LaTeX and Accessibility
LaTeX is a document preparation system for high-quality typesetting.
There are known accessibility issues with the PDFs that are created with LaTeX. It is important to know that the system does not automatically generate tagged PDFs needed for accessibility readers. Therefore, when these PDFs are uploaded to the DLE, Ally (our inbuilt accessibility checker) will flag this as having accessibility issues.
In our testing, LaTeX used within Labels and documents in Moodle was not detected and, therefore, was not readable by the screen readers we used.
What are LaTeX doing to work on these accessibility issues?
The LaTeX Project have a ‘LaTeX Tagged PDF project’ working towards enabling automatic PDF tagging.
In June 2023 the newest version of LaTeX was released which sees with it some improved accessibility functionality. Automatic tagging functionality has been enabled for additional LaTeX elements. To read more about this and the improvements that have been made, please see this latest LaTeX news: LaTeX 2023-06-01 release distributed
Read about their work so far:
- Towards automated PDF tagging: Pre-release of LaTeX 2023-06-01 is available for testing
- PDF, Tagging and Accessibility
There is some useful reading about LaTeX generally in The LaTeX Project.
Some other academic institutions have proposed various workarounds:
- Queens University Belfast: Accessibility, LaTeX and Me
- University of Glasgow
- Lancaster University
- Michigan State University
This article published by Moodle goes into detail about Using TeX Notation within the Moodle environment.