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.
This is a beginning, and Freedom Scientific will expand on it as time goes on for sure! The current limitations are:
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:
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."
EXERCISE: Follow along with the instructor to explore the quadratic equation example on the MathML examples page.
MathML examples page Opens a new window
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.