Physical Education Resources

The resources in this section provide an introduction to the importance of physical education, fitness, and exercise to the well-being of people with visual impairments. It also includes ideas for adaptive physical education and strategies to encourage students who are blind or visually impaired to increase participation in gym class.

SOFIA, which is a jumbo jet fitted with an infrared telescope, recently flew through the "central flash" of Pluto.  This is the area where researchers can get the most complete sense of Pluto’s skies and record how much of Pluto’s atmosphere absorbed the starlight.  

TVI Jeff Killebrew recently flew on SOFIA and has been sharing his experiences with students and teachers.

Read the full article at:


Archived Hubble Hangout video on 3D printing and technology in astronomy education and research.  The 3D Astronomy Project at the Space Telescope Science Institute and NASA Goddard have created innovative education materials and 3D models of astronomical objects using #Hubble data.

Tony Darnell, Dr. Carol Christian and Scott Lewis discuss how 3D printing is being used in both education and research, as well as helping students and researchers who are visually impaired.

R.G. Baldwin shares ideas about making physics concepts accessible to students who are blind or visually impaired.  He is a Professor of Computer Information Technology at Austin Community College in Austin, TX and is interested in helping students with visual impairments overcome barriers when studying science.  The materials on this site are intended to supplement an introductory Physics class in high school or college.  Topics include:

  • Motion
  • Force
  • Energy
  • Angular Momentum

The site also includes information about creating tactile graphics and links to using supplemental materials, such as a graphing board, protractor, etc.

Students who are blind should not be excluded from physics courses because of inaccessible textbooks. The modules in this collection present physics concepts in a format that students with visual impairments can read using accessibility tools, such as an audio screen reader and an electronic line-by-line braille display. These modules are intended to supplement and not to replace the physics textbook.

Source: Richard Baldwin

This interactive website is full of practical ideas for hands-on lessons, resources, materials, and more. Subscribe to the blog, ask questions, and share your ideas with an online community of practice of educators interested in making science accessible to students with visual impairments.

Source: Perkins eLearning

Adapted Curriculum Enhancement (ACE) seeks to provide research-based educational products and services for students with visual impairments.  Their website offers some hands-on activities on topics such as:

  • Spongy Universe
  • Dynamic Universe
  • Tracing Origins Thought Experiments
  • Feel the Impact

The materials include tactile files, audio files, and student text.

The SETI Institute’s NASA Airborne Astronomy Ambassador Program seeks to engage learners of all ages in NASA's science education programs and activities.
Visit their website to learn about new research, upcoming events, and resources for educators and students related to astronomy and the study of life in the universe.

This Tactile Astronomy section of Amazing Space features a library of selected Hubble images that can be printed in a tactile format.  It opened in celebration of Hubble's 20th Anniversary, on April, 2010. Images can be easily printed on microcapsule paper and "puffed" in a thermal fuser. These specially prepared PDFs include braille headings and embedded text for screen readers that describes the featured celestial object and what astronomers are learning about it optimized for low-vision users and screen readers. Tactile Astronomy also includes a "special projects" section that currently features the limited-edition Tactile Carina Nebula booklet, a 17-by-11–inch color image embossed with lines, slashes, and other markings that correspond to objects within the nebula’s fantasy landscape of bubbles, valleys, mountains, and pillars.

If you have questions about our tactile Hubble images or the Tactile Astronomy site, please send an e-mail to:

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.  


In this video, Dr. Cary Supalo explains the Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest and demonstrates some experiments that can be done with it.

A team of educators, including Science Teacher Jeff Killebrew from New Mexico School for the Blind, flew on the SOFIA mission to observe NASA science operations first hand.  Killebrew discusses the obstacles that students with visual impairments face in entering the STEM fields and he notes the importance of getting them excited about it.  He explains the importance of creating tactile graphics to make concepts such as infrared accessible to students who are blind.  He also shares an embossed version of the SOFIA aircraft which shows where the telescope is in relation to the overall shape of the plane.


