Suggested Adaptive Tools and Materials for Braille Students In Algebra and Geometry
Math Materials in Nemeth Code
Braille Algebra or Geometry Textbook with correct Nemeth Code and high quality tactile graphics. My last Braille geometry textbook (transcribed by a certified Nemeth transcriber) had several Nemeth Code errors and extremely poor quality tactile graphics throughout. The graphics had been entirely omitted or been drawn poorly. The poor quality was such that students were either unable to answer a question or give a correct answer. Both the VI and math teacher needs to be alert for such errors.
Nemeth Translation Software Package. This is necessary to produce materials (worksheets, reviews, tests, etc.) in Nemeth Code in a timely fashion for student use. Choose MegaMath or DBT in conjunction with Scientific Notebook from the following vendors:
http://www.duxburysystems.com
270 Littleton Road, Unit 6
Westford, MA 01886
9786923000 voice
9786927912 fax
Website: http://www.duxburysystems.com
Email for general inquiries:
Email for DTB technical support:
Email for MegaDots Technical support:
Email to Webmaster:
MegaMath or DBT (DBT WIN 10.3, 10.4, or 10.5 are now able to import documents from Scientific Notebook.)
MacKichan Software, Inc.
19307 8^{th} Avenue, Suite C
Poulsobo, WA 983707370
Phone: 13603946033
TollFree: 18777249673
Fax: 13603946039
Email:
Website: http://www.mackichan.com
With Scientific Notebook, create attractive documents with text, mathematics, and graphics, have it compute the solutions, import data from your graphing calculator, connect to the Internet and download documents, then translate to Nemeth Code and/or convert to large print.
Basic Tools or Technology
The student will need a Braillewriter, Refreshable Notetaker or Desktop Computer with Refreshable Braille Keyboard, Braille Paper, and a Braille Eraser. An Abacus is also strongly suggested.
Calculators
ORION TI36X (Current price: $249) http://www.orbitresearch.com/
Your student may prefer a standalone talking scientific calculator, and although there are many such calculators on the market today, the ORION TI36X from Orbit Research is currently the most affordable and userfriendly. While it does not have graphing capabilities, it is easily accessible by totally blind students (unlike the TI graphing calculators), and features a builtin learning mode. The ORION's LCD display and functionality are identical to the TI36X, so math teachers should feel very comfortable orienting the visually impaired student. The ORION TI36X replaces the ORION TI34, which is now out of production. It is more powerful than the ORION TI34 and costs $249. I evaluated the new model this past summer, made suggestions which they followed, and they are now available for purchase.
SciPlus Series 300 Scientific Calculator with Speech (Current price: Not Available) http://www.sightenhancement.com/
The SciPlus Series 300 is the only large display talking scientific calculator made as a onepiece portable unit. However, it does not have graphing capabilities. Sight Enhancement Systems manufactures it. Although most general education math teachers will be unfamiliar with the SciPlus, the various functions are easily identifiable, and a willing math teacher should have little difficulty orienting the visually impaired student to the SciPlus. This calculator is still in prototype, but it should be available to the general public soon. I'm not sure what the price will be, but I would suspect that the price will be more than the ORION TI36X, but less than most of the other talking scientific calculator now available. I evaluated the prototype, and they are in the process of fixing the problems that I found.
Talking Scientific Graphing Calculator
Audio Graphing Calculator Version 2.0 (Current price: $295; Upgrade from 1.0 to 2.0: $145)
http://www.ViewPlus.com
The Audio Graphing Calculator (AGC) from ViewPlus Technologies, Inc. is a selfvoicing graphing scientific calculator software program. Unlike a handheld calculator, it displays results through speech and sounds, as well as visually presenting numbers and graphs. This program is intended to have capabilities comparable to a fullfeatured handheld scientific and statistical graphing calculator. The AGC is truly accessible for all students, and could be used for the entire class. The onscreen graphics are easily seen by a low vision student via an enlargement feature, and the graph can be listened to by using the sophisticated audio wave feature. Print copies can be made with any standard printer using a variety of fonts, including braille. The print copies with braille fonts can be copied onto swell paper and run through a tactile imaging machine. One of the best ways to use the AGC is with a TIGER Braille/graphics embosser from ViewPlus Technologies, Inc., but the TIGER is rather expensive. Although considerable time is typically needed for training a blind student to use the ACG totally independently, the math teacher is usually able to assist the student because it is so userfriendly for the sighted individual.
Drawing/Construction Tools
Drawing Board . For constructions, my students don't use foil or the "usual" Sewell raised line drawing technique either. We use some type of rubber pad on a flat surface  whatever you have available. Some of my students and I happen to like an old Sewell raised line drawing board which has rubber attached to a clip board so that I can clip my Braille paper to this to keep it from sliding. But, others use a rubber pad on top of a regular wooden drawing board or table.
Recently, some tried using the Funky Foam Sheet from the 4 Kids Company. Still others might like a similar rubber on wood board from Howe Press because it too has a way of clipping the paper down.
Braille Compass from Howe Press. The compass has a regular pointed end, but the other end has a small tracing wheel attached. I have not been able to find these compasses anywhere else. Should you find another source, please let me know.
Straightedge  any "print" ruler will do if you don't have a plain straightedge, since the student is a Braille reader.
Tracing Wheel . Use one from the homemaking department, or Howe Press, or the APH tactile drawing kit, or the local hardware/hobby shop.
Braille/Print Protractor from APH is my preference. The student can draw an angle of a certain measure using the protractor and some sort of stylus or pen. I also wrote the teacher's guide.
American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, KY 402060085
Phone: 8002231839, FAX: 5028992274
Email:
Website: http://www.aph.org/
Howe Press of Perkins School for the Blind
175 North Beacon Street
Watertown, Massachusetts 02472 USA
Phone: 6179727308, Fax: 6179262027
Email:
Website: http://www.perkins.org/
Tactile Measuring Tools
Braille Ruler, can be of various lengths, should have metric and English markings. (Yard sticks and Meter sticks are also available.)
