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:
- The 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)
- 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.
- Phillipe 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.
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.
Monash 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.
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
The 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.
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.
Anuradha Madugalla was the Monash University IT faculty’s winner of the 2016 3-minute thesis competition, speaking about her project to automate conversion of floorplans to accessible graphics for access on GraVVITAS or as tactile graphics. You can to her thesis here as part of an interview with Dr Robyn Williams for ABC’s Science show.
On this site we hope to share our continuing work on development of processes and technologies in the provision of accessible graphics. We aim to update this with FAQ’s, photos, guides and 3D models that can be used in improving access to graphics for the vision impaired community. Stay tuned!