STEM Literature Review

From Research Questions Task Force

This page is a collection of relevant references on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, with a focus on domain-specific notation and accessibility implications. It is part of RQTF's activity looking at accessibility and Domain-specific notation. The reference list shouldn't be considered complete or definitive, and is likely to regularly undergo formatting improvement and reorganization to support the review and analysis process.

General STEM

Remote Laboratories as a Means to Widen Participation in STEM Education

  • Format: PDF, open access
  • Author: Grout, Ian
  • Year: 2017
  • Journal: Education Sciences
  • Volume: 7
  • Issue: 4
  • Pages: 85

Abstract: In this paper, a discussion is presented into how remote laboratories can be utilized in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in order to provide and promote access to laboratory experiments via the Internet. This provision can be considered from a range of viewpoints in how to use Internet-based technologies to allow remote access to physical laboratory experiments whilst taking into account the needs and wishes of the individual.

In recent years, countries around the world have placed an increased emphasis on promoting access to education for traditionally underrepresented groups and also to improve the quality of STEM education. Despite this, gaining access to laboratory facilities and experiments for many people can still be a problem. Remote laboratories can, however, be designed, developed, and deployed to support access to STEM education by providing remote access to facilities that would not otherwise be accessible to an individual. Recently, a range of solutions have been developed and successfully deployed which can be used to both provide access to and improve the quality of an educational offering.

This paper will consider how the remote laboratory can be developed and used. It can also be considered as an assistive technology which could be used to provide access to individuals with specific needs, such as disability. The paper will consider what a remote laboratory is and how it can be developed with accessibility in mind.

Systematic Review of Evidence-based Interventions in Science for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Format: PDF, available for viewing and download through Researchgate
  • Author: Barnett, Juliet, Frankel, Ashleigh and Fisher, Kimberly
  • Year: 2018
  • Journal: Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities
  • Volume: 53
  • Issue: 2
  • Pages: 128-145

Abstract: Students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are increasingly included in general education and are expected to access core content, including science. Development of science content knowledge, scientific literacy, and scientific thinking are emphasized in legislation as well as the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as critical for all students. However, participation in science is often challenging for students with ASD given their difficulties with communication and vocabulary, and evidence on teaching science to students with disabilities is limited. This comprehensive literature review synthesized 10 studies of science interventions for students with ASD.

Findings suggest that students with ASD require interventions to develop the background knowledge and high-level vocabulary necessary to be successful in science. Moreover, though studies related to instructional interventions in science for students with ASD are limited, studies suggest these students benefit from direct instruction with supplementary materials such as e-texts, graphic organizers, and scripted lessons as well as inquiry-based practices that provide hands-on exploration. Implications include the need formore empirically supported interventions applied to teaching science content to students with ASD, particularly in the general education classroom.

Perceptions of online tutorials for distance learning in mathematics and computing

  • Format: PDF, open access from The Open University's repository
  • Author: Lowe, Tim, Mestel, Ben and Williams, Gareth
  • Year: 2016
  • Journal: Research in Learning Technology
  • Volume: 24
  • Issue: 1

Abstract: We report on student and staff perceptions of synchronous online teaching and learning sessions in mathematics and computing. The study is based on two surveys of students and tutors conducted 5 years apart, and focusses on the educational experience as well as societal and accessibility dimensions. Key conclusions are that both staff and students value online sessions, to supplement face-to-face sessions, mainly for their convenience, but interaction within the sessions is limited. Students find the recording of sessions particularly helpful in their studies.  

Teaching science and mathematics to students with visual impairments: Reflections of a visually impaired technician

  • Format: HTML and PDF, open access from African Journal of Disability
  • Author: Maguvhe, Mbulaheni
  • Year: 2015
  • Journal: African Journal of Disability
  • Volume: 4
  • Issue: 1
  • Pages: 1-6

Sighted and visually impaired students’ perspectives of illustrations, diagrams and drawings in school science

  • Author: McDonald, Celia and Rodrigues, Susan
  • Year: 2016
  • Journal: Wellcome open research
  • Volume: 1

Abstract: Background In this paper we report on the views of students with and without visual impairments on the use of illustrations, diagrams and drawings (IDD) in science lessons. Method Our findings are based on data gathered through a brief questionnaire completed by a convenience sample of students prior to trialling new resource material. The questionnaire sought to understand the students’ views about using IDD in science lessons. The classes involved in the study included one class from a primary school, five classes from a secondary school and one class from a school for visually impaired students.

Results—Approximately 20% of the participants thought that the diagrams were boring and just under half (48%) of the total sample (regardless of whether they were sighted or visually impaired) did not think diagrams were easy to use. Only 14% of the participants felt that repeated encounters with the same diagrams made the diagrams easy to understand. Unlike sighted students who can ‘flit’ across diagrams, a visually impaired student may only see or touch a small part of the diagram at a time so for them ‘fliting’ could result in loss of orientation with the diagram.

Conclusions—Treating sighted and visually impaired pupils equally is different to treating them identically. Sighted students incidentally learn how to interpret visual information from a young age. Students who acquire sight loss need to learn the different rules associated with reading tactile diagrams, or large print and those who are congenitally blind do not have visual memories to rely upon.   

Students With Learning Disabilities in Inquiry-Based Science Classrooms: A Cross-Case Analysis

  • Author: McGrath, Allison L. and Hughes, Marie Tejero
  • Year: 2018
  • Journal: Learning Disability Quarterly
  • Volume: 41
  • Issue: 3
  • Pages: 131-143

Abstract: Students with learning disabilities (LD) often receive instruction in general education science classrooms. However, little is known about the academic success of students with LD in this setting. As inquiry-based science instruction has become more prominent, research focusing on student learning is needed to explore how such instruction meets students’ needs. To address this, a cross-case analysis was conducted. It included six middle school students, each with LD, from a Midwestern city. Each student was enrolled in a general education science class that used inquiry-based instruction. Data sources included student and educator interviews, classroom observations, and student portfolios.

Results indicated that most of the students with LD had difficulty acquiring science process knowledge and that students relied on peer supports to facilitate their learning. Findings extend the research on science instruction for students with LD in middle school classrooms using inquiry-based instruction.

E-Book Perceptions and Use in STEM and Non-STEM Disciplines: A Comparative Follow-Up Study

  • Author: Carroll, Alexander, Corlett-Rivera, Kelsey, Hackman, Timothy and Zou, Jinwang
  • Year: 2016
  • Journal: Portal : Libraries and the Academy
  • Volume: 16
  • Issue: 1
  • Pages: 131-162

Abstract: This article describes the results of a survey that gathered data on perceptions and use of e-books from undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff. The investigators analyzed the results based on user affiliate status and subject discipline and compared the results with the findings of a similar, smaller-scale study conducted in 2012. This study concludes with a discussion of the major findings and their implications for academic libraries and publishers, as well as areas for further inquiry.

Exploring Auditory Graphing Software in the Classroom: The Effect of Auditory Graphs on the Classroom Environment

  • Author: Tomlinson, Brianna, Batterman, Jared, Chew, Yee, Henry, Ashley and Walker, Bruce
  • Year: 2016
  • Journal: ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS)
  • Volume: 9
  • Issue: 1
  • Pages: 1-27

Abstract: Students who are visually impaired make up a population with unique needs for learning. Some tools have been developed to support these needs in the classroom. One such tool, the Graph and Number line Input and Exploration software (GNIE), was developed by the Georgia Institute of Technology Sonification Lab. GNIE was deployed for use in a middle school math classroom at the Georgia Academy for the Blind (GAB) for 2 years starting in fall 2012.

We interviewed the middle school math teacher throughout the deployment to learn about the challenges faced when teaching: lesson planning, execution, and review. We also observed how these changed when using GNIE compared to traditional teaching materials. During these 2 years, we conducted interviews and focus groups with students to learn about their attitudes toward tactile graphs compared to auditory graphs. With these in mind, we present lessons learned from the use of GNIE in a real-world classroom and implications for design of software to aid graphical learning for students with vision impairments.

Effectiveness of Computer-Based Scaffolding in the Context of Problem-Based Learning for Stem Education: Bayesian Meta-analysis

  • Author: Kim, Nam, Belland, Brian and Walker, Andrew
  • Year: 2018
  • Journal: Educational Psychology Review
  • Volume: 30
  • Issue: 2
  • Pages: 397-429

Abstract: Computer-based scaffolding plays a pivotal role in improving students’ higher-order skills in the context of problem-based learning for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. The effectiveness of computer-based scaffolding has been demonstrated through traditional meta-analyses. However, traditional meta-analyses suffer from small-study effects and a lack of studies covering certain characteristics.

This research investigates the effectiveness of computer-based scaffolding in the context of problem-based learning for STEM education through Bayesian meta-analysis (BMA). Specifically, several types of prior distribution information inform Bayesian simulations of studies, and this generates accurate effect size estimates of six moderators (total 24 subcategories) related to the characteristics of computer-based scaffolding and the context of scaffolding utilization.

The results of BMA indicated that computer-based scaffolding significantly impacted ( g  = 0.385) cognitive outcomes in problem-based learning in STEM education. Moreover, according to the characteristics and the context of use of scaffolding, the effects of computer-based scaffolding varied with a range of small to moderate values. The result of the BMA contributes to an enhanced understanding of the effect of computer-based scaffolding within problem-based learning.

iTeachSTEM: Technological Edgework in High School Teachers' iPad Adoption

  • Author: Hughes, Joan, Ko, Yujung and Boklage, Audrey
  • Year: 2017
  • Journal: Research in the Schools
  • Volume: 24
  • Issue: 1
  • Pages: 45-62

Abstract: Few studies have been set in secondary school STEM contexts, and there is limited examination of teacher practice. [...]this study examined how four STEM teachers' pedagogical practices took shape when participating in a secondary-level innovation to use iPads to support critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication, or according to the district 21st century Iearning. [...]the iPad allowed students make connections between the real world and what they were learning. Yeah, I saved some paper, but that's not really enhancing anything."

