Talking Scientific Calculator is Designed to Function in "Exactly the Same" Way as Inaccessible Version

Date Posted: 09/02/2015

According to the authors of a recent Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness article, entitled "Technologies Used in the Study of Advanced Mathematics by Students Who Are Visually Impaired in Classrooms: Teachers' Perspectives":

High-quality teaching incorporates tools to help students with and without visual impairments to access and understand advanced mathematics to the best of their abilities. . . . the successful integration of students who are visually impaired into general-education mathematics environments [requires] notation that is simultaneously accessible by both people who are braille readers and those who are print readers.

According to its developers, a newly available talking scientific calculator for advanced mathematics "functions . . . exactly the same as" the version of the product that does not include speech.

Produced through a collaboration with Texas Instruments, a technology company with headquarters in Dallas; Orbit Research, an assistive technology company located in Wilmington, Delaware; and Louisville, Kentucky–based American Printing House for the Blind; the Orion TI-30XS MultiView Talking Scientific Calculator is described as the world's first fully accessible multi-line scientific calculator. Created specifically for students who are visually impaired, the Orion TI-30XS MultiView is designed to provide such students access to the same technology used by their sighted peers. "The identical functionality . . . enables students with vision impairment to use the same calculator as their classmates, participate in the same curriculum, and take advantage of the vast knowledge base and instructional materials that are already available for this technology," explained Scott Sedberry, director of North American Business Development for Texas Instruments Education Technology.

The talking device is capable of calculating over 127 scientific functions including 2-variable statistics, trigonometry, unit conversion, and a variety of physical constants. In verbose speech mode, it verbally announces each key as it is pressed, as well as the answer on the display; it also has a quiet speech mode. In learning mode, it is possible to identify any key without interrupting a calculation that is in progress. The calculator is permitted for use on College Entrance Examination Board tests in the United States. In addition, it may be used on a primary or secondary school high-stakes exam as an approved accommodation if it is specified in the student's Individual Education Program (IEP).

The calculator weighs 11 ounces and is 6.2 inches long by 3 inches wide and just over 1 inch thick. It has large, tactile, and functionally zoned keys, a backspace or correction key, and it can operate by rechargeable battery or through an alternating current adapter that is plugged into an electrical outlet. The cost for the calculator is $261. For more information, contact: American Printing House for the Blind, 1839 Frankfort Avenue, P.O. Box 6085, Louisville, KY 40206; phone: 800-223-1839 or 502-895-2405; e-mail: cs@aph.org; website: www.aph.org.

Contact: (Contact information is listed in the news item.)

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