About Page

An Auditory-Tactile Approach to Teaching American English Sounds

to the Visually Impaired

Welcome to our website!

Background: The main purpose of this website is to support a research project called “Teaching American English Sounds to the Visually Impaired using Adaptive Technology”. This project was developed by Debra M. Hardison and Maritza Medina Gonzalez, along with the talented people at the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities at Michigan State University.

Goal:  The goal is to improve the inclusive nature of courses on language learning and teaching by providing better access to the symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and other relevant information on speech sounds for visually impaired/blind learners and teachers of English as a second/foreign language. This website is a support resource that provides relevant information about the IPA chart for American English sounds. It can accompany the use of 3D printed IPA symbols, making the symbols accessible to both sighted and nonsighted users.

Content:  In this website, users can find the names of the phonetic symbols that represent the sounds of American English, their typographical description, their articulatory description (how the sounds are produced), audio recordings of sample words in which the sound occurs, the IPA Unicode to type the symbols using a traditional keyboard, and the technical specifications to make them accessible to the screen reader Jaws for Windows.

We hope this accessible resource will make a meaningful contribution to all EFL – ESL classrooms with a diverse population through the use of materials that will allow the inclusion of every student in a cooperative learning environment.