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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
978-692-3000 voice
978-692-7912 fax
Website: http://www.duxburysystems.com
Email for general inquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Email for DTB technical support: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Email for MegaDots Technical support: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Email to Webmaster: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it."> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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 8th Avenue, Suite C
Poulsobo, WA 98370-7370
Phone: 1-360-394-6033
Toll-Free: 1-877-724-9673
Fax: 1-360-394-6039
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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 TI-36X (Current price: $249) http://www.orbitresearch.com/
Your student may prefer a stand-alone talking scientific calculator, and although there are many such calculators on the market today, the ORION TI-36X from Orbit Research is currently the most affordable and user-friendly. While it does not have graphing capabilities, it is easily accessible by totally blind students (unlike the TI graphing calculators), and features a built-in learning mode. The ORION's LCD display and functionality are identical to the TI-36X, so math teachers should feel very comfortable orienting the visually impaired student. The ORION TI-36X replaces the ORION TI-34, which is now out of production. It is more powerful than the ORION TI-34 and costs $249. I evaluated the new model this past summer, made suggestions which they followed, and they are now available for purchase.

Sci-Plus Series 300 Scientific Calculator with Speech (Current price: Not Available) http://www.sightenhancement.com/
The Sci-Plus Series 300 is the only large display talking scientific calculator made as a one-piece 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 Sci-Plus, the various functions are easily identifiable, and a willing math teacher should have little difficulty orienting the visually impaired student to the Sci-Plus. 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 TI-36X, 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 self-voicing graphing scientific calculator software program. Unlike a hand-held 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 full-featured hand-held 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 user-friendly 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 40206-0085
Phone: 800-223-1839, FAX: 502-899-2274
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: http://www.aph.org/

Howe Press of Perkins School for the Blind
175 North Beacon Street
Watertown, Massachusetts 02472 USA
Phone: 617-972-7308, Fax: 617-926-2027
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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 11554-5101
Phone: 800-454-3175, FAX: 516-292-2522
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: http://www.annmorris.com

Independent Living Aids, Inc.
27 East Mall
Plainview, NY 11803
Phone: 800-537-2118, FAX: 516-752-3135
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: http://www.independentliving.com

The Lighthouse Inc.
36-20 Northern Boulevard
Long Island City, NY 11101
Phone: 800-829-0500, FAX: 718-786-5620
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.lighthouse.org

Maxi Aids & Appliances for Independent Living
42 Executive Blvd.
P.O. Box 3209
Farmingdale, NY 11735
Phone: 800-522-6294, FAX 516-752-0689
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Website: http://www.maxiaids.com/

Student-Generated 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 1/2-inch squares to 1-inch 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 1/2-inch squares. My students use two rubber bands held down by thumbtacks for the x and y-axes. 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 student-made 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 e-mailed 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.

2-D 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.

3-D Manipulatives are an absolute necessity when studying polyhedrons and other three-dimensional figures. In my experience, interpreting tactile 3-D drawings on a 2-D 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 3-D 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 three-dimensional 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 3-D manipulatives is:
geometro
166 Springfied Blvd.,
Ancaster, L9K 1H8
Ontario, Canada
Phone: 905-304-7112
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: http://www.geometro.ca
Hands-on System for Learning Three-Dimensional 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 (713-744-8144). 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 thermally-foamed 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 raised-line 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: 800-331-3676 or 909-593-6711 FAX: 909-593-8001
E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: http://www.atcbrleqp.com
Swell-Form Graphics Machine, Swell-Touch Paper, and thermoform machines.

Optelec, US Inc.
3030 Enterprise Court
Suite C
Vista, CA 92081
Phone: 800-828-1056
Website: http://www.optelec.com
Pictures in a Flash (PIAF), "capsule" paper.

