Are there commercial products designed to make math accessible to students with disabilities?

DO-IT Factsheet #342

Some students with disabilities require accommodations in order to access math. For example, mathematical notation is inherently visual, so students who are blind are unable to read it. Also, students who cannot fully use their hands are often unable to perform mathematical computations by hand on paper (the traditional way). Some commercial products have been developed to increase access to mathematics content and computation to individuals with disabilities.

Options for students who are blind needing to access math material include:


Additionally, access to graphs, drawing, figures, etc. is an important component in the learning process. Tactile graphics using a variety of output devices is the traditional method of providing this material to students who are blind.

Below are a few of the vendors who have developed products in this area. Their websites provide a good starting point for understanding the types of products that are available, but inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement by DO-IT or its funding sources.

In addition to the vendors and products listed above, there are a wide variety of talking scientific calculators, Braille compasses, protractors, rulers, manipulatives and tactile graphing kits available. Consult the web for assistive technology retailers who carry these products.

Also, "mainstream" software such as Mathematica [6] and Scientific Notebook [7] can make it easier for students with mobility impairments to write mathematics.

For more information on creating accessible math materials consult the DO-IT Knowledge Base article, How can I create math and science materials that are accessible to students with visual impairments? [8]