Legacy Assistive Support in v2¶
Interactions between screen readers and MathJax are delicate and vary from browser to browser, operating system to operating system, and screen reader to screen reader. The following information was gathered over time for version 2 of MathJax and various browser/operating-system/screen-reader combinations. The information is several years old, and my no longer be completely accurate, as features in browsers and screen readers change regularly. Because this information changes regularly with updates to browsers and screen readers, we are unable to maintin a table like this for version 3.
Support Matrix (AssistiveMML.js)¶
Below is a summary of results for MathML enabled screenreaders and the legacy AssistiveMML extension, based on tests as well as user reports.
|NVDA||any||WinXP||DNA||MathPlayer 4 does not support WinXP|
|NVDA||Chrome||any||DNA||Chrome issues prevent MathML support by NVDA|
|NVDA||MS Edge||Win10||DNA||Edge issues prevent MathML support by NVDA|
|JAWS||any||WinXP||DNA||JAWS 15 was the last version to support Windows XP but MathML support in JAWS starts with JAWS 16|
|JAWS||Chrome||any||DNA||JAWS only supports IE and Firefox|
|JAWS||MS Edge||Win10||DNA||JAWS only supports IE and Firefox|
|VoiceOver||Safari||OSX||+1||see notes below|
|VoiceOver||Chrome||OSX||DNA||Chrome and VoiceOver issues prevent MathML support in this combination.|
|VoiceOver||Firefox||OSX||DNA||Chrome and Firefox issues prevent MathML support in this combination.|
|Orca||Firefox||Ubuntu 15.10||+1||no bugs|
|Orca||Web||Ubuntu 15.10||DNA||Chrome issues prevent MathML support by ORCA|
|Orca||Chrome(ium)||Ubuntu 15.10||DNA||Chrome issues prevent MathML support by ORCA|
Notes on Apple VoiceOver¶
- VoiceOver on OSX
- Safari. The visually-hidden MathML is read out and gets an outline. Visual rendering is ignored correctly. VoiceOver sometimes drops parts of the equation due to its partial MathML support.
- Chrome. The visually-hidden MathML is detected but VoiceOver does not read it correctly (only e.g., “4 items detected; math”; this seems like a VO bug); an outline is added. Visual rendering is ignored correctly.
- Firefox. The visually-hidden MathML is only read as a string of contained characters; an outline is added. Visual rendering is ignored correctly.
- VoiceOver on iOS
- The “slide two fingers from top to read screen” method will read the visually-hidden MathML. Visual rendering is ignored correctly.
- Manual exploration.
- Exploration by swiping left/right will read the visually-hidden MathML. Visual rendering is ignored correctly.
- Tapping on an equation does not work due to the visually-hidden MathML being placed in a 1px box.
Notes on MathPlayer 4 and Internet Explorer 11¶
Design Science suggests that you always use IE’s Enterprise mode for MathPlayer in IE11, see their documentation. However, it seems that this is only required for MathPlayer’s visual rendering to work and this additionally requires the MathPlayer BrowserHelperAddon to be active in IE.
Unfortunately, the MathPlayer BrowserHelperAddon can lead to crashes. E.g., if you switch MathJax’s output to the NativeMML output, MathPlayer will crash IE11; you’ll have to clear the MathJax cookie to reset things. Also, in a plain MathML sample (without MathJax), clicking on the MathPlayer rendering will crash IE11.
Using IE’s Enterprise mode should work with NVDA and the AssistiveMML extension but they don’t seem to work with NVDA and plain MathML pages.
We suggest you do not switch on IE’s Enterprise mode on pages using MathJax and we also have to strongly suggest that you not use the BrowserHelperAddon with MathJax on IE11.