• 39th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference - March 18 - 22,2024 at the Anaheim Marriott

    The Premier AT Conference

38th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Has Concluded

Improving the Accessibility of Math for Middle Schoolers

Date & Time
Friday, March 17, 2023 - 3:20 PM PST  
Orange County 1-2  
For over 540k BVI students in the US, math instruction and assessment, especially online, can pose barriers with significant impact – 75 percent are at least one grade behind their peers in math. A major barrier is the lack of an adequate, two-way method for getting math equations to and from a refreshable braille display. NWEA, a research and educational services nonprofit, in collaboration with Perkins Access, is making middle school math assessments more accessible for BVI students using AI. With AI data analysis, patterns in online math tests and their barriers have been identified in this project, which was awarded a grant by Microsoft’s AI for Accessibility program. Prototype math questions that address the identified barriers were created to meet accommodation needs that otherwise would exclude students with disabilities from higher-level mathematics as well as paths to advanced degrees and STEM-related careers. Process-driven math was integrated into the prototype to simplify the landscape of complex algebraic expressions and reduce the cognitive load on working memory. Equation prototypes were developed to allow screen reader users to select various parts of a mathematics equation and drill into the parts they want to explore. Learn about the revolutionary research, prototypes, their reception by students and teachers and the continued effort to create efficient, navigable math equations for multiple AT devices and inputs, including Nemeth, UEB and voice.  
  • Higher Education
  • Disability Specific
  • K-12 Education
  • Research & Development
Audience Level
Session Summary (Abstract)
We used AI to analyze online math test patterns and identified barriers for BVI students. Learn about our research, the resulting prototypes and their reception; and the continued work to create navigable equations for multiple AT devices and inputs.  
Primary Topic
Secondary Topics
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML)
  • Blind/Low Vision
  • Digital Accessibility
  • Research
Session Type
General Track  


  • Geoff Freed
    Perkins School for the Blind
  • Elizabeth Barker

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