The core vision of I-Stem is to include more blind and visually impaired students in the tech industry such that they are active innovators, not mere consumers of technology. Research is a key component of this effort where I-Stem encourages blind students and professionals to participate in research projects to develop their skills and help develop solutions that can genuinely address some of the challenges that the community faces. Given the technical background of most members, most projects are technology-oriented, though some projects focus on case studies, experiencial research, among others. Since a blind-only research community does not make sense, we actively seek and encourage sighted professionals to join teams and worked on research projects. We also advise independent researchers working on projects related to the blind community and technology. Given the first-hand experience as blind people and technologists, our members are in a unique position to share their perspective and technical expertise in this space.
I-Stem primarily supports these teams by connecting them with mentors and other scientists and engineers (both blind and sighted). We may also be able to support with funding on a case by case basis, thanks to our partners.
List of ongoing research projects
These are some of the projects that teams are working on at the moment. Please let us know if you'd like to join any of these
- Simplifying writing mathematics for blind students by developing a platform that translates ASCII math into laTeX in realtime
- A method to easily navigate large and complex math and science documents with screen readers
- Realtime video description starting with extraction of text from images
- Generation of concise and comprehensive verbal descriptions for diagrams in math and science
- A thorough survey of math and science technologies available for blind students
We will update this page with more projects as and when they come up. If you have an idea, and are looking for technical expertise or other people to join your team, get involved with our community.