Ed says the great jobs of tomorrow will be in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. There’s a strong demand for graduates in those fields. That’s why it is critically important for all of our young people to get a solid education in math and science.
However, students with disabilities face formidable challenges in the classroom. For example, much of the information in math and science curriculums is presented visually. This is a barrier to success for kids with visual impairments.
Over the last year, Ed and the accessibility tribe here at SAS have been working to solve these problems. They have created a variety of charts, graphs, and maps that support tactile and auditory interaction.
The technology is still under development. However, it is now possible for totally blind students to access SAS data visualizations on Apple touchscreen devices using the built-in Voiceover screen reader. As a blind student drags her finger around the screen, she hears a description of each feature of the data visualization.
This technology could be a real game-changer for students with visual impairments. Check out the SAS Global Forum paper on this topic and download the SAS macro that produces accessible scatter plots using SAS/GRAPH to see the code. Ed will post a video of a demo soon.
As a result of this work, SAS was nominated for the White House Champions of Change award for STEM Equality for Americans with Disabilities. Ed and I were honored to represent SAS during the awards ceremony at the White House on May 7th.
We had a blast in Washington, D.C. and it was really cool to go to the White House. However, the highlight of my trip was the Washington Monument. When I saw that thing I wanted to mark it so bad I couldn’t see straight. I tried my best to pull Ed over to it. He wouldn’t let me get there. I’m not supposed to mark territory when I’m working, but I really really wanted to claim that beautiful thing as my own! Oh well, maybe next time.