write HTML5 plugins could possibly work on writing a plugin
that would work on an off-name alternate browser –and brave the crash

I am convinced this is not the news you’d hoped for, but perhaps by putting
this out on the list with more ears & eyes on the dilemma, we might begin
some of our own solutions.

OK, troops: consider the gauntlet thrown down!!


foreigntype at gmail.com

Wink Harner

Assistive Technology Specialist

Southern Oregon University


<mailto:harnerw at sou.edu> harnerw at sou.edu

From: athen-list-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu
[mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Karen
Sent: terça-feira, 12 de novembro de 2013 12:13
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: [Athen] Google Chrome & math accessibility

Hi Wink and everyone else!

Phyllis Petteys and I were just emailing about this Google pronouncement. So
is that correct that screen readers (even ChromeVox) will no longer be able
to read math if Google only uses MathJAX? That's what I was surmising, but
it's never explicitly covered in the article. Some little piece of me was
hoping maybe Google had another way. What happens if someone is using Chrome
and the website has MathML? I wonder what ChromeVox will do with it?

We've been having a lot of trouble with IE and MathPlayer. Currently we can
only make JAWS read MathML with IE 9 (32 bit edition). Now that IE is on
version 11, this is getting more and more difficult!

Someone mentioned Firefox has a MathPlayer plugin, so that's what we will
test next.

What are others recommending for a screen reader user to read math with? Oy!
It shouldn't be this difficult! Why don't screen readers support the
standard MathML? Why do we need plugins at all?

Never a dull day in this job! :-)



Karen M. Sorensen
Accessibility Advocate for Online Courses
Portland Community College
"The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless
of disability is an essential aspect.” Tim Berners-Lee

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