Changing the Landscape of STEM Education for B/VI Students – Dave Schleppenbach

Modern education’s heightened emphasis on STEM subjects better prepares students for high-demand careers, but these graphics-intensive subjects are often very difficult for blind and low-vision individuals.

Tactile Engineering has begun production of Cadence, a graphical tactile display intended to dramatically improve access to animated, interactive diagrams, images, and charts. The realization of such a device has been a dream goal for the accessibility industry for decades, and there have been countless attempts over the years. Cadence is designed from the ground up to be affordable, mass-producible, and durable, in order to be available to as many B/VI individuals as possible.

Tactile Engineering has partnered with Independence Science to develop and test accessible laboratory tools, using the Cadence along with custom software and probes to collect and display data in real time. TE and IS recently tested several of these systems at the National Federation of the Blind conference, allowing attendees to learn, use, and evaluate the Cadence’s capabilities. We will discuss the unique aspects of the Cadence device and use cases for its software and features. Audience members will be invited to work with the devices and offer feedback.

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