Tactile Graphics for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Graphics provide a wealth of information. But what if your students can't see them? These websites have information about creating tactile graphics for students who are blind or visually impaired, including maps, diagrams, chart, models, and symbols.

Basic Principles for Preparing Tactile Graphics
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
This brief overview outlines some of the key points in creating tactile graphics.

Best Practice Guidelines for the Design, Production and Presentation of Vacuum Formed Tactile Maps
Ann Gardiner and Chris Perkins "set out an approach to tactile map design and production that will enable anyone to prepare raised graphics that can be understood by, and meet the needs of, visually impaired people."

Developing Tactile Products
American Printing House for the Blind (APH)
Part of APH's podcast "Happenings Around the House," This half-hour episode explains how to "think tactile" to create meaningful graphics that are more than raised lines on an image.

Guidelines and Standards for Tactile Graphics
Braille Authority of North America (BANA)
BANA-recommended standards and practices for tactile graphics can be downloaded here.  A web-version of the manual is also available.

Guidelines for Design of Tactile Graphics
American Printing House for the Blind (APH)
APH advises on design, symbols, lead lines, labels, indicators and scale for creating effective tactile graphics.

I'm an Outreach Consultant: Do I Really Want to Do Raised-Line Drawings?
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)
Barbara DiFrancesco shares ideas on a wide variety of tactile graphics, focusing on raised-line drawings and their production techniques; available in English and Spanish.

Image Sorting Tool Decision Tree
Diagram Center
This flowchart is designed to help determine the purpose of the image, and whether it can be omitted, described, or a tactile graphic should be created.

The Real Challenge in Tactile Graphics
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)
Phil Hatlen lists some crucial considerations in the use of tactile graphics; also available in Spanish.

Promising Practices for Transcribing Early Literacy Textbooks
Paths to Literacy
Kim Charlson shares tips for introducing young braille readers to tactile graphics and pictures.

Tactile Educational Materials: Tips and Resources
Future Reflections, 2003, National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
Robert Jaquiss, Jr., shares pointers for teachers and parents needing to create tactile maps, diagrams, and models, and includes a list of products and resources.

Tactile Graphics: An Overview and Resource Guide
Oregon State University
John Gardner reviews the strengths and limitations of tactile graphics for people who are blind. Included are production methods, a resource list of useful tools, supplies, and vendors.

Teaching Tactile Graphics
Perkins eLearning Webcast
In this webcast, educator Lucia Hasty discusses spatial relationship and graphic literacy, moving from models to graphics and strategies for teaching students to read tactile graphics.

Web-Based Organizations and Internet Resources

Tactile Graphics
Lucia Hasty created this site "to promote excellence in the design and production of braille graphics."  Included are basic information on production methods and techniques, product evaluations, training, and conferences.

Tactile Graphics Resources
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)
This list of tactile graphics resources includes contact information and a brief description of each resource; includes many vendors and manufacturers.