Leveraging LaTeX: Using LaTeX to Craft Accessible Math in Digital Documents

Handouts

Presented at 9:15am in Denver 1-3 on Friday, November 10, 2023.

#38419

Speaker(s)

  • Brian Richwine, Senior Accessibility Strategist - Learning Technologies, Indiana University Bloomington

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 2-hr
  • Format: Bring-your-own Device Workshop: Laptop with access to a web browser and Microsoft Word (optional)
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference

Summary

Unlock the potential of LaTeX to create accessible math content in HTML, LMSs, and Word in this hands-on workshop. Gain insights into LaTeX basics, best practices for accessibility, and tools for seamless conversion from images or PDFs into LaTeX. Learn how to guide faculty effectively and comprehend how assistive technologies interpret math expressions that were authored in LaTeX.

Abstract

This engaging workshop unlocks the potential of LaTeX for creating accessible, complex math expressions in various digital formats. We will explore why electronic math, made possible by LaTeX, far surpasses plain text or images, ensuring professional appearance, accessibility, and flexible consumption.

Diving into LaTeX basics, participants will learn to handle everything from standard operators and Greek letters to complex structures such as matrices, arrays, and equation environments.

The session will then pivot to assistive technology (AT), detailing how screen readers and other assistive technologies interpret digital math. Participants will learn how to check how LaTeX-authored content is processed by AT gaining insight into how their content would sound to students using AT, a crucial consideration in authoring accessible math.

Participants will then practice crafting and listening to accessible math content in hands-on exercises, where we will also discuss common pitfalls, explore poorly accessible LaTeX/MathML examples, and consider key accessibility factors.

The workshop proceeds with an exploration of advanced LaTeX features and resources for continued learning. We'll also explore tools like EquatIO and MathPix, which can convert images or PDFs into LaTeX, providing hands-on experience to understand their strengths and limitations.

A crucial part of the workshop will be strategies to support faculty in their journey towards creating accessible math content. By discussing common challenges and offering effective advocacy strategies, we aim to foster a community dedicated to accessible math.

We conclude with a Q&A session, facilitating deeper understanding and clearing any doubts regarding the application of LaTeX for accessible math content. Join us in this interactive workshop and harness the power of LaTeX for accessible math creation.

Keypoints

  1. Master LaTeX to create professional looking, accessible digital math content.
  2. Understand how assistive technologies provide access to digital math content.
  3. Learn the importance of advocating for accessible math content and how to support faculty.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Accessible Educational Materials, Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, Faculty Development & Support, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Brian Richwine

Brian has a BSEE from GMI Engineering & Management Institute (now Kettering University). He has worked with assistive technology, alternate media, and web/IT accessibility at while supporting the accessible use of learning technologies (LT) at Indiana University for 22 years.

Handout(s)