Friendly contest enabling students with vision loss to gain math skills while working alongside their peers.
Established in 1858 in Louisville, Kentucky, APH is the world’s largest nonprofit organization creating accessible products and programs designed to support the educational, workplace and independent living needs of people who are blind or visually impaired. Though APH serves people of all ages, APH remains exceptionally committed to the educational needs of children in grades K–12.
Historically and currently, people with vision loss are not perceived as individuals who have an interest in science and technology, nor an inclination to pursue educational opportunities or employment in STEM fields. APH believes this to be counterintuitive to APH’s own experience in engaging with this community. They seek to ensure that students with vision loss can contribute to the STEM discussion along with their sighted peers, while learning and growing, both personally and professionally.
In 2022, APH is bringing math-oriented skill development and material awareness sessions to the forefront. A large part of this effort is a new initiative: the APH Abacus Bee. The Bee will be a friendly contest, with the goal of enabling students with vision loss to gain math skills while working alongside their peers.
Abacus training is a critical tool for children with vision loss. APH plans for the Abacus Bee to become an annual event that will help to level the STEM playing field for children who are blind or visually impaired.