Braille/Print Protractor from APH is my preference. It can be used to measure angles.
Other possible sources for tactile measuring tools:
Ann Morris Enterprises, Inc.
890 Fams Court
East Meadow, NY 115545101
Phone: 8004543175, FAX: 5162922522
Email:
Website: http://www.annmorris.com
Independent Living Aids, Inc.
27 East Mall
Plainview, NY 11803
Phone: 8005372118, FAX: 5167523135
Email:
Website: http://www.independentliving.com
The Lighthouse Inc.
3620 Northern Boulevard
Long Island City, NY 11101
Phone: 8008290500, FAX: 7187865620
Email:
Website: www.lighthouse.org
Maxi Aids & Appliances for Independent Living
42 Executive Blvd.
P.O. Box 3209
Farmingdale, NY 11735
Phone: 8005226294, FAX 5167520689
Email:
Website: http://www.maxiaids.com/
StudentGenerated Tactile Algebraic and Coordinate Geometry Graphics
Raised Line Graph Paper or The Graphic Aid for Mathematics from APH
Raised Line Graph Paper is available from APH. They have various sizes. You can get sheets measuring 8 1/2 x 11 inches or 11 1/2 x 11 inches. The squares can be 1/2inch squares to 1inch squares. Some have coordinate axes along with a grid pattern of horizontal and vertical lines. Unless you affix this graph paper to a corkboard as outlined below, you will need additional materials such as wikki stix to form the geometric figures.
The Graphic Aid for Mathematics is excellent for graphing algebraic equations, but can be used in geometry as well, especially coordinate geometry. It consists of a cork composition board mounted with a rubber mat, which has been embossed with a grid of 1/2inch squares. My students use two rubber bands held down by thumbtacks for the x and yaxes. Then points are plotted with pushpins at the appropriate coordinates. Points are connected with rubber bands (for lines) or flat spring wires (for circles and arcs). Sighted math teachers can even interpret the studentmade graphs correctly. You can also make your own rubber graph board by affixing a piece of raised line graph paper (also from APH) to a corkboard and proceeding as outlined above. The blind student can make this low tech tool high tech by taking a digital picture of each graph, which can be emailed to the math teacher.
Geometric Manipulatives
I am a firm believer in the use of manipulatives (for the sighted as well as the blind). The following manipulatives do not need to be adapted for the blind. I have accumulated mine over the years from various sources.
2D Manipulatives are especially useful for teaching transformations (translations, reflections, and rotations) and similarity. I always have a box of triangles and quadrilaterals of different classifications close at hand and several regular polygons with five or more sides.
Paper Folding is extremely useful in teaching symmetry.
3D Manipulatives are an absolute necessity when studying polyhedrons and other threedimensional figures. In my experience, interpreting tactile 3D drawings on a 2D plane using perspective can sometimes be difficult for the average sighted person and thus more difficult for the low vision person. I have boxes of various 3D solids including a tetrahedron, octahedron, hexahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron and right and oblique prisms, which are a little more difficult to find. A net is a pattern that can be cut out and folded into a threedimensional figure (solid), and these can be either a great deal of fun or a matter of frustration for a low vision student depending on the student's spatial orientation abilities. However, some low vision students are even better able to conceptualize than their fully sighted counterparts.
A source for exceptional 3D manipulatives is:
geometro
166 Springfied Blvd.,
Ancaster, L9K 1H8
Ontario, Canada
Phone: 9053047112
Email:
Website: http://www.geometro.ca
Handson System for Learning ThreeDimensional Geometry
Math Graphs Made by Others for Students
I recommend the following types of graphics:
Graphs Made by Using the Tactile Graphics Kit from APH. Region IV Education Service Center in Houston, TX has this down to an art (7137448144). Requires an artist, but well worth the effort for textbooks and standardized tests.
Graphs Made using a Tactile Imaging Machine (or "Toaster") and "Capsule" Paper: easy for mere mortals (I am no artist.), quick, and of especially high quality for geometric graphics.
"Capsule paper is a special paper onto which hundreds of millions of thermallyfoamed microcapsules have been uniformly coated. These thermally foamed microcapsules have been developed for the purpose of stereo printing. While moving through the stereo copier, the capsule paper is irradiated with light energy and black portions of the copy absorb the energy and swell outward to form a stereo (raised line) copy."  taken from the description of "Matsumoto's Stereo Copying System for the blind."
We use different types of "capsule" paper at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired to make raisedline graphics. We have a Matsumoto's stereo copier from JP Trading because it was the first on the market. However, several other companies have since developed their own copiers and paper at a considerably lower price. The various "capsule" papers may be used interchangeably with different copiers; however, there is some variability in feel, durability, flexibility, cost, etc. We prefer the paper available from American Thermoform at the present time. Angles and figure markings made with the "toaster" method come out uniform, crisp, and tactually clear and concise.
Below is a list of three current sources of which I am aware and each company's specific name for their copier and paper:
American Thermoform Corporation
1758 Brackett Street
La Verne, CA 91750
Phone: 8003313676 or 9095936711 FAX: 9095938001
Email
Website: http://www.atcbrleqp.com
SwellForm Graphics Machine, SwellTouch Paper, and thermoform machines.
Optelec, US Inc.
3030 Enterprise Court
Suite C
Vista, CA 92081
Phone: 8008281056
Website: http://www.optelec.com
Pictures in a Flash (PIAF), "capsule" paper.
ReproTronics Inc.
75 Carver Ave.
Westwood, NJ 07675
Phone: 8009488453, FAX: 2017221881
Email:
Website: http://www.reprotronics.com
Tactile Image Enhancer, thermo paper, flexipaper, and other tactile image enhancement products.