Because PDF annotation apps allow hand-writing, students "would get the worksheet and they would write on it on the iPad and then send it back," which avoided the difficulty of typing mathematical statistical symbols. [...]the high school context seems to involve more standardization of curriculum and practice, such as in Tom's case, than innovations in elementary or middle school.

Stemming on STEM: A STEM Education Framework for Students with Disabilities

  • Author: Hwang, Jiwon and Taylor, Jonte C.
  • Year: 2016
  • Journal: Journal of Science Education for Students with Disabilities
  • Volume: 19
  • Issue: 1
  • Pages: 39-49

Abstract: There has been increased attention paid to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics also known as STEM. The focus on STEM has been both educational and occupational. Unfortunately, students with disabilities perform below their peers without disabilities in math and science. The authors discuss issues related to STEM and students with disabilities. These issues include (1) traditional views of STEM education, (2) the importance of STEM education, and (3) students with disabilities performance in STEM. The authors posit a framework for STEM education for students with disabilities and promote the incorporation of the arts to increase students' STEM knowledge and achievement.

Broadening Participation of Women and Underrepresented Minorities in STEM through a Hybrid Online Transfer Program

  • Author: Drew, Jennifer C., Galindo-Gonzalez, Sebastian, Ardissone, Alexandria N., Triplett, Eric W. and Gibbs, Kenneth
  • Year: 2016
  • Journal: CBE Life Sciences Education
  • Volume: 15
  • Issue: 3

Abstract: Development of a new model of a transfer program that blends online learning with face-to-face labs in microbiology significantly broadens participation of women and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics while maintaining retention and academic performance. The Microbiology and Cell Science (MCS) Department at the University of Florida (UF) developed a new model of a 2 + 2 program that uses a hybrid online approach to bring its science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum to students. In this paradigm, 2-year graduates transfer as online students into the Distance Education in MCS (DE MCS) bachelor of science program.

The program has broadened access to STEM with a steadily increasing enrollment that does not draw students away from existing on-campus programs. Notably, half of the DE MCS students are from underrepresented minority (URM) backgrounds and two-thirds are women, which represents a greater level of diversity than the corresponding on-campus cohort and the entire university. Additionally, the DE MCS cohort has comparable retention and academic performance compared with the on-campus transfer cohort. Of those who have earned a BS through the DE MCS program, 71% are women and 61% are URM.

Overall, these data demonstrate that the hybrid online approach is successful in increasing diversity and provides another viable route in the myriad of STEM pathways. As the first of its kind in a STEM field, the DE MCS program serves as a model for programs seeking to broaden their reach.

Narrative Inquiry on the Teaching of STEM to Blind High School Students

  • Author: Villanueva, Idalis
  • Year: 2017
  • Journal: Education Sciences
  • Volume: 7
  • Issue: 4
  • Pages: 89

Abstract: This study aimed to elevate the experiences and voices of teachers who led the STEM informal education program summer series: National Federation of the Blind Engineering Quotient (NFB EQ). Through its integration with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), NFB EQ opened opportunities from 2013-2016 in Baltimore, Maryland, for 60 blind students (Grades 9-12) to learn about engineering.

The purpose of this narrative inquiry study was to understand how teachers foster interest towards STEM among blind students. The participants were two sighted teachers, one blind teacher, one sighted teacher-researcher, and one sighted researcher participant. We collected data in the form of field notes, semi-structured interviews, personal narratives, collective narratives, a focus group discussion, and teaching artifacts. We engaged in conversation analysis and used MAXQDA 12 software for data analysis.

Guided by the principles of community of practices and universal design for learning, our results identified the importance of teacher awareness and positionalities in guiding blind students’ inclusion and identity in the STEM classroom. Findings also suggest teachers are in a unique position to allow or prevent inclusive opportunities from occurring in their classrooms.

Does Career and Technical Education Strengthen the STEM Pipeline? Comparing Students With and Without Disabilities

  • Author: Gottfried, Michael A., Bozick, Robert, Rose, Ernest and Moore, Ravaris
  • Year: 2016
  • Journal: Journal of Disability Policy Studies
  • Volume: 26
  • Issue: 4
  • Pages: 232-244

Abstract: Despite the strategic investment of the Perkins IV legislation to promote a broader application of career and technical education (CTE) to all students, it is unclear whether these initiatives distinctively support the needs of students with disabilities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields of study. This is a critical lapse in the research, as knowing the efficacy of CTE experiences in promoting the STEM pipeline will be important for policy makers as they consider new or revised educational policies to support the pursuit and persistence of students with disabilities into STEM fields.

This study evaluates whether two CTE experiences (applied STEM course taking and school-based experiential programs) in high school differentially predict the declaration of STEM college majors for students with and without disabilities. Assessing nationally representative data, the analyses suggest that CTE experiences consisting of applied STEM courses and school-based experiential programs may both be sufficient to move through the STEM pipeline for students in the general population, but both are insufficient for supporting students with disabilities.

Use of a sonification system for science learning by people who are blind

  • Author: Lahav, Orly, Chagab, Nuha and Talis, Vadim
  • Year: 2016
  • Journal: Journal of Assistive Technologies
  • Volume: 10
  • Issue: 4
  • Pages: 187-198

Abstract: Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine a central need of students who are blind: the ability to access science curriculum content. Design/methodology/approach Agent-based modeling is a relatively new computational modeling paradigm that models complex dynamic systems. NetLogo is a widely used agent-based modeling language that enables exploration and construction of models of complex systems by programming and running the rules and behaviors. Sonification of variables and events in an agent-based NetLogo computer model of gas in a container is used to convey phenomena information. This study examined mainly two research topics: the scientific conceptual knowledge and systems reasoning that were learned as a result of interaction with the listen-to-complexity (L2C) environment as appeared in answers to the pre- and post-tests and the learning topics of kinetic molecular theory of gas in chemistry that was learned as a result of interaction with the L2C environment. The case study research focused on A., a woman who is adventitiously blind, for eight sessions.

Findings The participant successfully completed all curricular assignments; her scientific conceptual knowledge and systems reasoning became more specific and aligned with scientific knowledge. Practical implications A practical implication of further studies is that they are likely to have an impact on the accessibility of learning materials, especially in science education for students who are blind, as equal access to low-cost learning environments that are equivalent to those used by sighted users would support their inclusion in the K-12 academic curriculum. Originality/value The innovative and low-cost learning system that is used in this research is based on transmittal of visual information of dynamic and complex systems, providing perceptual compensation by harnessing auditory feedback. For the first time the L2C system is based on sound that represents a dynamic rather than a static array. In this study, the authors explore how a combination of several auditory representations may affect cognitive learning ability.  

Listen to the models: Sonified learning models for people who are blind

  • Author: Lahav, Orly, Hagab, Nuha, El Kader, Sewar Abed, Levy, Sharona T. and Talis, Vadim
  • Year: 2018
  • Journal: Computers & Education
  • Volume: 127
  • Pages: 141-153

Abstract: Students who are blind need access to learning materials. This study looks at the learning of science by people who are blind using a curriculum-based textbook compared to their learning using an identical curriculum integrated with the Listening-to-Complexity (L2C), an agent-based model created on NetLogo. The L2C system employs sonified feedback that provides auditory streams synchronically. This study examines acquisition of scientific conceptual knowledge and systems reasoning for the Kinetic Molecular Theory (KMT) of gas and Gas Laws in chemistry. Twenty persons who are blind participated in this research; they were divided into two experimental groups: those using an accessible curriculum-based textbook and those using the same curriculum integrated with L2C agent-based models.

Results showed that all research participants gained scientific knowledge. Statistically significant differences were found for both experimental research groups between pre-and posttest. Those who learned through the L2C models performed with higher accuracy in the posttest. Furthermore, learning using the NetLogo L2C models predicted their success at the posttest. A comparison of learning task accuracy between the two experimental groups showed that the participants who studied using the NetLogo L2C models performed with statistically significant differences in the five learning activities with integrated L2C models, but no differences were found for the learning activities without integrated L2C models.

These research results are likely to have a beneficial impact on integrating sonified models in science education as a compensatory aid, allowing hands-on learning experience for students who are blind. Integrating sonified models will support their inclusion in the K–12 academic curriculum on an equal basis. Sonified feedback can lead to learning and understanding of scientific phenomena. L2C is compensating for inability of blind students to perform hands-on exploration. L2C learners gained higher results compared to the standard curriculum learners.

Hands-On Math and Art Exhibition Promoting Science Attitudes and Educational Plans

  • Author: Thuneberg, Helena, Salmi, Hannu and Fenyvesi, Kristof
  • Year: 2017
  • Journal: Education Research International
  • Volume: 2017

Abstract: The current science, technology, engineering, art, math education (STEAM) approach emphasizes integration of abstract science and mathematical ideas for concrete solutions by art. The main aim was to find out how experience of learning mathematics differed between the contexts of school and an informal Math and Art Exhibition. The study participants ( N = 256 ) were 12-13 years old from Finland. Several valid questionnaires and tests were applied (e.g., SRQ-A, RAVEN) in pre- and postdesign showing a good reliability. The results based on General Linear Modeling and Structural Equation Path Modeling underline the motivational effects.

The experience of the effectiveness of hands-on learning at school and at the exhibition was not consistent across the subgroups. The lowest achieving group appreciated the exhibition alternative for math learning compared to learning math at school. The boys considered the exhibition to be more useful than the girls as it fostered their science and technology attitudes. However, for the girls, the attractiveness of the exhibition, the experienced situation motivation, was much more strongly connected to the attitudes on science and technology and the worthiness of mathematics. Interestingly, the pupils experienced that even this short informal learning intervention affected their science and technology attitudes and educational plans.

Computing Science

Exploratory Research to Expand Opportunities in Computer Science for Students with Learning Differences

  • Author: Wille, Sarah, Century, Jeanne and Pike, Miriam
  • Year: 2017
  • Journal: Computing in Science & Engineering
  • Volume: 19
  • Issue: 3
  • Pages: 40-50

Abstract: The computer science (CS) education field is engaging in unprecedented efforts to expand learning opportunities in K-12 CS education, but one group of students is often overlooked: those with specific learning disabilities and related attention deficit disorders. As CS education initiatives grow, K-12 teachers need research-informed guidance to make computing more accessible for students who learn differently.

This article reports on the first phase of a National Science Foundation-supported exploratory research study to address this problem. The authors present their education research-practice partnership, initial findings, and highlights of a collaborative process that has furthered their work to support more equitable learning in CS.

"For all" in "computer science for all"

  • Author: Ladner, Richard and Israel, Maya
  • Year: 2016
  • Journal: Communications of the ACM
  • Volume: 59
  • Issue: 9
  • Pages: 26-28

Abstract: Seeking to expand inclusiveness in computer science education.

Computer Programming With Pre-K Through First-Grade Students With Intellectual Disabilities

  • Author: Taylor, Matthew S.
  • Year: 2018
  • Journal: The Journal of Special Education
  • Volume: 52
  • Issue: 2
  • Pages: 78-88

Abstract: Researchers suggest students in early elementary grade levels are active learners and creators and need to be exposed to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum. The need for student understanding in STEM curriculum is well-documented, and positive results in robotics and computer programming are leading researchers and policy makers to introduce new standards in education. The purpose of this single-case design study is to research the potential for PreK-1st grade students with intellectual disabilities (ID) to learn skills in computer programming through explicit instruction, concrete manipulatives, and tangible interfaces. Students were assessed through baseline, treatment, and generalization phases.

The students with ID were found to successfully program the robot, following explicit instruction, although they had difficulty generalizing skills to tablet application. Discussion of results, future research, and limitations is provided.


Teaching macroeconomics to the visually impaired: New tactile methods, verbal precision, and small groups

  • Author: Naples, Michele I.
  • Year: 2017
  • Journal: The Journal of Economic Education
  • Volume: 48
  • Issue: 3
  • Pages: 193-197

Abstract: Visually-impaired students require tailored pedagogies to ensure their instruction is as high quality as for sighted students. They follow board work during class by referring to typed class notes provided ahead of time via a Braille reader, and in-class small groups solving problems create an inclusive esprit de corps and promote classmates' participation in clarifying board work. Small colleges with limited means can adopt Wikki Stix for tactile graphs that both artistically challenged faculty pressed for time and students can use successfully. Verbal description and “naming” (i.e., using analytical categories to identify sections of graphs) benefit visually-impaired and sighted students alike.


Towards equity in mathematics education for students with severe disabilities: A case study of professional learning

  • Author: Tan, Paulo
  • Year: 2014
  • Secondary Author: Alant, Erna, Kastberg, Signe, Maxcy, Brendan, Scheurich, James and Thorius, Kathleen King
  • Publisher: ProQuest Dissertations Publishing

Abstract: Students identified with severe disabilities have historically been excluded from participating in rich and meaningful learning experiences, especially in core content areas such as mathematics. Calls for change in educational paradigms towards more inclusive practices have serious implications and challenges for researchers and practitioners who seek to better understand and implement transformative types of changes in mathematics education. These changes necessitate powerful models of professional learning. Once such model termed social design experiments involves teachers engaging with researchers in critical collaborative inquiry in order to advance equity.

As a part of a larger study, this dissertation study examined a case of social design experiments that involved a series of researcher-facilitated professional learning sessions, where general and special educators from two urban elementary schools worked critically and collaboratively with the goal of advancing equitable practices in mathematics for students with severe disabilities. Elements of the theory of expansive learning, critical mathematics education, and disability studies perspectives were used to explore the tensions and solutions that emerged from the professional learning sessions through observations and follow-up interviews.

Results of the analysis indicated several tensions that were marginalizing special education teachers, special education students, and mathematics. However, throughout the professional learning sessions, teachers recognized some of these tensions as those surfaced and proposed solutions and innovations to address them. The results of the study suggest that while numerous barriers existed to advancing equitable practices in mathematics in these "inclusive" elementary schools, given time, space, and tools to have facilitated conversations, teachers collectively expanded their learning towards more equitable practices.

The case for adopting virtual manipulatives in mathematics education for students with disabilities

  • Author: Satsangi, Rajiv and Miller, Bridget
  • Year: 2017
  • Journal: Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth
  • Volume: 61
  • Issue: 4
  • Pages: 303-310

Abstract: ABSTRACT The past four decades have generated significant research toward improving the academic outcomes of students with disabilities, especially in the field of mathematics. In this effort, the role of technology in the classroom, both high- and low-tech, has garnered significant attention. For students with disabilities, the use of manipulatives is a form of technology with an established research base. Although concrete manipulatives in instructional practice have been thoroughly studied, the emergence of virtual manipulatives presents teachers with new options for teaching mathematics to elementary and secondary students.

This article discusses the use of virtual manipulatives for students with disabilities while highlighting the benefits they pose, such as providing students with flexible options for learning, promoting student autonomy, and offering educators a wider range of options to accommodate diverse groups of students.

Challenges in Inclusive Mathematics Education: Representations by Professionals Who Teach Mathematics to Students with Disabilities

  • Author: Moreira, Geraldo and Manrique, Ana
  • Year: 2014
  • Journal: Creative Education
  • Volume: 5
  • Issue: 7
  • Pages: 470-483

Abstract:  In the face of the lack of research that investigates the relations between Mathematics teachers and students with special educational needs, an investigation was launched with the aim of identifying the social representations that these professionals have regarding disability, in addition to learning about their knowledge, opinions and doubts on this theme. The research was carried out with the participation of 65 mathematics teachers and data collection resulted from replies given to three proposed situations in an interview. Collective subject discourse methodology was used, with social representation Theory employed as a theoretical-methodological reference.

The results showed the presence of distinct representations concerning the theme, with attitudes that range from support and incentive for the inclusion of students with disabilities, with evidence of knowledge of the theme, to representations that revealed the manifestation of doubts, opinions and attitudes, with positions contrary to the philosophy of inclusion.

Multimedia platform for mathematics’ interactive learning accessible to blind people

  • Author: Maćkowski, Michał, Brzoza, Piotr, Żabka, Marek and Spinczyk, Dominik
  • Year: 2018
  • Journal: An International Journal
  • Volume: 77
  • Issue: 5
  • Pages: 6191-6208

Abstract: Nowadays, the math learning is an important step in developing professional carriers in technical and economic sciences. Increasing the number of e-learning tools used in universities courses can reduce the potential barrier of access to mathematical knowledge, but most of them are not accessible for impaired students. Moreover, classical printed math books include little explicit instructional information about structural information interpretations. Taking into account these barriers the article presents the developed method used for creating interactive steps of decomposed math’s exercise solution and alternative description of math formulas accessible for the blind.

The elements of proposed methodology: generation of state machine, design and presentation of transition conditions, generating the presentation layer and a typical usage by a blind user are presented. A set of rules for describing mathematical formulas were proposed after consultation with mathematicians and teachers of blind people. The application was developed as web application. The graphical interface of presented application was designed using PHP and JavaScript technologies. The collection of prepared exercises include about 240 prepared exercises from different areas of mathematics and 60 selected exercises including alternative description layer.

About 1000 students and about 40 impaired students, from 6 faculties of the university use this platform during math courses for both self and class learning. The defined rules were used to read aloud mathematical formulas to the visually impaired people with a different level of mathematical knowledge. The results confirmed good understanding of mathematical formulas by using prepared alternative description.

Teaching Algebra to Students With Learning Disabilities: Where Have We Come and Where Should We Go?

  • Author: Watt, Sarah J., Watkins, Jessie R. and Abbitt, Jason
  • Year: 2016
  • Journal: Journal of Learning Disabilities
  • Volume: 49
  • Issue: 4
  • Pages: 437-447

Abstract: This review investigates effective interventions for teaching algebra to students with learning disabilities and evaluates the complexity and alignment of skills with the Common Core State Standards in math. The review includes the results of 10 experimental and 5 single-subject designs (N = 15) producing a moderate overall effect size (g = 0.48). A total of five interventions were identified and analyzed across the studies using effect size data.

Mathematics Education and Students with Learning Disabilities: Introduction to the Special Series

  • Author: Rivera, Diane Pedrotty
  • Year: 1997
  • Journal: Journal of Learning Disabilities
  • Volume: 30
  • Issue: 1
  • Pages: 2-19

Title: Review of Evidence-based Mathematics Interventions for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Author: Barnett, Juliet and Cleary, Shannon
  • Year: 2015
  • Journal: Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities
  • Volume: 50
  • Issue: 2
  • Pages: 172-185

Abstract: Students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are being included more frequently in the general educational setting, and are therefore increasingly expected to access and master core curricular content, including mathematics. However, mathematics often presents challenges to students with ASD. Interventions to improve the mathematics skills of students with ASD have been recommended. This comprehensive literature review synthesized eleven studies of mathematics intervention strategies for students with ASD.

Though studies related to instructional interventions in mathematics for students with ASD are limited, these students can benefit from mathematics interventions, which can help them strengthen their mathematics skills, increase independence when completing problems, and use acquired skills in community or other applied settings. Future implications include the need for additional, empirically-supported interventions in mathematics for students with ASD and the need to target more academically-oriented math interventions for this population, particularly in the context of problem solving, which will assist in determining the potential of students with ASD to achieve mathematic success.

Mathematics and accessibility: A survey.

  • Author: Karshmer, A., Gupta, G., & Pontelli, E.
  • Year: 2007
  • Journal: Proc. 9th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs
  • Volume: 3118
  • Pages: 664-669

Non visual access to mathematical contents: State of the art and prospective

  • Author: Archambault, D.
  • Year: 2009
  • Journal: Proceedings of the WEIMS Conference
  • Volume: 2009
  • Pages: 43-52

eText, Mathematics, and Students With Visual Impairments: What Teachers Need to Know

  • Author: Bouck, Emily and Meyer, Nancy
  • Year: 2012
  • Journal: Teaching Exceptional Children
  • Volume: 45
  • Issue: 2
  • Pages: 42-49

Abstract: Given the current technology-infused era, the sophisticated technology at our disposal, and education legislation and regulations mandating accessible electronic access to educational books (i.e., Individuals With Disabilities Education Act [IDEA] regulations, 34 C.F.R. § 300.346[a][2][v] National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials, 2011), educators need to know what technology is available to support students with visual impairments with regards to mathematics.

