Tactile Doodle
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Tactile graphic tools

A variety of tools that enable students to create tactile images and diagrams.

Drawing engages your student’s imagination to become more active. Each time he/she draws or creates, they access their imagination and make physical representations of what is in his/her mind. Drawing stimulates creative thought, increases observational skills, and is a way to demonstrate true understanding of the concept. Describing and object verbally, does not necessarily mean that a student has a true understanding of the object. Students who are visually impaired can often repeat words to describe an object or concept without fully understanding the object or concept.

See the Concept Development Through Tactile Graphics: Duck Example post for an example of how three students could verbally describe a duck but then went on to say that the ducks swims using its gills and fins. Even though the description was accurate, the students did not recognize a duck’s distinguishing characteristics and did not have a clear concept of a duck.

Access to tactile graphics and opportunities to draw build stronger concepts! This post is dedicated to the variety of tools and kits which are available to create raised lines.

Tools that Create Raised Lines

Tactile Doodle board with  raised edges and clip. Pen is drawing around around 2D shapes creating raised white lines on black background.
Larger drawing tool with attached sliding tactile ruler.
Tactile Graphics Kit: robust kit that uses heavy gauge aluminum sheets and various tools that are hammered or are tracing wheels.
Sensational Blackboard- lightweight rubber mat designed to fit in a backpack that uses regular paper and pen to create quick raised line drawings.
Clipboard with rubber padding. Foil sheets are required to create quick raised line graphics.
Board with mat that uses foil sheets to create raised line drawings.
Intact: Board with edge that uses plastic sheets to create simple raised line drawings.

Tools for educators to create tactile graphics

In addition to the tools listed above, educators also equipment to create quality tactile graphics. These tools can created documents or files that can be shared with others and that can be stored digitally.

The Paths to Technology Book Library has a growing section at the bottom devoted to images for tactile graphics machines.

The reindeer image below is a digital file available on Paths to Technology’s Book Library (under Tactile Images). This tactile image contains the outline of a reindeer, with textures to distinguish various body parts, braille labels and arrows between the labels and body parts.

Image of accessible tactile reindeer with raised lines and braille created on Swell paper using a PIAF or Swell machine.

By Diane Brauner

Back to Paths to Technology’s Home page

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