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Re: screen readers and notation for science


From: Sarah Jevnikar
Date: Oct 30, 2015 8:45AM

Hi there,
MathML or LaTeX seems the best idea here. JAWS and NVDA are more able to read MathML now (using The MathPlayer plugin from Design Science (for NVDA) or MathJax (for JAWS). LaTeX can be read by any screen reader, but is source so isn't as nice to read (one-half is frac{1}{2} for instance)

For reference, here's a page on MathML and LaTeX: http://www.access2science.com/indexMathLanguages.html

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of _mallory
Sent: October-30-15 5:09 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] screen readers and notation for science

There are some options out there, but the student or researcher will still run into issues likely.

For Braille there are math-specific notations (and I've seen chemical
ones) like Nemeth. Nemeth might just be very US-based, I'm not sure, and again, it's a Braille thing.

Writing as much math in MathML would be good, but haven't heard if there's a chemistry-ML out there.

More commonly, people try to write the notations in LaTeX. This means both the author and the reader needs to have learned LaTeX, but you can pretty much say anything and everything with it. There are caveats for when an author makes a mistake (can make the whole rule unreadable).
It can also be ported to MS-Word apparently.

Lastly, I know if it's more simple/basic mathy stuff, a screen reader user can often turn on a bunch of settings they'd normally have off, like the caps you mentioned. There's a list of settings (kinda JAWS oriented but mentions NVDA too) at http://www.webassign.net/manual/student_guide/c_a_screen_reader_config.htm
but this won't do for really hairy stuff.


On Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 02:43:02PM -0500, Jessica White wrote:
> Hello,
> 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 webpage?
> 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.
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives