Newsletter: 2019 January


Independence Science Newsletter

January 2019

Published and distributed by Independence Science



Phone: (866) 862-9665

     Note for Robert Jaquiss, press #4.

Email: [email protected]

Robert Jaquiss, Editor

From The Editor

     Happy New Year! Please see the announcements:

  • New Talking LabQuest coming soon!
  • Independence Science has a new redesigned web page, please check it out.

New Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest coming soon!

Independence Science is pleased to announce that we will soon have a new Talking LabQuest. The new Talking LabQuest is an upgrade to our current Talking LabQuest 2.

  • The introductory pricing for upgrading: $295 per unit. Customers will need to ship their units back to us along with payment. We will then return the unit back to them free of charge. We will also check their unit for any hardware issues that may have come up.
  • The introductory price of a new Talking LabQuest 2 package will be $2195. For now the sensors offered are the same, this could change in the future.

We estimate the new upgraded software will be ready by March 2019.

The new TLQ2 will feature:

  • Audio graph sonification.
  • Real-time tone meter.
  • More extended useful resources folder.
  • Easy to use high contrast feature to support low vision users.
  • Support for Bluetooth capable Vernier sensors.
  • New O’haus balances with USB connector kit.
  • Multi-language capability for an additional fee in the following languages: (Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese)

For more information, please check the Independence Science website.

Consulting Services

Independence Science offers consulting services. We will provide training

on an individual or group basis for faculty teaching STEM classes to students who are blind or visually impaired. For more information, please contact Independence Science.


We are making plans for the ISLAND 2019 conference. This year the conference will be held in Huntsville, AL October 4-5. Please watch this newsletter for more information.

Chris Downey on CBS 60 Minutes

On January 13, Chris Downey, a blind architect was interviewed on the CBS 60 Minutes program. The following three links provide more information.

Chris Downey 60 Minutes interview transcript.

Chris Downey: Design with the blind in mind – YouTube

Architect Chris Downey Finds Second Sight; Braille Monitor                                                 January 2011


     The following announcements are STEM and education related. Independence Science reprints this information as we receive it. We make no warranty as to the accuracy of these items although we will endeavor to only print legitimate items. We reserve the right to edit for space and clarity. We will also repeat some announcements such as scholarships etc. until the opportunities expire. Please note that scholarship programs have a number of requirements. Do not delay if you intend to apply.

American Council of the Blind 2019 Scholarship Program

The American Council of the Blind will be offering scholarships for 2019. The application deadline is February 15, 2019. For more information, see the link:

NFB-BELL Programs

     Various affiliates of the National Federation of the Blind will be holding BELL (Braille Enrichment Literacy and Learning) programs next summer. These programs are for children ages 4-12. For more information, see the site:

Application period for NFB EQ is open now

The application period for NFB EQ is open now

Summer opportunity for teens! Explore and connect this summer, June 16-22, 2019. Join the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) at our NFB Engineering Quotient (EQ) program. NFB EQ is a week-long adventure into engineering and problem-solving. No specific level of engineering experience required. Engage in activities designed to strengthen knowledge and grow interests. Connect with the twenty-nine other teen participants while also exploring the local community and participating in various recreational activities. Enriched experiences, new friendships, more independence. Apply for NFB EQ Now!

Have questions? Email

[email protected].

National Federation of the Blind 2019 Scholarship Program

The National Federation of the Blind offers thirty scholarships. The deadline is March 31. For more information, see the link:

NASA Internships

NASA is again offering internships to high school and college students. A mailing list is available:

If you would like to subscribe to an announcement-only list about NASA internships for persons with disabilities, please send an E-mail to [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]> with ‘subscribe’ in the Subject field, OR by visiting the list page at

The Quorum Programming Language

The Quorum programming language was designed with the intent that it would be accessible for the blind. The web site is:

The Blind Arduino Project

The Blind Arduino Project grew out of a community effort led by Dr. Miele in late 2015 to better understand barriers faced by blind people wanting to participate in the vibrant global culture of DIY hardware prototyping.

The project web site is:

There is a blog containing various articles describing projects. As of this writing, the latest post was from November 2018. The Blind Arduino Blog is at:

Technical Tips

     The following technical tips are offered in hopes they may be of use. Due to the many possible variations in PCs and equipment, Independence Science cannot be responsible for any undesirable outcomes.

  1. For all iPhone users, now that winter is upon us, remember to keep your iPhone warm. Cold iPhones can shut down.
  2. For many of us, a classic Perkins brailler is still an essential tool. If you need to get yours repaired, here is a link to a list of brailler repair services:
  3. Warning! Independence Science strongly advises all iS current and future customers to not upgrade the operating system on their Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2 device without being notified by Independence Science. There are other versions of operating systems that are not compatible with the text-to-speech features of Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest. Therefore, we strongly advise all ISci customers to not upgrade the OS on your device without prior notification. Failure to do so will likely disable the text-to-speech on your device.

     Please send comments and suggestions to me at: [email protected].