Mathematical markup language (MathML) represents another markup language and is the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) recommended specification for encoding mathematics in web pages and assistive technology accessed by individuals with visual impairments (W3C, n.d.).

Learning subtraction and addition through digital boards: a Down syndrome case

  • Author: González, Carina, Noda, Aurelia, Bruno, Alicia, Moreno, Lorenzo and Muñoz, Vanesa
  • Year: 2015
  • Journal: International Journal
  • Volume: 14
  • Issue: 1
  • Pages: 29-44

Abstract: This paper examines key issues involving the interaction, design and usability of a digital whiteboard interface to support Down syndrome (DS) students in their learning of addition and subtraction algorithms.

The research goals include (a) to identify the main interaction difficulties present when executing addition and subtraction operations and (b) to improve the interaction design of the digital whiteboard interface to adapt it to DS characteristics. In order to achieve these goals, several studies (usability and educational) were conducted with experts and children. These methods and techniques included prototyping, questionnaires (pre-post), thinking out loud, video-recording and structured observation. As regards the interaction aspects with the whiteboard, the items evaluated included (a) mouse use, (b) placement of numbers and balls, (c) ball deletion and crossing out, (d) placement of the sign of the operation and (e) use of sensitive areas established in the worksheet. In addition, the paper presents the main strategies, procedures and errors of DS students for carrying out addition and subtraction algorithms that are more predominant in the DS population.

Some relevant findings and results are presented, such as the importance of visual aids (graphics, balls, fingers, etc.) in teaching addition and subtraction to individuals with DS, the advantages of using the whiteboard for students who have difficulty writing, as they can focus on the operation at hand and forget their difficulties with handwriting, or mathematical errors arising from interaction issues.

Math Interventions for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Best-Evidence Synthesis

  • Author: King, Seth A., Lemons, Christopher J. and Davidson, Kimberly A.
  • Year: 2016
  • Place Published: Los Angeles, CA
  • Volume: 82
  • Pages: 443-462

Abstract: Educators need evidence-based practices to assist students with disabilities in meeting increasingly rigorous standards in mathematics. Students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are increasingly expected to demonstrate learning of basic and advanced mathematical concepts. This review identifies math intervention studies involving children and adolescents with ASD and describes participant characteristics, methodological features, interventions, target behaviors, and related outcomes. Included studies met the design standards of the What Works Clearinghouse (2014). Studies focused on functional and computational skills for students with a comorbid diagnosis of intellectual disability (ID).

Visual analysis confirmed a functional relation between evaluated interventions and mathematics outcomes in 71% of cases. Interventions generally yielded moderate to large effect sizes. Large confidence intervals were obtained across effects. More high-quality research including students with higher-functioning ASD is required to fully address the needs of this population.


A Proposal for the Inclusion of Accessibility Criteria in the Publishing Workflow of Images in Biomedical Academic Articles

  • Author: Splendiani, Bruno and Ribera, Mireia
  • Year: 2015
  • Journal: Procedia Computer Science
  • Volume: 67
  • Issue: C
  • Pages: 67-76

Abstract: In spite of the importance of visual content in academic publishing, biomedical articles do not offer accessible images, mainly because of the lack of text alternatives. According to a process-oriented accessibility philosophy, this article proposes the use of image-related texts, such as captions or mentions, as text alternatives of images, since they are solutions based on the current practices of authors of biomedical images.

We also present two tools created to guide authors in writing comprehensive text alternatives. The aim of this proposal is to increase the opportunities of an actual application of accessibility principles within the biomedical academic publishing.

Do Physicians Make Their Articles Readable for Their Blind or Low-Vision Patients? An Analysis of Current Image Processing Practices in Biomedical Journals from the Point of View of Accessibility

  • Author: Splendiani, Bruno, Ribera, Mireia, Garcia, Roberto and Termens, Miquel
  • Year: 2014
  • Journal: The Journal of the Society for Computer Applications in Radiology
  • Volume: 27
  • Issue: 4
  • Pages: 419-442

Abstract: Visual content in biomedical academic papers is a growing source of critical information, but it is not always fully readable for people with visual impairments. We aimed to assess current image processing practices, accessibility policies, and submission policies in a sample of 12 highly cited biomedical journals. We manually checked the application of text-based alternative image descriptions for every image in 12 articles (one for each journal). We determined whether the journals claimed to follow an accessibility policy and we reviewed their submission policy and their guidelines related to the visual content. We identified important features concerning the processing of images and the characteristics of the visual and the retrieval options of visual content offered by the publishers.

The evaluation shows that the actual practices of textual image description in highly cited biomedical journals do not follow general guidelines on accessibility. The images within the articles analyzed lack alternative descriptions or have uninformative descriptions, even in the case of journals claiming to follow an accessibility policy. Consequently, the visual information of scientific articles is not accessible to people with severe visual disabilities. Instructions on image submission are heterogeneous and a declaration of accessibility guidelines was only found in two thirds of the sample of journals, with one third not explicitly following any accessibility policy, although they are required to by law.

Chemistry and Physics

Evaluation of Existing and New Periodic Tables of the Elements for the Chemistry Education of Blind Students

  • Author: Fantin, D., Sutton, M., Daumann, Lj and Fischer, Kf
  • Year: 2016
  • Journal: J. Chem. Educ.
  • Volume: 93
  • Issue: 6
  • Pages: 1039-1048

Examining the use of adaptive technologies to increase the hands-on participation of students with blindness or low vision in secondary-school chemistry and physics

  • Author: Supalo, Cary A., Humphrey, Jennifer R., Mallouk, Thomas E., David Wohlers, H. and Carlsen, William S.
  • Year: 2016
  • Journal: Chem. Educ. Res. Pract.
  • Volume: 17
  • Issue: 4
  • Pages: 1174-1189

Abstract: To determine whether a suite of audible adaptive technologies would increase the hands-on participation of high school students with blindness or low vision in chemistry and physics courses, data were examined from a multi-year field study conducted with students in mainstream classrooms at secondary schools across the United States. The students worked with sighted laboratory partners. Four categories of data were analyzed with regard to levels of hands-on participation, including quantitative coding of video-recorded laboratory lessons, qualitative assessment of the same videos, student interviews, and teacher interviews.

Evidence in support of the efficacy of the technologies to increase the students' hands-on participation during laboratory lessons was substantial. However, certain factors affected the quantitative interpretation of the data: students with usable low vision experienced similar levels of participation both with and without the adaptations, and students with little usable vision often required more time than did students with full vision to accomplish some laboratory tasks. Additional factors inherent to natural educational environments were also determined to have strong effects on student outcomes.

Visions and Realizations of a Computational eTextbook

  • Author: Landau, Rubin H., Páez, Manuel J. and Bordeianu, Cristian C.
  • Year: 2015
  • Journal: Computing in Science & Engineering
  • Volume: 17
  • Issue: 5
  • Pages: 72-79

Abstract: The authors describe a series of implementations of a multisensory, interactive eTextbook in computational physics with multiple executable elements and various ways to include text, computational laboratories, demonstrations, and video-based lecture modules. The authors also discuss advances and setbacks in the realizations of their original vision, as well as modifications instigated by changing Web technologies and mobile devices.

General e-learning

This section contains some publications that are focused on disability and accessibility and some that are more general, and may warrant further organization.

The problems disabled people face in mobile and web based e-learning phases in a developing country

  • Author: Akcil, Umut
  • Year: 2018
  • Journal: Quality and Quantity
  • Pages: 1-10

Abstract: It has been much easier to access education in the recent digital age. As each individual person is trying to benefit from the advantages of the digital age, it is an unacceptable case for the disabled people being left behind these benefits. In the international human rights declaration, each individual of the society has the right to have the equality of education. When it is about disabled people, human rights and education rights, which are the basis of all rights, gain more importance. Since the importance given to e-learning education has been increasing recently, it is essential to research whether this situation is the same for the disabled people living in developing countries or internationally less recognized countries, or not.

In this respect, the present study has been carried out in line with the opinions of the disabled foundation administrators, in order to reveal the problems disabled people face in mobile and web based e-learning education phases, in the digital age. The study has been conducted with 10 administrators from 5 disabled foundations. Moreover, phenomenology as one of the qualitative research approaches has been put into practise. The data has been collected through the voice records of face to face interviews.

As a result of content analysis, 5 themes have been found out. According to these findings, it has been clear that there are problems at web design, access to adapted technology, the usage of mobile devices, the content of e-education and the access of the technological devices.  

E-Learning and Disability in Higher Education: Accessibility Research and Practice by Jane K. Seale (review)

  • Author: Aquino, Katherine
  • Year: 2015
  • Volume: 38
  • Pages: 305-307

Understanding the graphical challenges faced by vision-impaired students in Australian universities

  • Author: Butler, Matthew, Holloway, Leona, Marriott, Kim and Goncu, Cagatay
  • Year: 2017
  • Journal: Higher Education Research & Development
  • Volume: 36

Abstract: Information graphics such as plots, maps, plans, charts, tables and diagrams form an integral part of the student learning experience in many disciplines. However, for a vision impaired student accessing such graphical materials can be problematic. This research seeks to understand the current state of accessible graphics provision in Australian higher education.

We conducted an online survey of 71 vision-impaired university students and semi-structured interviews with 44 key stakeholders (students, academics, disability liaison officers and accessible graphics providers). We found that difficulty in accessing graphical materials was a barrier to many vision-impaired students and that there were systemic problems with current processes for accessible graphics provision. Recommendations are made on ways to address these concerns in order to provide a more equitable higher education experience.  

