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Tools for Creating Accessible Math. Presented by the DIAGRAM Center Bryan Gould, Geoff Freed WGBH National Center for Accessible Media Steve Noble University of Louisville. Introduction Overview of Math Access and MathML Speaking Math Displaying and Reading Accessible Math

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tools for creating accessible math
Tools for Creating Accessible Math

Presented by the DIAGRAM Center

Bryan Gould, Geoff Freed

WGBH National Center for Accessible Media

Steve Noble

University of Louisville

slide2

Introduction

Overview of Math Access and MathML

Speaking Math

Displaying and Reading Accessible Math

Tools for Creating MathML

Q & A

slide3

Digital Image And Graphic Resources

for Accessible Materials

  • 5-year Research & Development Center
  • Funded by Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)
  • Awarded to Benetech along with partners:
    • NCAM
    • U.S. Fund for DAISY
some of diagram activities
(some of) DIAGRAM Activities
  • Description guidelines training
  • Product evaluation matrices
  • User survey on reading technologies
  • Report on metadata images
  • SVG and 3D printing evaluation
  • Audio-Tactile usability study
  • Poet
  • Standard development: content model
  • Collaboration with Mathematics eText Research Center (MeTRC, U. of Oregon)
  • diagramcenter.org
doed osep recommendation
DOED OSEP Recommendation

June 22, 2012

NIMAS recommends ...MathML be used to improve the accessibility of mathematical and scientific content in core instructional materials ...as the most effective method of providing accessible print instructional materials involving mathematical and scientific content to students who are blind or who have print disabilities.

pearson higher ed
Pearson Higher Ed.

In 2014, every Pearson college math and stats text will have an HTML eBook version

  • Formatted in HTML
  • MathML
  • Alt Text (image descriptions)
  • Readable by JAWS, Window-Eyes, NVDA and other screen readers
slide9

universally recognized as one of greatest achievements of the human mind and it can be represented in the following equation:

slide10

universally recognized as one of greatest achievements of the human mind and it can be represented in the following equation:

IMAGE!

slide11

universally recognized as one of greatest achievements of the human mind and it can be represented in the following equation:

Alt Text = “z equals 2 a plus b squared over c”

ambiguity
Ambiguity

z equals 2 a plus b squared over c

slide13

fairly characterized as one of greatest achievements of the human mind and can be represented in the following equation:

Alt Text = “z equals 2 times the fraction open parenthesis a plus b close parenthesis superscript 2 over c”

