Math & STEM Made Accessible in an eLearning World


Presented at 9:15am in Matchless on Wednesday, November 16, 2022.



  • Louis Shanafelt, Senior Product Manager, Texthelp

Session Details

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


In today’s world of learning, uncertainty is the only thing that is certain. In this session, participants will learn how to create and share digital STEM content and make sure it’s accessible for a diverse range of learners in the classroom, at home, or anywhere in between.


Times like these call for new and different measures, especially for students that struggle. While these changes won’t occur overnight, there are steps that all educators can begin taking now, in addition to many supports that can make teaching in a blended learning environment much easier.

For starters, professors and higher education institutions must adopt a digital first strategy when it comes to instructional materials. Creating digital content is important. It is much more likely to be accessible than its paper based equivalent. Moving towards digital materials means being inclusive of all learners, giving them multiple ways to understand concepts and express their learning.

It’s no secret that due to the complexity of math symbols, the plethora of worksheets in circulation, and the requirement for students to “show their work,” it has been difficult, if not impossible to create a digital equivalent. Until now…

Equatio is Texthelp’s STEM tool that helps to level the math playing field for students, educators, and disabilities services departments by making it easy to create math that is both digital and accessible. It provides simple, easy access to nearly all forms of existing math. In addition to reading math aloud, users can also use EquatIO to easily convert inaccessible print or digital math documents into their accessible equivalent to be used with many existing Assistive Technologies.

To conclude the session, attendees will learn how Equatio Mobile can now scan full page documents instead of scanning one problem at a time which will allow instructional designers even more opportunities to create content as well as save them ample amounts of time. This will allow for easy access to once inaccessible materials and open the accessibility door for many challenged learners.


  1. Participants will be able to demonstrate at least 3 ways of creating digital and accessible math.
  2. Participants will be able to describe a process for converting physical print-based documents to digital.
  3. Participants are able to describe 2 challenges of providing equitable math instruction in today's classroom.

Disability Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Louis Shanafelt

Louis is the Equatio Senior Product Manager for Texthelp which is an industry leader in literacy and STEM software. He holds the Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) credential from IAAP which represents broad, cross-disciplinary conceptual knowledge about disabilities; accessibility and universal design; and accessibility-related standards, laws, and management strategies. In 5 years at Texthelp, he has served as the liaison between our marketing team, sales staff, development team, and our customers which help drive our Equatio product roadmap. Prior to this role, he spent 20 years working in a large urban district as a teacher & district administrator. His teaching experience began at the elementary level & eventually he transitioned to secondary mathematics. He has also delivered countless hours of professional development to thousands of teachers on instructional best practices using technology. He finished his education career as an instructional designer building online learning modules for teachers in the district for which he worked.