A Katy ISD student has created an audio-based educational website for others with visual impairments with the hope of addressing the lack of accessible resources.

In a nutshell

A 2017 study reports 70% of students who are blind or have low vision fall behind in school at a young age due to lack of resources, according to the Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research.

This inspired Crystal Yang, a Tompkins High School incoming senior, to launch Audemy in April, a nonprofit, audio-based website providing educational games based on international learning standards for children who are visually impaired in pre-K to eighth grade.

A closer look

Seeing a number of popular educational sites, such as ABCmouse or Coolmath Games, Yang said she wanted to help fill the gap in the number of opportunities for those unable to see the screen.

“Young blind students are in a place where it’s difficult for them to access adequate educational resources,” she said. “Most blind students in that age range aren’t put into specialized programs until they’re actually falling behind in school.”

The Audemy team, comprised of six students, has launched over 15 free educational games for children, which work on developmental skills such as:
  • Math
  • Language
  • Counting
  • Addition
  • Words
How it happened

While doing research last summer with Texas A&M University’s Sketch Recognition Lab, Yang said she and her friends would often talk about completing The New York Times’ daily Wordle.

Although there was one visually impaired researcher who was unable to play due to lack of audio accessibility, which prompted Yang to develop research, test and create an audio version of Wordle before moving into crafting Audemy.

Another detail

To gather feedback on accessibility, entertainment and quality of the games, the Audemy team has partnered with seven schools both within and outside of the U.S. as well as teachers.

What else?

Beyond the educational games, the Audemy team also participates in:
  • Katy Youth Hacks, a hackathon focused on accessibility for people with disabilities
  • Apple Loo Education, a social media brand that teaches students about educational topics
  • Coding accessibility workshops to teach people who are blind or have limited/low vision how to code
Looking ahead

As Audemy continues to grow, the team hopes to continue to attract more players to the website and develop more accessible games, Yang said.

“I love the world of technology and business, and using it for social good,” she said.