[Athen] Has ANYONE had success getting math to read on a Mac...and how...

Susan Kelmer Susan.Kelmer at colorado.edu
Fri Sep 13 06:44:50 PDT 2019

Breakthrough…we convinced the student he needs to move to Windows and a screen reader. He has some very limited sight, and he’s been getting through that way and by having his (very smart) mom read him his math. He has an enormous portable CCTV in a big suitcase he drags around everywhere on campus for use in the classroom. He has not invested in learning the technical skills he needs to navigate higher-level math (he’s a dual major in math and computer science!), and it is really time for him to make that transition. His eyesight is worsening by the day.

He has a technology consult with Voc Rehab next week, and will be asking the questions, and hopefully getting a technology update. We are hoping he can do this with a dual-boot on his Mac, because he really really really wants to keep his Mac for all the other stuff he does. I also tried to help him understand that if he was going into programming and network support, he was going to have to have Windows for that as well. He’s already running into problems with the C++ class he is taking. I’m working with our digital accessibility guy here, who has good experience in this area, to make sure I’m giving the student the best information. This student really does need to move to a screen reading environment. He may not want to do this, but he may also find once he does, things will become so much easier for him and his learning will advance by leaps and bounds.

This has been such a frustrating endeavor. Technology really does need to catch up with what students are using. There are lots of choices, however convoluted, for Windows, and very few for the Mac.

And Sean Keegan, I did attempt the mathjax route, and could not get it to work on the mac I have to play with. I did not think to try an older version, so when I have some free time, I may play around with that. It’s another option to be used in the future.

Susan Kelmer
Alternate Format Production Program Manager
Disability Services
University of Colorado Boulder

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Sean Keegan
Sent: Thursday, September 12, 2019 6:34 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Has ANYONE had success getting math to read on a Mac...and how...

I did some testing with VoiceOver and Safari and found that MathJax 2.x versions seemed to work okay. When encountering an equation the first time if using MathJax 2.7.5 and 2.7.6, VoiceOver appears to automatically jump "into" the math equation such that the user has to then "move out" a level to continue navigating the page. Not a major issue, but certainly something to note. Navigating an equation did not seem quite as clean as it used to be, but I was able to navigate within an equation and the math islands.

I tried working with MathJax 3 with VoiceOver+Safari and it could not get anything to function. MathJax ver 3 is supposed to be a significant change from previous versions, so it may take AT some time to catch up.


On Thu, Sep 12, 2019 at 3:24 PM Noble,Stephen L. <steve.noble at louisville.edu<mailto:steve.noble at louisville.edu>> wrote:
Hi Susan,

MathML in either an HTML or XHTML file should work fine with Safari and VoiceOver...at least it does for me. However, I note that there is something weird going on with MathJax, which used to work fine. It doesn't want to read the math properly and page navigation gets stuck on math islands. I don't know if this is due to recent changes in MathJax, but I know that it used to work fine. If you are creating content from MathType, I suggest avoiding the MathJax options in the Publish as MathPage dialogue.

--Steve Noble

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu>> on behalf of Susan Kelmer <Susan.Kelmer at colorado.edu<mailto:Susan.Kelmer at colorado.edu>>
Sent: Thursday, September 12, 2019 12:29 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>>
Subject: [Athen] Has ANYONE had success getting math to read on a Mac...and how...

Okay, I’ve now tried it all. I have a low vision student in math/computer science that refuses to switch to a Windows machine or to use any type of screenreader. I’ve tried every available file type in every available browser and application.

Epub3 in ibooks with Voiceover (it skips punctuation or adds random punctuation and I can’t figure out how to more finely tune the verbosity)

Word with MathType in Word

MathML in Safari (I get a javascript error)

MathML in Firefox (won’t open, just sits and spins)

Help help help!!

Susan Kelmer

Alternate Format Production Program Manager

Disability Services

University of Colorado Boulder


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