Math and Equations

What is Accessible Math?

Accessible math is math that all learners can perceive, either visually or using screen readers or other assistive technology. Students with visual or learning disabilities may use screen readers or text-to-speech software to access course materials including homework, quizzes and exams. These materials often contain mathematical formulas that may be visually accurate but aren’t encoded correctly for users of assistive technology, resulting in missing or garbled equations for those users.

If you have any questions about whether your math or other STEM learning materials are accessible, please contact the Accessibility Technologist.

Students reviewing math problem in the classroom


Mines offers free software called Equatio that can create accessible math or convert LaTeX, handwriting, speech, or screenshots to digital math. For more information on installing and using Equatio, visit the help article about creating digital math with Equatio.


There are two ways to add accessible math to Canvas using the Rich Content Editor

  1. Use the built-in Canvas Math Editor
  2. Use the Equatio plugin in Canvas

Both options allow you to use an equation builder or enter LaTeX. Equatio also has the option to enter equations with handwriting or speech.


Although LaTeX is commonly used to encode math, particularly in academic or publishing contexts, PDFs generated by LaTeX editors are generally not accessible to assistive technology.

If you are using LaTeX to create course materials, consider using alternate outputs that are more accessible.

  • Conversion tools such as Pandoc can convert LaTeX documents to HTML or Word (make sure to convert directly from the source file, not a PDF).
  • Equatio is a tool provided by Mines that can convert LaTeX formulas into MathML for use online (it does not convert entire documents).
  • The Canvas math editor has an advanced mode that can accept LaTeX formulas.

Microsoft Word and PowerPoint

Microsoft has information about using the equation tools to create and edit equations in Word. You may have to convert equations created with older versions of Word that used the previous equation editor. The equation tools are also available in PowerPoint.