Ubiquitous learning: A systematic review

  • Author: Cárdenas-Robledo, Leonor Adriana and Peña-Ayala, Alejandro
  • Year: 2018
  • Journal: Telematics and Informatics
  • Volume: 35
  • Issue: 5
  • Pages: 1097-1132

Abstract: Pattern of essential features is proposed to describe 176 u-learning approaches. Taxonomy composed of nine categories is proposed to classify u-learning approaches. During 2014–2017 the number of approaches has been duplicated against prior period. Learning paradigms, functionality and effects are the most characterized categories. 54% of the approaches are indoor while 46% are outdoor to reveal u-learning essence. Ubiquitous learning, labeled as u–learning, takes advantage of digital content, physical surroundings, mobile devices, pervasive components, and wireless communication to deliver teaching–learning experiences to users at anytime, anywhere, and anyway. U–learning represents an emergent paradigm that spreads education in diverse settings, where users are situated in authentic learning contexts to face immersive experiences in order to accomplish meaningful learning.

With the aim at disseminating such a revolutionary arena, this systematic review analyzes its nature, application, and evolution throughout a longitudinal study, where 176 approaches built since 2010 up to the third quarter of 2017 date are gathered, classified, and characterized to disclose labor traits, outcome patterns, and field tendencies. These five results are grounded respectively in a representative collection, a proposed taxonomy, a suggested pattern, statistical interpretations, mining findings, and critical analysis.

The conclusions reveal: u–learning is able to transform traditional education provided at classroom level and by e–learning. Principally, this is because students, pertaining to diverse academic levels experience real and authentic settings, are immersed in dual reality sceneries, benefit from context–aware support, learn diverse educational domains, follow suitable learning paradigms, deal with diverse effects, and interact with different devices and technologies in a blended fashion. All of this with the purpose of enhancing users’ apprenticeship.

Beyond the Letter of the Law: Accessibility, Universal Design, and Human-Centered Design in Video Tutorials

  • Format: PDF, freely available
  • Author: Clossen, Amanda
  • Year: 2014
  • Journal: Pennsylvania Libraries
  • Volume: 2
  • Issue: 1
  • Pages: 27-37

Abstract: This article demonstrates how Universal and Human-Centered Design approaches can be applied to the process of library video tutorial creation in order to enhance accessibility. A series of questions that creators should consider in order to focus their design process is discussed. These questions break down various physical and cognitive limitations that users encounter, providing a framework for future video creation that is not dependent on specific software. By approaching accommodations more holistically, videos are created with accessibility in mind from their conception. Working toward the ideal of a video tutorial that is accessible to every user leads to the creation of more clearly worded, effective learning objects that are much more inclusive, making instructional concepts available to users of all abilities.

Applied Behavior Analysis in Special Education: Misconceptions and Guidelines for Use

  • Author: Trump, Cary E., Pennington, Robert C., Travers, Jason C., Ringdahl, Joel E., Whiteside, Erinn E. and Ayres, Kevin M.
  • Year: 2018
  • Journal: TEACHING Exceptional Children
  • Volume: 50
  • Issue: 6
  • Pages: 381-393

Effects of interactivity in E-textbooks on 7th graders science learning and cognitive load

  • Author: Weng, Cathy, Otanga, Sarah, Weng, Apollo and Cox, Joanne
  • Year: 2018
  • Journal: Computers & Education
  • Volume: 120
  • Pages: 172-184

Abstract: This study investigated the effects of interactive e-textbooks on 7th grade students' learning and cognitive load. The specific objective was to investigate how multimedia interactivity of an e-textbook affects students’ perceived learning, grades, and cognitive load compared to a static PDF e-textbook. The study involved two groups of students trialing an interactive e-textbook and a static PDF e-textbook within the environmental unit of science class. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were employed to analyze the data. Data was collected from student surveys, unit final test and teacher interviews. Results indicated that students using the static PDF e-textbook performed better on the unit final test.

Significant differences were obtained in perceived learning between the two groups with students using the interactive e-textbook having higher perceived cognitive and affective learning scores than those using the static PDF e-textbook. There were no significant differences between the groups regarding their cognitive load levels. We hope that the findings of this study would assist in future design and implementation of interactivity in classroom e-textbooks for K-12. An interactive e-textbook was created to measure effects on students' learning and cognitive load. There were significant differences in perceived learning between the interactive and static PDF e-textbook group.•The static PDF e-textbook group performed better on the unit final test.

Preliminary Lessons About Supporting Participation and Learning in Inclusive Classrooms

  • Author: Morningstar, Mary E., Shogren, Karrie A., Lee, Hyunjoo and Born, Kiara
  • Year: 2015
  • Journal: Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities
  • Volume: 40
  • Issue: 3
  • Pages: 192-210

Abstract: This descriptive study examined observational data collected in inclusive classrooms from six schools that were operating schoolwide inclusive policies and practices. Illustrative evidence of classroom practices supporting learning and participation of all students, including students with significant disabilities, adds to an understanding of structural methods supporting inclusion, as well as insights into instructional strategies and approaches used to support inclusive practices. Supports for participation were observed in several domains: (a) instructional staffing arrangements and roles, (b) methods of instructional groupings, (c) peer-supported learning, and (d) access to core academic curriculum. Supports for learning were also observed, including (a) universal design for learning, (b) behavioral interventions, and (c) accommodations and modifications.

The results are discussed in relation to implementation of essential components of inclusive classrooms and the issues the field is facing with regard to effective practices leading to student learning and inclusion within classrooms and throughout schools.

Identifying Effective Design Features of Technology-Infused Inquiry Learning Modules: A Two-Year Study of Students' Inquiry Abilities

  • Author: Su-Chi, Fang and Wen-Xin, Zhang
  • Year: 2016
  • Journal: Journal of Educational Technology & Society
  • Volume: 19
  • Issue: 2
  • Pages: 228-244

Abstract: The two-year study aimed to explore how students' development of different inquiry abilities actually benefited from the design of technology-infused learning modules. Three learning modules on the topics of seasons, environmental issues and air pollution were developed to facilitate students' inquiry abilities: questioning, planning, analyzing, and modeling. Two classes of seventh graders (13-14 years old) were randomly assigned to an inquiry group (n = 24) and a baseline group (n = 27). The two groups engaged in three technology-infused learning modules and conventional instruction respectively, and took two inquiry ability tests three times throughout two years.

The test results showed that the inquiry group performed significantly better than the baseline group with respect to several inquiry sub-abilities. The instructional components of the tasks (i.e., design features) for which students exhibited significant improvements were further analyzed with respect to the task complexity, the function of the prompts, and the types of representations presented in the tasks. These design features identified provided useful insights into future design of technology-infused learning tasks for different inquiry abilities.

The effect of a specialized dyslexia font, OpenDyslexic, on reading rate and accuracy

  • Author: Wery, Jessica and Diliberto, Jennifer
  • Year: 2017
  • Journal: Annals of Dyslexia
  • Volume: 67
  • Issue: 2
  • Pages: 114-127

Abstract: A single-subject alternating treatment design was used to investigate the extent to which a specialized dyslexia font, OpenDyslexic, impacted reading rate or accuracy compared to two commonly used fonts when used with elementary students identified as having dyslexia. OpenDyslexic was compared to Arial and Times New Roman in three reading tasks: (a) letter naming, (b) word reading, and (c) nonsense word reading. Data were analyzed through visual analysis and improvement rate difference, a nonparametric measure of nonoverlap for comparing treatments.

Results from this alternating treatment experiment show no improvement in reading rate or accuracy for individual students with dyslexia, as well as the group as a whole. While some students commented that the font was “new” or “different”, none of the participants reported preferring to read material presented in that font. These results indicate there may be no benefit for translating print materials to this font.

Computer-Assisted Learning Based on Universal Design, Multimodal Presentation and Textual Linkage

  • Author: Zhuhadar, Leyla, Carson, Bryan, Daday, Jerry, Thrasher, Evelyn and Nasraoui, Olfa
  • Year: 2016
  • Journal: Journal of the Knowledge Economy
  • Volume: 7
  • Issue: 2
  • Pages: 373-387

Abstract: Refining city services is gradually being placed in the hands of the citizens, or, as in the case of IBM's initiative, "let's build a planet of smarter cities" (, at their fingertips. By reducing cost and gaining control in building smart transportation management systems, IBM provided a grant to the city of Chicago to reinvigorate Chicago's K-12 schools and city college. Similarly, Catherine Bracy ( and her team at Code for America are using technology to "build governments for the people and by the people in the twenty-first century."

It is evident that smart cities should accommodate every citizen, most especially those who may struggle with accessing information through conventional mediums. Specifically, smart cities must ensure that full participation is available to those citizens with communication and learning disabilities and new immigrant populations who experience difficulties understanding the language of their new home county. The biggest challenge for these citizens is using the Internet for learning because of the need to read, view, or listen to content published online. Disabled students enrolled in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses at colleges and universities are at a particular disadvantage since the use of empirical observation is critical in scientific learning and research. In this paper, we propose an intervention using a new software product and workflow for video captioning--a Universal Video Captioning platform (UVC).

This platform provides a semi-automatic approach to synchronize the captioning into accessible STEM-related videos. It has the potential to transform learning and teaching for students with disabilities and those whose native language is not English by integrating synchronized captioned educational videos into undergraduate and graduate STEM disciplines. While accessing scientific content can pose unique challenges for disabled students and those who have just started learning a new language, the UVC platform has the potential to provide students with disabilities and recent immigrants the ability to pursue new and deeper learning opportunities.

Rating the Accessibility of Library Tutorials from Leading Research Universities

  • Author: Clossen, Amanda and Proces, Paul
  • Year: 2017
  • Journal: Portal : Libraries and the Academy
  • Volume: 17
  • Issue: 4
  • Pages: 803-825

Abstract: Video and Web-based tutorials created by libraries from 71 public universities designated by the Carnegie Classification as having the Highest Research Activity (R1) were reviewed for accessibility and usability by disabled people. The results of this review indicate that a large portion of library tutorial content meets neither the minimum legal standards nor rises to the level of functional usability. Some positive trends are noted, along with recommendations for overall improvement.

