Using MathJax for Accessibility

The 2020 AP Exams work with MathJax AssistiveMML technology to:

  • Display mathematical content, such as expressions, equations, and inequalities elegantly in browsers
  • Provide students who use screen readers access to off-screen accessible MathML and Nemeth braille support with refreshable braille displays
  • Access a variety of accessibility features via menus attached to the MathJax content to assist students with low vision and students that need highlighted rendering

The MathJax menu can be accessed by:

  • Focusing on it with the keyboard, pressing the spacebar, and then choosing Accessibility > Activate from the menu
  • Or right-clicking with the mouse on the math and choosing Accessibility > Activate from the menu

Note for users of the JAWS screen reader:

  • JAWS users can access the MathML through the Math Viewer and the virtual cursor without activation of MathJax Accessibility settings.
    • College Board Accessibility Compliance has noted that activation of the MathJax Accessibility menu may prohibit rendering of the MathML through the virtual cursor.

Note for users of the NVDA screen reader:

  • NVDA users may only hear “clickable math” when encountering the MathML content.
    • NVDA users must activate the Accessibility feature from the MathJax menu initially by following the directions above.
    • Note: To open the MathJax menu with NVDA, users will want to focus to the MathJax object in “Focus Mode” (pressing Insert+Space). Once in “Focus Mode,” press the space bar to open the MathJax menu to activate accessibility. Once activated, the MathJax Accessibility option will remain enabled. 
  • Students taking the AP Chemistry Exam must activate the Accessibility feature of MathJax to avoid double-speaking of the textual alternatives that College Board provided for the markup for chemical equations.
  • If users of NVDA have the “Access8Math” add-on already enabled:
    • The Access8Math add-on will allow users to access the MathML without activating the Accessibility feature from the MathJax menu.
    • However, MathJax Accessibility menu features may be activated along with the add-on to provide users enhanced speech for complex math, such as fractions, square roots, and exponents.

College Board Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) recommends students become familiarized by visiting the MathJax AssistiveMML Accessibility demo.

Visit the MathJax website to learn more about MathJax screen reader support and accessibility features.