Prior Work in Education
Education continues to be a key focus area for Benetech, and we are proud of the work that Benetech has undertaken on over the year to improve access to education for all people. One great example of our prior work in education is the DIAGRAM Center.
From 2010-2021, Benetech operated the DIAGRAM Center, an education research and development center funded by the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. DIAGRAM stands for Digital Image And Graphic Resources for Accessible Materials. The goal of the DIAGRAM Center was to change the way digital content for Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) is produced and accessed to provide students with disabilities equal access to the general education curriculum, especially science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM. The research produced many novel breakthroughs in education accessibility, and was particularly focused on access complex content like math, complex images, multimedia, 3D models, and other instructional materials.
Benetech’s Born Accessible initiative, and Global Certified Accessible program, which are driving systems change in the publishing industry today, originated in the DIAGRAM Center, and continue to operate at scale today.
Here are some other examples of innovations that came from the DIAGRAM Center:
Imageshare is a library of accessible educational resources that support multiple learning modalities. Organized by topic, Imageshare provided teachers with resources to engage students in a multisensory teaching environment, explaining concepts in ways that work best for each students’ learning style and individual needs, whether through audio description, a 3-D tactile, or a printed diagram.
Benetech Mathshare is an inclusive problem-solving software that makes learning easier. With Mathshare, students can break problems into parts, solve them step by step, and take notes to show their reasoning. This makes it easier for students to stay focused and for teachers to follow their students’ thinking. Mathshare enables students with a wide range of disabilities to write out their reasoning for math problems and demonstrate their understanding, step-by-step.
From 2017-2021, Benetech issued an annual DIAGRAM Report as a guide for teachers, students, and parents to understand the ways technology is changing the educational landscape. The DIAGRAM Center Report identified key technologies and trends having the biggest impact or potential for impact on the education of students with disabilities in the United States. The report included an overview of these technologies, information about relevant opportunities and challenges, and a list of resources for next steps.