Education Technology

Success Stories: TI's Talking Graphing Calculator is Changing Lives

Posted 03/23/2015 by Texas Instruments

"This calculator changed my life.”

Lillie Pennington, Junior, Turpin High School, Cincinnati, Ohio


Lillie Pennington, 17, can keep up with any high school student when it comes to academics. The Turpin High School junior took Advanced Placement history as a sophomore and scored a five – on a scale of one to five – on the final.

Lillie also happens to be legally blind. The fact that Lillie can’t see never slowed her down – until the end of her sophomore year at Turpin High School. Lillie’s lack of sight jeopardized her chance to use her gift for mathematics, especially in classes like AP Statistics, where graphs and other visual representations are required.

In the past, this has been the end for students, like Lillie. She and others simply had to stop learning mathematics because no graphing calculator existed that they could easily use.

"This is the one tool that can do everything mathematically. Lillie now has equal access to the technology her classmates are using..."

Peggy Johnson, Principal, Turpin High School, Cincinnati, Ohio


The Orion TI-84 Plus Talking Graphing Calculator, created through a collaboration between Texas Instruments, the American Printing House for the Blind and Orbit Research, represents a breakthrough in math and science education for students who are blind or visually impaired.

The talking graphing calculator looks nearly identical to the TI-84 Plus that Lillie’s classmates use with the exception of an extension that houses the talking components. Students who are blind can interact with the calculator using speech, audio and vibration feedback.


Lillie, now a junior at Turpin High School, is taking Advanced Placement math classes and excelling thanks to her Orion TI-84 Plus Talking Graphic Calculator. She is one of more than 2,200 students nationwide who can now continue to learn and grow alongside her peers throughout high school, college and beyond.