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11.01 Introduction and preparation steps


TactileView tactile graphics suite for VIP users.

In the sections in this category we elaborate on using the combination of all components of the TactileView tactile graphics suite by a visually impaired person (VIP). The assumption is that the user is using a screen reader with speech and/or braille output.

The addition of the TactileView software with a digital pen and either a TactiPad drawing board or a TactileView ClickPad brings new possibilities with respect to tactile diagrams: creating digital designs by a VIP and exploring audio tactile diagrams with more than just tactile information.

Skill level

Please be informed that using the TactileView digital pen requires a high level of experience. We strongly suggest to follow the steps below in order to develop the necessary skills before starting to use the product combinations with the digital pen. By following the steps, you will not be discouraged by the learning curve that is involved.

You can read more about the aspects of using the digital pen in the ‘Considerations’ section.

Preparation steps

As the skill level of using the digital pen to operate TactileView and draw on the TactiPad is relatively high, it is very useful to build up a good comprehension of the different aspects separately before using them together. The following steps will give an overview of the best approach to master using the digital pen as a VIP user. By breaking it down into individual steps, we encourage you to explore the increasing possibilities that the combinations of the products in the Tactile graphics suite

  1. Basic understanding – TactileView tactile graphics
  2. 1.1 It is a big advantage when you already have a good understanding for tactile diagrams in general. Therefore we suggest to first to download and print pre-made designs from the TactileView catalog, compose a map with RouteTactile or print graphs based on any equation. This allows you to ‘get a feeling’ for exploring a tactile diagram with your fingertips.

    1.2 Make sure you can operate the software with a screen reader. Get familiar with navigating through the menus and dialogs in the software using a screen reader and practise operating the software with by downloading and printing designs from catalog.

  3. Basic understanding – TactiPad
  4. 2.1 Practise creating a complete tactile drawing by hand on the TactiPad with a regular pen. You could start with a basic sketch to get a feeling for drawing by hand. Make sure to get familiar with using the pen and drawing tools to create a tactile image.

    You can use the ‘TactiPad user manual’ as a guide.

  5. Preparing the hardware – Digital pen and TactiPad
  6. 3.1 Place the batteries in the digital pen.

    3.2 Place the pen’s receiver in its holder and with its magnets position it on the side of the TactiPad.

    3.3 Connect the USB cable to the receiver and your computer.

    See the ‘Digital pen user manual’ for all details on steps 3.1 to 3.3.

  7. Preparing the software
  8. 4.1 Cover the different parts of the dialog ‘TactileView digital pen’ in menu Settings.

    4.2 In the ‘TactileView digital pen’ settings dialog, test the connection of the digital pen.

    4.3 How and where to place the receiver relative to the TactiPad or ClickPad and orientation (landscape, portrait).

    4.4 Calibrate the pen within the space for the TactiPad or ClickPad

    Read ” for a complete guide through steps 4.1 to 4.4.

  9. Understanding the various actions and responses of the pen
  10. 5.1 Make sure you know where to point and how to click to navigate through the software using the digital pen. Learn how to access context menus and select the menu options.

    5.2 Make yourself familiar with the sounds and messages that signify over 20 pen functions. Be aware of the state of the digital pen at all times (sounds and messages; the pen can have over 20 different functions; this is a sub set of the functions that are available in the menus)

    5.3 Understand how the surface (dimensions) of the TactiPad relates to the size of the drawing area on the screen and vice versa.

    5.4 Know when to use the computer keyboard or the menus that are accessible with the pen. There is no need to use the computer keyboard when operating the software with the pen, except for entering texts.

  11. Start creating digital tactile drawings
  12. 6.1 Start by creating basic drawings with a limited number of objects using ‘Menu driven design’. Creating or modifying an image by a VIP can only be done with a good comprehension of the tools and their effects on an image. Using the TactileView digital pen requires that you understand the tools from the ‘Drawing tools’ menu and are able to investigate the screen from the ‘List of objects’ in the View menu. Explore what the different objects will look like when they are printed.

    In general, you do not really use the tools such as ruler, protractor and triangle to create an exact drawing, but your drawing is based on the status information (object type, position etc.) in speech. When drawing objects with the TactileView digital pen, you are not physically drawing the lines of the objects on the TactiPad, but you are working with tactile reference points to mark the various objects that you want to add to the digital design. The various objects are added to the design and positioned aligned to these reference markers.