“Physics for the blind student,” says T. A. Benham of Haverford College, “is often limited only by our own lack of ingenuity.” Benham spoke on encouragement of blind scientists at the January meeting of the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers. He demonstrated techniques and devices that enable a blind student to gather data solely through hearing and touch. For example, Benham showed how an ordinary meter for measuring current, potential and resistance is easily adapted with a Braille scale and sound indicator. In similar fashion, thermometers, capacitance and impedance bridges, and calculators are adapted to Braille or auditory use. Computer programing, he noted, is particularly well suited to blind people. A computer can be provided with a Braille readout, and blind programers can read computer panel lights with a small light sensor. Recently, one physics PhD who is both blind and deaf was trained as a scientific programer for a major company.

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