Math has never been one of my strong points (I’ll leave that to my sister!) but one of my followers requested I make some posts about how I did certain subjects at a school for the blind. For high school I went to Perkins School for the Blind. As I said at the beginning of this post, I’ve never been good at math, but the teachers I had always did a great job at helping me learn difficult concepts. Braille has always helped me process math. What I love about Perkins is that everything I needed was at my fingertips. Handouts and homework assignments were always in Braille. Since teachers know Braille, this allowed me to Braille my answers.
I used a Perkins brailler to write down my work. When I was not using mental math, I used a battery operated calculator as well as the one that came built in my BrailleNote. I used my BrailleNote for more complex, longer calculations. I also used an abacus, a tool that helps blind students understand different place value concepts. When you learn the abacus, you learn that the beads go across in various columns. Starting on the right, you have a column for one, ten to the left, over to the left after that is a column for the hundreds and so on. The top row consisted of fives. On the far right was five, moving once to the left is fifty, moving to the left once more you have five hundred, etc. Addition and subtraction use the numbers on the right, while multiplication and division you start working from the far left side of the abacus. I used the abacus as a young girl in public school with my Braille teacher and a lot during my time at Perkins. I’ll admit, I wasn’t always a huge fan of it but later used my abacus to keep track of numbers in my college math class. See? What we learn really does come in handy later in life. =) Sometimes we would work together on concepts and other times each of us would work on different problems.
So there you have it, a rather brief post about how I worked on math at Perkins. Did you go to a school for the blind or public school? I’d love to hear from you! How did you work on math? Are you a math person? Let me know by leaving me a comment! I will make future posts about the BrailleNote versus the Perkins Brailler, science and other subjects as a person who is blind. Thanks for reading and checking out my site. I appreciate it very much. If there is anything you would like me to blog about, please reach out!
This is a picture of an abacus for the blind.
This is a picture of a talking calculator.
This is a picture of a regular Perkins Braille machine.
This is a picture of a BrailleNote mPower.
2 thoughts on “How I Worked On Math at A Blind School”
Excellent article. I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you very much Miranda for responding to my request. Very interesting to learn about abacus and beads and electronic calculators etc. It is very good that your teachers were helpful. The photos of the tools are so good too. I am sorry Miranda that I haven’t really said much about myself before. I am an Engineer and used maths all through my life. I just wondered how students at Perkins learn it. Don’t worry about not liking maths. I know tens of people here who don’t like it too. Regarding your question, I didn’t go to school of blind. I am sighted ( I have short sight though so I wear glasses). I wrote a detailed comment on your Facebook post about this subject. Waiting for more of your beautiful articles Miranda. Thank you very much.
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Thanks for your great comments. I’m glad you enjoyed my post.