The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that U.S. institutions of higher education provide “reasonable accommodations” to students with disabilities to ensure equal educational opportunities. However, despite the key role of physics as a gateway to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies, only limited resources exist for teaching physics to students who are blind or visually impaired. Here we share lessons from our experience creating an accessible physics curriculum for a blind physics major. The authors include the student himself, a blind physics BS who graduated from a different institution, a PhD chemist and consultant on STEM accessibility who is himself blind, and several sighted educators and course assistants who worked regularly with the students. This article focuses on issues for which instructors are responsible: how to make class meetings, curricular materials, tutorials, and demonstrations accessible (as opposed to accommodations determined at an administrative level, such as additional time on tests). An online appendix provides additional resources and specifics to guide actual implementation of these ideas, including a guide to further reading.
Making Physics Courses Accessible for Blind Students: Strategies for Course Administration, Class Meetings, and Course Materials
Megan Holt, Daniel Gillen, Sacha D. Nandlall, Kevin Setter, Paul Thorman, Suzanne Amador Kane, Christa Hixson Miller, Chelsea Cook, Cary Supalo; Making Physics Courses Accessible for Blind Students: Strategies for Course Administration, Class Meetings, and Course Materials. Phys. Teach. 1 February 2019; 57 (2): 94–98. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5088469
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