Collaborative Research: Creating and Exploring Audio/TactileGraphics with Digital Pen Technologies
New digital pen and paper technologies may revolutionize how students with visual disabilities interact with spatial information. Mainstream pedagogical approaches to virtually all STEM areas involve strong emphasis on diagrams, sketches, charts, graphs, and other figures. Without non-visual equivalents to these “visualization” tools, students with visual disabilities are at a significant disadvantage to their sighted classmates when it comes to high-achievement in STEM areas. The goal of this focused research initiative is to thoroughly develop, test, and deploy a novel educational technology that will increase the participation and retention of college students with disabilities in science, technology, and engineering programs. More specifically, as a result of the proposed research, students and their teachers will be able to produce and explore the diagrams and figures common to the STEM curriculum through touch and sound using a digital pen and paper technology that is low-cost, portable, and easy-to-use.