Grant to make Marshall's history app more accessible

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A history app founded by Marshall University has received a nearly $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to improve accessibility for users who are visually impaired.

The app, called Clio, allows educators and cultural institutions to design mobile tours for exploring historic and cultural sites. It uses GPS to provide users with information and photos. It also allows them to hear interviews and experience walking tours of historic sites.

Clio founder David Trowbridge is an associate professor of history at Marshall. The funding will allow Trowbridge to partner with the American Foundation for the Blind and the team of software engineers who built Clio to review aspects of the website and mobile application for accessibility, the Herald-Dispatch reported.

Trowbridge said plans include expanding the current text-to-speech feature and adding more options to alter text. He said he hopes the work will be a model for other digital humanities projects.

“By building an accessible website and native application, we hope to make it possible for millions of Americans with vision loss to discover and enjoy immersive and location-based humanities scholarship that includes audio narration and oral histories,” Trowbridge said in a statement.