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Standards Sub-Group: Math in EPUB

2017 November 27
by Charles LaPierre

Supporting math in EPUB is an ongoing challenge and one that continues to impact students with disabilities who are forced to rely on specialized systems to interact with math in even the most basic ways. Figuring out how to get browsers to support math would eliminate the need for students to have external support and allow them to have a much more meaningful experience with math and math-related subjects. The Math in EPUB Task Force is determined to make this a reality. The group recently met with Microsoft’s Edge Accessibility Team to discuss MathML support in the Edge browser. The group shared its findings regarding digital math and asked to have the raw MathML exposed to AT in Edge so that it can be made accessible. They were receptive to the suggestions and the group hopes to have updates soon.

The group has also been working with Apple to resolve some MacOS/iOS issues with our current solution of having MathML hidden offscreen with either an image/HTML or CSS fallback of the math. We have also created three sample EPUB books with this solution and have started testing it. Unfortunately, recent tests on some reading systems have exposed a few problems, but the group is already looking into ways to solve these issues.

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