Repro-Tronics Inc.
75 Carver Ave.
Westwood, NJ 07675
Phone: 800-948-8453, FAX: 201-722-1881
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: http://www.repro-tronics.com
Tactile Image Enhancer, thermo paper, flexi-paper, 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) 206-9305
Fax: (512) 206-9453
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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:

  1. TI Graphing Calculator ViewScreen Enlargement Solution TI makes a ViewScreen package for the following calculators: TI-80, TI-81, TI-82, TI-83, TI-84, TI-85, TI-86, and TI-92. When I purchased the TI-82 with the following set-up, 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 1-800-TI-CARES or e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 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 unit-to-unit 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 Lite-Brite, removed the black panel, and replaced it with a translucent one. The entire ViewScreen package (as outlined above) and the Tru-View Light Box by Logan fit into the attractive and comfortably designed carrying case, and thus makes a light-weight 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 TI-SmartView emulator software. This software is user-friendly and is based on the functionality of the TI-84 Plus family graphing calculators and is compatible with the TI-83 Plus family. It is only available to educators and is priced at $135.

    TI-CARES Educational Support Programs
    P.O. Box 650311, MS 3962
    Dallas, TX 75265
    Phone: 800-TI-CARES
    E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Website: http://education.ti.com/
    E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    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.

    Logan Electric Specialty Mfg. Co.
    c/o Smith-Victor Corporation
    1268 Humbracht Circle
    Bartlett, Illinois  60103-1631 
    Tel  630.830.9200
    Fax 630.830.9201
    E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Website: www.loganelectric.com or www.SmithVictor.com   
    Customer Service Contact:  Polly Stephen
    Tru-View 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.
  2. The Sci-Pod (formerly known as the VisAble) is the only large display scientific calculator made as a one-piece 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: 519-883-8400
    FAX: 519-883-8405
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Website: http://www.sightenhancement.com
    Sci-Pod Large Display Scientific Calculator

  3. 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 72-point), which will allow further onscreen magnification and large print hard copies. Download a free 30-day 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: 1-877-SCI-NOTE
    Fax: 1-206-780-2857
    E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    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 TI-36X (Current price: $249) http://www.orbitresearch.com/
Your student may prefer a stand-alone talking scientific calculator, and although there are many such calculators on the market today, the ORION TI-36X from Orbit Research is currently the most affordable and user-friendly. While it does not have graphing capabilities, it is easily accessible by totally blind students (unlike the TI graphing calculators), and features a built-in learning mode. The ORION's LCD display and functionality are identical to the TI-36X, so math teachers should feel very comfortable orienting the visually impaired student. The ORION TI-36X replaces the ORION TI-34, which is now out of production. It is more powerful than the ORION TI-34 and costs $249. I evaluated the new model, made suggestions which they followed, and they are now available for purchase.

Sci-Plus Series 300 Scientific Calculator with Speech (Current price: Not Available) http://www.sightenhancement.com/
The Sci-Plus Series 300 is the only large display talking scientific calculator made as a one-piece 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 Sci-Plus, the various functions are easily identifiable, and a willing math teacher should have little difficulty orienting the visually impaired student to the Sci-Plus. 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 TI-36X, 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 self-voicing graphing scientific calculator software program. Unlike a hand-held 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 full-featured hand-held 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 user-friendly 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 40206-0085
Phone: 800-223-1839, FAX: 502-899-2274
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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 11554-5101
Phone: 800-454-3175, FAX: 516-292-2522
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: http://www.annmorris.com

Independent Living Aids, Inc.
27 East Mall
Plainview, NY 11803
Phone: 800-537-2118, FAX: 516-752-3135
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: http://www.independentliving.com

The Lighthouse Inc.
36-20 Northern Boulevard
Long Island City, NY 11101
Phone: 800-829-0500, FAX: 718-786-5620
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.lighthouse.org

Maxi Aids & Appliances for Independent Living
42 Executive Blvd.
P.O. Box 3209
Farmingdale, NY 11735
Phone: 800-522-6294, FAX 516-752-0689
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Website: http://www.maxiaids.com/

Student-Generated 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 1/2-inch squares. My students use two rubber bands held down by thumbtacks for the x and y-axes. 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 student-made 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 e-mailed 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.

