Sunday, 22 May 2005 - 10:05 AM

This presentation is part of: Using Technology to Inspire Students, Teachers and Mentors

Seeing Chemistry Non-visually; Using Talking Lab Tools to Assist a Blind Studentís Ambitions in the Laboratory

Cary A. Supalo, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Using non-visual techniques and other senses to detect valuable information can lead to a successful laboratory experience for a blind person. Chemistry can be made more accessible to the blind by listening to verbal instruction from talking lab tools, paying attention to the sounds of an experiment, and receiving detailed verbal descriptions of equipment set up. The alternative skills of blindness such as Braille, use of a white cane or guide dog, and computers with speech output play integral roles in the laboratory. A speech-accessible computer interface with laboratory probes such as balances, thermometers and pH meters will open doors for blind people to obtain observational information non-visually.

For a blind person studying Chemistry, having good mentoring can lead to a career path in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. A good work ethic and motivation leads to more open doors in the chemical sciences. A positive attitude, creativity, good problem solving skills, motivation can lead to success in the chemical field.

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