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Re: Math Online: Images or MathML?


From: Christophe Strobbe
Date: Aug 19, 2008 3:50AM

Hi Elizabeth,

At 20:02 18/08/2008, you wrote:
>I hope this isn't old territory, but we are working on an online
>course with complicated enough equations to require an Equation
>The editor we are using (MathMagic) can export both image files and
>MathML (within an XML file containing XHTML and MathML), but we want
>to make sure the MathML is accessible for screen readers.

According to Design Science, their MathPlayer (plugin for IE) works
with JAWS, Window-Eyes, HAL, Read & Write, and BrowseAloud. MathPlayer
also has a zoom feature.
See <http://www.dessci.com/en/company/press/releases/040722.htm>;
and <http://www.dessci.com/en/company/press/releases/070917.htm>;.

There is some interesting information on Dominique Archambault's blog
"chez dom" at <http://chezdom.net/blog/>;, for example
"How to set up MS Internet Explorer for displaying MathML contents" at

The @Science network has been collecting experiences and (best)
practices regarding access to mathematics and science, and its
deliverables are publicly available at

A related network, JEM - Joining Educational Mathematics, has also
published some accessibility-related items on one of their blogs;
see Olga Caprotti's blog at

>Does anyone have an opinion on whether MathML can be accessed by
>screen readers or whether images with alt tags are still a safer

Out of curiosity, I would like to know what alt text you would
publish. Wikipedia uses LaTeX; see "Using LaTeX markup" in the
"Wikipedia Manual of Style (mathematics):

Best regards,


>Thank you in advance.
>Elizabeth Pyatt
>=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=->Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D.
>Instructional Designer
>Education Technology Services, TLT/ITS
>Penn State University
> <EMAIL REMOVED> , (814) 865-0805 or (814) 865-2030 (Main Office)
>210 Rider Building (formerly Rider II)
>227 W. Beaver Avenue
>State College, PA 16801-4819

Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
Research Group on Document Architectures
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