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Re: Math Online: Images or MathML?

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From: M.Cooper
Date: Aug 19, 2008 3:30PM


Elizabeth,

I am afraid there is not a simple answer to your question. Apart from
the technical screen-reader access issue it depends in part how the
MathML is authored - whether content or presentation mark-up is used.
The complexity of the Math will impact on the degree to which these
issues fundamentally affect access to the Math. Also of great
significance is what has been the past background of the people seeking
screen-reader access. I.E what are there skills in interpreting maths
rendered in different ways?

For a recent paper discussing these issues see:

Cooper, M., Lowe, T., Taylor, M., Access to mathematics in web resources
for people with a visual impairment: considerations and developments in
an open and distance learning context, Proc. International Conference on
Computers Helping People, K. Miesenberger et al. (Eds.): ICCHP 2008,
LNCS 5105, pp. 926-933, Linz, Austria, 2008

Cheers,

Martyn

Martyn Cooper
Head: Accessibility in Educational Media team
Institute of Educational Technology
Open University, UK

Tel: +44 (0)1908 655729
Skype: martyncooper
Blog: http://martyncooper.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=617661490
E-mail: <EMAIL REMOVED>
WWW: http://iet.open.ac.uk/pp/m.cooper/

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-----Original Message-----
From: Elizabeth J. Pyatt [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: 18 August 2008 19:03
To: <EMAIL REMOVED>
Subject: [WebAIM] Math Online: Images or MathML?

Hello:

I hope this isn't old territory, but we are working on an online
course with complicated enough equations to require an Equation
Editor.

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.

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

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
http://www.personal.psu.edu/ejp10/psu
http://tlt.psu.edu


---------------------------------
The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302).