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Entering DIAGRAM + Year 2

2016 September 22

Dear DIAGRAM Community,

Welcome to the second year of the DIAGRAM Center + award. It’s hard to believe that the year has gone by so quickly, but as they say, “time flies when you’re having fun” and it’s certainly been a fun and exciting year, during which DIAGRAM both concluded some activities from the original DIAGRAM award and worked on projects for the new award.  Some highlights include

  • The release of the Quick Start Guide for 3D printing in education
  • The release of the DIAGRAM Extended Image Description Guidelines
  • A photograph of DIAGRAM community members hard at work at the CSUN 2016 Math Sprint.The Math Code Sprint which resulted in 3 working prototypes:
    • “BAM” (Bundling Accessible Mathematics), a web-based tool produced by the that allows users to switch to their preferred mode of accessing math content on the fly (e.g. use your AT to read MathML versus PNG with alt or SVG with alt).
    • A prototype that connected the open source tools and resources: NVDA, Speech Rule Engine, and the recently released ClearSpeak rule set. And by the end of the day, the team was able to demonstrate NVDA reading MathML using the ClearSpeak rule set.
    • a demo using MathJax and D3
  • Three new DIAGRAM reports from our partners at WGBH’s National Center for Accessible Media
    • An update to our series on image description metadata, rounding up the latest in standards and recommendations which can be read on our website or downloaded as a word doc.
    • A write up of the results from an updated DIAGRAM Reading Technology Survey, identifying trends in how people who are blind and have low vision obtain and access reading materials. Available on our website, or as a word doc.
    • A brand new report that focuses on the existing technology currently being used to create accessible web interactives. It is available for download as a word doc.
  • Creation of the DIAGRAM Developers Working group which is focusing on the development and sharing of code for accessibility in education.
  • Creation of a new working group, the Benetech Beta Testers, which will help inform the creation and user experience of our new and upcoming tools and prototypes.

A photograph of  DIAGRAM team members Sue-Ann and Lisa working with Labs team member John Higgins on DIAGRAM + year 2 planning.

Not to be outdone Year Two is already off to an exciting start. The Content working group is working on new resources including a top tips guide for making digital content braille conversion friendly, and the developers working group sub group is working on making drag and drop accessible. And that’s not all. This year will be chock full of new activity. A few brief highlights below:

  1. The creation and publication of the DIAGRAM Report which will explore and disseminate information about a wide range of new technologies, industry standards, and best practices that specifically address multi-modal access to education for students with disabilities.
  2. A prototype of the highly anticipated Accessible Image Repository and Registry
  3. The beginning of an open GitHub repository of reusable demonstration code for the most common interactions and modalities
  4. In partnership with WGBH/NCAM, development and field testing of exemplary accessible STEM digital learning assets (including videos and activities) for young children with disabilities, based on the popular program PEEP and the Big Wide World funded by NSF and broadcast on PBS stations.

So as we kick of this new year of our new award we want to take a moment to thank all of you for being a part of our community. Without you we would never have accomplished all that we did over the last year, and this upcoming year would not be as exciting as it is!

A group photograph of DIAGRAM community members smiling with their arms raised.

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