• 39th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference - March 18 - 22,2024 at the Anaheim Marriott

    The Premier AT Conference

38th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Has Concluded

What Grade Did Your Screen Reader Get in Arithmetic

Date & Time
Thursday, March 16, 2023 - 3:20 PM PST  
Grand AB  
Technologies, media formats and corresponding workflows exist for creating accessible electronic mathematical content. It is widely stated that eText with math expressions encoded in MathML can be accessed independently by readers with blindness by using speech from a screen reading program. However, it is not widely known that most screen reading software lacks the capability to speak even basic algebraic expressions accurately and unambiguously. Many say that to study math successfully a student who is blind must first learn braille. However, not everyone that is blind reads braille. If a student needs to complete only one math course to complete their degree requirements, they should not have to learn the UEB and Nemeth braille codes just to complete it. Expensive refreshable braille displays should not be required to access the wealth of accessible math content across the internet. Together we will use a screen reader to take a short auditory quiz, learn why speech access to math content is important, learn where the technologies work and the surprising places where they do not and finally, hear feedback from students that use screen readers to access math. We will make the case that the accessibility community should pool our efforts to determine an effective path forward. Vendors should work with math accessibility experts, so their AT tools rise to the promise of speaking math content accurately, unambiguously, and consistently with established math speech grammars.

This PowerPoint Presentation Download Link is provided by the Presenter(s) and not hosted by the Center on Disabilities at CSUN. The Center on Disabilities has confirmed, as of April 11 2023, content linked is relevant to the presentation, but has not been reviewed for accessibility nor will the Center on Disabilities attempt to remediate any accessibility issues in the linked content. Please contact the Presenter(s) with any accessibility concerns.

  • Higher Education
  • Disability Specific
  • K-12 Education
  • Research & Development
Audience Level
Session Summary (Abstract)
Technologies exist for accessible math content for the blind. Come learn where they work & the surprising places they do not. Together we will take a math quiz using a screen reader, hear student feedback, & discuss building a better STEM future.  
Primary Topic
Blind/Low Vision  
Secondary Topics
  • Digital Accessibility
  • Education
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Web
Session Type
General Track  


  • Mary Stores
    Indiana University Bloomington
  • Brian Richwine
    Indiana University Bloomington

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