Browsers traditionally overlook MathML accessibility besides MathML implementation itself by some of them. Because of that there is a bunch of 3d parties software to display MathML and expose math content to assistive technology. They do a good job but what relates to screen readers support it's far from being perfect.

So MathPlayer works with IE only. MathJax, a cross browser math renderer, claims they do accessibility by means of MathPlayer. Last time I checked MathPlayer did a trick by adding accessible properties like accessible name to MathML nodes in accessible tree. There's a bunch of problems with this approach like the user can't control the speech output. However I must admit it makes screen readers to read math.

Main problem here there's no right API and they have to use existing APIs which is Procrustean bed for math. The browser and assistive technology have to invent something that describes math well. Until that there's no right tool to succeed. I should notice that above-mentioned primarily applies to Windows and Linux worlds. Much to my surprise WebKit has got a math accessibility API on OS X last year. I didn't hear VoiceOver picked it up yet but as soon as it does the MathML content should become accessible on Mac.

In Firefox we have a meta bug to track MathML accessibility work. As the first step on this way Firefox 27 started to create generic accessible objects for MathML elements. It's not so valuable by itself because a generic accessible don't expose any math semantic but it allows the assistive technology to navigate the math and watch for tree mutations. Next we could follow WebKit effort by extending ATK and IAccessible2 APIs to make math accessible on Windows and Linux but I have been told libraries that screen readers rely on to process MathML speak also MathML language. It might be unwise to split MathML into atoms of high level API to make the assistive technology to reconstruct MathML on its side.

Gecko exposes ISimpleDOMNode interface providing a direct access to DOM for assistive technology. I never was a devotee of ISimpleDOM because I believe that high-level APIs like IAccessible2 are more efficient. But in case of MathML it's apparently not true. Having said that I think it'd be good to have something more sophisticated than plain DOM to implement, for example, an extended math navigation. Otherwise I think AT have to learn some MathML.

So we stopped at this point for now. Assistive technology can navigate the MathML tree, get MathML markup and feed it to utility libraries processing the math. It looks good for a start, at least after years of keeping silence. Ostap Bender would say the ice has broken, ladies and gentlemen of the jury!

If you have ideas, thoughts to share you're welcome to comment our meta bug.

So MathPlayer works with IE only. MathJax, a cross browser math renderer, claims they do accessibility by means of MathPlayer. Last time I checked MathPlayer did a trick by adding accessible properties like accessible name to MathML nodes in accessible tree. There's a bunch of problems with this approach like the user can't control the speech output. However I must admit it makes screen readers to read math.

Main problem here there's no right API and they have to use existing APIs which is Procrustean bed for math. The browser and assistive technology have to invent something that describes math well. Until that there's no right tool to succeed. I should notice that above-mentioned primarily applies to Windows and Linux worlds. Much to my surprise WebKit has got a math accessibility API on OS X last year. I didn't hear VoiceOver picked it up yet but as soon as it does the MathML content should become accessible on Mac.

In Firefox we have a meta bug to track MathML accessibility work. As the first step on this way Firefox 27 started to create generic accessible objects for MathML elements. It's not so valuable by itself because a generic accessible don't expose any math semantic but it allows the assistive technology to navigate the math and watch for tree mutations. Next we could follow WebKit effort by extending ATK and IAccessible2 APIs to make math accessible on Windows and Linux but I have been told libraries that screen readers rely on to process MathML speak also MathML language. It might be unwise to split MathML into atoms of high level API to make the assistive technology to reconstruct MathML on its side.

Gecko exposes ISimpleDOMNode interface providing a direct access to DOM for assistive technology. I never was a devotee of ISimpleDOM because I believe that high-level APIs like IAccessible2 are more efficient. But in case of MathML it's apparently not true. Having said that I think it'd be good to have something more sophisticated than plain DOM to implement, for example, an extended math navigation. Otherwise I think AT have to learn some MathML.

So we stopped at this point for now. Assistive technology can navigate the MathML tree, get MathML markup and feed it to utility libraries processing the math. It looks good for a start, at least after years of keeping silence. Ostap Bender would say the ice has broken, ladies and gentlemen of the jury!

If you have ideas, thoughts to share you're welcome to comment our meta bug.