New talking scientific calculator breaks down barriers for students with vision disabilities

Americas, September 5 2015

DALLAS: Texas Instruments, Orbit Research and the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) unveiled the Orion TI-30XS MultiView Talking Scientific Calculator, the world’s first fully accessible multi-line scientific calculator, created for students with vision disabilities, and available for the upcoming school year. Based on the popular TI-30XS Multiview scientific calculator from Texas Instruments, the Orion TI-30XS represents a breakthrough in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education for students with vision disabilities.

Orion TI-30XS MultiView Talking Scientific CalculatorThe new Orion TI-30XS MultiView Talking Scientific Calculator is the world’s first fully accessible multi-line scientific calculator, created for students with vision disabilities.

Today, millions of scientific calculators are used in classrooms around the world and are an integral part of the high school math and science curriculum. However, the popularity and usefulness of scientific calculators has posed a challenge for students with vision disabilities since advanced models used in classrooms have not been accessible, until now. With the introduction of the Orion TI-30XS MultiView, students with vision disabilities now have access to the same technology as their peers as they tackle demanding subjects such as algebra, statistics and chemistry.

“For TI, this is about tearing down barriers for students with disabilities and empowering them to overcome challenges and do great things,” said Scott Sedberry, director of North American Business Development for Texas Instruments Education Technology. “The identical functionality of the accessible TI-30XS MultiView enables students with vision disabilities to use the same calculator as their classmates, participate in the same curriculum and take advantage of the vast knowledge base and instructional materials that are already available for this technology.”

Educators who tested the calculator with their students with vision disabilities are eager to put it to use in the classroom. Susan Osterhaus, Statewide Mathematics Consultant at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and APH consultant, said, “This is going to be an awesome addition to our math toolbox and I am confident it will help our students learn and understand difficult concepts.”

The advanced, four-line scientific calculator, with higher-level math and science functionality, is ideal for middle school through college students. A clear, high-quality, recorded voice announces each key and the answer on the display, providing a choice of speech modes for quiet or verbose operation. Students will love the thin, lightweight design, and parents and teachers will love the familiar functionality that makes it easy to help with classwork and homework.

“When students have the right tools to access their curricula, we all benefit,” said Dr. Tuck Tinsley III, president of APH. “This new technology empowers students who are blind and have low vision to reach their full potentials and become the next generation of STEM scholars.”

The Orion TI-30XS Talking Scientific Calculator may be used on high-stakes exams as an approved accommodation for students who are visually impaired if it is specified in the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP). Check with your school’s assessment coordinator or guidance counselor to determine the guidelines for specific tests.

“The development of the Orion TI-30XS MultiView represents Orbit Research’s continuing commitment to level the playing field for visually impaired and dyslexic students,” said Dr. Gina Spagnoli, Orbit Research’s founder.  “Building upon our long-term partnership with Texas Instruments, APH’s vast experience in the development of educational products, and our expertise in adapting mainstream calculators for accessibility, this product is the result of our collaborative efforts to develop game-changing technology.” The calculator is available for purchase for the upcoming school year here.

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