A tactile IPA magnet-board system: A tool for blind and visually impaired students in phonetics and phonology classrooms
Abstract

Abstract:

This article describes a tool that can be used by blind and visually impaired students in phonetics and phonology classrooms: a tactile International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) magnet-board system. This tool consists of IPA magnets and phonological rule symbols that are printed and embossed, so as to be readable by both sighted and visually impaired individuals. A user of the tool can lay out phonetic and phonological data on the magnet board for communicative, organizational, or problem-solving purposes. Since the magnet board can be read both visually and tactually, it can serve as a collaborative space that can be used by both sighted and visually impaired members of the classroom. Potential uses include group work in class and as an augmentation to chalkboard problem-solving demonstrations. The tool can complement already extant options for blind and visually impaired students and facilitate collaboration between sighted and visually impaired students. Here, we describe the tool, exemplify some potential uses, and offer suggestions for further improvement.