Education Technology

Solution 40453: Using the TI-84 Plus CE online calculator with JAWS screen reader for Windows PCs.

How can I get my TI-84 Plus CE online calculator to speak what appears on the screen?

Much of the functionality of the TI-84 Plus family of graphing calculators is now more accessible to the vision-impaired using the TI-84 Plus CE Online Calculator, in conjunction with the JAWS screen reader software for Windows PCs.

Users can now experience text-to-speech for many of the popular functions of the TI-84 Plus CE calculator using their computer’s keyboard, or a connected calculator with the included SmartPad app* to control the online calculator!

Some popular features that are now enabled for text-to-speech include:

•   performing calculations
•   entering functions in the y= menu and tracing them on the graph screen
•   calculating points of intersection, extrema, and other points of interest
•   tracing stat plots, such as scatterplots and histograms
•   performing matrix operations
•   and much more!

There are a few tips to help you get started and facilitate your success:

•   Turn off Echo Mode in JAWS.
•   You must use Classic Mode on the TI-84 Plus CE online calculator. To put the online calculator in Classic mode, select the [mode] button to enter the mode settings screen.
•   Turn off Stat Wizards on the online calculator. Do this in the mode settings screen.
•   Set the calculator’s digit display to “Fix 2” or “Fix 3 in” the mode settings; the screen reader will read all digits after decimal point.
•   If you would like to keep your decimal set to “float”, Zoom Decimal (option 4) can help provide a better graph-trace experience.
•   Listen for messages indicating a menu or option is not supported, indicated by the statement “unavailable.” For options that are not supported, the screen reader may not say what is reflected on the calculator screen. It is best not to attempt to use unsupported features. Please note the screen reader will only tell you a menu is unsupported the first time you select it.

Supported TI-84 Plus CE features include:

•   Calculations, including those with exponential notation, trig functions, log and natural log, factorial, and imaginary numbers, and angle conversions.
•   Graphs
o   y= entry is supported for all modes (function, parametric, polar, and sequence).
o   The expression is read when the user presses the [graph] key.
o   When using the trace feature, the screen reader reads the expression once including the color and graph style and then x and y values for each of the traced points.
o   All options in the ”calculate” menu work as expected. For example, when calculating a point of intersection, the calculator reads the expressions, asks for lower bound, upper bound, and guess, and then reads out the intersection coordinates x and y.
o   Users can plot and trace stat plots, such as scatterplots, box plots, histograms, and normal probability plots.
•   Menus
o   Math menu – All functionality performs as expected, though to enter piecewise functions, the user must already know the syntax.
o   Num menu – All functionality performs as expected.
o   Complex menu – All functionality performs as expected.
o   Probability menu – Select probability functions – nPr, nCr, and factorial perform as expected. Random number generation is supported, provided the user knows the syntax.
o   Test menu – All functionality performs as expected.
o   Logic menu – All functionality performs as expected.
o   Draw menu – All functionality performs as expected.
o   Statistics menu – All functionality performs as expected if the user knows the syntax to enter (e.g.: 1-var stats L1). This includes regressions but does not include the options under TESTS.
•   Finance app

Features that are not supported:

•   Stat Tests menu (Note: there is no warning that they are not supported. The output is not read in its entirety.)
•   Program menu.
•   Format menu.
•   Memory menu.
•   Distributions menu – Calculations have not been tested, but JAWS does read them and the output, provided the user knows the syntax to enter.
•   Conditions (under [2nd] [math] “test”).
•   Random number generation in the Math>Probability menu, unless the user knows the syntax.
•   Catalog help.
•   Apps other than Finance.
•   Shortcut menus on f1, f2, and f4.

* The SmartPad app is located under the [apps] key on the calculator. If the app is not listed in the apps menu, go here to download it. (Note you will need TI Connect CE software to transfer the app from your calculator to your computer.) Feel free to contact us if you need assistance.

For assistance using supported calculator features, please contact us.

Last updated: 7/10/2023