2017 Tactile Reading Conference – wrap up

The Tactile Reading Conference on braille and graphics for vision impaired children and youth was held in Stockholm in April 2017. Video recordings are now available for all of the presentations. Some of the highlights included:

      • 3-3 shapesThe National Institute for the blind, visually impaired and deafblind in Iceland provided packs of 3D shapes for young vision impaired students for more engaging interaction with maths concepts. (video)
      • Swell form diagram of a thermometer with bead on a string to indicate the mercury reading.Staff from the Valteri Center for Learning and Consulting in Finland spoke about creating tactile picture sets with generic pictures relating to the National Curriculum. Notes on how to use the graphics were provided along with sound scenarios to enrich the learning experience for all students in the classroom. (video)
      • Thinkable demonstrated their Motorised Drawing Arm, capable of very quickly transferring an electronic diagram into a tactile graphic by drawing on the TactiPad.
      • Les Doigts qui revent - little breath of wind page 3Phillipe Claudet spoke about the paradox of presenting tactile graphics based on images to people with no experience of vision. He also displayed his beautiful tactile books from Dreaming Fingers, now available in UEB through APH. This image is from “A little breath of wind”.

We also managed to do some sightseeing in charming Stockholm. Europe seems to lead the way in terms of accessible maps and models at tourist attractions.

It is hoped that this Conference will be the first of many, to be held in a different country every three years.

Carved wooden map.

NFB Convention STEM tutorial

The National Federation of the Blind’s National Convention will be held in Orlando, Florida from 10-15 July. Those of us unable to attend will still be able to reap the rewards of their STEM tutorial being hosted by John Gardner, with many of the speaker talks already available online at http://access2science.com/indexAccessibility.html. There are some great resources here on reading, writing and converting math to accessible formats; technologies for accessing graphics; and guidelines for accessible teaching of STEM materials.

Technical drawing of the solar system on computer screen, coming out of a swell machine, and overlaid on an ievo device

Bendigo Art Gallery accessible artworks project

Scanning a 60cm statue in the Bendigo Art GalleryMonash University are teaming up with the Bendigo Art Gallery to create accessible versions of some of the most popular pieces from their permanent collection. We will be using a variety of approaches including 3D scanning, 3D printing, laser cutting, audio description and  tactile graphics.

See http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/4753308/gallery-explores-hands-on-tours/ for pictures and story.

2017 Tactile Reading Conference – upcoming event

Tactile Reading 2017 is a conference for academics and practitioners in the field of tactile reading for children and youth who are blind and vision impaired. A wealth of information will be shared, with three concurrent streams on developing tactile literacy, braille, and tactile graphics, a wealth of information will be shared. The full conference program is now available.

Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Dates: 5-7 April 2017
Website: http://www.mtm.se/en/tactilereading2017/
Tactile reading logo. Braille and graphics for children and youth. Stockholm April 5-7 2017.

Free webinar: New and under-used strategies for accessible graphics in higher education

ADCET logoThe Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training hosted a free webinar on accessible graphics in higher education, presented by Leona Holloway of Monash University. Based on findings from a two-year study, the webinar will offer insight on:

  • identifying which graphics need to be made accessible
  • new technologies that students can use to gain independent access to graphics
  • choosing the most suitable techniques and technologies to make graphics accessible
  • resources to help implement solutions

The webinar recording is available online.

New innovations at CSUN in 2017

Some exciting new developments unveiled at the 32nd CSUN Assistive Technology Conference …

SAS released the SAS Graphics Accelerator, a free plug-in which provides a description and sonification of graphs created in their SAS statistical software.

Meanwhile, the American Printing House for the Blind demonstrated Graphiti, a full page graphics display using low-cost refreshable braille pins developed as part of the Transforming Braille project.