Research Foundation News

December 3, 2020

Technologies offer hands-on science options for blind students during remote learning

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – New education technologies are providing more options for blind science students to access laboratory tools and research. Independence Science, a Purdue University-affiliated company founded by blind chemist and Purdue alumnus Cary Supalo, has introduced new tools for remote learning for blind students.

“The Independence Science team is very excited to announce that accessible hands-on science learning is now possible for the blind,” said Greg Williams, who is a blind scientist at Independence Science. “Students from remote locations can now work together on accessible scientific data collection in the laboratory from home, and work with a science teacher or lab partner physically located in a science laboratory.”

Independence Science has introduced a new version of its Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest version 2.3 software, which is designed to improve access to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education for blind students. The new version allows students to remotely connect with teachers and lab partners to perform experiments in laboratories.

The team at Independence Science, based in Purdue Research Park, also created an accessible version of the periodic table of elements for blind students to access through remote learning options. It leverages, for the first time, audio sonification tools to communicate atomic trend information.

“Independence Science is committed to new innovative science access solutions that promote the full integration of the blind into science learning experiences,” said Ashley Neybert, one of the company’s science consultants. “These new innovative science access solutions continue to push the boundaries of what is possible for science access in these unprecedented times of mass remote learning during the global pandemic.”

For more information about Independence Science products or services, email or call 866-862-9665.

About Independence Science

Independence Science is an access technology pioneer dedicated to changing how blind people view their own capabilities about pursuing scientific careers as well as helping to educate the sighted scientific community that blind persons can make significant contributions to the STEM fields. Where before blind students and scientists only had sighted assistants available to them, Independence Science is helping the blind reclaim their laboratory independence. Through real inclusion and access to scientific laboratories, Independence Science is evolving the way society views science accessibility and helping blind students and scientists become more successful and equal participants within the scientific community. Interested persons and organizations can contact Independence Science at

About Purdue Research Foundation

The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue's intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park, Purdue Technology Centers and University Development Office. In 2020, the IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue third nationally in startup creation and in the top 20 for patents. The foundation received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization at For more information about involvement and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at For more information about setting up a presence at Purdue, possibly in the Purdue Research Park or Discovery Park District, contact the PRF Economic Development Office at

Writer: Chris Adam, 

Cary Supalo,

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