Math and Science

For centuries, even before the adoption of our written numeral system, the abacus proved to be a useful tool for sighted and blind individuals.

The abacus gives blind and visually impaired students a tool to compute mathematical problems at a speed equal to that of their sighted peers using pencil and paper.

In addition to the abacus, other interesting methods were used to helped individuals who were blind learn,and solve mathematical problems. One popular tool for many years was a book called “The Mental Arithmetic.” Listen to a couple of problems in the book.

07 Mental Arithmetic Book 1874

Unfortunately, early on, individuals who were blind were discouraged from pursuing advanced education in the areas of science and mathematics. Such was the case of blind mathematician and professor, Dr. Nemeth, who, as a student in the 1930s, was persuaded to study psychology instead of mathematics.

To everyone’s surprise, Dr. Nemeth went on not only to obtain advanced degrees in psychology and mathematics, but he invented the braille math code used today around the world, known as the Nemeth Code.

With today’s technology advances, the American Printing House for the Blind, in partnership with the Orion Corporation, modify the popular Texas Instruments TI-84 graphing calculator to support both speech and Nemeth Code.


In addition to speech, the APH TI-84, is capable of representing a graph with audio. Listen to the low and high pitch representing the tactile/print graph in the picture.


Go to next topic: Tactile Images and Graphs