Blind Students Confront the Chemistry LabBy Fudge, Tom; KPBS.org,
Publication Date: August 18, 2009
Article discusses assistive technology that helps blind students conduct laboratory experiments in chemistry class. In a workshop offered at the University of California at San Diego, blind students visit a chemistry lab to feel and hear the results of basic chemical experiments, aided by sensors and a voiced computer system. Small devices called SALS sensors, electronic boxes attached to thin glass probes which measure ambient light when dipped into a liquid, emit tones of changing pitch as the liquid changes color, allowing the blind students to know if a chemical reaction has occurred. Other sensors hooked up to a voiced computer system gauge temperature and humidity which are read by the computer. Another measuring device features an expandable, airtight plastic bag enabling the experimenter to sense whether carbon dioxide is being produced. The audible and tactile instruments were designed to enable visually-impaired students to work in a lab without the aid of sighted assistants, a typical arrangement where the student is limited by the quality of the assistant’s observations.
Published by: San Diego State University (Website:http://www.sdsu.edu/)
Link to text: http://www.kpbs.org/news/2009/aug/18/blind-students-confront-chemistry-lab/
Link to audio: http://kpbs.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/audio/2009/08/18/090818-tf-BLINDLAB_.mp3