[Athen] Making Math Accessible in Word

Wershing, Alice D. adwershing at pstcc.edu
Tue Jun 16 14:29:32 PDT 2015

What I have found in the work we have been doing at our college is that in order to have the Word file read, you will have to use the MathType add in for Word, and publish the Word document to html and mathml using the add in. This will create a folder with the accompanying files that the mathml document needs as well as an htm file. When the published htm document is opened and if Mathplayer is installed, MathPlayer will launch as the htm file is opened.

What I have found also is that on some computers, the content will be blocked and won't show properly unless it is unblocked. I have a tip sheet that I'm attaching, and if there is any feedback on it, I'd appreciate it. I also shared it with Design Science as well. I prefer that the students with learning disabilities use the right click and speak expression function in MathPlayer rather than attempting to learn to use a screen reader like NVDA.

Central Access Reader will read a Word file with equations that have been saved using MathType, however, if there are images, they will not be described. Also, Central Access Reader is not screen reader compatible at this time, unless there is an update that I'm not aware of.

Finally, I have been able to use Kurzweil 3000's image capture tool to read the text, in addition to MathPlayer to read the equation aloud. This would be for a sighted user needing text to speech. What my coworker has not tried yet if both the native word document as Steve Noble describes, or using JAWS on top of Kurweil 3000.

Alice Wershing, M.Ed., A.T.P.
Technology Specialist
Disability Services
Pellissippi State Community College
10915 Hardin Valley Road
Knoxville TN 37933-0990
(865) 694-6751

East TN Region Accessibility Specialist
Tennessee Board of Regents-ROCC/RODP

Access for All Blog

Accessible Format Facebook Page

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of steve.noble at louisville.edu
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 4:27 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: Re: [Athen] Making Math Accessible in Word

There's no need for any additional tags. If using the most current versions of NVDA or Window-Eyes, then you can get native reading of the math equations in a Word document as long as you have MathPlayer4 installed:


JAWS does not yet have this capability to natively read math in the Word document itself, but if you use the MathPage export feature in MathType and use the HTML+MathJax setting JAWS should be able to read the exported web page.

Hope this helps,

--Steve Noble
steve.noble at louisville.edu<mailto:steve.noble at louisville.edu>

From: athen-list [athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] on behalf of Seward, Kim [kseward at mail.wtamu.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 3:57 PM
To: 'athen-list at u.washington.edu'
Subject: [Athen] Making Math Accessible in Word
Hi Everyone,

I am in the process of creating some trigonometric worksheets in Word. I am interesting in making them accessible so visually challenged students who are using readers can access them. I am using Office 2007, Word 2010 and MathType 6.9. I have no issues on how to create math items using MathType in general. However, I am not sure how to make them accessible. Currently, when I use the incline feature of MathType, type in my math problem and save it to the Word document it shows that it is not accessible because there is no alt-tag. Based on my research, MathType is supposed to make the math accessible, I believe that it creates a MathML tag? So I am wondering if I missed a step or two or perhaps I am misunderstanding something.

I am having a hard time finding anything helpful that tells me how to make math that I type in MathType and save as part of a Word document accessible for students using readers.

Is the math I created through MathType accessible when the alt tag is blank?? OR am I missing a step or two??

Can anyone help me?

Thank You,
Kim Seward
WTAMU Math Instructor/Director of Math Labs
kseward at wtamu.edu<mailto:kseward at wtamu.edu>

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