[Blindmath] Another way to use the AudioTac feature in SVGDraw01

Richard Baldwin baldwin at dickbaldwin.com
Tue Dec 27 17:48:48 CST 2011

The program named SVGDraw01 can be downloaded from a link that is published
at http://www.dickbaldwin.com/

This program is designed to make it possible for the blind and visually
impaired to draw just about anything that they can imagine.

In addition to making it possible to draw shapes, the program also contains
a feature that I call AudioTac that marries audio to tactile. Basically,
the AudioTac feature makes it possible for a person to trace out the
outline of a shape that is being displayed on the screen using a pair of
headphones and a mouse or preferably a drawing tablet or touchpad.

Earlier today, I tried an experiment that seemed to work pretty well. I own
a small inexpensive Wacom brand drawing tablet that requires the use of a
plastic stylus. In other words, it doesn't respond to human touch. The
rectangular portion of the drawing tablet can be configured to map to any
rectangular portion of the screen.

I placed a piece of soft rubbery material (a piece of a yoga pad) on top of
the drawing pad and placed a sheet of plain printer paper on top of that.
Then I used the plastic stylus to trace out some shapes that I had drawn.
As I was tracing out the shapes, I periodically pressed hard enough on the
stylus to punch through the paper. When I turned the paper over, I had a
nice tactile outline of the shape produced by punching through the paper
with the stylus.

This approach could be used both by students who need to confirm their own
drawings, and by teachers creating tactile material for students. A blind
or VI student could use the AudioTac feature to position the stylus on the
paper. A sighted teacher could use either the Instant Display feature or
the AudioTac feature to visually position the stylus on the paper. Within
reason, the more frequently you punch through the paper, the better will be
the tactile representation of the shape.

Obviously, this approach doesn't produce tactile drawings anywhere near the
quality of a Tiger embosser, but the quality is much better than having no
tactile drawings at all. And, best of all, the software is free, and the
cost of a drawing tablet is reasonable.

Dick Baldwin

Richard G. Baldwin (Dick Baldwin)
Home of Baldwin's on-line Java Tutorials

Professor of Computer Information Technology
Austin Community College
(512) 223-4758
mailto:Baldwin at DickBaldwin.com

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