Summary of the Inaugural 2022 State of STEM Accessibility Whitepaper

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Speaker(s)

  • Krista Greear Wright, Senior Accessibility Strategist, Anthology

Session Details

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

Summary

There are many challenges and opportunities with making Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math content accessible in higher education. (ATHEN) in partnership with EDUCAUSE, and Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) present this whitepaper and will provide a summary of key points.

Abstract

Unfortunately, many practioners (e.g. instructors, disability service professionals, IT staff, etc.) quickly become overwhelmed when considering how to make STEM content accessible. This is an understandable reaction as there is not yet a body of clear, useful, and adaptable resources for making STEM content accessible. ATHEN saw this need and began to make concerted efforts by hosting the first ever Virtual STEM Accessibility Conference in Feb 2022. However, more was needed. In partnership with other organizations, a whitepaper was created to provide information in a concise manner, usable by multiple professionals. Leveraging subject matter experts, the whitepaper consists of topics such as the following:

• What are the different ways of creating math such LaTeX, MathML, images, Braille and Tactile Graphics? What are the realities of using them? • How do these function in different file types such as Word docs, PowerPoints, PDFs, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and ePub? • What does accessible STEM content look like on the web and how do different browsers affect the user experience? • What can we expect from STEM content created natively within different Learning Management Systems (LMSs) such as Canvas, D2L BrightSpace, Moodle, Blackboard Learn and Ultra?

Presenters will share the highlights, as well as identify some areas for the next iteration of the Annual State of STEM Accessibility Whitepaper.

Keypoints

  1. Participants will obtain a summary of the current state of STEM Accessibility.
  2. Participants will better understand the opportunities and challenges of STEM Accessibility.
  3. Participants will provide ideas about the next iteration of the STEM Accessibility whitepaper.

Disability Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Accessible Educational Materials, Administrative/Campus Policy, Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, Faculty Development & Support, Research, Teaching about Accessibility in Curriculum, Uncategorized, Universal Design for Learning

Speaker Bio(s)

Krista Greear Wright

An enthusiastic, data-driven individual, Krista is passionate about inclusivity. With over 12 years of experience in higher education accessibility, Krista’s focus is to accelerate the educational landscape regarding digital content. Her expertise is in document and video accessibility, although is interested in web and application accessibility as well.

Leveraging her Master of Education in Educational Technology, Krista is interested in the intersection of accessibility, inclusion, and instructional design. She is excited about improving the educational experience for all students by working with administrators, faculty, and students to make changes at a system level.