Accessible Science Website with activities and resources for accessible science lessons in the categories Life Science, Earth and Space Science, Engineering and Technology, and Physical Science. Perkins eLearning.
Independence Science: Cary Supalo is a chemistry professor who is blind. His blog and website include information that allows blind students to be successful in science and chemistry courses. Under Tactile solutions, the Science Gear Kit is designed to provide K-6th graders with all the equipment needed to perform science experiments using tactile methods. Special needs, low vision, and blind students will be able to do hands-on science activities with the kit.
Paul Delaney - Star Man. Former Adelaide man Professor Paul Delaney, who has albinism, is a leading, internationally successful astronomer in Canada, a Professor of Astronomy at York University in Ontario, despite having a severe vision impairment. In this video (2011) he explains how he became a professor of astronomy despite the vision problems associated with albinism, and he offers advice for parents and educators: “if a child has a goal, a dream, a desire, give them every opportunity to be successful, and worry about the reality of it later on…”.
Science Techniques for the Blind: YouTube video, by Greg Williams, PhD, Independence Science. Tips for Highschool students who are blind or have low vision to safely conduct and analyze science experiments. Duration: 6.37 minutes.
Technology in teaching, programs and tools
Accessible Creation of Podcasts
Article with useful resources and strategies for podcast content creation by Glen Morrow. This follows on from a presentation Glen gave at the 2017 Conference of the Round Table, in Perth, WA, on the topic of why people who are blind or vision impaired can/should be content creators – not just consumers.
Creating accessible Word documents
Seven simple tips to ensure your Word documents are accessible for everyone, including people who are blind or have low vision. By Philip Jenkinson, from Media Access Australia.
Early Learning Access Technology Framework
Framework developed to introduce technology to children (early learners) who are blind or have significant vision impairment. It’s a working document and feedback and comments are welcome. Created by Michelle Knight, Access Technology Consultant Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, Australia.
Facebook with screenreader:
A step by step introduction from Freedom Scientific for JAWS and Magic users who wish to join Facebook, but don't quite know how to go about it. Also, the mobile version of facebook is said to be much easier to use with a screen reader, so try replacing the www with an m: m.facebook.com. Source: VIP-List.
Hadley’s iFocus Instructional Video Series:
Great series of educational videos on how to use the vision accessibility features built into the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Examples are Using Siri, using Dropbox, checking the weather and much more.
How to make Math Accessible on the web With Screenshot Reader, the latest premium feature of EquatIO for Google, you can turn any equation on the web into accessible, editable math. How to do this, is described and demonstrated in this blogpost by Deena Kimmel, of Texthelp (22 May 2018).
Provider of special educational needs software, switches and computer access devices, simple communication aids and assistive technology for learners with a physical disability, sensory impairment or learning difficulty (UK).
International Society for Technology in Education:
(ISTE). Association for educators and education leaders from around the world engaged in improving learning and teaching by advancing the effective use of technology in PK–12 and teacher education. Professional development, networking, Special Education Technology Special Interest Group.
Low vision aids and technology: A guide:
This excellent free booklet (pdf-file) is the third in the series from The Macular Degeneration Foundation (MDF) Australia, following ‘Low Vision, A Guide’, and ‘Family, Friend & Carer, a Guide’. You can also order a free copy by phoning MDF toll-free on 1800 111 709.
NV Access: Non-profit organisation (Australia) with vision that access to technology should not incur an extra cost for blind and vision impaired users. Their open source NVDA screen reader can be downloaded for free from their website.
Paths to Technology:
Website or “Community of Practice” to assist educators and families in learning and staying current on ever-changing technology for students with visual impairments and blindness. Share information including teacher hints, activities, resources, favorite accessible apps, instructional videos. Perkins School for the Blind (USA).
Quantum Reading Learning Vision: Australian provider of assistive technology products that can support people who have a print disability (Low Vision, Blindness, and Learning Disability) in the classroom, at home, or workplace.
A free e-mail and web-based service capable of automatically transforming documents into a variety of alternative formats for the visually and reading impaired. Available 24/7 as a self-service, everybody can convert digital text documents into speech (mp3), Braille, or ebooks. Range of different languages available.
Sociability: social media for people with a disability review For people with a disability, social media websites and applications have their own barriers. The ‘Sociability: social media for people with a disability review’ was done by Media Access Australia (2011). Australia’s most popular social media tools were tested for their accessibility. Users with disabilities then contributed their tips and tricks on how to overcome each social network’s inaccessible features. From the website you can download the full report, or access the subpages with the Sociability guides to each social media: Facebook, Twitter.
informative blog posts and whilst not specifically BVI focused, blog often mentions inclusive resources. By Spectronics Inclusive Learning Technologies (Australia).
