APH Press Release
New Talking Calculator now Available from American Printing House for the Blind
Louisville, KY (September 20, 2015), The American Printing House for the Blind, Texas Instruments (TI), and Orbit Research have unveiled the Orion TI-30XS MultiView™ Talking Scientific Calculator, the world’s first fully accessible multi-line scientific calculator, created for students who are visually impaired, and available for the upcoming school year. Based on the popular TI-30XS Multiview™ scientific calculator from Texas Instruments, the Orion TI-30XS represents a breakthrough in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education for students with vision impairment.
American Printing House for the Blind’s participation in the collaboration that made this calculator accessible was possible because of generous gifts from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, the James Graham Brown Foundation, and the Genentech Foundation.
Today, millions of scientific calculators are used in classrooms around the world and are an integral part of the high school math and science curriculum. However, the popularity and usefulness of scientific calculators has posed a challenge for students who are visually impaired since advanced models used in classrooms have not been accessible, until now. With the introduction of the Orion TI-30XS MultiView, visually impaired students now have access to the same technology as their peers as they tackle demanding subjects such as algebra, statistics and chemistry.
“For TI, this is about tearing down barriers for students with disabilities and empowering them to overcome challenges and do great things,” said Scott Sedberry, director of North American Business Development for Texas Instruments Education Technology. “The identical functionality of the accessible TI-30XS MultiView enables students with vision impairment to use the same calculator as their classmates, participate in the same curriculum and take advantage of the vast knowledge base and instructional materials that are already available for this technology.”
Educators who tested the calculator with their visually impaired students are eager to put it to use in the classroom. Susan Osterhaus, Statewide Mathematics Consultant at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and APH consultant, said, “This is going to be an awesome addition to our math toolbox and I am confident it will help our students learn and understand difficult concepts.”
The advanced, four-line scientific calculator, with higher-level math and science functionality, is ideal for middle school through college students. A clear, high-quality, recorded voice announces each key and the answer on the display, providing a choice of speech modes for quiet or verbose operation. Students will love the thin, lightweight design, and parents and teachers will love the familiar functionality that makes it easy to help with class work and homework.
“When students have the right tools to access their curricula, we all benefit,” said Dr. Tuck Tinsley III, president of APH. “This new technology empowers students who are blind and have low vision to reach their full potentials and become the next generation of STEM scholars.”
The Orion TI-30XS Talking Scientific Calculator may be used on high-stakes exams as an approved accommodation for students who are visually impaired if it is specified in the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP). Check with your school’s assessment coordinator or guidance counselor to determine the guidelines for specific tests.
“The development of the Orion TI-30XS MultiView represents Orbit Research’s continuing commitment to level the playing field for visually impaired and dyslexic students,” said Dr. Gina Spagnoli, Orbit Research’s founder. “Building upon our long-term partnership with Texas Instruments, APH’s vast experience in the development of educational products, and our expertise in adapting mainstream calculators for accessibility, this product is the result of our collaborative efforts to develop game-changing technology.”
The calculator is available for purchase for the upcoming school year from APH.
About Texas Instruments
Education Technology, a business of Texas Instruments, provides a wide range of tools connecting the classroom experience with real-world applications, helping students and teachers to explore mathematics and science interactively. TI’s products and services are tested vigorously against recognized third-party research, which shows that the effective use of graphing calculators improves the mathematical skills of students and their attitudes toward mathematics. For more information, visit www.education.ti.com.
Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) is a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company that develops analog ICs and embedded processors. By employing the world’s brightest minds, TI creates innovations that shape the future of technology. TI is helping more than 100,000 customers transform the future, today. Learn more at www.ti.com.
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 students who are visually impaired 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.
About Orbit Research
Orbit Research develops and manufactures innovative and affordable products that enable an independent lifestyle for people who are blind or visually impaired. Founded with the mission to fulfill the urgent need for affordable assistive technology products, the company has introduced breakthrough products like the Orion family of Talking Scientific and Graphing Calculators and the iBill Talking Banknote Identifier that define the state-of-the-art in features, functionality, convenience and cost. For more information, visit www.orbitresearch.com.