Geometry Tactile Graphics Kit from APH. Supplemental drawings depicting basic geometric concepts if the student still has tactual and/or spatial orientation problems.
Prepared by:
Susan A. Osterhaus, M.Ed.
Secondary Mathematics
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 West 45th Street
Austin, TX 78756
Phone: (512) 2069305
Fax: (512) 2069453
Email:
Suggested Adaptive Tools and Materials for Low Vision Students In Algebra and Geometry
Math Materials in Large Print
Large Print Algebra or Geometry Textbook with high quality contrast for text, graphics, and pictures. All worksheets, reviews, tests, etc. should be either enlarged to the preferred size of the student, or regular print should be used with proper magnification in the form of a stand magnifier, glasses, CCTV, etc.
Basic Tools or Technology
The student will need Black Line Paper in a color contrast combination and line width suitable for individual student needs. A Desktop Computer or Laptop is also strongly recommended.
Large Display Scientific/Graphing Calculator Solutions
I have three suggestions:

TI Graphing Calculator ViewScreen Enlargement Solution TI makes a ViewScreen package for the following calculators: TI80, TI81, TI82, TI83, TI84, TI85, TI86, and TI92. When I purchased the TI82 with the following setup, it was approximately $300. It has worked very well with my low vision students. They use a ViewScreen calculator connected to a ViewScreen LCD display panel placed on a light box. Call TI at 1800TICARES or email at . They can give you a list of vendors from whom you can make your purchase. You’ll want to order the ViewScreen package, which includes a ViewScreen display panel (normally sits on top of any standard overhead projector), a ViewScreen calculator, a unittounit cable, an AC adapter, a guidebook, and a carrying case. [You may already have this available as a teacher package.] Then you need a light box (instead of the overhead projector) for a light source to place the display panel on. I ordered mine from Logan Electric Specialty Mfg. Co. (See below.) However, we originally used an old LiteBrite, removed the black panel, and replaced it with a translucent one. The entire ViewScreen package (as outlined above) and the TruView Light Box by Logan fit into the attractive and comfortably designed carrying case, and thus makes a lightweight easily portable package, which is very important for my students.
An alternative solution might be to use a regular TI graphing calculator on a color CCTV. This has worked well for many students, and is an inexpensive solution if they already have a CCTV available for their use. This could be your first choice if the rest of the class is using a TI product.
Another alternative solution might be to use the TISmartView emulator software. This software is userfriendly and is based on the functionality of the TI84 Plus family graphing calculators and is compatible with the TI83 Plus family. It is only available to educators and is priced at $135.
TICARES Educational Support Programs
Logan Electric Specialty Mfg. Co.
P.O. Box 650311, MS 3962
Dallas, TX 75265
Phone: 800TICARES
Email:
Website: http://education.ti.com/
Email:
Website: http://education.ti.com/educationportal/sites/US/nonProductMulti/support_borrowtitechnology.html
Texas Instrument ViewScreen Graphing Calculator packages can be a screen enlargement solution for low vision students. Borrow calculators, at no charge, for you to examine before making a purchasing decision.
c/o SmithVictor Corporation
1268 Humbracht Circle
Bartlett, Illinois 601031631
Tel 630.830.9200
Fax 630.830.9201
Email:
Website: www.loganelectric.com or www.SmithVictor.com
Customer Service Contact: Polly Stephen
TruView Light Box can be used to backlight TI ViewScreens providing a convenient and effective way of enlarging the TI series of graphing calculators for low vision students. 
The SciPod (formerly known as the VisAble) is the only large display scientific calculator made as a onepiece portable unit. However, it does not have graphing capabilities. It is manufactured by:
Sight Enhancement Systems
60 Bathurst Drive, Unit #17
Waterloo, ON
Canada N2V 2A9
Phone: 5198838400
FAX: 5198838405
Email:
Website: http://www.sightenhancement.com
SciPod Large Display Scientific Calculator 
If neither of the above meets your student's needs, I would suggest that you check out Scientific Notebook (SNB) (a software package). If the student has a laptop, SNB can be installed on it, and then you actually have a very portable device, which is more than just a graphing scientific calculator. SNB is also a math/text processor, so your student could do all of his assignments, calculations, and graphs in one document directly on the laptop. It has onscreen magnification up to 400%, or Zoomtext may be used. In addition, you can change the style to a different and larger font (up to 72point), which will allow further onscreen magnification and large print hard copies. Download a free 30day trial version. Purchase price: $148 schools or $99 student version. However, SNB contains a Computer Algebra System and is therefore not eligible for use on standardized tests (at least not in Texas).
MacKichan Software, Inc.
600 Ericksen, Suite 300
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Phone: 1877SCINOTE
Fax: 12067802857
Email:
Website: http://www.mackichan.com
With Scientific Notebook, create attractive documents with text, mathematics, and graphics, have it compute the solutions, import data from your graphing calculator, connect to the Internet and download documents.
Talking Scientific/Graphing Calculators
Talking Scientific Calculators
ORION TI36X (Current price: $249) http://www.orbitresearch.com/
Your student may prefer a standalone talking scientific calculator, and although there are many such calculators on the market today, the ORION TI36X from Orbit Research is currently the most affordable and userfriendly. While it does not have graphing capabilities, it is easily accessible by totally blind students (unlike the TI graphing calculators), and features a builtin learning mode. The ORION's LCD display and functionality are identical to the TI36X, so math teachers should feel very comfortable orienting the visually impaired student. The ORION TI36X replaces the ORION TI34, which is now out of production. It is more powerful than the ORION TI34 and costs $249. I evaluated the new model, made suggestions which they followed, and they are now available for purchase.
