Tactile graphics (raised line drawings) differ from print in that they are read one element at a time and less detail can be conveyed. It is not necessary to reproduce the exact appearance of the print in a tactual diagram. Instead, simplification is often required.
Planning is the key to a successful diagram. If the touch reader will not be relying on sight, it is fine to do a rough drawing of the diagram on the page before creating the tactile elements on a handmade tactile graphic.
Items should be tactually distinct. For example, arrow heads should not touch the item to which they are pointing. e.g. (not ).
Check the tactual diagram with your fingers – not with your eyes.
Lines with different meaning should be tactually distinct. Produce them using different methods, or use different types of lines such as single solid line , single dashed line and double solid line .
When two lines intersect, the less important line should be broken to allow uninterrupted tracing of the important line. e.g.
Arrows should have open heads, e.g. (not ). Do not join arrow heads to the target item.
All diagrams should have appropriate labelling at the top of the page so the reader can identify and link it with their other materials. As a minimum, the source and page number should be given. e.g. lec2 slide34.
When planning a diagram, keep in mind that braille labels require a lot of space. It may sometimes be necessary to use a key. In this case, 2-letter symbols with mnemonic qualities are best, e.g. “au” for “Australia”.
- Guidelines and Standards for Tactile Graphics (2010) by the Braille Authority of North America – free online html or PDF download
- Guidelines for Conveying Visual Information by the Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities Inc. (2005) – free PDF download
- Tactile Graphics (1992) by Polly K. Edman
Last updated: August 8, 2018 at 14:08 pm