2-D 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.

3-D Manipulatives are an absolute necessity when studying polyhedrons and other three-dimensional figures. In my experience, interpreting tactile 3-D drawings on a 2-D 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 3-D 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 three-dimensional 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 3-D manipulatives is:
geometro
166 Springfied Blvd.,
Ancaster, L9K 1H8
Ontario, Canada
Phone: 905-304-7112
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: http://www.geometro.ca
Hands-on System for Learning Three-Dimensional 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 thermally-foamed 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 raised-line 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: 800-331-3676 or 909-593-6711 FAX: 909-593-8001
E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: http://www.atcbrleqp.com
Swell-Form Graphics Machine, Swell-Touch Paper, and thermoform machines.

Optelec, US Inc.
3030 Enterprise Court
Suite C
Vista, CA 92081
Phone: 800-828-1056
Website: http://www.optelec.com
Pictures in a Flash (PIAF), "capsule" paper.

Repro-Tronics Inc.
75 Carver Ave.
Westwood, NJ 07675
Phone: 800-948-8453, FAX: 201-722-1881
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: http://www.repro-tronics.com
Tactile Image Enhancer, thermo paper, flexi-paper, 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: 212-375-6341
FAX: 646-452-4211
Contact: Steven Landau
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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) 206-9305
Fax: (512) 206-9453
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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 non-graphing 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:

Equipment

Click on a photo to enlarge it. Use the back arrow to return to the full page.
APH rulers, Howe Press yardstick, APH meter stick, APH number line device.

APH rulers, Howe Press yardstick, APH meter stick, APH number line device.

Howe Press protractor on drawing board, print protractor on paper worksheet, APH braille/print protractor and tracing wheel shown on Sewell Raised Line Drawing Board, and protractor and pen on rubber pad.

Howe Press protractor on drawing board, print protractor on paper worksheet, APH braille/print protractor and tracing wheel shown on Sewell Raised Line Drawing Board, and protractor and pen on rubber pad.

ORION TI-34 talking scientific calculator with earphone, battery charger, coverlid, and manual on disk, cassette and in print.

ORION TI-34 talking scientific calculator with earphone, battery charger, coverlid, and manual on disk, cassette and in print.

Print compass shown with Venn diagram, Howe Press compass shown on Howe Press drawing board and on Sewell Raised Line Drawing Board.

Print compass shown with Venn diagram, Howe Press compass shown on Howe Press drawing board and on Sewell Raised Line Drawing Board.

Parabola and straight line graphed on APH Graphic Aid for Mathematics and printed from Accessible Graphing Calculator software from ViewPlus Technologies and TI 82 ViewScreen calculator package.

Parabola and straight line graphed on APH Graphic Aid for Mathematics and printed from Accessible Graphing Calculator software from ViewPlus Technologies and TI 82 ViewScreen calculator package.

TI-82 ViewScreen scientific graphing calculator with ViewScreen on Logan light box (low vision solution).

TI-82 ViewScreen scientific graphing calculator with ViewScreen on Logan light box (low vision solution).

 

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) 206-9305
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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
  • Student-Generated Graphics
  • Graphics Made by Others
  • Strategies and Resources

Math Materials

  • High Quality Braille Textbook
    • Nemeth Code
    • Tactile Graphics
  • Teacher-Made 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 self-voicedsoftware program

Talking Tools to Help Increase Basic Math Skills

Head-Start Hands-On Tools

Accessible Math Technology for Basic and Higher Level Skills

  • addition
  • subtraction
  • multiplication
  • division
  • Virtual Pencil (VPAlgebra now in beta version!)

Voice Recognition Software

  • MathPadTMBy VoiceTM
  • MathTalkTM/Scientific NotebookTM
  • MathTalkTM/Scientific WorkPlaceTM

NASAs Online Math Description Engine (MDE)

  • Graphing Calculator
  • Math Trax

Math Players Math-to-Speech Technology

  • Design Science

Accessible Scientific/Graphing Calculators

  • Talking Scientific Calculator
  • Talking Graphing Calculators
    • Accessible Graphing Calculator (AGC)
    • Large Display, Self-Voiced, Print and
    • Tactile Graphics, AudioWave
  • GTCalc
    • Large Display, Self-Voiced, Print
    • Graphics, Audiowave

Braille Scientific Calculators

Drawing/Construction Tools

Measuring Tools

  • Ruler
  • Yardstick and Meter Stick
  • Braille/Print Protractor

Student-Generated Quick/Instant Tactile Graphics

Student-Generated Graphics on a Number Line

  • APH Number Line Device
  • Student-Made Number Lines

Student-Generated Graphics on a Coordinate Plane

  • Graph Paper
  • Graphic Aid for Mathematics

Geometric Manipulatives

  • 2-D Manipulatives
  • Paper Folding
  • 3-D Manipulatives
  • Nets

Thoughts on Visual vs Tactual Perception

  1. Visual impairment is not an isolated condition; it affects the whole process of information-gathering.
  2. Vision enables a person to simultaneously perceive all parts of an object in its totality and in its relationship to other objects.
  3. 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 "built-up" out of the components. Relationships with other objects can be lost entirely.
  4. The level of cognition needed for integration of sequential information is higher than that needed for concept formation through immediate visual perception.
  5. 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
  • Explanation-Demonstration of How Foil Graphics are Prepared

Math Graphics Made by Others

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 3-D
    • 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 3-D models
  • Then to 2-D manipulatives
  • Finally try tactile graphics on various surfaces
    • Hard plastic
    • Thermoformed Brailon of foil or collage
    • Quick Draw or Capsule/Swell/Flexi-Paper
    • Braille Paper
  • Use APH Tangible Graphs to evaluate and/or re-teach 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

Contents of this page:

Other Math Pages


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, 36-20 Northern Blvd., Long Island City, NY (1-800-829-0500 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 40206-0085 (1-800-223-1839) (FAX: 502-899-2274) (E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) Tactile Glue-Down Rules (can be bonded to sewing machines, band saws, cutting or drawing boards, etc.), meterstick, 1 ft braille rulers (metric and English markings), 30-centimeter flexible rulers, etc.

Maxi Aids & Appliances for Independent Living, P.O. Box 3209, Farmingdale, NY 11735 (1-800-522-6294) 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 68501-3304
Phone or FAX: 1-402-486-3091
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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 set-ups. It is also an alternative to rulers and tape measures.

Go to top of page


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 bi-lingual (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 11554-5101
Phone: 800-454-3175, FAX: 516-292-2522
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Note Teller Talking Money Identifier $395

 

Carolyn's Catalog
P.O. Box 14577
Bradenton, FL 34280-4577
Phone: 800-648-2266, Fax: 941-739-5503
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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: 800-537-2118, FAX: 516-752-3135
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Note Teller Talking Money Identifier $395
The Superscan Talking Monedy Identifier $695

 

LS&S Group, Inc.
P.O. Box 673
Northbrook, IL 60065
Phone: 800-468-4789, FAX: 847-498-1482
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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 0-212 degrees, cost $395.00. Thank you for the suggestion!

 

Ann Morris Enterprises, Inc.
890 Fams Court
East Meadow, NY 11554-5101
Phone: 800-454-3175, FAX: 516-292-2522
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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 34280-4577
Phone: 800-648-2266, Fax: 941-739-5503
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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: 800-537-2118, FAX: 516-752-3135
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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: 800-468-4789, FAX: 847-498-1482
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website:
raised line drawing kit, talking money identifier, talking thermometers, and other specialty products for the visually impaired.

 

The Lighthouse Inc.
36-20 Northern Boulevard
Long Island City, NY 11101
Phone: 800-829-0500, FAX: 718-786-5620
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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: 800-522-6294, FAX 516-752-0689
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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: 800-888-7400
large selection of voice (talking) products including: scientific, statistical, and financial calculators, cash register, money identifier, etc.