[texhax] Accessibility of output from LaTeX

Chris Sangwin sangwinc at for.mat.bham.ac.uk
Wed Jun 14 17:21:51 CEST 2006

Dear List,

I'm a regular LaTeX user and have been for some time.  I also work for the 
United Kingdom Maths Stats and OR Network to support learning and teaching 
of university level mathematics.


I'm doing some work to scope out a project on how to create documents from 
LaTeX source which are accessible to a variety of users.  As a Network we 
may be commissioning a report into this issue for the UK Higher Education 
community, which would also be available internationally online.

So far I have used the following approaches with various students I have 
taught over the last five years.

(1) Used larger fonts to create a paper document for partially sighted 

(2) create a .pdf document and let the end user work with the 
accessibility features of Acrobat.

(3) used ttm (http://hutchinson.belmont.ma.us/tth/mml/) to create an xhtml 
document which can be read by a screen reader.

As is clear, this uses a mixture of commercial and open source tools, as 
well as a variety of output formats.

Does anyone on the list know of a substantial report giving helpful advice 
to the user of LaTeX on options for creating documents which are 

Does anyone have and practical experience they would be willing to share, 
either on the list or by private correspondence?   Would you be able and 
interested in providing a case study?

Does anyone have advice or ideas about the issues involved in 

Has anyone created special packages for individual students (eg special 
font sets) which might be useful to others, and of course be willing to 
share these?

At least users of LaTeX have the advantage of starting out with a 
structured document in the first place.  This is certainly much better 
than users of some more popular "word processing" systems!

I will, of course, post follow up to this if we do indeed put together 
something which might be useful to other colleagues.

Many thanks indeed.

Chris Sangwin
Maths, Stats & OR Network, part of the Higher Education Academy
School of Mathematics 
University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT
+44 121 414 6197

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