A Hilliard business was among 14 corporations in the U.S. -- and the only one in Ohio -- the White House recently recognized as a "Champion of Change" for its efforts in the field of science, technology, engineering and math accessibility.

A Hilliard business was among 14 corporations in the U.S. -- and the only one in Ohio -- the White House recently recognized as a "Champion of Change" for its efforts in the field of science, technology, engineering and math accessibility.

Steve Jacobs, president of IDEAL Group Inc. and CEO of Apps4Android Inc., traveled May 7 to Washington, D.C., where he was a guest at the White House and participated in an Internet broadcast showcasing his mobile technology.

"It was such a cool surprise," said Jacobs, 65, of Hilliard.

Jacobs was recognized for the development of an application that helps hearing-impaired people receive Internet lessons in mathematics.

The mobile application was developed by Apps4Android, a subsidiary company of the IDEAL Group.

"STEM is vital to America's future in education and employment, so equal access for people with disabilities is imperative, as they can contribute to and benefit from STEM," Kareem Dale, special assistant to the president for disability policy, said in a press release.

"The leaders we have selected as Champions of Change are proving that when the playing field is level, people with disabilities can excel at STEM, develop new products, create scientific inventions, open successful businesses and contribute equally to the economic and educational future of our country," Dale said.

Jacobs' company develops software that translates printed STEM material into digital formats for conversion into speech and braille.

The company also developed STEM-enabled, eBook-reading software.

The company has produced 46 applications, all designed to provide educational resources to disabled students of all grade levels.

The IDEAL Group is among the world's largest developers of Android mobile accessibility applications, with more than 5 million installations in 136 countries.

Institutions that have utilized Jacobs' applications include the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute's Video Description Research and Development Center, the University of Oregon's Mathematics eText Research Center and the Georgia Institute of Technology's Wireless Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center and Sonification Lab.

Jacobs, a 1973 graduate of Ohio State University, worked at NCR Corp., a global information-technology company in Dayton, for 21 years.

Upon retirement, he formed IDEAL Group, a spinoff of the IDEAL Corp. at NCR.

In turn, Apps4Androids is a spinoff of IDEAL Group.

Jacobs works from his Hilliard residence and has six "virtual" employees throughout the world.

No jobs are outsourced, although some of his employees work internationally, including in Brazil, Japan and India.

Jacobs and his wife of 37 years, Pauline, have two adult daughters and one granddaughter.