Macmillan Learning & Benetech Launch 2nd Annual Code Sprint for People with Disabilities

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Macmillan Learning & Benetech Launch 2nd Annual Code Sprint for People with Disabilities

Event designed to make digital learning tools accessible for all

San Diego, Ca -- Macmillan Learning and Benetech are launching the second-annual Code Sprint for people with disabilities in San Diego, CA on February 28th, 2017. The code sprint is in conjunction with the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference. CSUN is the largest international conference for people with disabilities, focused on creating an inclusive society via innovation and technology. This conference promotes the value technology can play in helping people with disabilities succeed in all facets of life, including education, careers, and independent living.

Commenting on the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, VP of Accessibility at Macmillan Learning, Stephen Davis stated, “It’s incredible to be a part of this vibrant community working to realize the full potential technology can have on the lives of disabled people. While we have strides to make here at Macmillan Learning with our accessibility roadmap, we are driven to deliver on the promise to make our learning resources fully accessible.”

The code sprint will be held on February 28th from 9am-5pm at Seasons 52. Throughout the event, we will identify and design technical, open source solutions to make common, educational interactives (e.g., drag and drop, sliders, sorting) more accessible. Anything created during this event will be open source and shared publicly. Rachel Comerford, Director of Content Standards at Macmillan Learning, commented, “This event will attempt to address some of the most complex challenges students with disabilities face when using learning interactives. We’re crowdsourcing code from a community of programmers who are invested in change. As a result, I look forward to being able to provide usable, accessible materials to every student.”

The Code Sprint will leverage insights and best practices from the DIAGRAM Center, a Benetech initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. DIAGRAM Center is a research and development center whose goal is to dramatically change the way digital content for Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) is produced and accessed, so that students with disabilities are provided equal access to the general education curriculum, especially science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Conference participants can also attend our session on usability and accessibility on March 2nd, led by Rachel Comerford, Director of Content Standards, and Kelly Lancaster, Lead Interactive Designer.

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About Macmillan Learning:

Macmillan Learning improves lives through learning. Our legacy of excellence in education continues to inform our approach to developing world-class content with pioneering, interactive tools. Through deep partnership with the world’s best researchers, educators, administrators, and developers, we facilitate teaching and learning opportunities that spark student engagement and improve outcomes. We provide educators with tailored solutions designed to inspire curiosity and measure progress. Our commitment to teaching and discovery upholds our mission to improve lives through learning. To learn more, please visit our website or see us on Facebook, Twitter, or join our Macmillan Community.

About Benetech:

Benetech is a different kind of technology company. We’re a nonprofit whose mission is to empower communities in need by creating scalable technology solutions. Our work has transformed how over 450,000 people with disabilities read, made it safer for human rights defenders in over fifty countries to document violations, and equipped environmental conservationists to protect ecosystems and species all over the world. Our Benetech Labs is working on the next big impact.

About CSUN Assistive Technology Conference:

The Annual International Conference on Technology and Persons with Disabilities has grown to approximately 5,000 participants with presenters and exhibitors sharing technology devices, services and programs. Participants have represented all 50 states, numerous territories and more than 35 foreign countries. The conference attests to the perception that disability is an international issue. The widespread application of assistive technology forms a common basis for the delivery of accommodation services to people with disabilities on a worldwide basis. The conference serves as an annual meeting venue for many organizations involved in the delivery of assistive technology services to special populations throughout the world.