Attitudes of individuals with visual impairments towards distance education

  • Author: Koustriava, Eleni and Papadopoulos, Konstantinos
  • Year: 2014
  • Journal: International Journal
  • Volume: 13
  • Issue: 4
  • Pages: 439-447

Abstract: The aims of this work were to examine the attitudes of individuals with visual impairments towards distance education (DE) and the relationships between attitudes and participants’ personal characteristics. Forty-one adults with visual impairments, who ranged in age from 20 to 40, participated in this study. A self-constructed questionnaire measuring the attitudes towards DE was employed.

The participants’ answers revealed slightly positive emotions towards DE according to the affective component of attitudes, slightly positive attitudes when DE is compared with traditional education, and positive attitudes as far as the cognitive component of attitudes and participants’ intention to participate in a DE programme were concerned. The elder participants seem to have more positive attitudes towards DE compared with younger participants. Furthermore, the greater the level of education, the more positive were the attitudes towards DE, and the greater the frequency of computer usage, the more positive were the attitudes towards DE. The analysis of the data collected revealed that the sample of individuals with visual impairments had slightly positive attitudes towards DE. Age, level of education, and frequency of computer usage were found to be significant predictors of the participants’ attitudes.  

Experience, Exposure, and Expectations: A Framework for Developing a Science of Broadening Participation

  • Author: Kuiler, Erik W.
  • Year: 2018
  • Journal: American Behavioral Scientist
  • Volume: 62
  • Issue: 5
  • Pages: 563-579

Abstract: Underserved and underrepresented communities have been studied from different perspectives. Nevertheless, until recently, little attention has been paid to integrating these different points of view into a cohesive discipline to support analyses of androcratic and gynocratic power asymmetries entrenched in social, cultural, and political institutions that result in governance policies that constrain the integration of underserved and underrepresented populations into the common weal.

A framework for a science of broadening participation is presented that emphasizes interdisciplinary collaboration, methodological pragmatic, and a focus on the interdependencies among commodities, capabilities, and functionings to achieve human well-being a means to address the neglect of minority populations. Such a framework will not only support academic research but also the development of practical solutions by policy makers, educators, and workforce specialists.

Accessibility Guidelines for the Development of Learning Objects

  • Author: de Macedo, Claudia Mara Scudelari and Ulbricht, Vânia Ribas
  • Year: 2012
  • Journal: Procedia Computer Science
  • Volume: 14
  • Pages: 155-162

Abstract: This article presents a set of guidelines for creating learning objects accessible, with the intention of guiding and helping teachers developers of learning objects in developing materials accessible through the provision of alternative media or equivalent. These guidelines are created based on analysis and convergence of the “Principles of Universal Design” with the “Recommendations for Creating Accessible Web Content” W3C, and “Best Practices for Production and Application of Accessible Content” presented at Guides Instructional Management Systems (IMS). The guidelines were tested by experts who develop and provide content for digital learning environments, which were capable of producing accessible learning objects, according to the set of guidelines proposed.

Looking at the Impact of the Flipped Classroom Model of Instruction on Undergraduate Multimedia Students at CSUN

  • Author: Enfield, Jacob
  • Year: 2013
  • Journal: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning A publication of the Association for Educational Communications & Technology
  • Volume: 57
  • Issue: 6
  • Pages: 14-27

Abstract: Scholars and practitioners have reported the positive outcomes of a flipped, or inverted, approach to instruction (Baker, 2000, Lage, Platt, & Treglia, 2000, Bergmann, 2011, Wright, 2011, Pearson, 2012, Butt, 2012, Bates, 2012). While many of the reports are anecdotal, the sheer number of instructors that have reported successful implementation of the strategy provides some evidence of its powerful use as an instructional method.

This study provides a detailed case in which one approach of the Flipped Classroom Model of Instruction was applied in two classes at California State University Northridge. Student reports suggest that the approach provided an engaging learning experience, was effective in helping students learn the content, and increased self-efficacy in their ability to learn independently. Additionally, challenges and potential solutions to those challenges are discussed.

Awareness of Accessibility Barriers in Computer-based Instructional Materials and Faculty Demographics at South Dakota Public Universities

  • Author: Olson, Christopher
  • Year: 2013
  • Secondary Author: Zaikina-Montgomery, Helen
  • Publisher: ProQuest Dissertations Publishing

Abstract: Advances in technology and course delivery methods have enabled persons with disabilities to enroll in higher education at an increasing rate. Federal regulations state persons with disabilities must be granted equal access to the information contained in computer-based instructional materials, but faculty at the six public universities in South Dakota may not be aware of the attributes needed to make computer-based instructional materials accessible. If faculty members are unaware of accessibility barriers in computer-based instructional materials, students who rely on assistive software to read computer-based instructional material will be unable to access necessary information. Failure to provide equal access to disabled students is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

In this quantitative study, the faculty members at the six public universities in South Dakota were surveyed to determine whether different demographics of faculty are related to the awareness of accessibility barriers in computer-based instructional material. Faculty age, gender, home university, presence of a disability, self-perceived skill level using a computer, and socially desirable responding were covariates. Ordinal regression analysis was used to determine if the faculty's awareness of accessibility issues can be predicted from any of the demographic characteristics of the faculty. Due to the non-normality of the distribution of scores on the dependent variable, an ordinal regression analysis was performed instead of the planned linear regression analysis.

Based on the results from the ordinal regression analysis, the null hypothesis of this study was rejected since the combination of variables predicted awareness of accessibility barriers in computer-based instructional materials. It was concluded in the ordinal regression, Wald(1) = 11.54, p = .001, that self-perceived skill level in using a computer predicted awareness of accessibility barriers in computer-based instructional materials, although age, gender, and presence of a disability did not. Future research should include replication of the study at other universities, a greater amount of faculty respondents, the inclusion of additional demographic variables, and an experimental research design to test if increased skill level using a computer causes increased awareness of accessibility barriers.

Success factors for serious games to enhance learning: a systematic review

  • Author: Ravyse, Werner, Seugnet Blignaut, A., Leendertz, Verona and Woolner, Alex
  • Year: 2017
  • Journal: Virtual Reality
  • Volume: 21
  • Issue: 1
  • Pages: 31-58

Abstract: There is no doubt that an abundance of factors exists that makes learning with serious games successful. Research articles reporting on these factors, however, tend to focus on select serious game elements and do not combine all salient factors for successful learning with serious games. Addressing this gap is a necessity for the success of serious games and may even alleviate long-standing debates about pedagogy over enjoyment, how much realism is enough or whether artificial intelligence is worth the cost.

This article examines existing academic literature from 2000 to 2015, extracting shared serious game success factors that have had an encouraging impact on gameful learning experiences. As such, we subsequently aim to withdraw the field from a perpetual spiral of does-my-game-work research toward more worthwhile why-does-my-game-not-work research. Qualitative content analysis through the constant comparison method (CCM) analyzed a total of 63 articles from a variety of recognized electronic libraries and databases.

Through this analysis, we reveal five central serious game themes: 1) backstory and production, 2) realism, 3) artificial intelligence and adaptivity, 4) interaction, and 5) feedback and debriefing, all of which require deliberate intertwining with pedagogical content to ensure successful learning. This review unravels each of the five themes into their constituent factors and consequently presents the factors as practical guidelines that serious games producers should strive to include in their game productions. Applying these recommendations whenever serious games are considered will provide a foundation for effective gameful learning experiences.

Map Learning with a 3D Printed Interactive Small-Scale Model: Improvement of Space and Text Memorization in Visually Impaired Students

  • Author: Giraud, Stéphanie, Brock, Anke M., Macé, Marc J. M. and Jouffrais, Christophe
  • Year: 2017
  • Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
  • Volume: 8

Abstract: Special education teachers for visually impaired students rely on tools such as raised-line maps (RLMs) to teach spatial knowledge. These tools do not fully and adequately meet the needs of the teachers because they are long to produce, expensive, and not versatile enough to provide rapid updating of the content. For instance, the same RLM can barely be used during different lessons. In addition, those maps do not provide any interactivity, which reduces students’ autonomy. With the emergence of 3D printing and low-cost microcontrollers, it is now easy to design affordable interactive small-scale models (SSMs) which are adapted to the needs of special education teachers. However, no study has previously been conducted to evaluate non-visual learning using interactive SSMs.

In collaboration with a specialized teacher, we designed a SSM and a RLM representing the evolution of the geography and history of a fictitious kingdom. The two conditions were compared in a study with 24 visually impaired students regarding the memorization of the spatial layout and historical contents. The study showed that the interactive SSM improved both space and text memorization as compared to the RLM with braille legend.

In conclusion, we argue that affordable home-made interactive small scale models can improve learning for visually impaired students. Interestingly, they are adaptable to any teaching situation including students with specific needs.

Establishing Computer-Assisted Instruction to Teach Academics to Students with Autism as an Evidence-Based Practice

  • Author: Root, Jenny, Stevenson, Bradley, Davis, Luann, Geddes-Hall, Jennifer and Test, David
  • Year: 2017
  • Journal: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Volume: 47
  • Issue: 2
  • Pages: 275-284

Abstract: Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) is growing in popularity and has demonstrated positive effects for students with disabilities, including those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In this review, criteria for group experimental and single case studies were used to determine quality (Horner et al., Exceptional Children 71:165-179, 2005 Gersten et al., Exceptional Children 71:149-164, 2005 National Technical Assistance Center on Transition Center 2015 ). Included studies of high and adequate quality were further analyzed in terms of content, context, and specific instructional practices. Based on the NTACT criteria, this systematic review has established CAI as an evidence-based practice for teaching academics to students with ASD with support from 10 single-case and two group design studies of high or adequate quality. Suggestions for future research and implications for practice are discussed.

