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Accessible Math on the Web: A Server/Client Solution


Tim Arnold Math is a universal language but it is also primarily a visual language. People who are visually impaired or blind face far more challenges with mathematical communication than do sighted users. This talk presents a method of creating documentation that helps to ameliorate some of those difficulties, offering readers a choice of renderings of the math in SVG, raw MathML, or MathML rendered by the MathJax Javascript Library. If you create mathematical documentation and your math is in LaTeX or MathML form, you can use the same technologies described here. By leveraging today's technologies on the server-side (NodeJS, MathJax, MongoDB) as well as client side (MathJax), you can provide your all of your users, sighted as well as blind, with accessible mathematics. Your readers will have the power to choose the format that works best for them. For visually impaired readers, that might be the ability to scale and zoom; for blind users it may be using a screen reader to speak math. An overview of the problem is presented, a few of the challenges we found are discussed, and the final technical solution is described.


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