Washington, Mar 30 : A professor at the Indiana University has developed a software that may help overcome the obstacle of understanding math for visually impaired students.
Associate professor Elizabeth Jones has spent past seven months working along with ViewPlus Technologies, a company that creates hardware and software for the visually impaired in Corvallis, Ore.
However, she hopes that the software would help in making math accessible to all students from deaf to blind, gifted and talented students.
"I feel very lucky to be doing this," Jones said, adding that it has been an "amazing" experience.
According to Jones, presently, many visually impaired children are taught math using an abacus.
"We're trying to move away from the abacus and get blind kids doing arithmetic the same way as sighted kids," she said.
The software provides the voice for the typed words and figures that are on a computer screen. An embosser creates print outs, with not only Braille, but also graphics that the students can feel.
"The blind can touch it. It can also be used by the learning disabled who can see and feel it," she said.
Students can take the printed page and place it on a touch pad, which is connected to the computer.
"They can touch on the printed page and the computer will voice what it is," she added.
The technology focuses on addition, subtraction and multiplication while future editions will focus on division, fractions and eventually higher levels of math.
"Right now, we're focusing on the lower levels of math. If they don't get the lower levels, they won't be able to use high-level math," said Jones.