SVRC YouTube Channel Centre:
Technology Tutorials and Training videos by State Wide Vision resource Centre, Victoria (Australia). For teachers, aides, and families connected to students with vision impairment.
Both free and reasonably priced paid lessons as well as a blog on using excel, word and power point with screen readers along with some excellent tools for using refreshable braille displays, braillenotes and iDevices etc and more. For people who are blind or have low vision and sighted teachers, parents and other adults working with them.
The ABC’s of iOS: A VoiceOver Manual for Toddlers and Beyond! Manual for educators and family members, providing step-by-step instruction on how to introduce a young child with visual impairments or blindness to intentionally and purposefully interact with an iPad and/or iPhone using VoiceOver. The manual incorporates accessible apps with progressive educational content to help prepare children to be successful in mainstream classrooms. Diane Brauner and CNIB Foundation.
Touch Typing Tutor:
Freeware software program, designed to assist teaching touch typing skills to vision impaired children. Free download of zip-file.
Typing and computer tutor program program that teaches blind and vision impaired students the computer keyboard in 98 user-friendly lessons. By the end of the lessons, the student will have mastered all the letters, numbers, punctuation, as well as navigation and editing in dialogs and text documents.
Why and How of Podcast Production People who are blind or vision impaired can/should be content creators – not just consumers. Useful resources and strategies for content creation, by Glen Morrow (Statewide Vision Resource Centre).
Educators supporting students with V.I. in Maths This is a Facebook Group for teachers, support staff and parents to connect, collaborate and learn from each other. Start a Maths discussion, post questions and offer ideas of support for students with vision impairment. To join the group: Please log into your nominated Facebook account; enter the following Group name into the search bar: Educators supporting students with V.I. in Maths.
Mathematics Made Easy YouTube channel of the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI), with 30 instructional mathematics videos. Created for teacher training institutes, educators and families who support students with vision impairment to successfully participate and achieve in mathematics at primary and secondary school. Developed by ICEVI CEO, Dr M.N.G. Mani, and the International Advisory Committee of professionals in the field of mathematics and vision impairment.
free app for iPhone, designed to make maths more accessible, useful and possibly even more fun. The app can convert mathematical functions into sound. With an audio representation of a graph it’s possible to get a quick overview of a graph. The app provides information such as whether it is a mountain or valley parabola, and the number of functions presented in the graph. The mathematical elements, such as intersections and extrema, are made audible as well and the playback speed can be easily changed. SenseMath is not a calculator; reading the coordinates of a point is unfortunately not possible. But it’s a valuable addition to tactile drawings. SenseMath has been developed by Royal Visio in The Netherlands, with a large group of experts of mathematicians, programmers, accessibility experts and end users to achieve the best usability and accessibility. Visio invites user feedback to keep improving the app.
UEB Mathematics Free, online braille mathematics training program using Unified English Braille. Enables teachers and parents to better support braille-using students. The UEB Advanced Mathematics training program addresses junior secondary mathematics content, and builds on the content presented in the UEB Introductory Mathematics training program. Developed by the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, Australia.
Mobile devices and Apps teaching digital and maths skills
Accessible Android Apps :
List with apps for Android devices, designed specifically for blind and low vision users. From Inclusive Android, a website with information, ideas, apps and tips for and by people with disabilities who are Android users. The site aims to promote digital inclusion for people with disabilities.
Accessible games for iPhone and iPad:
List with accessible games recommended and kindly supplied by David Woodbridge, Technology Consultant at Vision Australia. With additional information by Phia Damsma, Sonokids Australia. Links to Word document.
ACCESS: YouTube: Simplified version of the standard You Tube site making it easier to search and play videos, and allows the use of assistive technologies. It allows students with vision impairment and with learning difficulties to use this mainstream technology independently. Developed by Mike Thrussell, Assistive Technology Coordinator at Henshaws College in North England.
Community-powered site for vision-impaired users of Apple's iOS devices. Seek and share information on the accessibility of apps developed for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Read and share guides, tutorials and tips to help VoiceOver users get the most from their iOS devices.
