Butler University has received a $20,000 Ball Venture Fund Competition award to research software and hardware that can help make math courses accessible online for students with visual impairments.
The $20,000 award will fund research, development, testing, and evaluation of the ability of various software applications to convert mathematical expressions (equations, graphs, charts and diagrams) into accessible, readable expressions for students with visual impairments enrolled in online courses.
The project will take place from fall 2017 to summer 2018. Once completed, Butler students and staff will convert existing course content with inaccessible mathematical expressions to accessible ones for students with disabilities and share their work with other colleges that offer online, math-focused courses.
“With almost 11 percent of undergraduates and about 8 percent of master’s and 7 percent of doctoral students identified with some type of disability, it is imperative Butler University systematically and systemically address accessibility for online learning in order to comply with ethical principles, best practices, and laws,” Erin C. Vincent, Director of Academic Program Development and Innovation, and Brad D. Berggoetz, ADA Technology Compliance Analyst, wrote in their proposal.
The Ball Venture Fund Competition, sponsored by the Ball Brothers Foundation of Muncie (IN), is in its 19th year, providing Independent Colleges of Indiana schools with seed funds for innovative start-up projects. This year, ICI received 30 submissions from 20 member institutions.