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What can you do to help promote math accessibility?

Only through the collaborative efforts of the public, private, and advocacy sectors will the goal of widespread availability of math content that is universally designed for use by all students be realized. Whether you are a classroom teacher, a school district or state education administrator, a publisher, an assistive technology vendor, a parent, or a person with disability who wants to be sure that math accessibility solutions are available to everyone, there is something you can do to help. At Design Science, we believe that math accessibility is a critical issue, and we are asking you to join us in trying to find ways to make math accessible.

Some of the ways you can help:

  • K-12 educators need to be outspoken in their support for universally designed accessible math instruction and assessment. Whether you are a math content instructor or a special education teacher, you should communicate your concerns about the need for accessible math to your district curriculum, assessment and technology personnel.
  • State Departments of Education and school districts need to require math accessibility in textbook adoption and software selection policies. State laws, regulations, and administrative policies need to be drafted mandating that math instructional content and math assessments be universally designed and equally accessible for students with and without disabilities.
  • Publishers of math textbooks and other instructional content need to support math accessibility in their products to ensure their products contain accessible math materials for all students. By providing universally designed digital math content, all students will have math materials in a format they can effectively utilize at the same time, and students with disabilities will not have to wait for alternative format materials to be produced at a later date.
  • Developers of math instructional software and web-based math materials need to ensure that support for math content in MathML is fully integrated in their technologies so that students who use assistive technology like synthetic speech or braille will not be denied inclusive use of these materials.
  • Assistive Technology developers need to always include math accessibility support in their products so that students with disabilities will have the same potential of access to math content as they do to literary materials.
  • Disability advocacy organizations, parents of children with disabilities, and students themselves, need to work together to help place greater focus on addressing math accessibility at both the Federal and State levels. Advocacy groups have been one of the key driving forces behind the successes of the accessibility movement to date, and your work and support will be essential to the furtherance of math accessibility goals.

Get involved in promoting math accessibility:

If you share our belief that math accessibility is a critical issue, we invite you to join us in our efforts. Let us know how we can support you in your work to make universally designed accessible math materials available for all students in your State, locality, or educational institution. Please sign up for our Making Math Accessible blog to learn about the latest developments in math accessibility technologies and legislation.

Please feel free to send us your comments and questions about math accessibility to at-info@dessci.com.

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