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Technology solutions to support blind students in the chemistry laboratory

For blind and low vision chemists to participate independently in the chemistry laboratory we must employ principles of universal design and embrace new technologies mirroring those available outside the lab. By designing a first-year chemistry course that provides non-visual access, we are taking the first step to empower more blind and low vision people to be successful in chemistry careers.

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We acknowledge and pay respect to the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the Traditional Owners of the land on which we research, teach and collaborate at the University of Sydney. We acknowledge the supportive environment that the School of Chemistry provides for this work, and in particular P. Devi and the First Year Technical Team for their assistance with trial experiments. Our work has been supported by grants from the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Inclusion and Diversity Fund, the University of Sydney’s Educational Innovation Program and the School of Chemistry’s Alan Williams Bequest.

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Correspondence to Cary A. Supalo or Siegbert Schmid.

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C.A.S. is the founder of Independence Science, developing access technologies for making laboratory learning accessible to blind and low vision students. J.B. is employed by Independence Science and oversees science accessibility research. S.S. and A.M. declare no competing interests.

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Supalo, C.A., Schmid, S., Bhattacharya, J. et al. Technology solutions to support blind students in the chemistry laboratory. Nat Rev Chem 7, 823–824 (2023).

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