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The Accessible Virtual Campus

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)

Illustration representing Science, Technology, Engineering & Math Section of virtual community.

Persons with disabilities are under-represented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions. Methods and technology exist to make this content accessible to all students. For example, how do people with visual or perceptual deficits work with symbols and formulas? Learn how you can help.

Instructional Methods and Media & Materials links will provide tips to help you create universally designed materials.

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In-line EqTD AUDIT

This is the AUDIT to use to evaluate the accessibility of in-line text characters that need to be treated as graphic elements for accessibility e.g. subscript, ampersand, foreign letters.

R2D2 Center at UW-Milwaukee

In-line EqTD AUDIT  (Excel Document)

In-line EqTD AUDIT Manual (Version 1.3)  (PDF File)

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Accessible Documents Using Styles

This PDF contains a quick and easy overview on how the "styles" feature enables the design of accessible documents, as well as organized and structured documents.

R2D2 Center at UW-Milwaukee

Accessible Documents Using Styles  (PDF File)

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EqTD AUDIT

Use this AUDIT to evaluate the accessibility and usability of non-text graphics in a variety of media.

R2D2 Center at UW-Milwaukee

EqTD AUDIT  (Excel Document)

EqTD Manual  (PDF File)

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EqTD's for Graphic Elements - Why & Where

Equivalent text descriptions (EqTD's) are extremely important and can be difficult to create. Here you will find a set of EqTD related documents that detail processes, purposes and levels of complexity. The origin of providing alternative text for graphic elements and a brief review of the R2D2 standard are included.

R2D2 Center at UW-Milwaukee

Equivalent Text Descriptions - Why and Where  (PDF File)

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Equivalent Text Description (EqTD) Tutorial for Graphics

This 5 page tutorial provides step by step instructions and examples for writing equivalent text descriptions for graphic elements.

R2D2 Center at UW-Milwaukee

Tutorial for EqTDs  (PDF File)

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Thesis/Project and Dissertation Accessibility Protocol

This protocol explains the required "why" and "how" of creating an accessible thesis/document. Graduate students in the Occupational Therapy Department at UWM are required to provide an accessible copy of their thesis, project or dissertation. The protocol is distributed in conjunction with a formatted template that includes all of the requirements of the graduate school at UWM.

R2D2 Center at UW-Milwaukee

Thesis/Project & Dissertation Protocol  (PDF File)

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A Mnemonic Strategy to Help Remember the Order of Operation for Solving Math Equations

A simple example of an alternative teaching method. This website provides information on how mnemonics are used to help students remember the math order of operations. Provides other links to mind tools and math mnemonics.

Springfield Technical Community College

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Accessibility and Computer Science Education

This is a link to the PDF report which presents four position statements resulting from a discussion forum on accessibility and computer science education. Panelists discussed reasons to integrate accessibility and universal design into the computer science curriculum. Proceedings of the 37th SIGCSE technical symposium on computer science education.

Rosmaita, J, Deibel, K, Cohen, R & Egan, M

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Accessible Calculators

This webpage includes an "Assistive Technology Quick Reference" guide to help individuals make calculators more accessible. There are also answers to frequently asked questions regarding standard function calculators, scientific calculators, graphing calculators, and vendors offering accessible calculators.

Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA)

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Accessible Data Tables

This article by Roger Hudson explains how to present data in an accessible table. He includes how to design the table, how to make it friendly to a screen reader, how to create both complex and simple tables, how to test the tables accessibility, and much more.

"Web Usability"

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Accessible Digital Media: Guideline G: Math

This website includes guidelines for how-to's for making scientific and mathematical expressions accessible for electronic publications, multimedia, and the web.

WGBH National Center for Accessible Media

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Allison and Chemistry: A Case Study on Accommodations in Group Work and Discussion

This website contains a story about a student with a disability and her experience as a chemistry major.

Washington University, DO-IT

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An Ocean of Potentiality: Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Science Engineering and Mathematics  (Research based)

This is a link to An Ocean of Potentiality: Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Science, Engineering and Mathematics. The link contains a series of briefs related to this unique program, supporting youth with disabilities through role modeling, including the perspectives of professionals who had been involved with the program. The program combines mentoring and outdoor adventure activity to encourage interest in STEM careers. The program directors used ingredients for youth empowerment in science, math, engineering and technology to entice interest from students with disabilities, also including: hero building and story-telling, community building and service, cross-cultural sharing, the arts, camping, media, computing, and assistive technology.

