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Kentucky Promotes Use of MathML in Textbook Adoption

Louisville, KY - May 7, 2008 - The Kentucky Department of Education announced today that the state will grant preferential procurement status to math textbook titles submitted by publishers who use Mathematical Markup Language (MathML). Kentucky has a strong history of being an educational trend-setter, especially when it comes to accessibility. The move by the Kentucky Department of Education to put MathML into the state's preferential procurement status language is expected to be followed soon by other states that are looking for ways of assuring their students with disabilities have effective access to math textbooks.

The new adoption language will impact textbooks submitted for the 2009 math adoption. This adoption cycle will cover math textbooks that will be sold in Kentucky beginning in July 2009, and first used in the classroom during the 2009-2010 school year. In order to qualify for preferential procurement status, publishers will be required to use MathML to mark up math equations within NIMAS-compliant electronic files submitted for the creation of student-ready digital materials.

MathML provides an unprecedented level of accessibility for students with disabilities who use assistive technologies. MathML contains sufficient information and structure to provide support for both visual display and alternative access means such as synthetic speech and braille. Making digital versions of textbook materials with MathML available to students will enable the user to set different verbosity levels, adjust for the user's native language, customize the way math is spoken, or allow for the choice of various braille math formats, depending upon the student's needs and the type of assistive technology used.

Further information on Kentucky's math textbook adoption process, as well as a copy of the draft bid packet made available to publishers may be found on the Kentucky Department of Education website.

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