SciPlus Series 300 Scientific Calculator with Speech (Current price: Not Available) http://www.sightenhancement.com/
The SciPlus Series 300 is the only large display talking scientific calculator made as a onepiece portable unit. However, it does not have graphing capabilities. Sight Enhancement Systems manufactures it. Although most general education math teachers will be unfamiliar with the SciPlus, the various functions are easily identifiable, and a willing math teacher should have little difficulty orienting the visually impaired student to the SciPlus. This calculator is still in prototype, but it should be available to the general public soon. I'm not sure what the price will be, but I would suspect that the price will be more than the ORION TI36X, but less than most of the other talking scientific calculator now available. I evaluated the prototype, and they are in the process of fixing the problems that I found.
Talking Scientific Graphing Calculator
Audio Graphing Calculator Version 2.0 (Current price: $295; Upgrade from 1.0 to 2.0: $145)
http://www.ViewPlus.com
The Audio Graphing Calculator (AGC) from ViewPlus Technologies, Inc. is a selfvoicing graphing scientific calculator software program. Unlike a handheld calculator, it displays results through speech and sounds, as well as visually presenting numbers and graphs. This program is intended to have capabilities comparable to a fullfeatured handheld scientific and statistical graphing calculator. The AGC is truly accessible for all students, and could be used for the entire class. The onscreen graphics are easily seen by a low vision student via an enlargement feature, and the graph can be listened to by using the sophisticated audio wave feature. Print copies can be made with any standard printer using a variety of fonts, including braille. The print copies with braille fonts can be copied onto swell paper and run through a tactile imaging machine. One of the best ways to use the AGC is with a TIGER Braille/graphics embosser from ViewPlus Technologies, Inc., but the TIGER is rather expensive. Although considerable time is typically needed for training a blind student to use the ACG totally independently, the math teacher is usually able to assist the student because it is so userfriendly for the sighted individual.
Drawing/Construction Tools
Drawing Board or Pad (to protect desk from compass point), Compass, Straightedge, and a Protractor.
I prefer the Braille/Print Protractor from APH. The student can easily draw an angle of a certain measure using the protractor and any pen or pencil. I also wrote the teacher's guide.
American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, KY 402060085
Phone: 8002231839, FAX: 5028992274
Email:
Website: http://www.aph.org/
Measuring Tools
Large Print Ruler, can be of various lengths, should have metric and English markings. (Yard sticks and Meter sticks are also available.)
Braille/Print Protractor from APH is my preference. It can be used to measure angles.
Other possible sources for large print measuring tools:
Ann Morris Enterprises, Inc.
890 Fams Court
East Meadow, NY 115545101
Phone: 8004543175, FAX: 5162922522
Email:
Website: http://www.annmorris.com
Independent Living Aids, Inc.
27 East Mall
Plainview, NY 11803
Phone: 8005372118, FAX: 5167523135
Email:
Website: http://www.independentliving.com
The Lighthouse Inc.
3620 Northern Boulevard
Long Island City, NY 11101
Phone: 8008290500, FAX: 7187865620
Email:
Website: www.lighthouse.org
Maxi Aids & Appliances for Independent Living
42 Executive Blvd.
P.O. Box 3209
Farmingdale, NY 11735
Phone: 8005226294, FAX 5167520689
Email:
Website: http://www.maxiaids.com/
StudentGenerated Algebraic and Coordinate Geometry Graphics
Large Print Graph Paper or The Graphic Aid for Mathematics from APH
Large Print Graph Paper is available from APH. They have various sizes. The teacher can also enlarge regular print graph paper or create graph paper to the student's exact specifications.
The Graphic Aid for Mathematics is excellent for graphing algebraic equations, but can be used in geometry as well, especially coordinate geometry. It consists of a cork composition board mounted with a rubber mat, which has been embossed with a grid of 1/2inch squares. My students use two rubber bands held down by thumbtacks for the x and yaxes. Then points are plotted with pushpins at the appropriate coordinates. Points are connected with rubber bands (for lines) or flat spring wires (for circles and arcs). Sighted math teachers can even interpret the studentmade graphs correctly. You can also make your own rubber graph board by affixing a piece of raised line graph paper (also from APH) to a corkboard and proceeding as outlined above. Many low vision students prefer this method to using print graph paper. The student can make this low tech tool high tech by taking a digital picture of each graph, which can be emailed to the math teacher.
Graph free software program
Graph (http://www.padowan.dk/graph/) is a free software program, which is suitable for students who are visual learners and prefer to use a mouse. Students can select the background color, font size, font color, axes color, axes width, axes font labels, line widths, line colors, etc. They can use Graph to graph functions and input (x, y) coordinates into a table for graphing. The Graph software is easy to use and contains the necessary features required for displaying algebraic functions and tables, and allows for visual modification.
Geometric Manipulatives
I am a firm believer in the use of manipulatives (for the sighted as well as the blind). The following manipulatives do not need to be adapted for the blind. I have accumulated mine over the years from various sources.
2D Manipulatives are especially useful for teaching transformations (translations, reflections, and rotations) and similarity. I always have a box of triangles and quadrilaterals of different classifications close at hand and several regular polygons with five or more sides.
Paper Folding is extremely useful in teaching symmetry.
3D Manipulatives are an absolute necessity when studying polyhedrons and other threedimensional figures. In my experience, interpreting tactile 3D drawings on a 2D plane using perspective can sometimes be difficult for the average sighted person and thus more difficult for the low vision person. I have boxes of various 3D solids including a tetrahedron, octahedron, hexahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron and right and oblique prisms, which are a little more difficult to find. A net is a pattern that can be cut out and folded into a threedimensional figure (solid), and these can be either a great deal of fun or a matter of frustration for a low vision student depending on the student's spatial orientation abilities. However, some low vision students are even better able to conceptualize than their fully sighted counterparts.
