Published on: 03/10/2023 · Last updated on: 02/09/2024
What does “accessible” mean for technical content?
There are many different aspects to making content accessible, which are covered in our main guidance. The additional physical accessibility challenges relating to technical disciplines (particularly STEM) are:
 Lossy formats for maths content. For example, the structure/semantics of equations is not accessible for a pdf produced using LaTeX to a visually impaired student.
 Inadequate encoding of content: For example, superscripts typed outside the maths environment may not be conveyed to a screen reader.
 Unable to interact with the material. For example, missing or inadequate descriptions (alt text) to fully access the information contained in a diagram.
What works?
There needs to be adequate provision for all readers to engage with all content, including images, diagrams, plots, etc. In some cases this requires using another method of interacting with the content: for example having adequate alternative text supporting a figure.
To make the maths content is physically accessible there are two main routes to authoring a document:
 produce the document with Microsoft Equation Editor (which supports Word and Powerpoint).
 create the document as an html webpage with the maths rendered using MathJax. There are different routes to achieving this, with the simplest being to use Rmarkdown (bookdown) or write maths equations directly into Moodle (both support LaTeXlike maths entry).
Resource  Who is this for?  Advantages  Disadvantages 

Accessible maths in Moodle  Users writing equations on Moodle pages 
 Misses extended control of LaTeX equations 
Microsoft Equation Editor Guidance  Word & PowerPoint users 
 Misses extended control of LaTeX equations 
bookdown Guidance  LaTeX users 