Apps for children with low vision:
Jessica writes about her journey of raising her son Thomas who has a vision impairment. She lists some useful and fun apps for iPad and iPhone he loves. (comment by Phia: I like BabySymbol, and Tap-n-See Zoo Lite, and I really love Sound Shaker)
Ballyland Code 1: Say Hello: Get started on your programming journey today! With this app, children who are blind or have low vision can learn basic coding concepts and skills that will be applicable to any programming language. Get introduced by way of the Tutorial game ‘Play with Coding’. Then take on your first Coding Challenge with simple coding commands. Make Wheelie, the little car from Ballyland, move around a digital game grid, on a mission to say Hello to Tinkleball. Optional support from 3D printable learning tools. Available on the AppStore.
Ballyland Code 2: Give Rotor continues your journey to learn how to code on an iPad. The second in a series of Ballyland Code apps, specifically designed to support children who are blind or have low vision and are novice users of VoiceOver. In the new, three level Coding Challenge, you need to move Wheelie around the digital game grid so that he reaches Ballicopter and can give him a new rotor. Optional support from 3D printable learning tools. Available on the AppStore
Ballyland Code 3: Pick Up continues your journey to learn how to code on an iPad. The app builds on the skills from the previous two Ballyland Code apps. In the new, three level Coding Challenge, you need to give Wheelie the correct commands to move through the digital game grid, and pick up three targets, using the shortest route. Optional support from 3D printable learning tools. Available on the AppStore
Ballyland Magic: Fun and educational iPad game app that is specifically designed for children who are blind or have low vision. Great app to learn and practice touch gestures which are essential to be able to use an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch by way of VoiceOver, Apple’s built-in screen reader on iOS devices. Available on the AppStore. Also available in Spanish version - Ballyland Mágico disponible en el AppStore
Ballyland Rotor: Fun and educational iPad game app that helps children who are blind or have low vision to learn and practice the concept and finger gestures for the ‘Rotor’ in VoiceOver, Apple’s built-in screen reader on iOS devices. Sequel to Ballyland Magic. Also free file download to 3D print a model of Ballicopter yourself, on which the child can practice the Rotor gesture. Available on the AppStore.
Ballyland Sound Memory: Fun sound-matching game app for iPad, challenging listening and memory skills. Introduces a digital game grid (spoken rows and columns), and new navigational finger gestures. Drag and Flick modes support children’s spatial awareness and orientation on the iPad. ‘Black Curtain’ option turns the game into a completely level playing field for all, and will enhance sighted people’s awareness of how you navigate an iPad based on audio feedback only. Also free file download to 3D print a model of Wheelie yourself. Available on the App Store. Also available in Dutch version - Ballyland Geluiden Memory.
Ballyland Stay Still, Squeaky!: Interactive, audio story, responding to touch. Squeaky, the bouncy ball from Ballyland, gets ice cream, mud and all sort of other things on his face! Specifically designed for children who are blind or have low vision, as a very first introduction to iPad interaction, teaching basic skills. Plus Bonus Game which provides a great way to playfully develop finger drag skills and spatial awareness on the touch screen. Available on the AppStore.
CosmoBally on Sonoplanet
Free Educational App to Learn Sonification (iOS and Android). This app from the renowned Ballyland suite of apps, offers young students, including those who are blind or vision impaired, 4 audio-games to explore sonification concepts. Sonification is an important, emerging technology that represents data and information in non-speech sound. Can you HEAR what shape it is? Sonification has the capacity to provide alternative access to information for people who are blind or vision impaired. The development of this app is supported by a grant from South Pacific Educators in Vision Impairment (SPEVI Inc.).
Early Learning apps:
The listed apps help young children to develop basic cognitive skills, such as cause and effect, and matching. They also help to reinforce eye-hand coordination, vocalisation, and response to sensory input. These apps have been used specifically with young children, especially those with additional needs, or have been chosen because the visual component is very clear and/or the auditory/sound aspects are of high quality and clear. Many of these apps are particularly appropriate for children with CVI (Cortical Vision Impairment). By Linda Mamer, Paths to Literacy.
Exploring Braille with Madilyn and RuffiPad app introducing young children with vision impairment to the Braille alphabet through a fun interactive, multi-sensory approach. To be used with refreshable braille display. Without the braille display sighted friends and relatives can also join in.
App for iPhone. Fleksy aims to improve the ability of every user to type easily on a virtual keyboard of a mobile touch screen device.
iPad apps for children with MIVI:
Selection of iPad apps chosen for a workshop with Center for Learning Management of Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (US). The workshop covered working with children who have multiple disabilities, including Vision Impairment, so the apps reflect their needs.
Discussion on Apps for the blind and vision impaired within the iPad Apps forums.
