[Blindmath] Making the University classroom more accessible

Dan Burke burke.dall at gmail.com
Fri Nov 6 15:38:59 UTC 2015


This is a plug for my friend Ann Cunningham's Sensational Draft Board.
I started following this list some years ago when working as a tech
coordinator in higher education Disability Services because I was
looking for ways to figure out Math and other STEM subjects from all
of you.  I've been a personal fan of Ann's drawing board for personal
and professional reasons.

All I can say about the subject shown in this short video is that he
hasn't used anything like these tools since high school geometry as a
low vision teenager in 1972-3.

Hope students and teachers find this useful.

http://sensationalbooks.com/blog.html

Best,
Dan
.

On 11/6/15, Lewicki, Maureen via Blindmath <blindmath at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Goda. And All. I have read the 'of course' email again and again. Goda was
> not implying anything about the blind, but that he would of course find
> blind people to input suggestions. That is why he contacted this email list.
>
> And I understand the difficulties associated with finding Blind students.
> The blind are not well represented in the field...yet...but it could
> happen!!
>
> I also have experienced time and again, the angst that teachers and
> professors show when they have a blind person in their class. It is
> frustrating, narrow minded, etc. My students consistently blow their
> teachers away with their abilities, however, and if the teachers remain open
> minded, they discover that their own teacher has grown deeper, by thinking
> less about the visual aspects of their subject, and more about the
> underlying concepts.
>
>
> I hope we can move forward for Goda's sake, and for all of us on the list.
> Goda, thank you for reaching out to this list. The blind researchers and
> students on the list are very adept in technology, and they can richly help
> you with their knowledge.
>
> I will work this weekend on compiling what I use with my students.
>
> Maureen Murphy Lewicki
> Teacher of the Visually Impaired
> Bethlehem Central School District
> Bethlehem High School
> 700 Delaware Ave
> Delmar, NY 12054
> http://www.bethlehemschools.org
> Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of
> trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and
> success achieved. Helen Keller
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Blindmath [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Goda
> Biekšaite via Blindmath
> Sent: Friday, November 06, 2015 8:52 AM
> To: Sabra Ewing
> Cc: Goda Biekšaitė; Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
> Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Making the University classroom more accessible
>
> Hello Sabra,
>
> I'm sorry for the confusion. The "of course" was meant as me reassuring that
> we will definitely answer the questions asked. In regards of finding a
> visually impaired student, sadly, there are no visually impaired students
> studying Computer Science in our university and even then, the student must
> have specific prerequisites in order to take this module that this project
> is part of. However, I do understand that my wording was confusing and I
> apologise.
>
> As a quick note, we have been actively seeking to contact visually impaired
> students within our University and outside of it as well, however out of all
> the STEM subjects within the university, there is only one visually impaired
> student studying Maths! And even then, when the Maths department heard about
> it they started freaking out, because they knew very little as to how to
> really support him. A lot of work has been put in to help that student and
> sort things out, but that's why we're doing this project. To minimise the
> difficulties that visually impaired students might have.
>
> As for the technology you suggested, we are looking into the potential of
> using 3-D printers in our solution. It is something we will definitely
> expand on. Thank you so much for your help and feedback!
>
> Cheers,
> Goda
>
> 2015-11-05 20:40 GMT+00:00 Sabra Ewing <sabra1023 at gmail.com>:
>
>> I really think you should have a blind student on your team. You say
>> of course you don't have one as though you can't be expected to find
>> one anywhere, but I bet one goes to your school, and that student may
>> even be majoring in math or computer science I think you should work
>> on a specific piece of technology that converts two dimensional
