Project Profile

CAREER: Teachers Learning to be Technology Accessibility Allies to Blind and Low-Vision Students in Science


To enter STEM career pathways, blind and low-vision students need equitable access to the learning that occurs in high school science classes. Teaching and learning in science classrooms are increasingly mediated by technology. Tragically, the use of technology has perpetuated inequities in science education because digital interfaces are designed and used in ways that frequently prohibit blind modes of learning. Consequently, this blind-led project is designed to improve the long-term accessibility of technology-mediated high school science education by improving teacher awareness and preparation. The aims of the project are to: (1) investigate the state of inservice teachers’ knowledge about constructing born accessible (i.e., proactively accessible) technology-mediated science classes; and (2) iteratively develop opportunities for pre- and inservice teachers to learn how to construct born accessible technology-mediated science classes.

This project will explore high school teachers' knowledge of the technological, pedagogical, ideological, and legal aspects of creating born accessible technology-mediated science classroom experiences. The project will seek to explore the factors that influence what teachers know. The four-phase exploratory sequential mixed methods study will qualitatively explore teachers’ knowledge. The project will then develop and pilot an instrument to measure teacher knowledge. Finally, the investigator will integrate the qualitative and quantitative research findings. In synergy with the research, the project will develop opportunities for preservice teachers to learn how to create technology-mediated science classes that are born accessible to blind and low-vision students. The education activities will use case-based learning and an iterative instructional design process to develop and implement: (1) a case library, (2) two hybrid units for preservice teachers, and (3) asynchronous open educational resources for pre- and inservice teachers nationwide. The project aims to improve the long-term accessibility of science education to foster blind and low-vision people’s full participation in science. The long-term goal is to open more opportunities for blind and low-vision people to contribute to scientific advancement in the pursuit of STEM careers.

This is a Faculty Early Career Development Program project responsive to a National Science Foundation-wide activity that offers the most prestigious awards in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education. This project is supported by the DRK-12 program and the ITEST program in the Division of Research on Learning.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.


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Principal Investigator(s)


Award Number
Project Duration
2024 - 2029
Board of Trustees of Illinois State University
Project Status