Accessible Science Resources

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

More STEM apps are becoming available with the tactile talking pen and an entire STEM binder is available for $300.00.   For those not familiar with the pen the following is from the Touch Graphics website.  Reviews of these apps will be completed as they are incorporated into instruction. 

Touch Graphics, in collaboration with scientists at the Smith Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, announces the Talking Tactile Pen! This tool achieves a new level of portability and sophistication in audio-tactile interactive computing. As students explore various raised-line and textured images,they touch the tip of a Livescribe Echo pen to any feature they would like to know about. The pen’s on-board computer determines its location on the tactile surface, then plays spoken descriptions through a tiny speaker or headphones. Subsequent taps in the same spot reveal more information. A simple user graphical user interface allows students to adjust volume, hear the previous message again or get help.The following apps are available for use with the tactile talking pen:https://www.perkinselearning.org/accessible-science/talking-tactile-pen

Each app includes a physical sheet and a CD:

  • Gulf of Mexico
  • Solar System
  • Human Brain
  • Flowering Plant
  • Motor Neuron
  • Bridges
  • Human Skeleton
  • Shark Anatomy
  • Mitosis
  • Periodic Table

 

 

  • The STEM Binder is available for $300.00
  • To order, please use the above link.  
  • You will be prompted to enter your contact info in order to place your order or to order by phone at 1-800-884-2440

Touch Graphics, in collaboration with scientists at the Smith Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, announces the Talking Tactile Pen! This tool achieves a new level of portability and sophistication in audio-tactile interactive computing. As students explore various raised-line and textured images,they touch the tip of a Livescribe Echo pen to any feature they would like to know about. The pen’s on-board computer determines its location on the tactile surface, then plays spoken descriptions through a tiny speaker or headphones. Subsequent taps in the same spot reveal more information. A simple user graphical user interface allows students to adjust volume, hear the previous message again or get help.

The Talking Tactile Pen comes with a charging cable and non-ink stylus. The smart pan can be used to record lectures or to interact with our STEM Apps. The included STEM Binder is a rigid loose leaf book for holding your pen and your growing collection of STEM Apps.

RNIB's classroom resources pages contain suggestions for specific subject areas, including Geography

Source: Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)

This 51-page manual is full of practical tips for adapting science experiments for students who are blind or visually impaired.  Written by Matthew Dion, Karen Hoffman, and Amy Matter from Worcester Polytech, the manual includes the following sections:

  • Teaching the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • General Guidelines for Making Adaptations
  • Laboratory Adaptations
  • Specific Experiments
  • Resource List

A 51 page manual from 2000 full of tips for adapting science experiments for students who are blind or visually impaired. Written by Matthew Dion, Karen Hoffman, and Amy Matter from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. It includes sections on Teaching the Blind and Visually Impaired, General Guidelines for Making Adaptations, Laboratory Adaptations, Specific Experiments, and a Resource List.

Source: Perkins eLearning, Perkins School for the Blind

This 75-page manual has sections on the classroom, testing and evaluation, assistive technology, accessible computing, laboratory techniques, mentoring and advocacy, and principles of universal design to create accessibility for all.

Source: American Chemical Society Committee on Chemists with Disabilities

Sheryl Burgstahler examines some of the specific challenges that students with disabilities face in both gaining and demonstrating knowledge. She lists accommodation suggestions for students with visual impairments.

Source: University of Washington

The VISIONS Lab produces educational materials for visually impaired students and develops new adaptive technologies; this site discusses accommodations for college-level organic chemistry and calculus.

Source: Purdue University's VISIONS Lab, Rochester Institute of Technology

This article describes the Purdue's VISIONS Lab, (Visually Impaired Students Initiative on Science), which is a research laboratory dedicated to providing access to the numerous science courses at the university.

Source: Information Technology and Disabilities Journal, 3 (4) 1996

Kurt Herzer, a premed student at Johns Hopkins University who is legally blind, recommends that professors make classroom and course materials accommodations that suit the specific needs of the individual student.

Wanda Merced, having lost her vision as a young woman in college, continued in her study of physics.  She speaks about the uncommon practice of "listening to the stars"  Her audience is asked to wear blindfolds as she describes the sonification of data. She proceeds to allow the students to "listen" to the stars.  A brief fascinating talk worth 15 minutes of your time.

This Ted Talk features Chelsea Cook, who is a physics major at Virginia tech. She enjoys astronomy, reading, and creative writing. Her ultimate goal is to become an astronaut who writes poetry in space. In her talk "Creating Interfaces, Creating Experiences," Chelsea questions how we handle problems and how we can solve them by taking another perspective.

Within its collection of resources and strategies, TSBVI includes several online training resources pertaining to assistive technology that we would like to call out:

  •  Evaluating Students for Assistive Technology:  Assistive Technology Evaluation: Computer Access
  • An Introduction to the iPad Using Apple's Native Screen Reader, VoiceOver
  • Using a copier with voice activation
  • MegaDots Braille Translation Software - Using Styles to Format a Document
  • An Introduction to Various Screen Readers with Computers and Accessories
  • An Introduction to the SenseView Duo
Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

Maylene Bird and Karen Poston share ideas for creating a braille diagram of the cell cycle. The article includes step-by-step instructions and photographs of student-created diagrams.

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

Diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma; links to an online newsletter.

SAP develops "methods for making science, math, and engineering information accessible to people with print disabilities"; includes information on products and projects, publications, and current research topics (braille and DotsPlus® Braille).

Geerat J. Vermeij describes his experiences as a blind scientist and a nationally recognized marine biologist.

Source: National Federation of the Blind

Touch the Universe: A NASA Braille Book of Astronomy by Noreen Grice is designed to make astronomy accessible to students who are blind or visually impaired.  The book uses a combination of braille and large-print captions with photos from the Hubble Space Telescope and embossed shapes that represent various astronomical objects such as stars, gas clouds, and jets of matter streaming into space.

Bernhard Beck-Winchatz "discusses how scale models of near-Earth asteroids can be used to teach space science to blind and visually impaired students."

Source: Portico - Astronomy Education Review

Information and resources on low vision, macular degeneration, and vision rehabilitation.

Source: Lighthouse International

Pages