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Product and Project Updates

2017 April 8

Accessible Math

During the 2017 code sprint at CSUN this year, Rachel Comerford from Macmillan Learning, George Kerscher, Charles LaPierre and Neil Soiffer continued an ongoing effort to incorporate MathML accessiblity in EPUB. This sparked a renewed determination to figure out a method to recommend to publishers for including math into their EPUB books with a graceful fallback when MathML is not supported by either the Reading System or the Assistive Technology accessing it.  A MathML in EPUB Task Force was established, in addition to Neil, Charles and George, they were joined by Sina Bahram, Jason White and Avneesh Singh from DAISY.  Since CSUN this group has met a number of times and have come up with three proposed solutions that they will be sharing with the publishing community for feedback.

Accessible PEEP

As you may know, DIAGRAM Center and NCAM have partnered to develop a proof of concept intended to add accommodations to an online digital education resource for young children. The project will also develop research methodologies for studying how these accommodations improve engagement and learning for children with disabilities. The work is based on the television show PEEP and the Big Wide World, an animated program intended to excite and teach young children about STEM subjects using the world around them. NCAM began working on this three-year project last year and have so far finalized a research plan and built accommodations for four stories and a memory game. Stay tuned to learn more as work on this project progresses!

Poet Training Tool

We’ve made some strides with the new Poet Training Tool in the early part of 2017! The latest version of the interactive web-based tool introduces best practice guidelines and examples (based on the DIAGRAM Image Description Guidelines and other content developed by DIAGRAM community) to help users determine when and how best to write extended descriptions for key STEM diagrams. In April, we conducted our first round of feedback tests with a handful of new users. The initial feedback from users was extremely positive and we look forward to sharing the revamped Poet Training Tool with the Content Working Group and the rest of the DIAGRAM community in the coming months.

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