Creating an Online Scientific Art Exhibit Formatted for People with a Visual Impairment 

  • Author: Sorrell, Melanie, Norton, Derek, McAdams, Jeff, Winterling, Rachael and Dipple, Kathleen
  • Year: 2017
  • Journal: Journal of Web Librarianship
  • Volume: 11
  • Issue: 2
  • Pages: 105-123

Abstract: ABSTRACT An online exhibit accessible by people with a visual impairment was created to accompany a university library's physical exhibit of microscopic images generated by researchers on campus as “scientific art.” This online exhibit consisted of a web page formatted for screen-reading software so that those individuals could hear descriptions of the images and envision the image patterns, shapes, textures, and perhaps colors while learning about the scientific research performed on campus. The library promoted this web page through various outlets to a wide audience to benefit patrons on and off campus.

The exhibit was successful, and lessons learned through this project can be applied by other libraries undertaking similar efforts, to navigate problems and improve efficiency in implementing online exhibits for people with a visual impairment.

Distance Education: Accessibility for Students With Disabilities

  • Author: Gornitsky, Marcelle
  • Year: 2011
  • Journal: Distance Learning
  • Volume: 8
  • Issue: 3
  • Pages: 47-53

Abstract: Since most distance education courses within post-secondary institutions are web-based, the guidelines established by Section 508 and those of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) should be taken into consideration by academic institutions when designing their own websites/information portals and offering courses online (Burgstahler, 2010).

According to these WCAG 2.0 Guidelines, websites should contain material that is perceivable (accessible to all senses or assistive technologies), operable (easily navigable using a mouse, keyboard or assistive device), understandable (information is presented clearly and logically) and robust (allowing the access of assistive technologies to the content).  

Critical Considerations for Teaching Students With Disabilities in Online Environments

  • Author: Greer, Diana, Rowland, Amber L. and Smith, Sean J.
  • Year: 2014
  • Journal: TEACHING Exceptional Children
  • Volume: 46
  • Issue: 5
  • Pages: 79-91

A review of principles in design and usability testing of tactile technology for individuals with visual impairments

  • Author: Horton, Emily L., Renganathan, Ramkesh, Toth, Bryan N., Cohen, Alexa J., Bajcsy, Andrea V., Bateman, Amelia, Jennings, Mathew C., Khattar, Anish, Kuo, Ryan S., * Lee, Felix A., Lim, Meilin K., Migasiuk, Laura W., Zhang, Amy, Zhao, Oliver K. and Oliveira, Marcio A.
  • Year: 2017
  • Journal: Assistive Technology
  • Volume: 29
  • Issue: 1
  • Pages: 28-36

Abstract: To lay the groundwork for devising, improving, and implementing new technologies to meet the needs of individuals with visual impairments, a systematic literature review was conducted to: a) describe hardware platforms used in assistive devices, b) identify their various applications, and c) summarize practices in user testing conducted with these devices.

A search in relevant EBSCO databases for articles published between 1980 and 2014 with terminology related to visual impairment, technology, and tactile sensory adaptation yielded 62 articles that met the inclusion criteria for final review. It was found that while earlier hardware development focused on pin matrices, the emphasis then shifted toward force feedback haptics and accessible touch screens. The inclusion of interactive and multimodal features has become increasingly prevalent.

The quantity and consistency of research on navigation, education, and computer accessibility suggest that these are pertinent areas of need for the visually impaired community. Methodologies for usability testing ranged from case studies to larger cross-sectional studies. Many studies used blindfolded sighted users to draw conclusions about design principles and usability.

Altogether, the findings presented in this review provide insight on effective design strategies and user testing methodologies for future research on assistive technology for individuals with visual impairments.

Investigating E-Learning Accessibility for Visually-Impaired Students: An Experimental Study

  • Author: Huang, Ph, Chiu, M. C., Hwang, Sl and Wang, Jl
  • Year: 2015
  • Journal: Int. J. Eng. Educ
  • Volume: 31
  • Issue: 2
  • Pages: 495-504

Accessibility evaluation of online learning management system for persons with visual impairment

  • Author: Suwannawut, Nantanoot
  • Year: 2014
  • Secondary Author: Ekbia, Hamid R., Day, Ronald, Irwin, Marilyn and Ochoa, Theresa
  • Publisher: ProQuest Dissertations Publishing

Abstract: Many academic institutions around the world are utilizing and investing in online learning management systems (LMS). While several research studies have examined the functionality of this type of technology, little attention has been paid to accessibility issues, in particular to the complex web-based interfaces for learners with disabilities, e.g., those with visual impairment. There is also no certain standard method for evaluating accessibility features of an online learning system. The approaches that are mostly used among practitioners and educators are based on accessibility guidelines or expert judgments, without direct input from actual users, resulting in a lack of user experience perspectives. Additionally, the use of such general evaluation methods tends to leave out important aspects in pedagogy and learning.

In order to fill this gap, this dissertation investigates accessibility features of an online learning management system, based on the experiences of learners with visual impairments. Moreover, the frameworks of universal design and inclusive design were used to analyze the design of such educational technologies for this group of learners. The setting for this study was a 12-day computer training course at a university in Thailand. Eighteen visually impaired higher education students voluntarily participated to use the LMS (MOODLE) during the training period. Evaluations through usability tests, questionnaires, and focus groups were used to answer the study's overarching research question — namely, the effectiveness and accessibility of current LMS for the visually impaired.

The results indicate that while the tools and functionalities of the selected LMS were generally accessible, and while blind participants held the view that the application could support their learning, , some features were difficult to access and use. Additionally, there was no clear indication that the inclusive design framework was used in developing the LMS. Based on these findings, the dissertation proposes a set of recommendations to better facilitate access and use within the system for visually impaired learners. System developers and instructional designers are urged to implement technical guidelines and universal standards, along with design principles, to create more accessible learning applications. More research is needed to further explore the tools and features of the LMS, and to identify the best pedagogical strategies and overall technological improvements that will provide accessibility to support the learning of those with visual impairment, along with other groups of learners.

Collection Accessibility: A Best Practices Guide for Libraries and Librarians

  • Author: Tatomir, Jennifer and Tatomir, Joanna
  • Year: 2012
  • Journal: Library Technology Reports
  • Volume: 48
  • Issue: 7
  • Pages: 36-42

Abstract: The purpose of chapter 5 of Library Technology Reports (vol 48, no. 7) "Making Libraries Accessible: Adaptive Design and Assistive Technology" is to provide libraries and librarians with best practices for increasing the accessibility of library collections to patrons with print disabilities. The chapter summarizes demographic, legal, and technological information that is relevant when considering how to improve library accessibility. It also discusses the methods for enhancing access to library resources, print and digital.

Improving Accessibility for Students with Visual Disabilities in the Technology-Rich Classroom

  • Author: Taylor, Michael
  • Year: 2016
  • Journal: PS, Political Science & Politics
  • Volume: 49
  • Issue: 1
  • Pages: 122-127

Abstract: As higher education has increasingly embraced digital technologies, we have been too slow to acknowledge accessibility issues for students with visual disabilities. One of the earliest promises of information and communication technology was increased accessibility to content. In theory, digitized content should be as equally accessible as the printed word on a screen, a braille keyboard, or an audible voice on a speaker. In the majority of educational technology, this promise has gone unfulfilled, and faculty members are largely unaware of the myriad obstacles that students with visual disabilities confront while navigating the technology-rich classroom.

The principles of Universal Design in Instruction (UDI) provide guidance for developing curriculum that maximizes accessibility and usability of course content for all learners, including those with disabilities. This article examines the development of political science courses through the lens of UDI.


The following references do not appear to have obvious relevance to our research question, based on initial review of the title and abstract. Further more in-depth analysis of these papers might help improve organization, or reject them as being out of scope.

Semantic content-based image retrieval: A comprehensive study

  • Author: Alzu’bi, Ahmad, Amira, Abbes and Ramzan, Naeem
  • Year: 2015
  • Journal: Journal of Visual Communication and Image Representation
  • Volume: 32
  • Pages: 20-54

Abstract: A comprehensive survey on content-based image retrieval (CBIR) is introduced. Important challenges of CBIR are discussed, e.g. semantic gap and curse of dimensionality. Recent achievements chiefly in the context of deep learning and automatic tagging are explained. New research trends and future insights into the CBIR domain are highlighted. The complexity of multimedia contents is significantly increasing in the current digital world. This yields an exigent demand for developing highly effective retrieval systems to satisfy human needs. Recently, extensive research efforts have been presented and conducted in the field of content-based image retrieval (CBIR). The majority of these efforts have been concentrated on reducing the semantic gap that exists between low-level image features represented by digital machines and the profusion of high-level human perception used to perceive images.

Based on the growing research in the recent years, this paper provides a comprehensive review on the state-of-the-art in the field of CBIR. Additionally, this study presents a detailed overview of the CBIR framework and improvements achieved including image preprocessing, feature extraction and indexing, system learning, benchmarking datasets, similarity matching, relevance feedback, performance evaluation, and visualization. Finally, promising research trends, challenges, and our insights are provided to inspire further research efforts.

A Research Agenda for Geospatial Technologies and Learning

  • Author: Baker, Tom R., Battersby, Sarah, Bednarz, Sarah W., Bodzin, Alec M., Kolvoord, Bob, Moore, Steven, Sinton, Diana and Uttal, David
  • Year: 2014
  • Journal: Journal of Geography
  • Volume: 114
  • Issue: 3
  • Pages: 1-13

Abstract: Abstract Knowledge around geospatial technologies and learning remains sparse, inconsistent, and overly anecdotal. Studies are needed that are better structured more systematic and replicable attentive to progress and findings in the cognate fields of science, technology, engineering, and math education and coordinated for multidisciplinary approaches. A proposed agenda is designed to frame the next generation of research in this field, organized around four foci: (1) connections between GST and geospatial thinking, (2) learning GST, (3) curriculum and student learning through GST and (4) educators’ professional development with GST. Recommendations for advancing this agenda are included.  

