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Expository Mathematics in the Digital Age - Mathlet Design

Kyle Siegrist

Best practices related to mathlet design are also motivated by the core principles of access abd resue. The suggestions below are adopted from IBM Guidelines for Accessible Applications.. These guidlines are intended for applets generally, not just mathlets.

Make your mathlet keyboard accessible. A good exercise is to see how well the mathlet works with the mouse unplugged.

  • Provide keyboard equivalents for all actions.
  • Observe operating system keyboard conventions (copy, paste, slow keys, sticky keys)
  • Set mnemonics on components (Alt-F for file, Cntl-C for copy)
  • Use accelerators for common functions (Cntl-P for print, Escape for cancel).
  • Provide a logical keyboard tabbing order (so that the user can shift the focus to the control of her choice).
  • Provide electronic access to keyboard navigational documentation.

Provide alternatives to significant audio and video.

  • Provide a visual indication of sound and audio cues.
  • Provide text captioning of the voice track in video content.
  • Provide descriptive graphics for significant audio.
  • Provide descriptive text for significant video.

Provide accessibility relationships

  • Label Components
  • Name Logical Groups
  • Provide Semantic Relationships

Kyle Siegrist, "Expository Mathematics in the Digital Age - Mathlet Design," Convergence (May 2006)