Teaching the Abacus to Students with Visual Impairments

The abacus is a valuable tool for students with visual impairments. It provides them with an accessible manipulative that can enable them to work quickly through even complex math problems. PRCVI has a number of resources that can be helpful when teaching this compensatory skill to students with visual impairments.

The Abacus

There are several tools available in the APH catalogue for both beginners and more advanced abacus users.

  • EZeeCOUNT Abacus - This abacus consists of a 10 x 10 grid of flat beads that can be moved from left to right. Each bead is double-sided with differing textures on each side. This abacus can be used not only to teach abacus use, but to reinforce other concepts such as directions and textures.
  • Beginner's Abacus Kit - This beginner's abacus consists of two rows of 10 beads, and can be used to introduce beginning number and math concepts.
  • Expanded Beginner's Abacus Kit - The beginner's abacus consists of three rows of 10 beads, and can be used to introduce young students to a simple abacus as well as early math concepts and operations.
  • APH Cranmer abacus - The Cranmer abacus can be used as a tool for beginning and advanced operations, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

PRCVI Resources

If you need a review on how to use the abacus, here are some teaching resources available through PRCVI.

Online Resources

In addition to PRCVI, there are several fantastic teaching documents and resources available online.

Are you aware of resources I've missed in this list? Add a comment below to let me know!

About the author

Jen Jesso

I have worked in various roles in the field of visual impairment since 2007. In addition to working as a teacher of students with visual impairments, I recently completed coursework to become an orientation and mobility specialist. I have been fortunate to work with the fantastic team at PRCVI since 2014.

I enjoy many aspects of my role at PRCVI, but highlights include working with teachers of students with visual impairments and their students on outreach visits and working on PRCVI initiatives and projects.

Outside of work, my interests include reading, computer programming, swimming, and spending time with friends and family.

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