[Athen] for all you math accessibility guru’s

Jiatyan Chen jiatyan at stanford.edu
Fri Oct 16 16:10:59 PDT 2015

Very good questions, Krista. Thanks for researching this.

On 2015 Oct 15, at 16:15, KRISTA L. GREEAR <greeark at uw.edu<mailto:greeark at uw.edu>> wrote:

I have the blessing to train all the faculty at one of our campuses School of STEM about accessible math content. In my preparation I have come across these questions:

1) Why does LaTeX not work with adaptive technology?

My guess is that screen readers have been designed to interpret the HTML markup syntax, and have not yet have the market demand to build a parser for LaTeX. To dig deeper, I suspect it would be very challenging for screen readers to distinguish between two sets of markup grammar, and to be able to interpret substitution macros in LaTeX.

2) How would you explain professor about how to make LaTeX accessible? (aka is the only option to turn into MathML and use it in a word document or with HTML)?

In certain LMS (e.g., D2L, Canvas), the equation editor includes LaTeX as one of the input methods.

3) What do you use to go from a LaTeX-based document to a MathML one?

A handful of converters exists from a quick Internet search. Would anyone share their experience about these converters?

4) Do you know of any updates about making math accessible within a PDF?
5) If you got to stand in front of all math faculty at your campus, what would you want to share with them?

I would love to see the groups responses. An additional question is how STEM professors are editing their documents nowadays. I can see the obvious benefits of the typesetting LaTeX in the days of command line, plus a shallow learning curve for maths and computer science experts. What are the rest of STEM faculty using -- those who don't need complex equations everyday and don't have the need to learn a coding language?

Jiatyan Chen
Online Accessibility Program Manager
Office of Public Affairs
Stanford University

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