[Art_beyond_sight_educators] Easy Tactile Graphics makes InTACT sketch pads

fnugg at online.no fnugg at online.no
Fri Mar 13 12:33:25 UTC 2015


The following is a quote taken from the inTACT website about the 
importance of drawing in STEM fields.

    "Science. Technology. Engineering. Mathematics.

As engineers, we understand the importance of being able to communicate 
graphically – to create and understand drawings, diagrams or figures. 
This skill is particularly important for success in STEM fields. To 
build this skill set, students need to have access to interactive 
curricula – content that not only reinforces their learning, but also 
allows them to practice and use graphical communication."



Easy Tactile Graphics makes InTACT sketch pads

A group of scientists at the University of Vermont believed blind people 
can draw, so they started a company focused on helping them do just that.

  Easy Tactile Graphics makes InTACT sketch pads for the blind and 
vision impaired.

"A medium where a blind person can draw, and in the same way that a 
sighted person would see what they're drawing, a blind person can feel 
what they're drawing," said Easy Tactile Graphics president Josh Coffee.

A plastic sheet is held on a rubber background, secured by a hinged 
magnetic frame for easy use. The user simply presses a stylus to draw.

"You will actually get a raised line in real time," said Coffee.

There's also an eraser, which heats the thermal plastic sheet and 
essentially irons it flat.

"It was designed to that a user could actually feel around the rim of 
the nose of the eraser and they'd be protected from the heated tip," 
said Coffee.

Sighted people can still see a line, but it can no longer be felt.

There's the question of how you go about teaching a blind person to 
draw, especially if they were born without sight.

"Drawing is spatial, not visual. Most people assume it's somehow 
associated with sight and vision. But it's all about having some 
representation of the world that's internal," said Easy Tactile Graphics 
vice president Michael Coleman, Ph.D.



Cutting-Edge Maps Show the Way With Sound and Touch

hether you want to see census data 
broken down by zip code or learn everything there is to know about 
there’s a map for that 
<http://nextcity.org/forefront/view/the-new-cartographers>. But though 
anything you could ever possibly want to see (and then some 
seems to have found its way into map form, Steve Landau works on the 
truly innovative edge of cartography. He designs maps for people who 
can’t see.

Landau is the research director for Touch Graphics 
<http://www.touchgraphics.com/index.html>, which uses “multi-sensory 
display techniques” like physical sensation and sound to assist the 
visually impaired. In partnership with the University of Buffalo Center 
for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (or the much easier to 
remember IDeA Center <http://idea.ap.buffalo.edu/>), Touch Graphics 
makes maps that orient users with a host of non-traditional — but 
surprisingly intuitive — strategies.


Touch-sensitive 3D maps guide the blind with spoken instructions

A 3D, Talking Map for the Blind Provides Further Independence

A 3-D, talking map for the blind (and everyone else)

Colour blind author views 'the map that changed the world'

Japanese Cartographers Create Printable 3D Maps for the Blind

Developers in Japan are creating software that will enable people with 
visual impairments to move around more freely. Users will download a 
file online, take it to the nearest 3D printer, and produce a tactile of 
an online map.

They will be able to print out 3D maps of different parts of the country 
and use them to feel the topographical details with their fingertips. 
The differences in texture on the map will help people to identify 
railway lines, walkways and highways as well as uneven surfaces and hills.


*How 3D audio technology could 'unlock' cities for blind people*
*A new 3D audio navigation system from Microsoft could help people with 
sight loss explore cities independently *

Aftershokz head phones

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