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Re: FW: accessible math

From: Scott Plumlee <scott@plumlee.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 19:01:27 -0500
Message-ID: <d013ceea0811201601w7b296ecdta63b48beda78c760@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Maldonado, Jill" <jmaldonado@collegeboard.org>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

On Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 11:18 AM, Maldonado, Jill
<jmaldonado@collegeboard.org> wrote:
> I am a web producer for The College Board. The College Board is a
> not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students
> to college success and opportunity. We are always trying to improve the
> accessibility of our web site and have recently started using Math Latex to
> generate math images for the sample PSAT questions we post on our site.
>
> My question to you is, does it make any difference if all the values and
> variables and symbols are images as long as they are alt-tagged? For
> instance, there may be cases where we would use Math Latex to generate an
> image for "-2", so that we can alt-tag it as "negative 2" and then in that
> context we might also use Math Latex to generate an image for "2", so we can
> provide visual consistency for other users (since of course the numbers that
> are images LOOK different from the numbers that are not).
>
> In your opinion, should we avoid using images for math equations unless we
> absolutely need to, or is it okay as long as everything is alt-tagged?
>
> I thank you for your help!

I'd recommend using markup and correct textual symbols for the math
rather than the images.  Making the math into an image would be the
same as making text questions for the English portion of the text a
giant image, wouldn't it?  I'm not an expert on markup languages, but
I believe there are languages designed to do exactly what you want to
do without resorting to images with alt text that probably can't
represent complex equations.
Received on Friday, 21 November 2008 00:02:37 GMT

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