The DIAGRAM Center

Imagine studying math or science without being able to see the formulas, graphs, charts and diagrams in your textbooks. That’s one of the challenges faced every day by students who are blind or have a disability that prevents them from reading traditional printed material.

Photo of DIAGRAM Center community at Asilomar conference.

DIAGRAM Center community members at Asilomar Conference in 2012

Many of the challenges of making text accessible have been addressed by the move to eBook publishing and by solutions like our Bookshare library. But people with print disabilities are often still locked out from accessing information related to images. This is due in part to a lack of standards that content publishers and distributors can adhere to, but also because of the cost associated with the human resources and specialized equipment needed to create today’s image alternatives.

As digital content is quickly shifting to include richer, more visual components like complex graphics, simulations and interactives, the need to make images accessible has become ever more pressing. To address this need, Benetech launched the DIAGRAM Center—a research and development hub working to set standards, generate best practices and design tools to ensure that images found in digital content (like eBooks) are accessible to everyone.

With DIAGRAM, Benetech is leading the charge into a future in which people with print disabilities, no matter their specific need, can experience reading a truly accessible electronic book.

DIAGRAM is made possible by funding from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs and in partnership with the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media (WGBH) and U.S. Fund for DAISY.

Logo for DIAGRAM Center, a Benetech Global Literacy initiative.


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Interested in learning more about our Global Literacy Program?