Newsletter: May 2020


 Independence Science Newsletter

May 2020

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 May! Spring is here. The staff at Independence Science hope our readers are keeping safe.

Please see the announcements:

  • We want your feedback on our products.
  • ISLAND 2020 conference, its virtual this year and its free.
  • New Talking LabQuest is here!
  • Buy four Talking LabQuests and get the fifth one free.
  • Accessible COVID-19 statistics tracker
  • Working with Zoom – Free audio book.
  • Fixing display issues in computer textbooks.

We Want Your Feedback On Our Products

Independence Science would like customer feedback on our products. What do you like, what do you want improved etc. We would also like any photographs or videos of how people enjoy using their product and their favorite activities. We want to make our products better and make your lives easier. Please send comments to Robert Jaquiss [email protected].

ISLAND – Inclusion in Science Learning a New Direction

This year, the ISLAND conference is virtual and free.

The Inclusion in Science Learning a New Direction (ISLAND) conference on disability in STEM provides a forum to address how persons with disabilities can be more fully integrated into the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professions.

This forum provides a space for professionals, students, researchers, access technology developers, parents, and service providers to meet and network with one another for this purpose.

Persons with disabilities are often prohibited from full participation in the STEM subject areas due to misconceptions leading to lack of opportunities in STEM courses. Further, employers and advanced degree programs may be skeptical about the capabilities of a person with a disability and their ability to compete on equal terms with their non-disabled counterparts. Persons with disabilities have to problem solve to overcome their physical and/or cognitive limitations for their entire lives. Therefore, the more methodological and technological innovations that can be designed and disseminated in a forum such

as the ISLAND conference serves to promote a community of practice for STEM educators to learn how a more inclusive and equitable STEM learning experience may be made possible.

Please attend the virtual 2020 ISLAND conference Saturday September 12. Registration is free.

We are looking forward to seeing you at the 11th annual ISLAND conference. For questions, please send an e-mail to the conference organizers at [email protected].

The ISLAND conference attendees seek to shift the paradigm of science access for all learners.

We are now accepting abstracts for presentations for the 2020 Island Conference. Abstracts must be received by July 1, 2020. Presenters will be notified by or before July 15, 2020.

For more information about the ISLAND conference, submitting abstracts, and registration; Please go to the following:

New Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest v2 is here!

Independence Science is pleased to announce that we now have a new Talking LabQuest. The new Talking LabQuest v2 replaces our previous version.

  • The introductory pricing for upgrading from an older LabQuest 2: $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 price of a new Talking LabQuest 2 package is $2250. For now the sensors offered are the same, this could change in the future.

The new TLQ2 v2 features:

  • 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.


BUY four GET one free, one SciVoice TALKING LABQUEST 2.0.

Give your students the gift of science accessibility technology with the SciVoice Talking LabQuest 2.0! An accessible tool for your science needs. Contact

Us: Phone: (866) 862-9665

Email: [email protected] 

Accessible COVID-19 Statistics Tracker

Tyler Littlefield has created an accessible site for tracking the COVID-19 virus. See the site:

Working With Zoom – Free Audio Book

Jonathan Mosen has produced a free audio book for Zoom users.

Free audiobook, “Meet Me Accessibly – A Guide to Zoom Cloud Meetings from a Blindness Perspective” –

Mosen Consulting Tutorials.

The link to the page is:

Hartgen Consultancy offers both free and enhanced packages of JAWS scripts for Zoom. See the link:

Fixing Display Issues in Computer Textbooks

Recently, I have encountered problems when learning a new computer language. Sections of books that display code often show the lines of code run together. This makes the code hard to read. If the book files are in an HTML format, the code examples may be enclosed within a code element. Enclosing a code element inside a pre element will force each line of code to be displayed properly on its own line. Using Notepad or other text editor, search for the string, “<code>” and replace it with “<pre><code>”. Also replace the string “</code>” with “</code></pre>”

The examples of code will be displayed as they are intended. Note that the syntax is critical. Always retain the original files in case of errors.


     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.

Convert Documents to EPUB

The DAISY Consortium has a new tool for converting Word documents to EPUB format. See the following link for more information:

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 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:
  2. 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].