Students with Blindness Explore Chemistry at ‘Camp Can Do’

Cary A. Supalo, H. David Wohlers, Jennifer R. Humphrey

Abstract


Students with blindness or low vision are often discouraged from full participation in laboratory science classes due to the inadequacy of current methodological approaches and the lack of sophisticated adaptive technologies. Consequently, these students rarely go on to pursue advanced studies and employment in the sciences. In response to his own frustrations as a scientist with blindness, Supalo conceived, co-founded, and managed the Independent Laboratory Access for the Blind (ILAB) project for his doctoral research in chemistry. Numerous multisensory tools, technologies, and methodologies for teaching the sciences to students with visual impairments were developed and evaluated by the ILAB team. In 2009 and 2010, these hands-on adaptations were used by students with blindness and low vision from throughout the Caribbean during a chemistry workshop at a one-week summer camp held on the island of Tobago. Led by Supalo during the first-ever Camp Can Do in 2009 and Wohlers during 2010, the chemistry workshop successfully introduced the students to some basic chemical reactions and the most current adaptive technologies available for the laboratory sciences. For many of the students, Camp Can Do represented the first real opportunity to learn about science and technology with a hands-on approach.

Full Text: PDF

Co-editors: Todd Pagano, Ph.D & L.K. Quinsland, Ph.D
Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf - Rochester, NY 14623

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