Resources for Researchers
Science Education for BLV Students
Students with visual impairments' access and participation in the science curriculum: views of teachers of students with visual impairments (Koehler & Wild, 2019): This article informs how BLV in North America are being educated in the science classroom through the views of teachers of students with visual impairments.
Hands-on science camp for K-12 students in Taiwan who are blind or visually impaired (Chiu, 2020): This article introduces an informal science learning environment for BLV students in Taiwan. Its introduction section mentions several major science camps for BLV students in the United States.
Examining BLV students' conceptual understandings is a research focus in the field. Check out this table following a list of references to learn about 11 conceptual understanding studies conducted between 2009 and 2018: Table 2.1 (on p. 64 in Dr. Ying-Ting Chiu’s dissertation)
Developing a national research agenda for STEM education for students with visual impairments: A national event that was held by the Visual Impairment program at the Ohio State University. This website houses useful information for researchers who are interested in the research area of STEM for BLV, including the national research agenda document available to download.
Below are several articles related to science pedagogy for BLV students:
Inquiry-based instruction has been studied and proven beneficial for BLV students in learning science in multiple studies, such as Koehler (2017), Hilson et al. (2016), Wild, Hilson, & Farrand (2013), Wild, Hilson, & Hobson (2013), and Wild & Trundle (2010a) (2010b). Check these articles out if interested!
Impact of adaptive materials on teachers and their students with visual impairments in secondary science and mathematics classes (Rule et al., 2011): An informative article that reports science and mathematics teachers' perspectives in teaching BLV and sighted students together as well as provides useful teaching strategies in so doing.
Policy analysis of science-based best practices for students with visual impairments (Wild & Allen, 2009): This article discusses science-based best practices for BLV students and reasons why this discussion is critical.
Adapting science material for the blind (ASMB): expectation for student outcomes (Linn & Thier, 1975): A report of research conducted to examine the effectiveness of the ASMB units. The report indicates evidence-based results that can be used to teach science to blind students.
The Science chapter (written by Drs. Tiffany Wild and Karen Koehler) in Foundations of Education: Volume II: Instructional Strategies for Teaching Children and Youths with Visual Impairments is a must-read for education researchers to learn all the basics about teaching science to BLV students.
Research related to tactile graphics is critical in the field. If you are interested in the use and/or design of science-related tactile graphics, you can begin with the following must-reads:
Enhancing mathematical noticing of graphs through movement, voice, and metaphor: An intervention with two students with visual impairment (Gerofsky & Zebehazy, 2020)
Braille and tactile graphics: youths with visual impairments share their experiences (Rosenblum & Herzberg, 2015)
Straight from the source: perceptions of students with visual impairments about graphic use (Zebehazy & Wilton, 2014)
Identifying raised-line drawings by touch: a hard but not impossible task (Picard & Lebaz, 2012)
The role and characteristics of tactile graphics in secondary mathematics and science textbooks in braille (Smith & Smothers, 2012)
Tactile graphics in school education: perspectives from pupils (Aldrich & Sheppard, 2001)
Technology has changed the way we teach and learn science. You should be able to find many articles about a variety of technologies invented to help BLV students learn science. However, education researchers need to keep in mind that technology also has its limitations. The articles below serve as a reminder or warning for education researchers who are interested in conducting research in this area:
Implications of 3-D printing for teaching geoscience concepts to students with visual impairments (Koehler et al., 2018)
Assistive learning technologies for students with visual impairments: a critical rehumanizing review (Ahmed & Chao, 2018)
ConfChem conference on interactive visualizations for chemistry teaching and learning: concerns regarding accessible interfaces for students who are blind or have low vision (Supalo, 2016)
For resources on the integration of the Core Curriculum and the Expanded Core Curriculum in the visual impairment field, please refer to the Integrated Learning page.