[community] Scientific data and formulas/calculation tools accessibility

Brandon Keith Biggs brandonkeithbiggs at gmail.com
Wed Jan 6 21:24:09 UTC 2021

The real problem is publishers not accepting Epub and HTML format for
journals. Tools like Pandoc can compile Markdown and LaTeX (the two
languages academic papers are written in), and equations are converted into
MathML, which is accessible to screen readers and people using
magnification devices. Otherwise the equations are not readable.
For graphs and maps, the best option is to provide a semantic table of the
data, and describe the table in alt text or a caption. If HTML and Epub was
acceptable, there are libraries, such as Highcharts, that provide
interactive sonified and tabular data that can be color inverted or
But currently, while PDF is the only acceptable format, the only thing
scientists can really do is make sure their graphs and equations have alt
text, and use either Word to compile the final PDF, or use Adobe to tag the
PDF is the real enemy of accessibility in this circumstance.

Brandon Keith Biggs <http://brandonkeithbiggs.com/>

On Wed, Jan 6, 2021 at 12:24 PM <modesnoyers at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello all and Happy New Year !
> I'm involved with the development of the ICT Accessibility Roadmap for a
> federal government department in response to the Accessibility Strategy for
> the Public Service of Canada.
> A few weeks ago I was invited to attend a meeting with a scientific
> community who had questions about publishing their research data and the
> formulas/calculation tools as open source data that meets bilingualism and
> accessibility requirements.
> I told them I'd reach out to this group to see if anyone is working with
> scientific data (raw, aggregated and report formats) and associated
> formulas/calculation tools to see how address accessibility - especially
> for
> the formula/calculation tools.
> Thanks
> Monique Desnoyers
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