Devices Offering Great Solutions (DOGS)


Device that helps do math.

What does it do?

Calculators are tools that help us solve math problems. Simple calculators add, subtract, multiply, and divide. More sophisticated calculators can be used for algebra, geometry, and other higher-level math.

A disability might make a regular calculator hard to use. Adapted calculators have been developed to meet a variety of functional needs.

Calculations can also be made on smartphones, tablets, and other smart home technology. On smart devices, you can ask Siri or Alexa to do simple calculations, such as addition and division. You can also download apps that talk, have large buttons, and high contrast colors. These apps are not just useful to folks with vision impairment. They may also benefit people with learning disabilities or conditions such as ADHD.

What types of calculators are there?

  • Abacus
  • Large button calculators with high contrast
  • Talking calculators, like the Sci-Plus graphing and scientific calculator
  • On-screen calculators
  • Calculators built into computer software (on-screen), like Premier to Go
  • Calculators built into refreshable braille displays, like the Braille Edge

Related Apps

Veronica Lewis created an assistive technology resource guide for people with low vision and blindness. She wrote about five apps that helped her while she was in school:

  • Big Digits
  • Calculator +
  • Geogebra Graphing Calculator
  • Magnet Calc
  • MyScript
Black scientific calculator.

How do I see what's new?

Technology changes all the time. To find out about the latest options for these, you can type keywords into a search engine such as Google, Safari, Firefox, or Bing on a computer or tablet. These are the keywords for this type of item:

adaptive calculators, large button calculator, talking calculator, manual calculator, abacus

How do I find out more?

If you live in the US outside of Pennsylvania you would need to find your state's AT program.

If you live in Pennsylvania:

  • you could contact TechOWL to work with a specialist. We can meet with you and sometimes demonstrate this equipment. We can also help with different ways to get one for your own.
  • you might borrow this equipment to try out. Do we have this in our lending library?


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Kathryn Helland

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