The DIAGRAM Center exists to support people’s learning needs using new technologies and make the content they produce accessible.
The work of the DIAGRAM Center fits into five categories: image description; 3D printing, tactiles, and haptics; “born accessible” publishing; accessible math; and research information and innovation. Image description provides information about an image for those who cannot see it; the DIAGRAM Center has developed an open-source image description training tool and image description guidelines. Three-dimensional models can help learners understand concepts, so the DIAGRAM Center has done research on the use of 3D printed materials in classrooms. It has been found that these models enhance learning experiences for students with visual impairments as well as those without. There are plans to create a repository of curriculum-related designs that educators will be able to access.
If content in the contemporary world is “born digital,” it should also be “born accessible” so that individuals with print disabilities are able to access all newly published material. The DIAGRAM Center has produced a guide to accessible publishing and various tips and resources for those producing digital content. The DIAGRAM Center’s efforts toward making math accessible include the creation of an open-source tool that helps writers of math teaching materials to create images and alternative descriptions of equations that will help to support all learners. The DIAGRAM Center is also involved in other research projects and reports related to the development and use of accessible educational materials.
To learn more about the DIAGRAM Center, visit its website here. The center also has free training webinars on a variety of topics around accessible content available here, and its blog can be found here.