APH Press Release
American Printing House for the Blind receives 2015 Access Award from AFB
Louisville Kentucky, April 20, 2015 — American Printing House for the Blind (APH), along with project partners Texas Instruments Education Technology (TI) and Orion Research, has received a 2015 Access Award from the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) for developing the Orion TI-84 Plus Talking Graphing Calculator that gives students with visual impairments access to technology that allows them to interact with math and science without relying on sight.
Today, over 2200 of these calculators are being used by students in advanced math and science classes. Chase Crispin, a twelfth grade student from Blair, Nebraska said “The largest benefit of this calculator is the ability to use the same calculator in the same way as a sighted student in the classroom. When a teacher explains the use of the standard TI-84, it applies to the Orion calculator as well, making it easy for both the VI student and the teacher to begin to use this calculator. I honestly feel that I would not have been able to complete the last month of Honors Geometry without the aid of the Orion TI-84.”
Chosen annually, the AFB Access Awards honor individuals, corporations, and organizations that eliminate or substantially reduce inequities faced by individuals with vision loss.
"We are thrilled to recognize the important work these organizations and individuals are doing to expand possibilities for the more than 20 million Americans with vision loss," said Carl R. Augusto, president and CEO of AFB. "They are breaking down accessibility hurdles and developing solutions that truly work. I commend them for their commitment to equality and accessibility."
The 2015 Awards were presented at the AFB Leadership Conference in Phoenix, AZ. APH President Tuck Tinsley III accepted the award for APH. “We’re honored to receive this award,” said Tinsley. “APH’s mission is about making sure that blind and visually impaired students have access to the same tools and information as their sighted peers. Our partnership with Texas Instruments and Orion gave those interested in math and science a new option for tackling these demanding subjects, which also leads to new career choices. We are continuing this collaboration so that students will have access to other TI educational technology products.
Four other companies and one individual received 2015 AFB Access Awards:
- Comcast’s X1 Entertainment Operating System is the television industry’s first voice-enabled interface, and it has accessibility built in with a talking guide that allows blind and visually impaired users to independently explore new content and change settings for a truly immersive and customized experience.
- Microsoft has made huge efforts to advance accessibility in computing by increasing access to the popular Window-Eyes screen reader and by supporting the needs of customers with disabilities through a dedicated technical support service.
- MIPsoft’s Blindsquare app helps orient blind and visually impaired users by telling them the names of public points of interest and streets around them. The iOS-based app combines GPS technology, speech synthesis and open-source data in order to provide information to thousands of users worldwide.
- Odin Mobile is the only nationwide provider of cellular service specifically targeted to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Odin offers a combination of cell phones designed with the visually impaired user in mind and a selection of affordable voice, text and data plans.
- Joel Snyder, Ph.D., an ardent advocate for audio description, has led training sessions throughout the world in the art and technique of describing television shows, movies, theater productions, as well as museum tours and other cultural activities for people with vision loss.
About the Orion TI-84 Plus Talking Graphing Calculator
The Orion TI-84 Plus consists of a compact accessory that is attached to the top of the TI-84 Plus and enables a user who is visually impaired to interact with the TI-84Plus using speech, audio, and haptic (vibration) feedback. All textual and symbolic information on the screen, as well as each key-press is spoken using high-quality synthesized speech. Most importantly, graphs can be explored using either spoken announcements or the SonoGraph™ audio and haptic feedback. The user can also review the contents of the screen at any time, including all text and graphical information, without affecting the calculation. Visit TI-84 demonstration to see it in action. It can be purchased here
About the American Printing House for the Blind
APH, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is the world’s largest company devoted solely to researching, developing, and manufacturing products for people who are blind or visually impaired. Founded in 1858, it is the oldest organization of its kind in the United States. Under the 1879 federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind, APH is the official supplier of educational materials for visually impaired students in the U.S. and outlying areas who are working at less than college level.
APH produces textbooks and magazines in braille, large print, recorded, and digital formats. APH also designs and manufactures hundreds of educational, recreational, and daily living products. For more information, visit www.aph.org.