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Update On Math In EPUB: A Standards Working Group Sub-Committee

2017 December 22
by Charles LaPierre

The Math in EPUB Sub-Committee was created to determine the best way to incorporate math in EPUB files. MathML is currently the most accessible way for students to be able to access and explore math, but most reading systems can’t support it. This is a huge problem for students using assistive technology as they are unable to access or interact with the math in their textbooks. It also poses a problem for STEM textbook publishers.

The Math in EPUB Sub-Committee developed a plan for when a system can’t support the MathML that includes the math image with a short text description in addition to the MathML. If the reading system doesn’t support the MathML, the student still has access to the alt-text. The group is working with Readium and the MathJax team on this fallback plan and will soon release their findings on how to put math into an EPUB in an accessible way!

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