E-Inclusion for People with Disabilities in E-Government Services through Accessible Multimedia

  • Author: Colomo - Palacios, Ricardo, García - Crespo, Ángel, Gómez - Berbís, Juan and Paniagua - Martín, Fernando
  • Year: 2012
  • Journal: International Journal of Information Systems and Social Change (IJISSC)
  • Volume: 3
  • Issue: 3
  • Pages: 37-51

Abstract: One of the main challenges of e-Government is the communication of these services to citizens. In the context of people with disabilities, communication channels should be equally accessible, in particular those based on innovative media such as e-Services. This paper, illustrates Pasmao, an initiative for the diffusion of e-Government, using accessible media for people with disabilities. Pasmao is an accessible multimedia platform aimed to promote the use of information technology (IT), specifically, the digital signature within Leganés, a town near Madrid, Spain. The results of the evaluation of the experimental implementation of Pasmao reveal a new and promising way to promote e-Services among people with disabilities.  

A new computerized adaptive test advancing the measurement of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in children: the Kids-CAT

  • Author: Devine, J., Otto, C., Rose, M., Barthel, D., Fischer, F., Mülhan, H., Nolte, S., Schmidt, S., Ottova-Jordan, V. and Ravens-Sieberer, U.
  • Year: 2015
  • Journal: An International Journal of Quality of Life Aspects of Treatment, Care and Rehabilitation - Official Journal of the International Society of Quality of Life Research
  • Volume: 24
  • Issue: 4
  • Pages: 871-884

Assessing collaborative computing: development of the Collaborative-Computing Observation Instrument (C-COI)

  • Author: Israel, Maya, Wherfel, Quentin M., Shehab, Saadeddine, Ramos, Evan A., Metzger, Adam and Reese, George C.
  • Year: 2016
  • Journal: Computer Science Education
  • Volume: 26
  • Issue: 2-3
  • Pages: 208-233

Abstract: Abstract This paper describes the development, validation, and uses of the Collaborative Computing Observation Instrument (C-COI), a web-based analysis instrument that classifies individual and/or collaborative behaviors of students during computing problem-solving (e.g. coding, programming). The C-COI analyzes data gathered through video and audio screen recording software that captures students’ computer screens as they program, and their conversations with their peers or adults.

The instrument allows researchers to organize and quantify these data to track behavioral patterns that could be further analyzed for deeper understanding of persistence and/or collaborative interactions. The article provides a rationale for the C-COI including the development of a theoretical framework for measuring collaborative interactions in computer-mediated environments. This theoretical framework relied on the computer-supported collaborative learning literature related to adaptive help seeking, the joint problem-solving space in which collaborative computing occurs, and conversations related to outcomes and products of computational activities.

Instrument development and validation also included ongoing advisory board feedback from experts in computer science, collaborative learning, and K-12 computing as well as classroom observations to test out the constructs in the C-COI. These processes resulted in an instrument with rigorous validation procedures and a high inter-rater reliability.

Perception of multi-varied sound patterns of sonified representations of complex systems by people who are blind

  • Author: Lahav, Orly, Kittany, Jihad, Levy, Sharona and Furst, Miriam
  • Year: 2017
  • Journal: Journal of Alternative Medicine Research
  • Volume: 9
  • Issue: 2
  • Pages: 201-205

Abstract: Listening to complexity is a long-term research project, which addresses a central need among people who are blind: providing equal access to the science classroom, by allowing them to explore computer models, independently collect data, adapt and control their learning process. The innovative and low-cost learning system that is used in this project is based on the principle of perceptual compensation via technologies, by harnessing the auditory mode to transmit dynamic and spatial complex information, due to its unique affordances with respect to vision. Sonification of variables and events in an agent-based NetLogo computer model is used to convey information regarding both individual gas particles and system-wide phenomena, using alerts, object and status indicators, data representation and spatial audio displays.

The paper describes two experiments: (i) auditory perception of varying types of auditory representations, spatial trajectories of a modeled object's motion, relative intensity, and frequency and (ii) auditory perception of complex sound patterns, exploring detection and recognition of multiple sound channels at different complexity levels of sound patterns. The research would serve to improve our understanding of the auditory processes by which perception of sound patterns takes place and transforms into a conceptual model. The long-term practical benefits of this research are likely to have an impact on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education for students who are blind.  

Systems & Control for the future of humanity, research agenda: Current and future roles, impact and grand challenges

  • Author: Lamnabhi-Lagarrigue, Francoise, Annaswamy, Anuradha, Engell, Sebastian, Isaksson, Alf, Khargonekar, Pramod, Murray, Richard M., Nijmeijer, Henk, Samad, Tariq, Tilbury, Dawn and Van Den Hof, Paul
  • Year: 2017
  • Journal: Annual Reviews in Control
  • Volume: 43
  • Pages: 1-64

Abstract: Following in the footsteps of the renowned report “Control in an Information Rich World,” Report of the Panel on “Future Directions in Control, Dynamics, and Systems” chaired by Richard Murray (2002), this paper aims to demonstrate that Systems & Control is at the heart of the Information and Communication Technologies to most application domains. As such, Systems & Control should be acknowledged as a priority by funding agencies and supported at the levels necessary to enable technologies addressing critical societal challenges. A second intention of this paper is to present to the industrials and the young research generation, a global picture of the societal and research challenges where the discipline of Systems & Control will play a key role.

Throughout, this paper demonstrates the extremely rich, current and future, cross-fertilization between five critical societal challenges and seven key research and innovation Systems & Control scientific challenges. This paper is authored by members of the IFAC Task Road Map Committee, established following the 19th IFAC World Congress in Cape Town. Other experts who authored specific parts are listed below.

Web accessibility implementation in private sector organizations: motivations and business impact

  • Author: Leitner, Marie-Luise, Strauss, Christine and Stummer, Christian
  • Year: 2016
  • Journal: Universal Access in the Information Society
  • Volume: 15
  • Issue: 2
  • Pages: 249-260

Abstract: Issue Title: Special Section: Rethinking Universal Accessibility Despite the prominence of the World Wide Web in people's everyday lives, most Web presences in private sector organizations still fail to comply with contemporary accessibility standards. As a consequence, a large group of users--i.e., people with impairments--are excluded from accessing these Web presences. In order to explain the managerial rationale, an exploratory case study was conducted in three industry sectors. The results of the analysis shed light on organizations' motivations to implement or reject Web accessibility standards, reveal positive and negative consequences of implementation, and provide in-depth insights into the determinants for successful and unsuccessful Web accessibility implementation. This study supports organizations in making better decisions on the implementation of Web accessibility.

On the Evaluation of Novel Sonification Techniques for Non-Visual Shape Exploration

  • Author: Mascetti, Sergio, Gerino, Andrea, Bernareggi, Cristian and Picinali, Lorenzo
  • Year: 2017
  • Journal: ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS)
  • Volume: 9
  • Issue: 4
  • Pages: 1-28

Abstract: There are several situations in which a person with visual impairment or blindness needs to extract information from an image. For example, graphical representations are often used in education, in particular, in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. In this contribution, we propose a set of six sonification techniques to support individuals with visual impairment or blindness in recognizing shapes on touchscreen devices. These techniques are compared among themselves and with two other sonification techniques already proposed in the literature. Using Invisible Puzzle, a mobile application which allows one to conduct non-supervised evaluation sessions, we conducted tests with 49 subjects with visual impairment and blindness, and 178 sighted subjects.

All subjects involved in the process successfully completed the evaluation session, showing a high level of engagement, demonstrating, therefore, the effectiveness of the evaluation procedure. Results give interesting insights into the differences among the sonification techniques and, most importantly, show that after a short training, subjects are able to successfully identify several different shapes.

When Leadership Matters: Perspectives From a Teacher Team Implementing Response to Intervention

  • Author: Meyer, Michele and Behar-Horenstein, Linda
  • Year: 2015
  • Journal: Education & Treatment of Children
  • Volume: 38
  • Issue: 3
  • Pages: 383-402

Abstract: Previous research investigating the effectiveness of response to intervention (RTI) has relied on post hoc data analyses and surveys, although few studies have explored interactions among teacher teams. Understanding the synergistic impact of teacher work within the RTI framework may have implications for how school leaders can support teacher teams and anticipate some challenges that teachers face. In this study, the authors describe a first-grade teacher team's experiences during their second year of RTI implementation at a rural Title I school.

Findings showed that participants lacked professional development opportunities, leadership support, and tangible resources. Teachers struggled with implementation as they coped with uncertainty about what their job roles were, how to manage interventions, and how to utilize data-based decision making. Teachers identified practices they believed would have supported RTI implementation. By illustrating how the teacher team worked together, the findings offer practical and authentic recommendations for school leaders. Moreover, the findings reinforce the crucial roles that the school and district leadership exercise in effective RTI implementation.  

Accommodating Every Body

  • Author: Michael Ashley Stein, Anita Silvers Bradley A. Areheart‡ and Leslie Pickering, Francis‡‡
  • Year: 2014
  • Journal: University of Chicago Law Review
  • Volume: 81
  • Pages: 689-2077

Guiding Novice Web Workers in Making Image Descriptions Using Templates

  • Author: Morash, Valerie, Siu, Yue-Ting, Miele, Joshua, Hasty, Lucia and Landau, Steven
  • Year: 2015
  • Journal: ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS)
  • Volume: 7
  • Issue: 4
  • Pages: 1-21

Abstract: This article compares two methods of employing novice Web workers to author descriptions of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics images to make them accessible to individuals with visual and print-reading disabilities. The goal is to identify methods of creating image descriptions that are inexpensive, effective, and follow established accessibility guidelines. The first method explicitly presented the guidelines to the worker, then the worker constructed the image description in an empty text box and table. The second method queried the worker for image information and then used responses to construct a template-based description according to established guidelines.

The descriptions generated through queried image description (QID) were more likely to include information on the image category, title, caption, and units. They were also more similar to one another, based on Jaccard distances of q-grams, indicating that their word usage and structure were more standardized. Last, the workers preferred describing images using QID and found the task easier. Therefore, explicit instruction on image-description guidelines is not sufficient to produce quality image descriptions when using novice Web workers. Instead, it is better to provide information about images, then generate descriptions from responses using templates.