A heart surrounds Keep the Promise, to the right are the words: A bright future for students who are blind and visually impaired
Elementary student Hayden touches the eclipse on Graphiti, APH's prototype tactile graphics display

"That is so cool!" Hayden exclaims. Cutting-edge technology provides never-before-possible access, such as real-time tactile views of the recent solar eclipse—but such devices are expensive.


To Keep the Promise we must increase the annual per student allocation from $269 to $1,000.

So why does it cost more to educate a student who is blind?

Students who are blind and visually impaired need unique learning tools.

It is estimated that as much as 90% of learning is visual information enters the brain through the sense of sight. Many students have some useful vision and require large print materials. For people with little or no vision, concepts are primarily learned through touch and hearing. Specialized tools needed for these types of learning include:

  • Braille a system of tactile reading and writing that can be presented in embossed paper and digital forms.
  • Tactile Graphics representations interpreted by touch for visual elements such as charts, graphs, and maps.
  • Technology Adaptations such as computer screen reader software and calculators with audio output.

Learning Tools for a 10th grade physics class

photo of a braillewriter with a price tag that reads: Braillewriter $730 Braille Paper 600 sheets $18 photo of 38 braille volumes, with a price tag that reads: Braille textbook +transcription $26,441 photo of a laptop wiht a price tag that reads: Laptop with JAWS screen reading software $2,000 photo of a braille display connected to a graphing calculator. One price tag reads : Refreshable Braille Display $1,695; the other tag reads: Talking Graphing Calculator $599
Tools For a student who is sighted For a student who is blind
Writing/Printing Equipment

Pens, pencils, printer, and paper


Braillewriter/braille paper, braille embosser/tractor-feed braille paper


Physics Textbook

1 print volume


38 braille volumes



Graphing Calculator


Graphing Calculator with speech


Portable Technology Aids



Tablet with refreshable braille display





Laptop with screen reader software


Total Cost for a 10th grade physics class $1,583.00 $36,183.00