A source for exceptional 3D manipulatives is:
geometro
166 Springfied Blvd.,
Ancaster, L9K 1H8
Ontario, Canada
Phone: 9053047112
Email:
Website: http://www.geometro.ca
Handson System for Learning ThreeDimensional Geometry
Math Graphs Made by Others for Students
In addition to making clear, high contrast graphics in the appropriate size for the low vision student, I sometimes recommend the following types of graphics. In addition to being a form of tactile graphic, these graphics also provide a bold black line outline of each graphic. These can be especially beneficial to the student who is in the process of changing media, who uses both Braille and print media, or who simply prefers that their large print drawings also be raised line drawings.
Graphs Made using a Tactile Imaging Machine (or "Toaster") and "Capsule" Paper: easy for mere mortals (I am no artist.), quick, and of especially high quality for geometric graphics.
"Capsule paper is a special paper onto which hundreds of millions of thermallyfoamed microcapsules have been uniformly coated. These thermally foamed microcapsules have been developed for the purpose of stereo printing. While moving through the stereo copier, the capsule paper is irradiated with light energy and black portions of the copy absorb the energy and swell outward to form a stereo (raised line) copy."  taken from the description of "Matsumoto's Stereo Copying System for the blind."
We use different types of "capsule" paper at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired to make raisedline graphics. We have a Matsumoto's stereo copier from JP Trading because it was the first on the market. However, several other companies have since developed their own copiers and paper at a considerably lower price. The various "capsule" papers may be used interchangeably with different copiers; however, there is some variability in feel, durability, flexibility, cost, etc. We prefer the paper available from American Thermoform at the present time. This particular paper is whiter than some, and allows for an excellent black on white contrast for the low vision student. Angles and figure markings made with the "toaster" method come out uniform, crisp, and tactually clear and concise as well.
Below is a list of three sources of which I am aware and each company's specific name for their copier and paper:
American Thermoform Corporation
1758 Brackett Street
La Verne, CA 91750
Phone: 8003313676 or 9095936711 FAX: 9095938001
Email
Website: http://www.atcbrleqp.com
SwellForm Graphics Machine, SwellTouch Paper, and thermoform machines.
Optelec, US Inc.
3030 Enterprise Court
Suite C
Vista, CA 92081
Phone: 8008281056
Website: http://www.optelec.com
Pictures in a Flash (PIAF), "capsule" paper.
ReproTronics Inc.
75 Carver Ave.
Westwood, NJ 07675
Phone: 8009488453, FAX: 2017221881
Email:
Website: http://www.reprotronics.com
Tactile Image Enhancer, thermo paper, flexipaper, and other tactile image enhancement products.
Talking Graphics have come of age. I list two such devices and the companies who produce them. These devices are especially useful for students transitioning from print to Braille, and those with certain learning disabilities, such as dyslexia.
TTT: Talking Tactile Tablet
Touch Graphics
330 West 38 Street Suite 1204
New York, NY 10018 USA
Phone: 2123756341
FAX: 6464524211
Contact: Steven Landau
Email:
http://www.touchgraphics.com
The Touch Graphics Company has created a sophisticated Authoring Tool that allows teachers of blind and visually impaired students to create their own talking tactile pictures for the TTT, a new computer peripheral device. I was a member of the Teachers’ Design Collaborative and participated in the research and design process.
IVEO Software with Touch Pad
ViewPlus Technologies, Inc.
1853 SW Airport Avenue
Corvallis, Oregon 97333
Phone: 541.754.4002
Fax: 541.738.6505
email:
Website: http://www.viewplus.com/
ViewPlus Technologies has created the IVEO software and Touch Pad, which allows you to touch, hear, and see electronic documents simultaneously.
Prepared by:
Susan A. Osterhaus, M.Ed.
Secondary Mathematics
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 West 45th Street
Austin, TX 78756
Phone: (512) 2069305
Fax: (512) 2069453
Email:
“A Few of My Favorite Things” for Teaching Mathematics from a Tactual and Auditory Perspective
MATVI Annual Meeting
Michigan Association of Transcribers
for the Visually Impaired
ST. JOHN, MICHIGAN
November 5, 2004
Presented by
Susan A. Osterhaus
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 West 45th Street
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 2069305
Susan's Math Corner
Download Powerpoint version (3.5 mb)
Suggested Adaptive Tools and Materials
 Math Materials
 Basic Tools and Technology
 Calculators
 Drawing/Construction Tools
 Measuring Tools
 StudentGenerated Graphics
 Graphics Made by Others
 Strategies and Resources
Math Materials
 High Quality Braille Textbook
 Nemeth Code
 Tactile Graphics
 TeacherMade Materials
 Worksheets
 Quizzes
 Tests
Nemeth Translation Packages
Basic Math Tools
 Braillewriter
 Braille Paper
 Braille Eraser
 Abacus
Basic Math Technology
 Refreshable Braille
 Braille Notetaker
 PC with Refreshable
 Braille Keyboard
 Laptop
APH Tools to Help Increase Basic Math Skills
 Math Drill Cards
 Quick Pick: Math
 Multiplicationand Division Table
 Math Flash
 Fun selfvoicedsoftware program
Talking Tools to Help Increase Basic Math Skills
HeadStart HandsOn Tools APH Tactile Demonstration
 Thermometer
 HANDSON EQUATIONS
 Learning Systems
Accessible Math Technology for Basic and Higher Level Skills
 addition
 subtraction
 multiplication
 division
 Virtual Pencil (VPAlgebra now in beta version!)
