What are examples of science lab accommodations for students who are blind?

Date Updated

Since each student's accommodation needs are unique and students are often most knowledgeable about what accommodations work for them, be sure to talk with students about what accommodations they might need.

Some specific science lab accommodations that might be useful to a student who is blind include the following:

  • Provide a lab partner.
  • Use plastic instead of glassware.
  • Allow extra time for set up and completion of lab work.
  • Modify safety procedures.
  • Give verbal descriptions of demonstrations and visual aids.
  • Use Braille text & tactile materials.
  • Provide Braille equipment labels.
  • Use notches, staples, fabric paint, and/or Braille at regular increments on items such as rulers, glassware, syringes, beam balances, stoves, and other science equipment to make the measurements tactile.
  • Use different textures (e.g., sand paper) to label items/areas.
  • Use 3-D spheres or other manipulatives to describe geometric shapes; Styrofoam and toothpicks or molecular kits can be used to represent atoms and molecules.
  • Make tactile or audible models of timers, scales, balances, calculators or other frequently used lab equipment available.
  • Provide an audible liquid level detector (beeps when liquid reaches a certain level).

This list is from the DO-IT publication Making Science Labs Accessible to Students with Disabilities.

For more examples of accommodations that can be made in science labs consult the DO-IT Knowledge Base article What are examples of accommodations in science laboratories? and Accessibility in the Laboratory, published by the American Chemical Society.