University of Hawaii at Manoa

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Augmenting Multi-media Lectures with Accessible Self-assessment Exercises

This website contains an easy to use tool for augmenting multi-media lectures with accessible self-assessment exercises. The authors identify the elements of a classroom lecture and find appropriate mechanisms for transferring those elements to a web-based format.

Department of Engineering Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Curriculum Transformation and Disability

This website provides the book Implementing Universal Design in Higher Education for free. "The purpose of this book is to introduce readers to the concepts of Universal Design (UD) and Universal Instructional Design (UID). This collection of essays addresses learning both within and outside the classroom, recognizing the role higher education plays in developing the “whole” person (American Council on Education, 1937, 1949; National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, 1989)."

University of Minnesota

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Education - No One Size Fits All

From "Chemical and Engineering News", October 24, 2005, discusses UD in educations, emphasis on math and science. Has a link to the 75 page pdf version of "Teaching Chemistry to Students with Disabilities: A Manual for High Schools, Colleges, and Graduate Programs" 4th Edition. Dorothy L. Miner, Ron Nieman, Anne B. Swanson, and Michael Woods, Editors

American Chemical Society Committee on Chemists with Disabilities

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Effective Practices for Description of Science Content within Digital Talking Book Project

"This project is researching and documenting effective practices for providing meaningful descriptions of science content within Digital Talking Books that serve post-secondary students, professionals and scientists who have visual impairments or blindness. A particular focus is ways to describe non-text content, such as equations, charts, and diagrams." [Annotation from CATEA resource page]

National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM)

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How do I create accessible math content?

This webpage includes tips and links to information on how to deliver accessible mathematics information under the headings of Accessibility and Mathematics, MathML Information, Delivering Math Content, and MathML Software.

California State University Accessible Technology Initiative

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Math Solutions for the Accessibility Community

This webpage, developed by the National Science Foundation and Design Science, is a company working with the accessibility community to make math fully accessible. They have compiled ten of the most frequently asked questions. A brief answer is provided, as well as links to comprehensive resources for those who would like to explore additional information.

Design Science

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MathPlayer

"Design Science MathPlayer enables Microsoft Internet Explorer to display mathematical notation in web pages. It is based on MathML technology and requires Internet Explorer for Windows version 6.0 and later. We make MathPlayer available for free in order to foster the adoption of MathML in the math, science, and education communities." Information on how to use the program and a user manual are provided.

Design Science

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Multi-sensory Displays for Universal Access

The Touch Graphics website offers state of the art/science multisensory products, such as tactile maps and talking tactile tablets, for education and exhibits.Touch Graphics products have been developed through a series of research grants from the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Education.

Touch Graphic, Inc.

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Rubric for Evaluating Universal Design of Syllabus

This printable rubric provides a guide to evaluate a syllabus based on different elements using universal design components.

EnACT, California State University

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Science Labs

This website provides disability specific accommodations for lab environments to increase accessibility for all people, including people with disabilities.

DO-IT, University of Washington

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SciTrain-Science and Math for All

While the SciTrain project is designed for high school teachers, the accommodations link here discusses barriers that occur irrespective of grade level. This website also includes the success stories of teachers and students with disabilities.

Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA)

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Status Report Index

"Math on the Web: A Status Report" - published twice a year to inform the education, science, and publishing communities on what is going on in the Math on the Web world. This page includes links to white papers by the group as well. The website, "Design Science" also provides links to accessible math products for students with disabilities.

Design Science

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Teaching Math to Visually Impaired Students

Very comprehensive website. Everything you would want to know about the topic. Includes detailed resources. Unfortunately, Windows users only for their resources.

Osterhaus, S

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Tips on Teaching Math & Science

This webpage provides good suggestions for making math and science accessible for all students.

University of Washington

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Universal Course Design (UCD)

This website about Universal Course Design (UCD), from the Equity and Excellence in Higher Education grant, based at the University of Massachusetts Boston, was developed for faculty to ensure that students with disabilities receive a quality higher education through refinement, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of the Universal Course Design model of professional development. Additional model demonstration sites included the Universities of New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont and Rhode Island College.

The Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts Boston

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"Advancing employment opportunities and expectations for people with disabilities strengthens not only America's economy, but our moral fiber. It creates a more inclusive America, one where every person is recognized for his or her accomplishments — and that should be our goal not just on Labor Day but every day."

Assistant Secretary Kathy Martinez, Office of Disability Employment Policy, September 7, 2009