Voice Recognition Software
 MathPad^{TM}By Voice^{TM}
 MathTalk^{TM}/Scientific Notebook^{TM}
 MathTalk^{TM}/Scientific WorkPlace^{TM}
NASAs Online Math Description Engine (MDE)
 Graphing Calculator
 Math Trax
Math Players MathtoSpeech Technology
 Design Science
Accessible Scientific/Graphing Calculators
 Talking Scientific Calculator
 Talking Graphing Calculators
 Accessible Graphing Calculator (AGC)
 Large Display, SelfVoiced, Print and
 Tactile Graphics, AudioWave
 GTCalc
 Large Display, SelfVoiced, Print
 Graphics, Audiowave
Braille Scientific Calculators
 Braille Lite
 BrailleNote (BT or QT)
 Talking Scientific Calculator with refreshable braille
 Leo Braille DisplayScientific Calculator(presently out of stock)
Drawing/Construction Tools
 Drawing Board
 Compass
 Straightedge
 Tracing Wheel
 Braille/Print Protractor
 Stylus and/or Pen
 http://www.APH.org/
 http://www.fiskars.com/
 http://www.perkins.org/
Measuring Tools
 Ruler
 Yardstick and Meter Stick
 Braille/Print Protractor
StudentGenerated Quick/Instant Tactile Graphics
 APH QuickDraw Paper
 APH Picture Maker:Wheatly Tactile Diagramming Kit
 Thermo Pen I & II
 WikkiStix
StudentGenerated Graphics on a Number Line
 APH Number Line Device
 StudentMade Number Lines
StudentGenerated Graphics on a Coordinate Plane
 Graph Paper
 Graphic Aid for Mathematics
Geometric Manipulatives
 2D Manipulatives
 Paper Folding
 3D Manipulatives
 Nets
Thoughts on Visual vs Tactual Perception
 Visual impairment is not an isolated condition; it affects the whole process of informationgathering.
 Vision enables a person to simultaneously perceive all parts of an object in its totality and in its relationship to other objects.
 The visually impaired learner has to rely on sequential observations (only part of an object can be seen or felt at a time) and the entire image has to be "builtup" out of the components. Relationships with other objects can be lost entirely.
 The level of cognition needed for integration of sequential information is higher than that needed for concept formation through immediate visual perception.
 If you have vision, you can experience this way of processing information by looking at a drawing through a very small hole in a piece of card held over the drawing; I think that you will find that it's hard for you to "get the picture.
Preparing Tactile Math Graphics
 Checklist To Determine If a Graphic Should Be Brailled
 Checklist For Making Decisions About A Tactile Graphic
 Basic Principles For Preparing Tactile Graphics
 ExplanationDemonstration of How Foil Graphics are Prepared
Math Graphics Made by Others
 APH Tactile Graphics Kit
 Collage
 APH Geometry Tactile Graphics Kit
 Tactile Imaging Machine and Capsule Paper
TTT: Talking Tactile Tablet
Math GraphicsMade to Order by Others
 ghBraille
 LaserLine" Graphics
 Tactile Vision, Inc.
 Tiger Embossers
 Tiger Pro, Tiger Max, Tiger Cub, or Tiger Cub JrNOW 3D
 high resolution (20 dots per inch) windows printer driver
 create and emboss through MS Office, graphics programs, AGC, mimio, Duxbury, MegaMath, and more
 faster, quieter, easier than before
 interpoint and intergraphix
 stack paper or tractor media, or both
Quick Print Graphics to Tactile Graphics via the Tiger
Teaching Students How to Read Tactile Math Graphs
 Begin at an early age
 Start with real objects
 Move to 3D models
 Then to 2D manipulatives
 Finally try tactile graphics on various surfaces
 Hard plastic
 Thermoformed Brailon of foil or collage
 Quick Draw or Capsule/Swell/FlexiPaper
 Braille Paper
 Use APH Tangible Graphs to evaluate and/or reteach if necessary
Selected Teaching Strategies
 Collaborative/Inclusive Strategies
 Arithmetic Calculation Using the Braillewriter
 Linear Measure, Perimeter, and Area
 Prime Factorization on the Abacus
 Standardized Braille Number Lines
 Graphing on a Coordinate Plane
 Geometric Constructions
 Transformations, Line Symmetry, and Tesselations
 Solving Quadratic Equations
Other Math Resources
Accessible Math Tools: Algebra, Geometry, and Beyond
This math class is designed for secondary students who will be enrolled for credit in Algebra I or a more advanced SBOE mathematics course during the school year. Students will learn to use a variety of tools in the following areas:
 Improve skills in using linear measuring devices
 Improve skills in graphing on a number line and coordinate plane
 Improve skills in interpreting and constructing tactile graphics
 Improve skills in interpreting and constructing geometric figures
 Improve skills in using graphing and nongraphing scientific calculators
 Improve skills in using a talking scientific calculator
The goal of this program is to provide students with the tools and techniques needed by a visually impaired learner to be successful in a regular math course. Unique adaptations will be provided for the blind and for the low vision learner, including exposure to adaptive graphing calculator solutions. Students will leave the program with new adaptive skills and with knowledge about resources available to assist them in future learning.
For specific adaptive tools and technology see:
 Suggested Adaptive Tools and Materials for Low Vision Students In Advanced Mathematics
 Suggested Adaptive Tools and Materials for Blind Students In Advanced Mathematics
 Adaptive Tools and Technology for Accessible Mathematics  Equipment
 Summer 2000
 April 2001
 Summer 2001
 November 2001
 Summer 2002
 December 2002
 Summer 2003
 December 2003
 Summer 2004
 December 2004
 November 2005
 Summer 2006
 November 2006
 Summer 2007
 November 2008
 Summer 2009
 November 2009
 Summer 2010
 November 2010
 November 2011
Equipment
Other Math Tools
Contents of this page:
Other Math Pages
 Math Education and Nemeth Code Page
 Producing Math Materials in Nemeth Code Page
 Tactile Math Graphics Page
 Calculators Page
 Math Resources Page
Tactile Measuring Tools
A Carreer Ed teacher asks: Can you give me a source for tactile measuring tools such as tapes, rules, and levels?
