Grant to make Marshall’s history app more accessible

Marshall University

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.

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.

Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.