Generalized content markup (such as HTML) is complimented by markup specifications that facilitate more semantically precise content markup. Examples of specialized, semantically precise markup include MathML (mathematics) and MusicXML (musical scores). Assistive technology (AT) typically handles generalized content markup, but does not know about specialized markup. Because of this, AT is not able to appropriately render or navigate specialized markup and hence, is inadequate to serve user needs properly when dealing with specialized markup.
The Open A11y Expert Handlers SIG is exploring the possibility of specifying a standardized plug-in mechanism to AT software. The goal of this plug-in standard is to allow AT software to take advantage of “expert” open source and proprietary software that understands specific specialized markup. The plug-in standard should allow the expert software to provide enhanced, semantically rich access to specialized markup so that the AT can properly render (visually, aurally, and/or tactilely) and navigate the semantic meaning encoded in the specialized markup.