Measurement & Data Collection
By: Carmen Willings
There are many materials available to make measurement, probability and data collection activities accessible to students who are blind or visually impaired. Using real objects and materials can make the experiences more concrete for the student.
Graphing is an great math activity that allows students to relate to numbers both tactually and visually. Graphs can show at a glace what could otherwise take paragraphs to describe. Graphs are also an excellent way to help students relate math to their personal experiences. Have students gather and sort data in response to questions posed (taste test or other comparison charts). Arrange objects in a graph according to attributes,(size, color, shape, etc). Encourage students to read the charts and graphs. When complete, identify category that has the most/fewest in a graph. Identify untrue or inappropriate statements about given data. Create and use charts, graphs, tables to interpret and analyze information and to locate information (e.g. sale prices, sales tax, nutritional information, etc) Depending on the students need for concrete understanding, create graphs using real objects, pictures/tactual graphics, or abstract (using print or tactual X's, circles, etc. for students functioning at a more abstract level).
Orion TI-36X Talking Scientific Calculator
Students in middle school following the standard course of study will need to use a scientific calculator. The Orion TI-36X Talking Scientific Calculator, available through APH, has identical functions to the Texas Instruments TI-36X calculator.
Large print/Large display calculators are available for students with low vision from other vendors. These calculators are sometimes paired with speech output. When selecting a calculator, remember the students need to first gain an understanding of numbers and how to perform operations, older students will be required to use calculators as they enter middle school and perform complex operations.
This 1-foot braille ruler is tapered on the edge. A metal caliper slide aids in accuracy. The English measurement ruler has raised lines with braille numbers at each inch. Fourths on one edge, eighths on the other.
The Analog Clock Model from APH helps teach about time-telling concepts. It has braille and raised large print markings and hands that are easily rotated. The hands are synchronized like those of an actual clock.
Balance, SAVI/SELPH and FOSS
Balance, SAVI/SELPH and FOSS is a specially modified balance includes a tactile indicator and holes in the balance pans, allowing use of removable plastic cups. Students use gram pieces and mass sets for weighing.
The Braille/Large Print Yardstick has raised-line markings along one edge in1/4" increments, with braille marking every inch.
The Braille Meterstick has raised lines every centimeter, and braille every other centimeter; and thick raised lines for decimeters.
The whole class cab use this large print and braille Classroom Calendar from APH. Unlike many commercially available calendars that are visually cluttered, this calendar is simple and provides uncluttered, high contrast numbers and labels. It is accessible to students with low vision as well as those who are blind. It includes brightly colored and embossed holiday and weather symbols.
This Desktop Stick-On Number Line available from APH provides both large print and braille. The self-adhesive number line can be reapplied approximately five times.
Clock Face Sheets in Braille are available from APH. Each sheet contains four embossed braille clock faces. The clock faces are blank allowing you to add the hands.
Electronic learning clock teaches kids to tell time and solve elapsed time problems. The self-checking quiz feature has two skill levels to make mastering time telling easy! Clock measures 10 3/4" high. The 32-page Clever Clock Workbook includes 26 time-learning activities that can be used with any learning clock.
Slide-A-Round Fraction Line
This Fraction Line, available from Slide-A-Round Math Manipulatives, was developed by Jim Franklin who is a special education teacher. This fraction number line is accessible to students with low vision as well as those who are blind.
The Individual Calendar Kit from APH allows students to create their own individual calendars. The kit includes twelve brightly colored embossed/bold line grid sheets with paper labels for months, days of the week and days of the month. Labels are in large print and braille.
The Large Print/Braille Toss Away Ruler has markings both in large print and braille and is designed for the classroom or testing and assessment situations where an inexpensive measuring device is needed.
Math Builders Unit 5: Measurement and Estimation
Math Builders Unit 5: Measurement and Estimation is a supplementary math program. It includes a teacher's guide with lesson plans specific to geometry standards.
Math Builders Unit 8: Data Collection, Graphing, and Probability/Statistics
Math Builders Unit 8: Data Collection, Graphing, and Probability/Statistics is a supplementary math program. It includes a teacher's guide with lesson plans specific to geometry standards.
SAVI/ SELPH Thermometer
The SAVI/ SELPH thermometer includes both a Braille and large print scale for measuring temperature in degrees Celsius. It is introduced in the SAVI/SELPH Measurement Module to measure the temperature of water. The thermometer can be calibrated. Tabs are included along the rim to mark temperatures for comparison.
Sight Enhancement Systems
Sight Enhancement Systems, Ottawa, Canada, offers next generation SciPlus scientific calculators designed specifically for persons who are visually impaired. These new models improve on the popular SciPlus family, incorporating a larger, 4-line backlit graphical LCD display with inverted white/black function and adjustable contrast. The SciPlus-2200 version is the “non-speaking” model, and the SciPlus-2300 has English/Spanish (selectable) audio output, with additional languages coming soon.
The Tactile Demonstration Thermometer from APH allows students to independently read, set, and compare temperatures. It consists of a two textured, two-colored adjustable "mercury column" with an easy-grip tactile indicator. The comparable Fahrenheit and Celsius scales are in large print and braille.
Talking Tape Measures
Talking Tape Measures announce the measured length.
Textured Sorting Circles and Shapes includes shapes in a variety of textures, sizes, and colors. The accompanying sorting circles are also provided in a variety or colors and textures, and can be used to create Venn diagrams.
Slide-A-Round Time Line
This Time Line, available from Slide-A-Round Math Manipulatives, was developed by Jim Franklin who is a special education teacher. This number line is accessible to students with low vision as well as those who are blind.
Transparent CCTV Rulers are flexible, see-through vinyl rulers that make it easier to measure items magnified by an electronic magnifier. Rulers are scree printed with black ink on high-contrast transparent vinyl.
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Accommodations for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired Recorded Presentation
Ensuring the student has access to the curriculum and entire educational environment is a key role of the Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments. This presentation provides an overview of accommodations for students who are blind or visually impaired. I discuss considerations for providing accommodations, go over common accommodations, strategies for preparing the student for job accommodations and strategies for communicating needs to teams and employers.
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