Laura Miller at Florida State University provided an example that demonstrates some of the complications that may arise when migrating STEM materials from one format to another. In 2020, she worked on migrating an open textbook into Manifold for an engineering faculty member. Because Manifold did not yet have MathJax integration to read LaTeX or MathML, Miller created images of each equation and used WIRIS to assist in writing alt text descriptions.
A sample passage from the textbook appeared as follows in Word.
Miller created a Nemeth MathSpeak description of this function using WIRIS for assistance. She then included this description in alt text that accompanied the image in Manifold.
Miller’s example demonstrates the complexity of working with platforms that may not have native support for accessible STEM. It also demonstrates the usefulness of equation editors for anyone who is unfamiliar with math markup languages and standards for verbalizing complex notation.