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Osterhaus, S.A. (2001). Susan's math technology corner. Division on Visual Impairments Quarterly, 46(2), 19-21.

Within the vast TSBVI web site lies another web site entitled Teaching Math to Visually Impaired Students. You can reach it by beginning at the TSBVI home page http://www.tsbvi.edu and linking from there or find it directly by going to http://www.tsbvi.edu/math.

WHAT WILL YOU FIND WHEN YOU GET THERE?

Hopefully, anything and everything and more than you ever wanted to know about the topic, or where to go and who to ask for more information. It begins with a home page listing several other web "subsites" on various topics, which you can link to directly. At the time of publication, these were:

About Susan Osterhaus and Contact Information

You are furnished with a bit of information about the web site author and most importantly her contact information. If the answer to your most pressing question on math education for the visually impaired is not to be found anywhere on the many other pages or their resource links, feel free to pose the question via e-mail, phone, or snail mail. A substantial number of the remaining pages are written in a "Dear Susan" format, and your question might very well find a special place on the expanding web site.

Teaching Strategies

For example, on this web page you will find strategies on Challenges in Teaching Mathematics to the Visually Impaired, Solving Quadratic Equations, Solving Systems of Equations in Three Variables, Linear Measure, Perimeter, Area, Transformations, Line Symmetry, Tesselations, and Geometric Constructions.

Math Education and Nemeth Code

On this page, Susan gives advice about learning, teaching, and using Nemeth Code to assist adventitiously blind high school students, college algebra students, students studying set theory, advanced math students, GED students, and students with some tactual discrimination impairment. Opposing and supportive views on Nemeth Code from blind users are also incorporated.

Producing Math Materials in Nemeth Code

The process by which math textbooks are produced in Texas is briefly explained. Then specific organizations that produce math textbooks in Nemeth and a resource of where to find others are listed, along with contact information. The various types of Nemeth Translation Software available are described and manufacturers listed with contact information.

Tactile Math Graphics

Student-generated math graphs and those made by others for students are discussed and types listed. In addition, checklists on How to Determine if a Graphic Should be Brailled, Making Decisions About a Tactile Graphic, Basic Principles for Preparing Tactile Graphics, and How Foil Graphics are Prepared are available. Furthermore, a report and guidelines for braille test adaptations of the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills are included. Finally, Resources for Preparing Quality Tactile Graphics are given with all contact information.

Abacus Information

The following topics are included on this page: Abacus versus Calculators, Using an Abacus and the Counting Method, Courses Available to Learn Abacus, and Abacus Internet Site Packet. In addition to Susan's thoughts on the subject, the reader is treated to those from blind abacus users and other teachers of the visually impaired.

Calculators

The contents of this page include Large Type and Talking Five Function Calculators, Large Display Scientific/Graphing Calculator Solutions, and Talking Scientific Calculators. The various calculators are described and sources given; an extensive comparison chart of features of the talking scientific calculators is a highlight.

Other Math Tools

Tactile measuring tools, electronic money identifiers, and talking thermometers are discussed and vendors suggested.

Math Resources

This page is perhaps the most visited and most useful of all. A math packet is described and can be ordered free of charge. Various publications related to the topic are listed. An annotated list of Vendors, People and Places contains contact information and allows an immediate link to the appropriate web site and/or e-mail address. The Current Research page keeps you on top of the latest developments. Nemeth Code Reference Sheets for Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Set Notation can be downloaded in print and braille. (The resource page is directly linked to the required free software download sites.) The Computerized Nemeth Code Tutor can also be downloaded and installed on your computer.

Adaptive Tools and Technology for Accessible Mathematics

A brief description and class pictures from this TSBVI short class, along with Suggested Adaptive Tools and Materials for Low Vision and Braille Students in Algebra and Geometry, puts it all together.

Citation:

"Making Schools Work for Every Child," ENC (Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education) Focus, Volume 7, Number 4, p. 66 (2000). The web site was selected as an exemplary resource from the ENC Collection to illustrate the theme of meeting the needs of all learners.

Future articles by this author will provide more detailed information on specific math technology. Look for Susan's Math Technology Corner in upcoming issues.

Susan A. Osterhaus, M.Ed.
Secondary Mathematics Teacher
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 West 45th Street
Austin, TX 78756
Phone: (512) 206-9305
Fax: (512) 206-9453
E-mail: or  
Web site: http://www.tsbvi.edu/math