A beaker and test tube

Lighting the fire: Adaptive chemistry lab

Tools that make chemistry lab activities accessible for blind and low vision students.

One of my favorite things about going to conferences is meeting people in the VI field, hearing the passion as they talk about their students and learning about the incredible projects that are happening. Everyone has a story!

At the recent SCAER conference, I met Dr. Adeyanju Okungbowa who is the science teacher at the South Carlina School for the Deaf and Blind. On fire about chemistry, Dr. Okungbowa is spreading this passion to her students by building a groundbreaking adaptive chemistry lab. Learn more about the chemistry lab: Igniting Learning: SC School for the Blind Adaptive Chemistry Lab (Newsbreak SC article).

Chemistry lab tools

Want to turn your students on to chemistry? Learn more about the lab tools used by students who are blind or low vision. Dr. Okungbowa’s top recommendations for adaptive science lab tools are:


Compound Light Microscope with a removable camera. The camera connects to the microscope and sits above the stage. This allows for the specimen on the stage to be projected onto the Promethean board and students can capture the images from the microscope using the app on their iPads. Students are also able to manipulate the image as needed on their iPads. Images can also be captured and embossed.


Talking Beaker

Students can measure the unknown volume of water using the talking beaker. Students can zero out (tare) the beaker to measure the amount of water in the correct metric units. This adaptive equipment was used during the Measurement Olympics lab activity that students conducted during their introduction to units of measurement.


The Talking Color Detector and the Talking Scale

The color detector was used to observe and verbally dictate the color change that occurred during the reaction between calcium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, and the phenol red. Students used the talking scale to measure chemicals needed for the reaction. The ‘Observation and Experiment’ chemical reaction lab was performed by chemistry students during their introduction to the scientific method.


Chemistry lab activities

Interested in using the lab experiments mentioned in this post? Dr. Okungbowa shares her resources:

Post content from Dr. Adeyanju Okungbowa; Post written by Diane Brauner

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