Talking Scientific Calculator for Visually Impaired STEM Students

Fully-accessible multi-line scientific calculator provides functionality and enhances learning.

The new Orion TI-30XS MultiView Talking Scientific Calculator is created for STEM students who are visually impaired. (PRNewsFoto/Texas Instruments)

The new Orion TI-30XS MultiView Talking Scientific Calculator is created for STEM students who are visually impaired. (PRNewsFoto/Texas Instruments)

The Orion TI-30XS MultiView Talking Scientific Calculator has been unveiled by Texas Instruments (TI), Orbit Research and the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). The calculator was created for students who are visually impaired, and is available in time for the upcoming school year.

Based on Texas Instruments’ popular TI-30XS MultiView scientific calculator, the Orion TI-30XS represents a more inclusive STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education for students with vision impairment. 

The four-line scientific calculator provides higher-level math and science functionality, and is ideal for students from middle school through college. 

A clear, high-quality recorded voice announces each key and the answer on the display. 

The calculator also provides a choice of speech modes for quiet, verbose or earphone operation. 

The calculator has a thin, lightweight design, and familiar functionality that makes it easy for teachers and parents to help with classwork and homework.

Scientific calculators are used in classrooms around the world and form an integral part of the university engineering curriculum. The popularity of scientific calculators poses a challenge for students who are visually impaired since advanced models used in classrooms have not been accessible. 

With the Orion TI-30XS MultiView, visually-impaired students now have access to the same technology as their peers when studying subjects like calculus, statistics, linear algebra, chemistry, physics and more.

“When students have the right tools to access their curricula, we all benefit,” states 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.”

Educators who tested the calculator with their visually-impaired students indicate they are eager to put it to use in the classroom. Susan Osterhaus, 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.”

“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 Business Development at Texas Instruments. 

“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.”

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), and in accordance with 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 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.”