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Throughout history, students with blindness and low vision (BLV) have been vastly underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines with regards to both K-12 education and post-secondary endeavors (Burgstahler, 1994; Supalo, 2010). This underrepresentation of students with BLV in STEM is due to limitations in technology that allow them to access data in a laboratory setting, thus inhibiting their abilities to partake actively in data acquisition with their peers. The Sci-Dot, a multiline, refreshable braille and tactile graphics display capable of logging scientific data in real time with the support of Vernier Science Education’s (VSE) Go-Direct Bluetooth sensors, stands as a unique innovation for persons with BLV given its capabilities to output multiline, tactile data in real time. The Sci-Dot allows individuals with BLV to collect and analyze data by supplying them with tactile data at their fingertips. The author reports findings from a usability study to ascertain the technical feasibility of the device – its capability to produce interpretable tactile data in real time. Participants provided feedback that proved the Sci-Dot was technically feasible as a scientific data logger, and more. The Sci-Dot also has the potential to provide a wealth of independence and inclusivity for educational and social activities beyond the laboratory.
Nashleanas, Ashley N. Ph.D.
"The SCI – DOT: A new dimension of scientific innovation for persons with BLV.,"
Journal of Science Education for Students with Disabilities: Vol. 26
1, pp. 1-8, Article 6.
Available at: https://scholarworks.rit.edu/jsesd/vol26/iss1/6
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