Indiana company begins selling device to foster blind students' interest in science
Published: December 7, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Students affected by blindness or low vision may have better learning experiences with hands-on science experiments thanks to technology available from a Purdue Research Park-based firm.
Independence Science LLC, founded by Purdue University alumnus Cary Supalo, developed text-to-speech software for Talking LabQuest 1.0 so information displayed on the screen is made audible. The Talking LabQuest 1.0 can be purchased through the company's website at http://www. independencescience.com or by calling 866-862-9665.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) provided funding to develop the technology.
The Talking LabQuest 1.0 science device collects and stores scientific data and reads 20 descriptors for each element. It is compatible with probes developed and sold by Beaverton, Ore.-based Vernier Software & Technology. A video of a student measuring pH of different solutions using Talking LabQuest can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h47dK66qfIo
The Talking LabQuest 1.0 has been tested by students and teachers at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Indianapolis and Camp Tuhsmeheta in Greenville, Mich.
"The text-to-speech software improved as we received feedback from school administrators, teachers and students who used it in laboratory settings and in the field," Supalo said. "We could not have developed it without their input or the support of Vernier Software & Technology LLC, which produces the LabQuest device."
Independence Science will host a news conference to introduce Talking LabQuest 1.0 to the media at 2 p.m. (PDT) Thursday (Dec. 8) at the Washington State School for the Blind, 2214 E. 13th St., in Vancouver.
About Independence Science LLC
Officials at Independence Science are making their expertise available to help school districts, colleges and universities, and state rehabilitation agencies across the country meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements in the science curriculum. These technologies are being made available to further serve as a dissemination tool to benefit any blind and low-vision student in the United States.
About Purdue Research Park
The Purdue Research Park has the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country in four locations across Indiana. The park network is home to about 200 companies that employ 4,000 people and are located in West Lafayette, Merrillville, Indianapolis and New Albany.
Purdue Research Park contact: Steve Martin, 765-588-3342, email@example.com
Source: Cary Supalo, 814-441-2589, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cary Supalo, founder of Independence Science LLC, demonstrates the Talking LabQuest 1.0 during the 2011 ISLAND conference at Purdue University. The device, which collects and stores scientific data and reads 20 descriptors for each element, now is available to purchase from Independence Science. (Independence Science photo)