Tactile graphic produced on a PIAF machine of a battery and a light bulb.

Use of a PIAF machine to produce tactile graphics for science

Description of the use of the PIAF machine to produce tactile graphics for science for students who are blind or visually impaired.

Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVIs) will often find it necessary to produce a tactile graphic for a student when one is not available in the text.  The PIAF (Pictures in a Flash) is a very useful tool for creating tactile graphics quickly from a print copy.

The image is of a tactile graphic produced by Jim Clark and adapted from the FOSS Magnetism and Electricity kit. 

Materials needed


  1. Download the image
  2. Fit the image to a standard size piece of paper, 8.5″X11″
  3. Xerox the image onto swell paper (This paper is called Puff paper in Canada.)
  4. Run the swell paper through the PIAF machine. (In Canada, this machine is known as a Puffer.)
  5. The printed image becomes a tactile graphic in seconds.
PIAF machine collage

By Laura Hospitál

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