“Anyone know of good accessible periodic tables, other than the APH one or the audio tactile from Touch Graphics? I have used both, but wondering if there’s anything new out there. . .” Accessible periodic table questions like this one pop up frequently! This question was recently asked and our wonderful “BLV math experts” jumped in with their favorite accessible periodic table options. Below are options that were shared. Note: These periodic tables are in random order.
Accessible Digital Periodic Tables
- Web Elements Periodic Table website
- Accessing the Periodic Table
- Paths to Technology post by Veroniiiica, a successful college student with low vision. (She discusses her top 10 periodic tables)
- Independence Science Periodic Table
- White background and black text; basic version created for screen readers and magnification
- Accessible Audible Periodic Table (AAPT)
- Also created by Independence Science. Works with screen readers, magnification and is high contrast. In addition, you can change it to represent different periodic trends and sonify them
- Note: Independence Science shared that if you need something else, they are happy to consult to make a more customized version to fit your needs!
- Elementar App (iOS) (also available for Mac)
- Accessible with VoiceOver. You enter the atomic number, name or symbol and hit submit. The results show the periodic number, element name, chemical symbol and group. Also shows and states the electron configuration. Does not show the atomic mass, but that could be on a separate reference sheet.
- SAS Periodic Table (Website)
- Accessible with a screen reader (Drag your finger around the screen on an iPad!). When selected, it opens to a Wikipedia article for the desired element.
- Accessible periodic table for Windows
- Allows viewing as a table or a list.
- Royal Society of Chemistry Online Periodic Table
- Each of the elements in the maint able is a text-based link. If you select an element, it takes you to a page organized with headers about various properties and uses. It would be good for research projects about specific elements.
- LabQuest2 device through Vernier and Independence Science
- This device has a talking feature for the periodic table as well as data collection tools, including sonification. The periodic table is also color blocked and the device can be used with keyboard gesture and Logger Pro software. Note: It is a very expensive tool and is geared for the serious science student/professional.
Tactile Periodic Table
TVIs shared their personal experiences/comments:
- In my opinion, it is important to understand what information will regularly be used, and to preview materials so there is familiarity. I would also want to understand what periodic table/information would be used regularly for homework, classroom testing, and also testing for the state. Then the tool can be identified or customized so there is a consistent tool that is familiar to the student.
- My only addition is that the PURPOSE for needing the periodic table is important to choosing which to use.
Periodic Table Structure
If a student is learning the structure of the table and its importance (periods, families, etc.) then a hard copy is important—especially as an introduction. The APH Periodic Table is adequate for this—but not great. I add tactile tape to go across the first three periods—as students easily get lost tracking across the row where there are gaps—especially period 1. I also add tactile tape that runs down through the 8 representative groups and add braille at the top of those for the names. It is helpful also to add some sort of tactile marking to each element key as the designations for metal/nonmetal are color and not tactile. If students who are braille readers are using this periodic table to look up details on elements, it is essential that they use the brailled reference book that accompanies it so they can look up elements by symbol, name, atomic number, etc. and get additional information on each element.
If a hard copy is not used, then it is important that the online version voice rows and columns.
Periodic Table as a Reference
Once the structure is understood, it is often easier for a student to use an online resource for looking up information. Even a voice assistant can be quickly used to find the mass of hydrogen or whatever. I feel this discussion has covered the online accessible versions of periodic tables that I would mention.
The APH periodic table is old (in Nemeth) and has a limited scope. It has not been updated to UEB.
- Digitally accessible periodic tables are more efficient; all the information on a braille version of the periodic table was 20 pages!
- The Web Elements website periodic table (first in the list above) is more accessible than the one from P Tables.
- I used to use the APH periodic table and the Azer’s kit (reference book)
Please share YOUR favorite way to access a periodic table!
By Diane Brauner
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