Accessible Education Lab

AMAC studies the effectiveness of student user experiences in the CIDI Accessible Education Lab

Grade School and Postsecondary Students

The Accessible Education Lab research and development efforts focus on how inclusive designs and assistive technology can make education more accessible from grade school students to post-secondary students with disabilities. The Lab’s research interests include strategies for using accessible Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and alternative, accessible media to support student learning, and an additional focus on improving the accessibility of distance education for students with disabilities.

Current Projects

Accessibility Buzz: An Online Faculty Tutor and Research Project for Accessible Course
Co-Principal Investigators: Christopher Lee and Zerrin Ondin

Accessibility Buzz is an online tutor for Accessible Course Development. This project will undertake a structured approach to assist faculty in designing and developing their courses in ways that incorporate accessibility and are inclusive of the needs of diverse learners. The major output of this project will be an online platform (tutor) making resources for accessible course development widely available to faculty at Georgia Tech. The online tutor will include short instructional videos, best practices, templates, and guidelines for each component of the course, such as presentations, reading documents, visual materials, and assignments. A checklist to evaluate the overall accessibility of a course and a “Frequently Asked Questions” section will also be included in the online tutor.

This project will help Georgia Tech faculty to develop courses that are more accessible, and it will promote the culture of diversity at Georgia Tech. How effective and easy to use the online tutor is will be evaluated via a user experience study. After the online tutor is in place, a random sample of faculty who have used it will be contacted to provide feedback on their experiences and how it has changed their teaching and learning materials and environments. This feedback will be used to update the online tutor.

Accessible ICT Practices in Post-Secondary Education
Principal Investigator: Christopher Lee

This exploratory study is investigating accessible Information and Communication Technology (ICT) practices in higher education institutions around the world. AMAC Accessibility Solutions and Research Center and the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict) have jointly identified a need to advance and accelerate the adoption of successful practices for ICT accessibility aligned with the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in higher education throughout the globe.

Using survey methodology to collect data, this study focuses on the adoption of successful practices for ICT accessibility with the purpose of developing a roadmap for accessible ICT practices in higher education. The results of this study will contribute to global and inclusive higher education concepts and will support nondiscrimination based on different abilities.

Auditory Augmented 3D Printed Math Manipulatives for Students with Visual Impairments
Principal Investigator: Zerrin Ondin

The goal of this exploratory project is to design and develop auditory augmented 3D manipulatives for K-12 math courses that may improve the learning outcomes of students with visual impairments, including those with blindness and print disabilities. The manipulatives will be 3D printed to make them easy to replicate, and will include audio QR codes including explanation of the manipulatives. Students with visual impairments and their math teachers will participate in the design process.

Center for Accessible Materials Innovation (CAMI)
Co-Principal Investigators: Christopher Lee and Julie Ancis

The CAMI research study explores barriers at United States minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and the impact of accessibility interventions for students with print-related disabilities. Questions addressing the social and psychological challenges of minority students will be studied. An A11y Facts Label will emerge as one of the research and development products of the CAMI project. The label supports the creation of a standardized document accessibility profile. A11y is a short form of accessibility. A11y Facts is an application for disclosing the accessibility features of digital textbooks and other electronic documents through a digital information label.

Higher Education Accommodation Database and Tracking Application
Principal Investigator: Christopher Lee

Through a state allocation of the University System of Georgia, AMAC Accessibility is working alongside a task force of experts to develop and implement the first statewide accommodation tracking and reporting database. The research outcomes are expected to provide the Georgia Board of Regents data to support improving system-wide ICT accessibility as well as supporting disability service offices.

Learning Management Systems (LMS) Platform Accessibility

AMAC is currently evaluating multiple online Learning Management Systems in terms of accessibility.