[Blindmath] IOS7 and math support

Michael Whapples mwhapples at aim.com
Fri Oct 4 20:17:42 UTC 2013

I remember a brief comment recently about the math support in VoiceOver 
in IOS7.

I have just taken a quick look at some of it.

My main interest is in accessibility of reading math, thus I have only 
looked at that side of things.

I viewed a page with some maths in MathML in Safari. VoiceOver read the 
equations fine and allowed one to explore the equations bit by bit. When 
flicking left and right, it appears an equation is a single object and 
voiceover reads the entire equation. However once you are on the 
equation, you may double tap it and go down a level to explore parts of 
the fraction, and each part may be double tapped to decend another 
level. An alternative way to explore the equation is that in the rotor 
you will find options for size of parts of the equation to navigate by 
if flicking up and down.

I tried with my Braille display connected to see what Braille output 
would be produced and the output was in Nemeth. I am not an expert in 
Nemeth and I have only done some limited testing, but the Nemeth did 
look correct to me.

While I have not tried Nemeth input, one would hope that with all the 
above math accessibility that may be the Nemeth input might be back 
translation and MathML would be inserted. Quite where one might insert 
math on an IOS device I am not sure (IE. can you enter it in any edit 
box or must it be a math enabled one).

Other things I have not tested is math accessibility in any other apps, 
I do not know whether this is going to be limited to Safari and any apps 
using the standard web browser control.

Also assuming the Nemeth input does result in a proper equation, I do 
not know what the option is for math input for those without a Braille 

Providing this support works as well on other equations other than the 
limited ones I have tried it with, this certainly seems a step forward 
for math accessibility.

Michael Whapples

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