Does it STEM?


Presented at 9:00am in Penrose 1 on Tuesday, November 15, 2022.



  • Brian Richwine, Senior Accessibility Strategist - Learning Technologies, Indiana University Bloomington
  • Mary Stores, Accessibility Analyst, Indiana University
  • Joseph Polizzotto, Accessibility Technologist, Wake Technical Community College
  • Destin Hubble, Accessibility Analyst, Indiana University
  • Richard Orme, Chief Executive Officer, DAISY Consortium

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 5-6-hr
  • Format: Interactive/Discussion
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: Pre-conference


The presenters will cover a resource they are developing to document the capability of Assistive Technologies (AT), alt-media formats, production tools, and processes to meet an individual's need for accessible math and other STEM materials. The goal is to raise awareness both of possible pitfalls and working solutions so alt-media staff can save time and confidently meet their students' needs.


Many technologies, media formats, and corresponding workflows exist for creating accessible electronic STEM content. Now there is a larger than ever mix of assistive technologies and eText reading systems available for consuming eText. It can be difficult to know which of the many technologies can be combined successfully to both reliably produce and accurately consume STEM content in eText materials.

The presenters will cover their research, testing, and documentation of which technologies work together successfully and which fall short. Included will be a survey of the technologies, related processes, their features, and the use cases they are appropriate for will be covered.

We will make a case for why it's important to test processes and the technologies to verify capability and appropriateness. Sample test cases will be presented with examples of failing and successful results. We will argue that this demonstrates both the need for documenting success stories and the need to put pressure on the AT and other technology providers to improve their products.

Significant time will be provided for a discussion around the experiences of audience members and how to move the resource forward. Discussion topics can include tools we are missing, how to participate in testing and documentation, and how to influence technology producers to advance their products.


  1. STEM media formats and assistive technologies must be matched to an individual's needs.
  2. Some technologies do not live up to their promises of handling accessible STEM content.
  3. We need to know which technologies have issues that will cause a math accommodation to fail.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Mobility, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, Uncategorized, Web/Media/App Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Brian Richwine

Brian has a BSEE from GMI Engineering & Management Institute (now Kettering University). He has worked with assistive technology, alternate media, and web/IT accessibility at while supporting the accessible use of learning technologies (LT) at Indiana University for 22 years.

Mary Stores

Mary Stores has worked at the Assistive Technology and Accessibility Center for over 20 years. She is currently an accessibility analyst. She has her JAWS and CPACC certifications.

Mary enjoys living in this time of technology advances. 20 years ago, she never would have thought that people who are blind could take pictures. However, thanks to the smart phone and a book from the National Braille Press, she was able to learn how to successfully take pictures of quite a few things to share with her friends.

Joseph Polizzotto

Joseph began working in the Access Technology field in 2011 and has been an Accessibility Technologist at Wake Tech since August 2021. Joseph holds a B.A. in History from UC Santa Cruz (2000) and an M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from San José State University (2004). In his free time, Joseph enjoys spending time with family, writing code and reading books in French and Italian.

Destin Hubble

Destin Hubble is an Accessibility Analyst for the Assistive Technology and Accessibility Centers who specializes in assisting STEM instructors with preparing their courses for screen reader users. He has experience in writing image descriptions, pre-formatting documents for braille using LaTeX, and ensuring general document accessibility. His main interests are in user experience, especially as it concerns accessibility, and simplifying the complexity of everyday systems.

Richard Orme