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About tactile graphics

What are tactile graphics? Tactile graphics or raised line drawings are feely pictures. They convey non-textual information to people who are blind or have low vision.  And they help blind people navigate in a highly visual world.

How do you create tactile graphics?
There are many different ways to create tactile pictures.
You can create raised line drawings in aluminium foil or on special plastic foil with a pen. You can also use swell paper and a tactile graphics machine, or a braille embosser. Or you can use glue and woolen threads.

There are many things to consider when making a tactile diagram and it can take a lot of practice to get it right. But it is important to remember that a symbol which is visually clear may have no value as a tactile symbol to a blind person. Because tactile information is processed from detail to whole,  it takes time and experience to be able to easily use tactile graphics.

You can find more information on tactile graphics and why they are so important for VIPs (visually impaired persons) on 10 things to know about tactile graphics:

Ten things to know about tactile graphics

 

Other resources:

Webcast about strategies for teaching students to read tactile graphics (by Lucia Hasty)
teaching tactile graphics

About learning to read tactile graphics (by Carmen Willings)
tactile graphics instructions

Guidelines for designing tactile graphics (from Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired)
basic principles preparing tactile graphics