World wide 2.2 billion individuals have a type of imaginative and prescient incapacity in keeping with WHO. As disabilities have an effect on individuals of all ages, it’s vital that schooling is accessible to all and ensures equitable entry to kids and adults alike. Nevertheless, the fact is there are presently obstacles in schooling for many who are blind or have low imaginative and prescient, together with the dearth of accessible textbooks and classroom supplies. That is what is usually known as a “ebook famine” within the print disabled group.
Based initially as self-advocacy group for people who find themselves blind or low imaginative and prescient with an curiosity in STEM, I-Stem goals to boost entry to this in any other case inaccessible content material for individuals with print disabilities. By way of their previous expertise having skilled the challenges first-hand as blind co-founders, coupled with their expertise in engineering and AI, the crew makes use of AI to handle this barrier confronted by their group. By way of assist from Microsoft’s AI for Accessibility grant program, I-Stem expertise makes use of Microsoft’s Azure which helps to acknowledge inaccessible textual content and extract it for additional processing. This then is processed with customized fashions that assist establish the format and construction of the doc, thereby retaining the formatting and semantic illustration of the doc.
Nevertheless, even with their superior AI programs, there’s all the time potential for errors. To bridge this hole, I-Stem combines AI with human intelligence, together with a human remediator to right points, reminiscent of a desk that was not recognized appropriately. To make this course of seamless and environment friendly for remediation at scale, the crew has developed a remediation portal. This retrieves the AI-generated output, then supplies an intuitive interface for remediators to repair any errors, each when it comes to the format in addition to content material recognition. At present being utilized by people, non-profits, schooling institutes and different enterprises, the aim of this portal is to assist speed up the creation and conversion of accessible content material.