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screen readers and notation for science


From: Jessica White
Date: Oct 29, 2015 1:43PM

My question is regarding screen-reader compatibility for webpages about
scientific concepts. Genetics alleles like *Bb*, *bB*, *bb*, and *BB*, or
chemical compounds like Pb(NO3)2 could be confusing because the
capitalization and parentheses are important for the meaning. Is there
anything special I should be doing when putting this type of content on a

If it appears in alt text I could specify the notation in words,
"capital B lowercase b",
"P b parenthesis N O 3 parenthesis 2",
but is that necessary?

And what about when that notation appears in the body of a webpage? .

I know that NVDA has an option to say "cap" or to beep before capital
letters, but I can only seem to get that to work when typing, not when
reading a page. Also, there will be cases where just saying the chemical
name (such as lead nitrate) doesn't convey as much info as the formula, so
that's not always an option.