MathJax 1.0 was just released and this is great news for accessibility. MathJax is a JavaScript-based display engine for both MathML and LaTeX. It extends MathML support to browsers that don't otherwise support MathML so that even mobile devices like smart phones and tablets such as iPhone/iPad and Android devices can display MathML. There is no longer any reason to use images for math, so hopefully that practice will finally come to an end, and MathML will start showing up on more and more websites. MathJax is an open source joint project between Design Science, AMS (American Mathematical Society), and SIAM (Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics), with additional support from Elsevier and a growing list of other organizations.

A great feature of MathJax is that it can turn the display of math over to a native MathML renderer such as MathPlayer. This results in much faster display of the math. More importantly for accessibility, it allows all of the assistive technologies that work with MathPlayer to work on MathJax pages. This is true not only for pages that have MathML in them, but also for pages that have TeX in them. If the page is not configured to automatically work with MathPlayer, you need to tell MathJax to use MathPlayer. See the MathJax documentation for details on how to make MathJax use MathPlayer. That page and the sample pages at mathjax.org have examples you can try.Since MathJax was just released, the number of sites using MathJax is still small. However, with sponsors and supporters such as AMS and Elsevier, you know that some big sites will soon begin using MathJax. People have already developed modules to work with course management systems such as Moodle and blogs such as WordPress.

The release of MathJax is great news for accessibility on the web, but were not stopping there. We're busily at work on some more exciting developments related to MathJax, MathPlayer, and accessible math. If you haven't subscribed already to this blog, click on the link in the upper right hand corner to subscribe so you'll be the among the first to find out about what's next for accessible math.

Note: there is bug with MathJax and MathPlayer's zoom. We'll be releasing a fix for this soon.