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Orbit Research and APH Introduce the World's First Handheld Talking Graphing Calculator



 Orbit Research and APH Introduce the World's First Handheld Talking Graphing
                                  Calculator

Coming for the fall 2013 school year: A specially adapted version of the Texas
Instruments TI-84 Plus calculator will transform STEM education for students
who are blind and visually impaired

PR Newswire

WILMINGTON, Del., Feb. 26, 2013

WILMINGTON, Del., Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Orbit Research and the
American Printing House for the Blind (APH) today announced the introduction
of the Orion TI-84 Plus, the world's first fully accessible handheld graphing
calculator.  Based on the popular TI-84 Plus model from Texas Instruments, the
market-leader in calculators and educational technology, the Orion TI-84 Plus
represents a breakthrough in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and
Mathematics) education for students who are blind and visually impaired. 

With the advent of the graphing calculator, mathematics educators immediately
recognized its potential for improving both the efficiency and the
effectiveness of mathematics instruction by using it to promote exploration,
conceptual understanding, modeling and complex problem solving.  Today,
literally millions of graphing calculators are used in math and science
classes, and are an integral part of the high-school math curriculum.  The
most widely adopted graphing calculators are from the TI-8x family. 

However, the popularity and usefulness of graphing calculators also poses a
challenge for students who are blind and visually impaired, since none of the
models used in classrooms have been accessible thus far.  While some
specialized computer software programs for graphing exist for students who are
visually impaired, it has been difficult for them to participate fully in
classroom activities with other students who are using calculators such as the
TI-84 Plus. 

Building upon APH's vast experience in the development of educational products
and Orbit Research's expertise in adapting mainstream calculators for
accessibility, and its long-term partnership with Texas Instruments, the
companies collaborated to develop this unique product.

"Texas Instruments is passionate about helping teachers bring math and science
to life for all students and Orbit Research has helped to develop an
accessible version of the TI-84 Plus for students who are blind and visually
impaired," said Scott Sedberry, Strategic Business Manager for Texas
Instruments Education Technology.  "The identical functionality of the
accessible and traditional versions of the TI-84 Plus enables students who are
blind and visually impaired to use the same device as their classmates,
participate in the same curriculum and take advantage of the vast
knowledge-base and instructional materials that are already available for this
handheld.  We are very excited about the opportunities this creates in STEM
education and are committed to continued efforts to level the playing field
for this population of students through our partnership with Orbit Research."

The Orion TI-84 Plus consists of a compact accessory that is attached to the
top of the TI-84 Plus and enables a user who is visually impaired to interact
with the TI-84 Plus using speech, audio, and haptic (vibration) feedback.  All
textual and symbolic information on the screen, as well as each key-press is
spoken using high-quality synthesized speech.  Most importantly, graphs can be
explored using either spoken announcements or the SonoGraph™ audio and haptic
feedback.  The user can also review the contents of the screen at any time,
including all text and graphical information, without affecting the
calculation.

The unit is fully expandable with hardware accessories through a USB port and
can also print or emboss graphs when connected to a printer or braille
embosser.

The Orion TI-84 Plus will be available through APH's Federal Quota Program and
units will ship in time for the 2013-2014 school year.

About Orbit Research:
Orbit Research develops and manufactures innovative and affordable products
that enable an independent lifestyle for people who are blind or visually
impaired.  Founded with the mission to fulfill the urgent need for affordable
assistive technology products, the company has introduced breakthrough
products like the Orion Talking Scientific Calculators and the iBill Talking
Banknote Identifier that define the state-of-the-art in features,
functionality, convenience and cost. For more information, visit
www.orbitresearch.com.

About the American Printing House for the Blind:
APH, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is the world's largest company
devoted solely to researching, developing, and manufacturing products for
people who are blind or visually impaired. Founded in 1858, it is the oldest
organization of its kind in the United States. Under the 1879 federal Act to
Promote the Education of the Blind, APH is the official supplier of
educational materials for students who are visually impaired in the U.S. and
outlying areas who are working at less than college level.

APH produces textbooks and magazines in braille, large print, recorded, and
digital formats. APH also designs and manufactures hundreds of educational,
recreational, and daily living products. For more information, visit
www.aph.org.

TI-84 Plus is a trademark of Texas Instruments, Inc.

SonoGraph™ is a trademark of Orbit Research.

Contact: Carla Morris, (888) 606-7248
Email: morris.carla@orbitresearch.com

This press release was issued through eReleases® Press Release Distribution.
For more information, visit http://www.ereleases.com.

SOURCE Orbit Research

Website: http://www.orbitresearch.com
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