[Athen] MathML Accessibility Guidelines

steve.noble at louisville.edu steve.noble at louisville.edu
Fri Feb 10 15:05:43 PST 2017

Here are a few resources to consider:



There is need for much more documentation of best practices in this area, but little funding to provide the people-hours to write it up. Gives me an idea of a grant proposal I need to write. But, alas, the reviewers probably won't understand the importance and it will never get funded. Perhaps something the Benetech Standards Workgroup is planning to address.

--Steve Noble
steve.noble at louisville.edu

From: athen-list [athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] on behalf of Brian Richwine [blrichwine at gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2017 4:03 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: [Athen] MathML Accessibility Guidelines


Do anyone know of a guidance document for creating proper MathML for accessibility? Kind of a WCAG for MathML?

A major publisher provided us what they are calling an accessible HTML textbook. However, the MathML employed in the textbook is designed for display formatting instead of as appropriate for a non-visual user.

By display MathML I mean that the MathML makes heavy use of mtables (including multiple levels of nested mtables) to layout equations and annotation of equations within a multi-columnar/multi-row arrangement. The tables do not linearize logically. When it's not a total mess, the non-visual user would still have to develop an spacial 2D guess as how the math equation is arranged and then analyze the multiple nested tables into a 2D space around that equation before making any sense of the annotation.

If possible, I'm looking for some official or at least respected source of this information so that the publisher will take the feedback as credible.

I'd also be interested if anyone has had successful conversations with a publisher regarding appropriate use of MathML in textbooks for accessibility.

Brian Richwine

Manager, UITS Assistive Technology and Accessibility Centers, Indiana University
(812) 856-2757 [Direct Line]
(812) 856-4112 [Office Number]
brichwin at iu.edu<mailto:brichwin at iu.edu>
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