KNFB Reader app for iOS and Android smartphones or tablets that reads print aloud. Just about any printed material can be read accurately and almost instantly. Tilt guidance and a field-of-view report to tell the user if they are getting the right photo. Reads and recognizes nineteen different languages. Developed by the National Federation of the Blind (USA).
Free app for iPad offering an interactive way to learn basic math skills, in six chapters. Requires the use of VoiceOver. The app includes a game, a story (with sounds and music) and a math workbook. Designed to be accessible and entertaining both for sighted and vision impaired children. EveryWare Technologies.
My Talking Picture Board
App for iPad, for children with cortical visual impairment (CVI). Allows the user to create two-dimensional object identification tasks using their own photos and voice. The app can also be used to create a short talking picture story. Collaborative app from Little Bear Sees and Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children. Cost: $19.
RIDBC Auslan Tutor:
Key Signs for iPad. App for iPhone and iPad. Learn how to communicate 150 common Auslan signs, like “please,” “thanks,” and “how are you?” Each sign is clearly presented, with a photo of the handshape used to form the sign and a video clip demonstrating how the sign is produced. Also available for Android.
SenseMath: free app for iPhone, designed to make maths more accessible, useful and possibly even more fun by converting mathematical functions into sound. SenseMath has been developed by Royal Visio in The Netherlands, with a large group of experts of mathematicians, programmers, accessibility experts and end users to achieve the best usability and accessibility. Visio invites user feedback to keep improving the app.
Songs for Teaching Radio:
Free App with hundreds of songs. All songs are educational in nature and cover topics like math, ABC's, health, animals, science, etc.
Tactile screen covers with small raised dots on the keyboard and controls. Can enable to find controls faster and to type quicker and more accurately. Distributed by AT Guys.
Talking Tom Cat:
Free app, compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 4.1 or later. Tom is your pet cat, that responds to your touch and repeats everything you say with a funny voice. You can pet him, poke him or grab his tail. This app was suggested by a mother of an eight year old son who is blind. He loves this app. There is also version 2 (free) with new features.
Tap Tap See. App for iPhone and Android designed to help people who are blind or have low vision to identify objects they encounter in their daily lives. Simply double tap the screen to take a photo of anything (right in front of you) and hear the app speak the identification back to you. (Note: Spoken identification requires VoiceOver -iOS- or Talkback -Android- to be turned on). New users can take 20 pictures for free to try it out but then you are asked to subscribe to different paid packages. Astounding detail and precise descriptions. Named App of the Month by RNIB in March, 2013.
Tile. Tile is a small Bluetooth tracker and app to help you find everyday items that you have lost. Tile App is accessible with VoiceOver on iOS. You can attach Tiles to anything you care about. You can see the last place you had it on a map, and make it ring when you get close. If your item isn’t where you last had it, you can select “Notify When Found” in the app, and then when anyone else with the Tile app on their mobile phone walks past your missing item, you’ll automatically be notified of its most recent location. You can also use the Tile to find your mobile phone by pressing the button on your Tile to make your phone ring.
ViA (Visually Impaired Apps):
Free app for iPhone and iPad, recommending apps for people with vision impairment. ViA helps to locate apps in the iTunes App Store that were built specifically for vision impaired users, or apps that happen to provide useful functionalities. Braille Institute (US).
App with electronic magnifier for all Apple devices with a camera, including iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. On the VIP List it was recently said that the app can be used to read the packaging of frozen goods in freezer's right through the glass doors, to read price tags or for reading overhead screens at the train station. VisionAssist will provide magnification and enable you to improve the contrast to help you read or see what you want to read. If you are in a dark area, you can use the iPhone's flash as a torch to lighten up what you are reading.
Free app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices that allows people with healthy vision to experience the world through the eyes of a person experiencing macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma or cataracts. Developed by the Braille Institute of America. Great educational resource.
The no.1 medical app of 2012. Features: Visual Acuity Test, Astigmatism Test, Duochrome Test, Colour Test, Far field vision test, Optician Finder, Eye Quiz, Eye Advice and facts, iPhone / iPod / iPad support. Free.
VO Lab app: VO Lab is an educational iPad game designed for teenagers and adults who are blind or have low vision to learn and explore touch gestures for VoiceOver, Apple’s built-in screen reader on iOS Devices. Recommended for age 14+. The app is both entertaining and educational, and provides beginning learners of VoiceOver with opportunities to gain the required foundation skills to use the iPad or iPhone independently. Available from the AppStore.