Asee peer logo

Developing an Equally Effective Alternate-access Plan for Vision-impaired and Blind Students Enrolled in Mechanical Engineering Technology Courses

Download Paper |


2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Engineering Technology Pedagogy 1

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Nancy E. Study Pennsylvania State University

visit author page

Dr. Nancy E. Study is an Associate Teaching Professor in the School of Engineering at Penn State Behrend where she teaches courses in engineering graphics and rapid prototyping, and is the coordinator of the rapid prototyping lab. Her research interests include visualization, standardization of CAD practices, design for 3D printing, and haptics. Nancy is a former chair of the ASEE Engineering Design Graphics Division and is currently the Editor and Circulation Manager of the Engineering Design Graphics Journal. She received her B.S. from Missouri State University, and M.S. and Ph.D. from Purdue University.

visit author page


David Clippinger Pennsylvania State University

visit author page

Dr. David Clippinger is a faculty member in Mechanical Engineering Technology at the Pennsylvania State University, Erie--the Behrend College. His interests are ship dynamics, measurement and instrumentation, and assessment, especially of student writing.

visit author page

Download Paper |


[University] has recently implemented a requirement that before any technology intended for classroom use is approved for purchase, including renewals of software, there must be an equally effective alternate plan (EEAAP) in place for that technology. The plan must answer the question “What will you do if a person with a disability gets involved in your program and is impacted by the lack of accessibility on this technology.” The plan does not require the person with a disability to have an identical classroom experience but should offer an experience that can provide a similar body of knowledge and learning opportunities as that gained by people who do not have the affected disabilities. The motivation for this requirement is compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended in 2008.

When faculty at [University] were attempting to purchase a renewal for the license to their CES software, a tool that is used in materials engineering courses in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program, the [University] Accessibility Team determined that the software was not accessible to visually impaired students because it did not have text equivalents for all features, could not be fully accessed by assistive technology, nor could it be used by keyboard alone. Thus, an Equally Effective Alternate Access Plan (EEAAP) had to be developed.

This paper will detail the process that faculty at [University] undertook to create an EEAAP not just for CES, but also a template that could be used when purchasing other technology used in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program. This process took several months to complete, and based on the investigation of the faculty involved, these requirements may soon be implemented across programs at other universities. The paper will also include recommendations for implementation of compliance initiatives at other institutions; specifically, strategies to minimize confusion, maximize faculty buy-in, and contribute to an inclusive, welcoming environment will be discussed.

Study, N. E., & Clippinger, D. (2021, July), Developing an Equally Effective Alternate-access Plan for Vision-impaired and Blind Students Enrolled in Mechanical Engineering Technology Courses Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36937

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015