Making chemistry engaging and accessible with digital education


Presented at 9:15am in Colorado G-H on Wednesday, November 8, 2023.



  • Jessica Martin, Senior Product Manager, ACS Publications
  • Crista Earl, Principal Accessibility Consultant, Tech for All

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


ACS Publications will discuss the work they have done over the last three years in collaboration with Tech for All to make engaging, pedagogically sound, and accessible digital courses to support the chemistry curriculum in higher education. In this talk, we will discuss overcoming three challenges in particular: hot spot exercises, matching activities, and accurate voice over.


ACS Publications recently launched an Online Learning & Training group working to craft engaging, pedagogically sound, and accessible courses to support chemical education for undergraduate, graduate, and professional learners. At the beginning of 2023, we launched our full Lab Safety Suite with four courses that create a spiral learning opportunity for students to continuously expand their knowledge of laboratory safety as their chemical knowledge deepens. While we were working with excellent subject matter experts and digital designers to build our courses, we were also engaging with Tech for All to work towards making our courses meet or exceed the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Over the last three years, our product management team has learned just how challenging delivering engaging and accessible content can be and has adapted our workflow process to address accessibility earlier in the process as a means of embracing universal design. Tech for All has been there every step of the way to guide us towards solutions that have immensely improved our offerings. In this talk, we will discuss overcoming three challenges in particular: hot spot exercises, matching activities, and accurate voice over.


  1. Those new to digital accessibility can be overwhelmed by the problems still needing to be solved.
  2. It is critical to work with folks who rely on digital accessibility to work with you as partners.
  3. Keep looking for the points at which learner engagement and accessibility intersect.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Accessible Educational Materials, Uncategorized, Universal Design for Learning, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Jessica Martin

Jessica A. Martin, Ph.D. is a data driven product manager with a background in STEM and chemical safety education research. She currently builds education products in collaboration with Subject Matter Experts and Reviewers in academia and industry, digital education designers, and WCAG accessibility specialists. She is always interested in learning more about the challenges faced by STEM educators in laboratory settings so that she can build effective tools to support educators in meeting these challenges.

Crista Earl

As a senior member of the Tech for All (TFA) consulting team, Crista Earl leads non-visual accessibility evaluations of software, website, mobile, and integrated hardware and software products. Crista brings over 30 years of experience in design, development, and testing of accessible information and communication technology. She has helped organizations in a variety of industries, including educational publishing, finance, and retail.

In her previous role as Director of Web Operations for the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), Crista oversaw a team of developers, database administrators, content managers, and social media professionals to develop and expand several accessible websites and software applications.