Accessible Science Resources

Find out what's new and learn more about resources related to accessible science.

APH maintains program statistics on children with visual impairments, including types of schools/programs in which they are educated, and their preferred learning medium (braille, print, auditory).

Source: American Printing House for the Blind (APH)

The APH report was conducted in 2005-2006 to analyze mathematics research and studies that meet the criteria for evidence-based practice.

Source: American Printing House for the Blind (APH)

The University of Buffalo's Assistive Technology Training Online Project focuses on information on the use of AT for children with disabilities in elementary classrooms. Tutorials are provided specifically for JAWS, BrailleNote, ZoomText, and other products useful for students with visual impairments.

For itinerant TVIs who are adapting chemistry for a braille student, these guidelines will be invaluable.   The 20-page document includes:

  • Basic Guidance on When to Switch
  • UEB Rule for Use of Opening and Closing Nemeth Indicators
  • Additional Guidelines
  • Formatting

The guidelines are available for free download in PDF or BRF format on the BANA (Braille Authority of North America) website.


Maylene Bird shares teaching tips on cells, microscopes, diagrams and models, dissecting, and measuring.

Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

This page has links to various biology lessons, a list of errors and omissions in the Holt Biology Book (2004), and diagrams that can be downloaded to accompany the text.

Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

This site features two newspaper articles about "small but significant breakthroughs" in science education for students who are blind: Camp Eureka, a natural history camp in Montana; and a dissection class at Colorado Center for the Blind.

Source: National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

Cary Supalo shares his strategies for a positive experience in chemistry classes.  He describes the importance of obtaining materials in alternate formats, note-taking, creating three-dimensional models, and working closely with lab technicians, scribes, and readers.

Source: Future Reflections (2002), National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

Statistics are drawn from AFB and U.S. government sources, and organized by age, ethnicity, geography, and more

Source: National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

Maylene Bird provides step-by-step instructions for building cell models for biology, including ideas for organelles and sample cell diagrams.

Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

Future Reflections (2002).

Bernhard Beck-Winchatz asserts that "there is nothing a blind person could not do as well" in the field of astronomy. He co-developed Touch the Universe – A NASA Braille Book of Astronomy, which makes Hubble Space Telescope images accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired.

Source: National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

This article explores the pros and cons of surgery, with information about procedures, outcomes, and recovery.

Source: Sacramento Network of Care

Cell Zone offers biology education products that incorporate universal design for learning (UDL) to include more learners in biology. Their products cover many topics in biology classes, including cells, biological molecules, diversity, and cell division.

Pictured here is the contents of a Dynamic Cell Model kit.



This two-page document from Iowa Educational Services from the Blind and Visually Impaired lists accommodations to the Foss Chemical Interactions course for students with visual impairments.  Topics include:

  • Mystery Mixture
  • Mixing Substances
  • Capture the Gas
  • Air is Matter

and more!

In this Ted Talk shared with me by a friend, Chieko Asakawa, a woman who is blind, discusses the ways that accessibility has ignited innovation.   Examples given include the invention of the telephone as a communication tool for people with hearing loss and some keyboards invented to help people with disabilities.

She speaks of the value of her work in making the internet more accessible for individuals with disabilities in the development of  the IBM Home Page Reader. 

She ends her brief talk (about 10 minutes) with an incredible demonstration of how new SmartPhone technology will allow individuals with visual impairment to experience as yet unimagined levels of independence.  


This list of common abbreviations may be helpful in interpreting an eye report.

Source: Root Eye Network

An explanation of the elements of an eye examination and what the specialist is evaluating.

Source: American Optometric Association

This site includes a list of free and low-cost educational software and an online glossary.

Researchers Margilee Hilson, Sally Hobson, and Tiffany Wild present information about their study of science camps for students who are blind or visually impaired. They specifically looked at a camp with theme of biodiversity across ecosystems. The full study is published in the Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research (JBIR), Vol 6, No 2 (2016).

This adaptation of a classic experiment demonstrates how to make chemical reaction/conservation of mass accessible to students who are blind or visually impaired.

Source: Perkins eLearning