This case study explored the use of haptic tools to teach concepts in introductory statistics to a blind student. Statistics education typically relies heavily on the visual modality, which limits accessibility for the visually impaired. Our study made use of tactile aids such as LEGO building blocks, push pin diagrams, and 3D printed models to demonstrate typical statistical concepts such as histograms, normal distributions, skewed distributions, central tendency, and scatterplots. We argue that such models are beneficial for elucidating course material which is typically taught visually. For example, 3D printed models were able to highlight all the same components of the standard normal distribution as visual drawings do, making a complex topic easily understandable. The aim of this project is to establish an easily-accessible, replicable model for utilizing these tools and methods to teach statistical concepts. This work has implications for teaching statistical content to those with visual impairment, and may also serve as a valuable supplement for any student of statistics.
Kay, Donovan; Reynolds, Anthony; and Stone, Brian, "Tactile Aids for Teaching Statistics to the Visually Impaired" (2016). 2016 Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Conference. Paper 100.