Are there guidelines for creating accessible math?

Date Updated

Yes. MathML is the guideline adopted by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for the presentation of math content on the web. MathML was specifically created as a universally designed format for mathematical expressions, and it is supported by many assistive technology applications, such as screen readers. Just as with HTML content, MathML editing software is widely available.

The Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) Consortium has established a standard for mathematical content in digital talking books. The DAISY Standard is commonly promoted as the preferred file format for accessible digital textbook creation, and it formed the basis of the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS). When creating math content in the DAISY format, the DAISY MathML Modular Extension should be used. The DAISY MathML Modular Extension enables full support for accessible mathematics within the DAISY textbooks.

The National Center for Accessible Media's (NCAM) Accessible Digital Media project has created the Accessible Digital Media Guidelines. The mathematics guidelines include checkpoints and suggested techniques to help authors create accessible math.

For more information on this topic, consult the Knowledge Base articles, What is MathML?, What is the DAISY Modular Math Extension?, and Where can I find tips on making math accessible to students with disabilities?

A demonstration of how web content sounds to someone using screen reader software and characteristics of accessible web pages are shared in the video Using a Screen Reader.