>> objects including moving images into still or moving in
>> three-dimensional images. You point the camera at the picture, and it
>> robotic arms form the three-dimensional image out of clay or maybe the
>> device can somehow fold into the image. Or if you could make a sheet
>> portable 3-D printer, that would also be fine and you could scan the image
>> in and it would printed out in three dimensions.
>> However, the problem with 3-D printing now is that it is expensive and
>> impractical to use.
>>
>> Sabra Ewing
>>
>> > On Nov 5, 2015, at 10:22 AM, Goda Biekšaitė via Blindmath <
>> blindmath at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>> >
>> > Hi Maureen,
>> >
>> > Of course! None of us are visually impaired and therefore we really
>> > want
>> to
>> > understand as much as we can.
>> >
>> > In regards of the the solutions and information that is already
>> > there we have done quite a lot of research. As far as we have found,
>> > visually impaired students use either tactile or audio oriented
>> > solutions. In regards of text there's two choices - Braille or
>> > screen readers. As far
>> as
>> > we have seen Braille readers are rather expensive and entire books
>> > in Braille are rare and difficult to obtain And therefore most
>> > people prefer screen readers. JAWS, NVDA etc. More technologies we
>> > have looked into is using sound and music to represent graphs and
>> > geometric objects,
>> distances
>> > and sizes, haptic feedback (like haptic mouse), magnifiers, sonic
>> > based haptic representation of 3d objects (although a great idea
>> > it's currently still in development), talking tactile tablet, raised
>> > paper, the
>> chemistry
>> > diagram translation into audible description. We also looked into
>> possibly
>> > using 3D printing to explain 3D objects.
>> >
>> > I'm sure I missed a few of them but we tried to find as much
>> > information
>> as
>> > we can. But we're not trying to create a new piece of technology as
>> > we
>> know
>> > that shifting from one piece of the tech that you are already using
>> > to a complete new one can be difficult. But maybe we incorporate
>> > different
>> bits
>> > from different tech together? Or make something that is currently
>> > not accessible with current tech that is used - accessible...
>> > Except we
>> don't
>> > know what people actually use. Finances, accessibility and
>> > situations are different for all...
>> >
>> > Also thank you so much for such a rapid response! Really does mean a
>> > lot!
>> >
>> > Kind regards,
>> > Goda
>> > MSci Computer Science
>> > 3d Year Student
>> > University of Birmingham
>> > 2015 lapkr. 5 15:38 "Lewicki, Maureen via Blindmath" <
>> blindmath at nfbnet.org>
>> > rašė:
>> >
>> >> Before I answer this survey I would be interested to know if there
>> >> are
>> any
>> >> blind and visually impaired students on the team? How familiar are
>> >> you
>> with
>> >> what is already out there for the students to use? I often see
>> >> research
>> and
>> >> development on the University level which develops things that are
>> already
>> >> out there. thanks
>> >>
>> >> Maureen Murphy Lewicki
>> >> Teacher of the Visually Impaired
>> >> Bethlehem Central School District
>> >> Bethlehem High School
>> >> 700 Delaware Ave
>> >> Delmar, NY 12054
>> >> http://www.bethlehemschools.org
>> >> Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through
>> >> experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened,
>> >> ambition inspired,
>> and
>> >> success achieved. Helen Keller
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> -----Original Message-----
>> >> From: Blindmath [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of
>> >> Goda Biekšaite via Blindmath
>> >> Sent: Thursday, November 05, 2015 10:23 AM
>> >> To: blindmath at nfbnet.org
>> >> Cc: Goda Biekšaitė; Lily Elshaktori; Priyanka Mohata; Gareth
>> >> Humphries; Poppie Simmonds
>> >> Subject: [Blindmath] Making the University classroom more
>> >> accessible
>> >>
>> >> Hello all,
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> We are 3rd year Computer Science students at the University of
>> Birmingham.
>> >> As part of our course, we are studying a module called Software
>> >> Design Study, in which we research and design a solution to an
>> >> existing real
>> life
>> >> problem. Our team is looking into further aiding visually impaired
>> students
>> >> in a classroom setting.
>> >>
