Mathematics in Born Accessible Publications


Presented at 9:15am in Westminster IV on Wednesday, November 14, 2018.



  • George Kerscher, Chief Innovations Officer, DAISY Consortium
  • Charles LaPierre, Technical Lead, DIAGRAM and Born Accessible, Benetech

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Panel
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


Digital Educational publications with mathematics must be visually correct, and they must be accessible to persons with disabilities. We will look at the techniques that deliver born accessible publications in HTML and EPUB 3. We will demonstrate techniques with AT and explain how publishers are implementing the recommendations.


Many progressive educational publishers are committed to deliver born accessible EPUB 3 and HTML publications to students in universities. Mathematics and STEM content has been the most difficult type of materials to deliver. Now there are techniques that meet the requirements of the mainstream and the disability community using AT. In this session we will demonstrate the techniques now being recommended to publishers for their mathematical content. We will use screen readers on several platforms. We will also show how students with low vision access the mathematical content. These techniques have shortcomings and we will lay out the work that still needs to be done. Finally, we will show how students, professors and procurement officers can determine in advance of purchase if a publication uses the recommended techniques for accessibility.


  1. Mathematics can be made accessible using the technology to be presented.
  2. Published digital content should contain these techniques.
  3. Higher Ed should purchase STEM that uses these techniques.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, Other, Teaching about Accessibility in Curriculum, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

George Kerscher

George Kerscher Ph.D.

“Access to information is a fundamental human right.” 2003 to the United Nations George Kerscher began his IT innovations in 1987 and coined the term "print disabled." George is dedicated to developing technologies that make information not only accessible, but also fully functional in the hands of persons who are blind or who have a print disability. He believes properly designed digitally published materials and web pages can make information accessible to all people. George is an advocate for semantically rich content which can be used effectively by everybody. As Chief Innovations Officer of the DAISY Consortium, Senior Advisor, Global Literacy to Benetech, and member of Publishing Groups in the W3C, Kerscher is a recognized international leader in document access. In addition, Kerscher chairs the DAISY/NISO Standards committee, Chairs the Steering Council of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI, and also serves on the Advisory Board of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Charles LaPierre