mathml
MathML

<math display='block'>

<semantics>

<mrow>

<mi>z</mi><mo>=</mo><mn>2</mn><msup>

<mrow>

<mfrac>

<mrow>

<mrow><mo>(</mo>

<mrow>

<mi>a</mi><mo>+</mo><mi>b</mi>

</mrow>

<mo>)</mo></mrow>

</mrow>

<mi>c</mi>

</mfrac>

</mrow>

speaking math issues
Speaking math: issues
  • One size does not fit all – there is not just one universal way to speak math
  • In particular, the nature of a person’s print disability will dictate some essential parameters for effective math speech
  • This is one reason why using MathML is preferred over static alt text – the user’s technology can use the best speech style
speaking math issues1
Speaking math: issues
  • Concerns for two major populations – blind vs. sighted with print disability
  • Research studies underscore need for unambiguous speech for blind students, but more concise and natural (“plain English”) speech for LD students
  • Why?: Additional speech added for disambiguation increases cognitive load
speaking math issues2
Speaking math: issues
  • Example from Project SMART study
  • Equation: P=2(L+W) was spoken as…
  • “Cap P equals two open cap L plus cap W close”
  • Although this style of speech is very precise and useful for blind students, the sighted LD students encountered problems due to increased cognitive load and unfamiliar verbalization
speaking math speech styles
Speaking math: speech styles
  • Simple Speech – default speech style used in MathPlayer (modified by target setting)
  • MathSpeak – specific speech style for blind individuals accustomed to reading Nemeth braille code
  • ClearSpeak – currently in consumer validation trials by ETS; makes extensive use of prosody and familiar math speech found in classroom settings
speaking math other issues
Speaking math: other issues
  • K-12 Education: Instruction vs. assessment – impact on construct validity
  • Differences between State math reading guidelines – Example:
  • Georgia, “radical eight”; PARCC “square root of eight”
  • Navigation: browsing a complex equation – moving by digestible chunks
  • Multi-language support
a ccessible math images
Accessible math: images
  • Images of math are made accessible using @alt and/or long descriptions (e.g., @longdesc, aria-describedby or other markup)
  • If you use images of math you must at a minimum include @alt
inaccessible math images
Inaccessible math: images
  • All images must have @alt
    • decorative images are assigned null @alt (alt=“”)
  • Images that lack @alt are identified by screen readers only by the image name
    • e.g., PDF and HTML
accessible math images
Accessible math: images
  • @alt on images is read aloud by screen readers
    • e.g., PDF and HTML
accessible math mathml
Accessible math: MathML
  • MathML can be transformed and rendered in a number of ways, offering a variety of accessibility options
    • visually
    • aurally
    • braille
  • Accessible math means more than just screen-reader accessibility
accessible math mathml1
Accessible math: MathML
  • MathML can be displayed in these browsers without plug-ins or add-ons:
    • Safari, Firefox, Opera
      • math may look different from one browser to the next
      • some features of MathML may not be supported
    • no MathML in Chrome for the moment
accessible math mathml2
Accessible math: MathML
  • MathML can be displayed in IE 9 (not IE 10) using MathPlayer
    • zooming
    • speaking equations
    • Braille output (e.g., Nemeth)
accessible math mathml3
Accessible math: MathML
  • MathML can also be displayed in any browser using MathJax
    • zooming
  • Equations will look the same in any browser
accessible math mathml and screen readers
Accessible math: MathML and screen readers
  • While MathML can be displayed in many browsers, not all screen readers will read it:
    • YES, with MathPlayer:
      • JAWS + IE9
      • NVDA + IE9
      • Window-Eyes + IE9
      • these same screen-reader/browser combinations will also read MathML displayed using MathJax
accessible math mathml and screen readers1
Accessible math: MathML and screen readers
  • YES: ChromeVox + Chrome (Mac and Windows)
    • with MathJax
    • native MathML
      • note that while ChromeVox will read native MathML, Chrome will not display native MathML properly at this time
accessible math mathml and screen readers2
Accessible math: MathML and screen readers
  • NO:
    • JAWS/Window-Eyes/NVDA with Firefox or Chrome, or IE when MathPlayer is not installed
    • VoiceOver with any browser
accessible math mathml and ibooks textbooks
Accessible math: MathML and iBooks Textbooks
  • MathML can be added to iBooks Textbooks using iBooks Author
        • iBooks Textbooks can be read only on an iPad
        • VoiceOver will read the MathML
accessible math dtbs
Accessible math: DTBs
  • Digital Talking Books (DTBs) can also display math:
    • as images:
      • made accessible using @alt or long descriptions
    • as MathML
      • Dolphin EasyReader
      • ReadHear
mathml authoring
MathML authoring
  • MathML can be authored in a variety of ways:
    • by hand using a text/HTML editor
    • using special applications or plug-ins:
      • MathType (plug-in for numerous applications including Word, InDesign and IBA)
      • Firemath (Firefox add-on)
mathml authoring1
MathML authoring
  • Authors can copy MathML from MathType and Firemath and paste into other documents
    • HTML
    • EPUB
    • DTB
    • iBooks Textbooks
    • others
mathml authoring2
MathML authoring
  • WAVES Toolbar (gh)
    • create, edit, import, export MathML
    • full operation from keyboard; MathML generated as equation is written
    • equations are spoken as they are created
mathml authoring dtbs
MathML authoring: DTBs
  • MathML can be included in DTBs using tools such as MathDaisy
    • plug-in for Word (Windows only)
    • works in conjunction with Save As Daisy and MathType
    • exports DTBs with MathML
mathml authoring dtbs1
MathML authoring: DTBs
  • MathML can be included in DTBs using Poet
    • Web-based image-description tool for DTBs
    • includes Math Helper, a function that converts ASCII-math into MathML
resources
Resources
  • Math activity at the W3C
    • MathML 3.0
  • Design Science (MathType, MathPlayer, MathDaisy)
  • DAISY Consortium
  • Firemath
  • MathSpeak Initiative at gh
  • Assistive Technology and Math Support
  • Creating Accessible iBooks Textbooks with iBooks Author 2.0 (info about including math in iBooks)
  • DIAGRAM Center
  • What are the Technology Issues Involved in Making Math Accessible?
contact information
Contact Information

Bryan Gould & Geoff Freed

WGBH National Center for Accessible Media

bryan_gould@wgbh.org, geoff_freed @wgbh.org

Steve Noble

University of Louisville

steve.noble@louisville.edu

DIAGRAM Center – Funded by Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)