>> >> We are in the early stages of our research and would like to speak
>> >> with
>> as
>> >> many visually impaired students, teachers of the visually impaired
>> >> or anyone else who works in this area.We would like to get a better
>> >> understanding of learning and teaching techniques used, problems
>> >> faced
>> and
>> >> areas for improvement.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> We have made a questionnaire and it would help us greatly if you
>> >> could answer some or all of the questions, and if there is anything
>> >> that you would like to add, or even if you would just want to share
>> >> your
>> experience
>> >> - we would really appreciate it.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> We can't wait to hear from you,
>> >>
>> >> Goda
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Questions:
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> If you’re a student:
>> >>
>> >>   -
>> >>
>> >>   What software are you using in the classroom currently?
>> >>   -
>> >>
>> >>      How accessible is it?
>> >>      -
>> >>
>> >>      How easy to master is it?
>> >>      -
>> >>
>> >>      On average, how much time do you spend using the assistive
>> >> software
>> >>      in the classroom?
>> >>      -
>> >>
>> >>   Did you go to a school or university for visually impaired?
>> >>   -
>> >>
>> >>      IF YES:
>> >>      -
>> >>
>> >>         What techniques did they use to teach mathematics?
>> >>         -
>> >>
>> >>         How did they explain the different geometrical objects? Both
>> >> 3d
>> >>         and 2d.
>> >>         -
>> >>
>> >>         How did they explain graphs and visual representations of
>> >> formulae?
>> >>         -
>> >>
>> >>         What techniques are used to draw and represent graphs?
>> >>         -
>> >>
>> >>      IF NO:
>> >>      -
>> >>
>> >>         What techniques did the teachers use to integrate visually
>> >>         impaired into the classroom?
>> >>         -
>> >>
>> >>         Did the teachers write and explain things on the board, if
>> >> so
>> how
>> >>         did they accommodate you?
>> >>         -
>> >>
>> >>         Did you have anyone or use any special technology to assist
>> >> you
>> in
>> >>         the classroom?
>> >>         -
>> >>
>> >>         Was there anything that you think you missed out in the
>> >>         lectures/lessons?
>> >>         -
>> >>
>> >>   If you could change one thing about how the lectures are going at
>> >> the
>> >>   moment and the support that you get - what would it be?
>> >>   -
>> >>
>> >>   What would be a perfect piece of technology for you (regardless
>> >> of
>> what
>> >>   has been created already. Please. Go wild)
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> If you’re a teacher:
>> >>
>> >>   -
>> >>
>> >>   What techniques have you used to better accommodate the visually
>> >>   impaired students?
>> >>   -
>> >>
>> >>   What difficulties have you noticed that visually impaired students
>> >>   encounter?
>> >>   -
>> >>
>> >>   What subjects and areas do the students struggle the most?
>> >>   -
>> >>
>> >>   What support systems/technologies do you use in your classroom or
>> >> for
>> >>   preparation for the classes?
>> >>   -
>> >>
>> >>   What additional preparation do you make to cater for visually
>> >> impaired
>> >>   students in the classroom?
>> >>   -
>> >>
>> >>   How familiar are you with the assistive technologies that the
>> >> students
>> >>   might use?
>> >>   -
>> >>
>> >>   How did you explain (if you ever had to) graphs, geometric forms,
>> >> 3d
>> and
>> >>   2d objects, trajectories and distances?
>> >>   -
>> >>
>> >>   What support do you get from your University or School/College?
>> >> _______________________________________________
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>> >>
>> >>
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>> >> BlindMath Gems can be found at <
>> >> http://www.blindscience.org/blindmath-gems-home>
>> >> _______________________________________________
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>> >>
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>> >> http://www.blindscience.org/blindmath-gems-home>
>> > _______________________________________________
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>> http://www.blindscience.org/blindmath-gems-home>
>>
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>


-- 
Dan Burke
My Cell:  406.546.8546
Twitter:  @DallDonal



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