[Athen] Organic Chemistry/CHEM Draw for Student with Visual Impairment

Zach zm290 at msstate.edu
Mon Nov 6 07:46:13 PST 2017

Hello Mr. Francis,

Aside from Braille tactile graphics, I've found Navmol2.1 handy for
exploring molecular structures using a screen reader. It's been a few years
since I took bio or organic chemistry, but if interested, I would be very
happy to summarize what I've learned from my personal experiences regarding
accessibility of organic chemistry. Some other people you might want to
contact, and who might be willing to help are Dr.'s Minkara, Supalo and


Zachary Mason

M.S. Student

Animal and Dairy Sciences

Mississippi State University

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On
Behalf Of Channing Francis
Sent: Monday, November 06, 2017 8:30 AM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Athen] Organic Chemistry/CHEM Draw for Student with Visual

Dear Colleagues,

A student who has a come-and-go convergence issue with his eyes is taking
Organic Chemistry during the Spring 2017 term. At times, his vision is good.
At other times, his vision is blurry. College has exacerbated the issue and
sometimes the blurriness last for days (instead of hours as it did
previously). The student has not learned many of the skills others who are
blind/low vision have. At this point, he cannot read tactile graphics in a
way that is helpful to him. I read
<http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/ed4005936?src=recsys> this article in
Chemistry Education on making organic chemistry representations tactile and
more accessible to students who are blind or low vision. For most of his
life until college, he was able to manage the symptoms without a lot of

The article also mentions "using text to speech output with Chem Draw." -
Has anyone done this successfully? Would you be willing to share more about
the process? The article is unclear about how this actually happens and I
have not been able to find instructions for doing this online.

Any other advice you have for making Organic Chemistry materials more
accessible to students with vision impairments would also be appreciated.

Thank you,


Channing Francis | Disability & Accessibility Services (DAS)
Berea College Office of Academic Services
Lincoln Hall 112 | CPO 2205 | (859) 985-3835 | channing.francis at berea.edu
<mailto:channing.francis at berea.edu>

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