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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

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1.Introduction 2.Overview of Math Access and MathML 3.Speaking Math 4.Displaying and Reading Accessible Math 5.Tools for Creating MathML 6.Q & A

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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

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( 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

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Accessible Digital Math

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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.

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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

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Overview of Math Access and MathML

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

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

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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”

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Ambiguity z equals 2 a plus b squared over c

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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”

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MathML z = 2 ( a + b ) c

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Speaking Math

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Displaying and Reading Accessible Math

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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

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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 nameidentified by screen readers only by the image name e.g., PDF and HTML

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Accessible math: images @alt on images is read aloud by screen readersread aloud by screen readers e.g., PDF and HTML

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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

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Accessible math: MathML MathML can be displayed in these browsers without plug-ins or add-ons: Safari, Firefox, Opera Safari 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

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Accessible math: MathML MathML can be displayed in IE 9 (not IE 10) using MathPlayerdisplayed in IE 9MathPlayer zooming speaking equations Braille output (e.g., Nemeth)

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Accessible math: MathML MathML can also be displayed in any browser using MathJaxMathJax zooming Equations will look the same in any browser

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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

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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

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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

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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 MathMLread the MathML

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Accessible math: DTBs Digital Talking Books (DTBs) can also display math: as images: made accessible using @alt or long descriptions as MathMLMathML Dolphin EasyReader ReadHear

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Tools for Creating MathML

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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) MathType Firemath (Firefox add-on) Firemath

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MathML authoring Authors can copy MathML from MathType and Firemath and paste into other documents HTML EPUB DTB iBooks Textbooks others

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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

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MathML authoring: DTBs MathML can be included in DTBs using tools such as MathDaisyMathDaisy plug-in for Word (Windows only) works in conjunction with Save As Daisy and MathTypeSave As DaisyMathType exports DTBs with MathML

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MathML authoring: DTBs MathML can be included in DTBs using Poet Poet Web-based image-description tool for DTBs includes Math Helper, a function that converts ASCII-math into MathML

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Resources Math activity at the W3C MathML 3.0 Design Science (MathType, MathPlayer, MathDaisy) Design Science 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) Creating Accessible iBooks Textbooks with iBooks Author 2.0 DIAGRAM Center What are the Technology Issues Involved in Making Math Accessible? What are the Technology Issues Involved in Making Math Accessible?

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Q & A

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Contact Information Bryan Gould & Geoff Freed WGBH National Center for Accessible Media bryan_gould@wgbh.orgbryan_gould@wgbh.org, geoff_freed @wgbh.orggeoff_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)

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