Susan replies: Here are some possible sources for tactile measuring tools:
The Lighthouse Inc. Consumer Catalog, 3620 Northern Blvd., Long Island City, NY (18008290500 Customer Service 24 hours a day), 12 inch aluminum and plastic braille rulers, 5 ft tactile tape measures, etc.
American Printing House for the Blind, Inc., Catalog of Instructional Aids, Tools, and Supplies, P.O. Box 6085, Louisville, Kentucky 402060085 (18002231839) (FAX: 5028992274) (EMail: ) Tactile GlueDown Rules (can be bonded to sewing machines, band saws, cutting or drawing boards, etc.), meterstick, 1 ft braille rulers (metric and English markings), 30centimeter flexible rulers, etc.
Maxi Aids & Appliances for Independent Living, P.O. Box 3209, Farmingdale, NY 11735 (18005226294) 25 ft braille steel tape measures, 12 inch folding braille pocket ruler, 12 inch braille ruler, braille yardstick, prolevel, etc. In addition, Maxi Aids has investigated the click ruler and will hopefully have it available soon.
Community Advocates Inc
PO Box 83304
Lincoln, Nebraska 685013304
Phone or FAX: 14024863091
Email:
Click Rule (Standard)
Description: Can measure up to 12 inches (30.5 cm) with an accuracy up to 1/16th inch (1.6mm). Uses a threaded rod. Measurements can be read either tactually or aurally since clicks are emitted every 1/16th inch. Three 12 inch extensions are suplied. Six inch (15 cm) extensions are also available.
Metric Click Rule
Description: Measures up to 20 centimeters with accurate increments of one millimetre. The Metric Click Rule is a device for wood and tool setups. It is also an alternative to rulers and tape measures.
Electronic Identification of Bank Notes
A blind consumer asks: Can you tell me what is the best money identifier? A family member wants to purchase a unit for me.
Susan replies:
AFB Product Evaluation  Show Me the Money: An Evaluation of the Note Teller 2 Money Identifier
I have used two Talking Note Tellers made by Brytech Inc. when teaching students to use a talking cash register as part of an applied money skills class. I believe our career education department purchased the ones we have from LS&S Group. However, I noticed that they are also listed in other catalogs. The price was $389.50. This model announces U.S. currency from $1 to $100 in English or Spanish. It takes one 9V battery. They were extremely useful to my students as well as easy to use, and the fact that the tellers are bilingual (English and Spanish) made them especially nice here in Texas. Although the accompanying notes to the tellers say that they are reasonably durable, they list several precautions about keeping them clean, etc. They were out of my possession for a few months, and upon their return, one was no longer functioning properly. Unfortunately, I do not know whether it was abused or not.
I've also seen a picture of The Superscan Talking Money Identifier in the Independent Living Aids, Inc. catalog. It was quite a bit more expensive at $695. In addition to verbally identifying the denomination of all bills from $1 to $100, it also displays the amount digitally. Furthermore, it will announce the sum of all bills put through the machine to a total of $9,999.
An Enhanced Note Teller for deaf/blind also exists, and it is described in Carolyn's Catalog. It gives a vibrating signal for each denomination from $1 to $100 instead of voice announcement and is priced at $525.95.
I have listed the contact information for several vendors below:
Ann Morris Enterprises, Inc.
890 Fams Court
East Meadow, NY 115545101
Phone: 8004543175, FAX: 5162922522
Email:
Note Teller Talking Money Identifier $395
Carolyn's Catalog
P.O. Box 14577
Bradenton, FL 342804577
Phone: 8006482266, Fax: 9417395503
Email:
Note Teller Talking Money Identifier $389.95
Enhanced Note Teller for deaf/blind $525.95
Independent Living Aids, Inc.
27 East Mall
Plainview, NY 11803
Phone: 8005372118, FAX: 5167523135
Email:
Note Teller Talking Money Identifier $395
The Superscan Talking Monedy Identifier $695
LS&S Group, Inc.
P.O. Box 673
Northbrook, IL 60065
Phone: 8004684789, FAX: 8474981482
Email:
Note Teller Talking Money Identifier $389.50
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Talking Thermometers
An Assistant Supervisor of a regional program for Vision Services asks: Do you know of a vendor for talking thermometers that can be used in High School science classes?
Susan replies: Below is a list of possible vendors for talking thermometers to meet your needs.
The Assistant Supervisor of a regional program for Vision Services replies: I had tried all but Science Products. The norm is just a talking thermometer for taking body temps. However, Science Products may have just what we are looking for; they are sending a brochure for me to check. The range is 0212 degrees, cost $395.00. Thank you for the suggestion!
Ann Morris Enterprises, Inc.
890 Fams Court
East Meadow, NY 115545101
Phone: 8004543175, FAX: 5162922522
Email:
talking money identifier, talking calculators, talking scientific calculator, talking thermometer, talking indoor/outdoor thermometer, talking scale, braille scale, and check writer.
Carolyn's Catalog
P.O. Box 14577
Bradenton, FL 342804577
Phone: 8006482266, Fax: 9417395503
Email:
Website: http://www.carolynscatalog.com/
talking calculators, note teller, tactile tape measure, check writing, guides, large print check register, large type and talking thermometers, and Weight Talker III electronic talking scale with memory
Independent Living Aids, Inc.
27 East Mall
Plainview, NY 11803
Phone: 8005372118, FAX: 5167523135
Email:
talking money identifier, raised line drawing kit, folding wood ruler, check writing guide, large display and talking calculators, and flyer on new RNIB talking scientific calculator, talking thermometer, etc.
LS&S Group, Inc.
P.O. Box 673
Northbrook, IL 60065
Phone: 8004684789, FAX: 8474981482
Email:
Website:
raised line drawing kit, talking money identifier, talking thermometers, and other specialty products for the visually impaired.
The Lighthouse Inc.
