[nabs-l] questions about LaTeX and accessibility for blind people

Joseph C. Lininger jbahm at pcdesk.net
Tue Aug 3 04:02:57 UTC 2010


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Good evening folks,
The subject says it all. I'm exploring the use of the LaTeX typesetting
system. I can use it to generate math equations and the like, but if i
do so it's not accessible once I generate the final product. That's fine
as far as writing goes, since I have the source I know what it says.
However, I'd rather not contribute to the problems we already face where
blindness and access to this sort of information is concerned. So, can
anyone provide me with information on formatting these types of
documents so they're accessible? Can it even be done? Even making it so
the LaTeX source appears for the blind where the equations would go for
the sighted would be a good thing.

Also, I've noticed that when using pdflatex from the texlive-latex
package under Linux, the resulting document appears to have one word per
line when read by Window-Eyes and adobe Acrobat. I can tell you visually
that it appears correctly on screen though. I see this as another
potential access problem. Any clue how to fix that? Using latex2rtf and
hevea for generating rtf and html result in documents that don't have
this property and can be read just fine, save for the problems with
equations which I've already discussed.

If I had to, I could always provide LaTeX source along side what ever
other formats I offer for my own work. However, in the case of
publishing and that it may not always be an option to do so. So I'm
exploring my options. LaTeX is one that math and computer scientists
seem to use heavily, so that's the obvious choice if I can make it work.
- -- 
They say god has always been. Linux and I will now disprove that:
$ ar m God
ar: creating God
There you have it. God was created by the ar program. Good news is, God
really does exist!
Joseph C. Lininger, <jbahm at pcdesk.net>
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