Teachers discuss ways to bring their newly acquired knowledge back to their students, with the hope of bringing students who are under-represented (women, minorities and people with disabilities) in STEM fields. 

The latest edition of the Visual Impairment and Deafblind Education Quarterly (VIDBEQ) is devoted to STEM.  

The table of contents for Vol. 61, Issue 4 (2016) includes:

  • Making Astronomy Accessible for Students with Visual Impairments Through NASA’s Airborne Astronomy Ambassador Program
By Jeffrey Killebrew, Science Teacher, TVI, The New Mexico School for the Blind & Visually Impaired
  • Determining the Effectiveness of an Adaptive Science Curriculum for Students who are Visually Impaired
By Heather Browne, Student, Kutztown University
  • Introducing the New Assistive Technology Credential and Project VITALL University Training Program
By Stacy M. Kelly, Ed.D., TVI, COMS, CATIS, Associate Professor, Visual Disabilities Program, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL
  • iOS in the Classroom: A Guide for Teaching Students with Visual Impairments - Book Review
By Kim Picard, Technology Instructor, The Ohio State School for the Blind
  • Creating Access to Computer Science: Enhancing Engagement and Learning for Students with Visual Impairments
By Karen Mutch-Jones and Debra Bernstein, TERC and Stephanie Ludi, University of North Texas
  • Integrating Math and Science into Camp Activities at The Ohio State School for the Blind
By Cecelia Peirano, TVI, The Ohio State School for the Blind and Robin Finley, TVI, The Ohio State School for the Blind
  • Using Adapted Materials in Mathematics for Students with Visual Impairments and Additional Disabilities

By Dr. Nicole Johnson & Dr. Anne Brawand, Kutztown University


Published quarterly, this journal is a publication of the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Visual Impairments and DeafBlindness (CECDVIDB).  It is available online in html, PDF or Word document format.  See the full listing of all issues and formats.

North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind (NDVS-SB) has created a video about a new tactile resource from NASA called “Getting a Feel for Eclipses”.  It is designed to give students who are blind or visually impaired a way to experience the solar eclipse that will happen this summer.

The book Getting a Feel for Eclipses explains details surrounding the August 2017 total solar eclipse with tactile graphics providing an illustration of the interaction and alignment of the Sun with the Moon and the Earth. Associated activities will clarify the nature of eclipses.  Learn more about this book from NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute.


The video below introduces "Getting a Feel for Eclipses".


Astrophysicists Jabran Zahid and Wanda Diaz Merced recently taught a hands-on lesson to secondary school students at the Perkins School for the Blind.  They led students in two activities designed to give them a sense of the size and scale of the planets, as well as their distance from the sun and each other.

The first lesson used folded pieces of paper whereby the creases illustrate the distance between planets.

The second lesson used playdoh to show the relative size difference between the planets.

To read the full article, see:

In their Summer News Blast DCMP (Described and Captioned Media Program) focuses on the lack of girls in engineering programs.  They include a video about inspiring the next generation of girl engineers featuring engineer Debbie Sterling and an engineering toy for girls that she created.  They also share a video on career options for women in engineering, which introduces three women who are working as engineers.  DCMP has a whole series of videos on career options for women, which can help to promote career exploration among girls in non-traditional occupations.  All videos are described and accessible.

The Azer's Interactive Periodic Table Study Set is available from American Printing House for the Blind (APH) and is designed to make learning about the periodic table of the elements accessible to students who are blind or visually impaired.  This set can assist in the instruction and demonstration of concepts related to the arrangement of the periodic table, atomic structure, ionic and covalent bonding, and balancing of chemical equations to students who benefit from a hands-on, interactive model.

The student-made video shows how the study set can be used.

Science instructor Sara Larkin uses lesson plans in magnetism, electricity, and sound to demonstrate how inquiry-based learning can be modified for students with visual impairments.

Source: Perkins eLearning, Perkins School for the Blind