3620 Northern Boulevard
Long Island City, NY 11101
Phone: 8008290500, FAX: 7187865620
Email:
Website:
large display and talking calculators, check writing guide, talking money identifier, rulers, tape measures, telescopic click rules, talking thermometer, etc.
Maxi Aids & Appliances for Independent Living
42 Executive Blvd.
P.O. Box 3209
Farmingdale, NY 11735
Phone: 8005226294, FAX 5167520689
Email:
Website:
large selection of large print and talking calculators including scientific varieties, raised line drawing kit, abaci, rulers, tape measures, prolevel, protractor, various talking thermometers, etc.
Science Products
Box 888
Southeastern, PA 19399
Phone: 8008887400
large selection of voice (talking) products including: scientific, statistical, and financial calculators, cash register, money identifier, etc.
Using the Accessible Graphing Calculator
By
Susan A. Osterhaus
Locating AGC files under Programs
 AGC, Magnification, and Use with Screen Readers
 Getting Started
 User Manual
Registration Screen
Press the Continue Button, assuming your AGC is not registered.
Controlling Sound and Screen Enlargement
Useful beginning keystrokes:
 F7  Enlarge the AGC screen
 F8  Decrease the size of the AGC screen
 Arrow left from Calculator Tab Page to Speech Tab Page (You may reach any other tab page by arrowing when you are in a Tab Page heading.)
 Alts  toggles speech off and on
 CTRLr  reads the item that has focus except in menus
Speech Tab Page Recommended Settings (Move among items with TAB or SHIFTTAB to move backward.)
 Sound Effects
 Allow SelfVoicing
 Voices  Arrow among voices VERY SLOWLY or program will crash. Select Mary or Sam by entering m or s.
 Speech rate slider  adjust with arrows  start slow
 Speech pitch slider  adjust with arrows  around 65 initially
 Speech volume slider  find your comfort zone
 Continue to TAB past the bottom buttons and you will return to the Speech Tab Page
Wave Tab Page Recommended Settings (Left arrow from Speech Tab Page. Tab among these items or SHIFTTAB to move in the opposite direction.)
 Data Set Volume  set at 50
 Play Y axis tick marks  unchecked
 Tick Mark Volume slider  set at 50
 Play noise below Y threshold (check or uncheck with space bar)
 Y threshold value  set to 0
 Wave file length slider  set at 10
 Wave type  set to stereo if your computer has stereo speakers. The broadcast will not be in stereo, so you will only be able to appreciate this option if you have your own computer with stereo speakers.
 Minimum Frequency Slider  set at 200
 Maximum Frequency Slider  set at 2500
 Return to the Wave Tab Page
Plot Tab Page Recommended Settings (Left arrow from Wave Tab Page. Tab among these items or SHIFTTAB to move in the opposite direction.)
 Source (use arrows to move among various choices) set to Data Set 1.
 X min  set at 10 (to delete, highlight with CTRLa and then press the DEL key)
 X max  set at 10
 Number of Points to Plot set to 500 (Don't set higher than 1000.)
 Y min  ignore
 Y max  ignore
 Autoscale yaxis (If you choose to uncheck this box, you must set Y min and Y max above.)
 Draw data points  unchecked (I PREFER )
 Draw line through data
 Draw error bars  unchecked
 Show xaxis
 Show y axis
 Show x axis labels
 Show yaxis labels
 Plot frame  set to tick marks or grid lines
 Plot data derivative  UNCHECKED. This is the last item on the Plot Tab page, even though it is listed near the top. Return to the Plot Tab page.
Data Set 1 (arrow up from Plot Tab page)
 Tab to Expression 1 edit box.
 Delete any characters in this box.
 Example 1: Type a single x.
 Press ENTER or F4 to calculate your data table. (Using F4 requires that the source be set to Data Set 1. It's safer to use ENTER. You will hear a short tone when the computation is finished.)
 Display the graph on screen with F3.
 Play the audio graph by pressing F5.
 You should see and hear a straight line starting in quadrant 3, passing through (0,0), and ending in quadrant 1. You should hear some static while the line is below the xaxis (when y < 0), and none when the line passes through (0,0) and goes above the xaxis. You should hear the line rise from left to right, and if you have stereo speakers, you will notice the tone going from the left speaker to the right speaker.
Data Set 2 (Press CTRL F3  hides the graph. Shift Tab to get to the Data Set 1 Tab. Then arrow to the right to find the Data Set 2 Tab.)
 Tab to Expression 2 edit box.
 Delete any characters in this box.
 Example 2: Type x^2.
 Press ENTER or F4 to calculate your data table. (Using F4 requires that the source be set to Data Set 1. It's MUCH EASIER to use ENTER. You will hear a short tone when the computation is finished.)
 Display the graph on screen with F3.
 Play the audio graph by pressing F5.
Data Set 2 (Let's make changes!)
 Example 3: Move to the end of the expression x^2 with the END key and type 10.
 Press ENTER
 Display the graph on screen with F3.
 Play the audio graph by pressing F5.
 Note the differences and similarities to x^2.
 Press ALTPgDn and the tone graph will display the first minimum.
 Read the values of x and y by pressing ALTx to voice the x value and ALTy to voice the y value.
Data Set 2 (Let's go crazy.)
 Press CTRL F3 to hide the graph.
 Tab to Expression 2 edit box.
 Delete any characters in this box.
 Example 4: x*sin(x)
 Press ENTER
 Display the graph on screen with F3.
 Play the audio graph by pressing F5.
Printing our Graphs.
 Use the x*sin(x) graph.
 Enter CTRL P.
 Compose a print graph with print font. Change all settings to your requirements.
 Compose a print graph with braille font. Change all settings to your requirements.
 Compose a TIGER braille graph with braille font.
Show Various Graphs created on the AGC. Compare with GraphIt.