**NOTE:** For those of you participating in the live Webinar, the following link opens the documentation in a new browser window Opens a new window.

A distinguishing feature of mathematics is the use of a complex and highly evolved system of two-dimensional symbolic notation. MathML (Mathematical Markup Language) is a W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) recommendation of a markup language for displaying both mathematical structure as well as content, or meaning. JAWS provides spoken, natural language descriptions of MathML expressions, using the same terms a teacher would use to explain them in a classroom. There is nothing as an end-user that you need to install or add on to Internet Explorer to use MathML. It all happens on the developer side.

JAWS supports MathML content rendered by MathJax in Internet Explorer. MathJax is a popular JavaScript library used by web developers to provide a consistent look and feel for math content across browsers. Because JAWS relies on MathJax to get MathML, JAWS is limited by the types of content it supports. For example, since MathJax currently does not support elementary math features, JAWS is also unable to render them in the browser. Whenever MathJax does support elementary math, JAWS will also support it simultaneously, with no additional effort or requirements. We are already ready for it when that happens.

** This is a beginning**, and Freedom Scientific will expand on it as time goes on for sure! The current limitations are:

- JAWS support in Internet Explorer browser only at this time; future updates to support other browsers
- Higher math only at this time; tied to MathJax support and future updates
- JAWS Math Viewer is not yet populated with text visually; future updates
- Speech only; no braille support yet; future updates; Target: Synchronous braille support on a refreshable braille display at the same time as the description of a math problem is spoken.

When you encounter MathML on a Web page, JAWS describes the equation, followed by the message "math content." Braille users will see the word "math" on the braille display. Our goal with JAWS support is to allow you to navigate the math content by logically grouped elements. For example, a fraction consists of a numerator and a denominator. Both the numerator and denominator may consist of sub-expressions. We give you the ability to navigate between the numerator and the denominator, and then by sub-expression if desired.
Pressing **ENTER** while focused on the math content opens the JAWS Math Viewer where you can study the equation in greater detail by doing the following:

- To move between parts of the expression, use the
**LEFT**and**RIGHT ARROW**keys. - To focus in on a partial expression, press
**DOWN ARROW**. - To return to the prior level, press
**UP ARROW**. - To read all the partial expressions at the current level, press
**INSERT+UP ARROW**. - To read the current partial expression or term, press
**NUM PAD 5**or**INSERT+NUM PAD 5**. - From within the Math Viewer, press
**ESC**or**ALT+F4**to exit.

We want the screen reader's description of a given expression to be as close to what a teacher would say in a classroom as possible. For example, x2/-y could accurately be described as, "x to the power of 2 divided by minus y," but a teacher might say "x squared over negative y."

$${x}^{2}/-y$$

**EXERCISE:** Follow along with the instructor to explore the quadratic equation example on the MathML examples page.

MathML examples page Opens a new window

- First, navigate to the line where the
**quadratic formula**is. When you hear JAWS announce "**math content**," press**ENTER**to open the JAWS Math Viewer. - Press the JAWS Say Line keystroke,
**INSERT+UP ARROW**. JAWS reads the entire formula. - Press
**LEFT**and**RIGHT ARROW**to move to the different subcomponents at the current level. Beginning at the left, you should hear the following, each separately: - x
- =
- negative b plus or minus the square root of b squared minus 4 a c, over 2 a
- Press
**DOWN ARROW**to move to the numerator subcomponent. JAWS reads the following: - negative b plus or minus the square root of b squared minus 4 a c, numerator
- Press
**RIGHT ARROW**to move to the denominator subcomponent. JAWS reads the following: - 2a, denominator
- Press
**LEFT ARROW**to move back to the numerator part of the expression, and then press**DOWN ARROW**to move to the subcomponents within the numerator. JAWS reads the following: - negative b
- Press
**RIGHT ARROW**to move through the different subcomponents of the numerator. JAWS reads the following: - plus or minus
- b squared minus 4 a c, under square root
- Press
**DOWN ARROW**to explore the subcomponents at the next level. JAWS reads the following: - b squared
- Press
**RIGHT ARROW**to move through the different parts of the expression. JAWS reads the following: - minus
- 4 a c
- Press
**LEFT ARROW**to move back to the first part of the expression, b squared, and then press**DOWN ARROW**to move to the subcomponents at the next level. - Press
**LEFT**and**RIGHT ARROW**to read them. JAWS reads them separately as follows: - b
- 2 exponent
- Press
**UP ARROW**to move out of the subcomponents back to the prior level. JAWS says**b squared**. - Press
**RIGHT ARROW**to move to the right until JAWS says**4 a c**, and then press**DOWN ARROW**to move to the subcomponent level for this part of the expression. JAWS says**4**. - Press
**RIGHT ARROW**to explore and notice JAWS speaks the following items:**a c**

When you finish exploring with the arrow keys and the keystrokes for say character, say word, and say line, press **UP ARROW** to move back to the main level. Press **ESC** to close Math Viewer when you are finished.

Feel free to continue to explore some of the other math equations and expressions on the sample page with JAWS. When you are finished, don't forget to close any open instances of Math Viewer with either **ESC** or **ALT+F4**, and close the sample page with **ALT+F4** as well.