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Accessibility Toolkit for Open Educational Resources (OER): Math and Science Equations [New 2024]

Accessibility guide for creating OER

General Information on Math and Science Equations

"Mathematics and science are disciplines that have historically communicated ideas visually. This is especially true of formulas and equations, where relationships between parts are understood by their spacial relationship to one another. Communicating these same ideas to people who are unable to see poses significant challenges. However, a variety of solutions exist." - DO-IT, University of Washington (UW). (CC-BY-NC-SA) Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 License

Current Best Practices when it comes to Math accessibility

Math is a world of its own when it comes to accessibility.

  • Current best practice is to author all math equations using code and editors like LaTeX or MathML.
    • LaTeX can be coded by hand
    • MathML typically is made by either an equation editor (like MathType) or through a conversion process from LaTeX (which MathType can do). 
  • Never paste images of math equations, these are not accessible.
    • Many of the math equations one finds in digital environments are simply static bitmaps (digital drawings) of equation images in GIF, PNG, or JPEG formats. These images can be seen with the human eye, but they are devoid of non-visual information that can be utilized by assistive technologies. Such image formats are, by themselves, inherently inaccessible.

Useful sites on math accessibility

Tools for Creating Accessible Math (CC)

Citation: [DIAGRAM Center] (Jul 25, 2013) Tools for Creating Accessible Math (CC) (59:01) URL: