Volume III Number 4, December 1996

This issue is a special issue devoted to access to science, math, engineering and technology for people with disabilities.

Feature Articles

Teaching Science to the Visually Impaired: Purdue University's Visions Lab

David Schleppenbach
Purdue University

The areas of science and mathematics have traditionally been inaccessible to students with visual impairments. Complex and high-tech fields such as Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, Biology, and Mathematics are rife with visually-presented concepts and information. Historically, this complex visual information has not been made available for widespread use in a format easily accessible to blind and visually impaired students. This lack of information, in turn, leads to decreased interest in scientific fields by the blind, and thus few visually impaired scientists exist to provide standards for imparting scientific knowledge to the blind and to serve as mentors and role models for those visually impaired students who wish to pursue careers in the sciences.

Tactile Graphics: An Overview and Resource Guide

John A. Gardner
Science Access Project
Department of Physics
Oregon State University

This article is intended primarily for parents, teachers, and friends of blind people. It introduces the reader to some of the possibilities and to some limitations of using tactile graphics for conveying information to blind people. A number of methods for producing tactile graphics are described. A resource list of useful tools, supplies, and technological methods and devices, and the names and addresses of firms and organizations selling these products is included. A major focus of this article is tactile graphics in science, engineering, and math.