How can I make sure my math content is accessible?

Equation intensive content in online courses is challenging because some tools that create the content cannot be read by screen readers. Using these tools and tips will help ensure accessibility of your course material. 

Best practices

  • Create the content directly within a Canvas page by using Equatio (do not create the content in Word, PowerPoint, or PDF format and then paste it into Canvas).
  • Avoid creating images of graphs, equations and tables.
    If an image must be used, it should have alt text AND a description box explaining what the image consists of. It should be communicated in a standard language such as MathSpeak, which aims to integrate mathematical and scientific content into structures for print-disabled readers.
  • Avoid creating multiple links to accessible documents. All accessible materials should be in line with the content for ease of use. If that’s not possible, there should be accessible pages created (in Canvas) that correlate to the lesson. 
  • LaTeX or MathType can export in Math Markup Language (MathML), which is accessible to screen readers. Once equation content is created using LaTeX or MathType (either in documents such as lecture notes and assignments) or on PowerPoint slides, the follow-up is to also produce/output the equation content into MathML format to be archived with the course production materials.


How to make your equations accessible

Add an equation in Canvas using Equatio
  1. Open the Canvas Rich Text Editor on a content page.
  2. Click on Tools > Apps > View All.
  3. Scroll down the list of apps and click on Insert EquatIO Equation.
  4. The EquatIO window will open. Type in your equation here.
  5. When you are finished, click the Insert Math button.
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