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Applications of the Abacus for the Blind

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Applications of the Abacus for the Blind

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Uses of Abacus for the Blind

In this modern age where technology helps aid the blind student to be competitive in school in all subject matters still there is a need for a very efficient tool to improve and enhance the blind student’s capability and skills in school.


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In the field of mathematics where it needs speed and efficiency to solve math problems, the talking calculator was invented. Despite this invention, public and state schools often prefer to use the abacus and teach the blind how to use it. The abacus entails the ability to improve math skills that can never be provided by any hi-tech talking calculators.


It is now become the most essential learning tool for these students. The abacus is very essential to a blind student’s life because it increase the speed and accuracy of the student to solve math problems. It comes in handy very portable and flexible as well.


The abacus for blind students is called Cranmer abacus. It is considered to be one of the most useful and effective tool especially for children who are blind. The abacus allows the child to have a concrete manipulation of the beads that would lead to more in depth understanding of numbers than using calculators. It also serves as an alternative to other tools and lengthy process of calculating numbers such as the braillewriter, among others.


Combining the Cranmer abacus and the braillewriter will give better results and will lead to the improvement of the child’s calculating abilities. Blind students prefer to use this. Cranmer Abacus is a calculating device which is a pocket-size abacus and it is a little replica of a soroban, a Japanese abacus that was used centuries ago.


This can be used in calculating numbers that involve arithmetic processes like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and to calculate square roots and cube roots as well. It can also be used to calculate numbers that involves decimals, fractions and even higher level of mathematics. This can also help the student for his daily living skills such as calculating the costs while buying some groceries or even shopping and also recording telephone numbers.


Structure of Cranmer Abacus

Cranmer Abacus is a modification of the Japanese abacus named soroban. The Cranmer abacus consists of two modifications and that makes this counting device more helpful for visually impaired users. First, the rods of the abacus have more space from each other compared to that standard abacus; this is so in order to make it convenient for the finger to access the beads smoothly. Second, the mounting of the beads is done by having a friction that will fit against its back in order to lessen the beads from slipping easily.


The measurement of the Cranmer Abacus is 6 1/8 by 3 ¼ by 7/16 inches. There is a mark on the bottom edge and there is one tactile dot that is located in each rod along the crossbar. From the second rod located at the left side, it contains a tactile dash in every three rods.


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The beads are made of rigid white plastic while the frame of the abacus is made out of color black and high-impact plastic. The size of the bead is 5/16 inch for its thickness and there are 13 metal rods. In each rod it contains one bead that is located above the crossbar and the other four beads are located below.


Next Page: Computation using Cranmer Abacus


Next: History of Abacus

Comments

I am an instructor of abacus( soroban) upto the level 7/10 , as per malaysian standards. I am now working with children with special needs and am genuinely interested in implementing the use of Abacus for the Visually Impaired. please give me the best guidance to make my project a success.
Comment posted by: roohma on 2009-07-25T11:00:07


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