Making Mathematics Teaching Inclusive – Access for Disabled Students to Symbolic Languages in Electronic Media

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The author considers the interconnected issues that impinge on teaching and learning of mathematical subjects with a focus on electronic media (word-processed documents, web etc.) and how mathematics is represented, encoded and manipulated in these. Some mentions of practices at the Open University at the time are included.

This development was produced by Martyn Cooper. Information is correct as of 2007. The information is suitable for Higher Education. The information is suitable for Assistive Technologist, Lecturer. Further information can be found at:


This development is relevant to:

The particular STEM challenges considered are:


  • The challenges successfully met were:
    • None
  • To meet these challenges the following processes were employed:
    • None
  • The following skills were also built:
    • None

Overview of content

The article has the following headers:

  • Specific issues for disabled students
  • Possible encodings of mathematics and disabled students
  • Note on maths and Braille
  • Textual descriptions of mathematics
  • The issue of “chunking”
  • Graphics with Alt-Texts
  • The approach adopted in the OpenMark-S project
  • Approaches Originating from Mathematics in Print
  • MathML
  • Overview of MathML Recommendation
  • OpenMath
  • Practical issues in adopting MathML
    • The browser issue
    • Common Web Browsers Supporting MathML
    • Content and/or Presentation Mark-Up
    • MathML to speech approaches
    • MathML to text to voice
    • MathML to Voice Mark-up Languages (e.g. JSML)
    • MathPlayer
  • Responses given the current state-of-the-art
  • Looking to the future
  • Concluding Comments

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