[BlindMath] Extension for improving math reading experience on Wikipedia

Neil Soiffer soiffer at alum.mit.edu
Thu May 26 05:48:09 UTC 2022


Those settings only apply the display math. The smaller inline math uses
"HTML math":  tags like sup, sub, and i to make the HTML look a bit like
math. Even for something like "f(x)", there are problems as the parens
(depending on your screen reader setting) won't be spoken so you just hear
"f x". The extension causes screen readers to speak the math using its math
speech rules. Also, because the text is converted to MathML, it will
braille appropriately.


On Wed, May 25, 2022 at 10:42 PM Bill Dengler <codeofdusk at gmail.com> wrote:

> Neil,
> Wikipedia can produce standard MathML or even LaTeX. You can change your
> preferred renderer at https://enwp.org/special:preferences (on the
> appearance tab).
> Bill
> -----Original Message-----
> From: BlindMath <blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org> On Behalf Of Neil Soiffer
> via
> BlindMath
> Sent: Wednesday, 25 May 2022 22:37
> To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
> <blindmath at nfbnet.org>
> Cc: Neil Soiffer <soiffer at alum.mit.edu>
> Subject: [BlindMath] Extension for improving math reading experience on
> Wikipedia
> I'm happy to announce a FireFox extension
> <https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/accessible-wikipedia-math/
> >a
> nd
> a Chrome Extension
> <
> https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/accessible-wikipedia-math/gmkgdfm
> lbkhkchkocpnpfadkcmjnmpkj>
> for improving the math reading experience on Wikipedia pages.
> From the extension's overview:
> Increases accessibility of math in Wikipedia pages by reverse engineering
> inline representations
> Wikipedia makes math accessible by hiding MathML next to the image it
> produces. Assistive Technology (AT) can then convert the MathML to speech
> or
> braille. This extension extends that trick to inline math by converting the
> "HTML math" in the page into MathML and inserting hidden MathML back into
> the document. The original output is hidden from AT by marking it with
> aria-hidden="true". Thus, the sighted user sees the original expression and
> the AT only sees the MathML.
> The improvement this extension makes varies with the page and the language.
> In the English pages, it makes a significant improvement: almost all but a
> few percent of the mathematical expressions are now accessible with this
> extension. The same is true to a somewhat lesser extent for the French
> pages. Most German, Asian, and Arabic pages appear to use embedded MathML
> and so the extension probably won't help for those languages because they
> are already accessible. If in doubt, try it out.
> This extension helps for displayed math also (mainly English pages). Many
> Wikipedia pages place larger math expressions on their own line inside of a
> list tag, probably for presentation reasons. However, this causes screen
> readers to say "list with one item" ... "out of list" for each piece of
> display math. This extension adds role="presentation" so that AT does not
> see the math as being a list and just reads the math. The display of the
> math is unaffected.
> The extension is only active on wikipedia.org pages. It should work with
> any
> AT that reads math in MathML. This includes JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver, and
> Orca.
> No user data is collected by this extension.
> ===========
> Note: this is an update with several bug fixes of an experimental Firefox
> extension my son, a friend of his, and I released 6 years ago. I finally
> figured out how to make it work in Chrome. If there is enough interest, I
> can work with some to get a Safari version working -- I don't have a mac so
> I can't test anything.
> I hope some people find the extensions helpful,
> Neil Soiffer
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