Tactile Graphics create a reprensentation of visual images using embossed line, textures and braille labels. it cam greatly enhance teaching and learning of spatial and geometrical concepts. Applications include creation of accessible diagrams for class IX/X maths and science textbooks and diagrams explaining functionality included in training resources for assistive technologies.
People with visual impairment have limited access to two dimensional/visual graphics
Academic resources are mostly inaccessible and students with visual impairment face greater difficulty in carrying out their education especially in subjects like Science and Mathematics
Special educators and teachers also find it difficult to explain visual concepts to these students in need.
Converting a visual graphic to an appropriate tactile graphic is not simply a matter of taking a visual image and making some kind of tactile photocopy. Instead, the visual graphic first need to be redesigned and modified to remove spatial clutter and complexities.
The image then need to be properly labeled using Braille and standardized symbols to make sense for the reader
Lastly, the image is printed in tactile format using various methods popularly through swell form, thermoform or a Braille embosser
The type and texture quality of tactile graphics produced is different in each of this methods as the process and the sheet used is of different kind
- Layout modifications and redesigning of diagrams for touch based comprehension. The more complex and detailed the visual image the larger as well as clearer the tactile representation needs to be.
- Limited software support tools for Braille labeling of tactile diagrams in Indian languages.
- Technologies like swell form and thermoform are expensive and its hard to produce tactile graphics in any significant number.
- To identify the most appropriate yet feasible method to produce tactile graphics.
- Setting up of a standard textbook creation process for Mathematics and Science for classes IX and X.
- Providing support to people with visual impairment and organizations in converting work related documents and curricula to accessible formats including tactile graphics.
- Creation of accessible training manual for various assistive devices explaining their operation and functioning