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We see maps, pictures, paintings in a blink. It takes just a moment to gather a significant amount of visual information. For blind people, on the other hand, exploring a tactile graphic – a simplified and embossed drawing takes a lot of time. Not to mention that they also need a specialist to guide their hand on the graphic and explain the content.

We created self-describing tactile graphics and a mobile app to allow the blind to explore independently and at their own pace so they find out more about the world around them.

  1. The READER mobile app and independence
  2. Exploring tactile graphics at your own pace

a) In specialized schools
b) In mainstream schools
c) At home

1. The READER mobile app and independence

Traditionally, blind children are dependent on a specialist if they want to explore any visual content. This slows down their learning process because specialists can mostly be found only in special schools. Unfortunately, this means that their visual education stops once they get home.

Our innovation comes to play the role of the specialist over the shoulder. We created a mobile app that acts as a virtual assistant for the blind and allows them to study tactile graphics that have a QR Code attached. The app uses Machine Learning and Interactive Augmented Reality to guide a blind person’s finger on the tactile graphic and VoiceOver to give audio information simultaneously. You can download it from the AppStore free of charge. It is essential that you also download a self-describing tactile graphic from our LIBRARY because the two go together.

2. Exploring tactile graphics at your own pace

a) In specialized schools

Even in schools where they have access to specialists, the visual education of blind children is done at a slow pace. This happens because they require 1:1 interaction – a teacher must help each student explore, help guide his hand on a tactile graphic, and inform him about its content.

With self-describing tactile graphics and the Tactile Images READER app, blind children can explore the same visual content at the same time. This means that the teacher gets to save a lot of time and use it to answer questions or give the children additional information. Our solution empowers blind children to acquire more visual knowledge in a shorter time.

Anyone with a smartphone, internet access, and a graphic from our LIBRARY can explore tactile graphics independently. Learn about the two ways of exploring in this article.

b) In mainstream schools

Few blind children get to study in a mainstream school. One of the reasons is the fact that they require a lot more time than sighted children to study visuals such as maps or mathematical formulas. It’s impossible for them to study visuals in a mainstream school. To do that, they must have a specialist near to help them catch up with visual information.

With our mobile app, the situation changes completely. Our visual assistant is ready to go to school with a blind child and be his guide in studying visual content. With an embossed tactile graphic, the READER app, and a pair of headphones, he can study maps or equations in class.

c) At home

One of the greatest things about our mobile app is that it gives blind children all the time they need. Children are no longer tied to a special context – such as a specialized school if they want to study visuals. This is because the dependency on another person suddenly disappears, giving them the so much deserved studying independence.

With self-describing tactile graphics and the READER app, blind children can continue studying on their own, once they get home. They gain a huge amount of time and opportunities – because the more you practice the better you become. The READER mobile app empowers them to specialize in certain fields because it gives them access to a whole new range of information.

The ability to learn at our own pace is one of the main reasons that brought us our career and also helped build our personality. The READER mobile app is here to give blind children the freedom they need to study more, study harder and aim higher, with the support of their parents, who can now emboss tactile graphics at home.

Do you have any questions about blind children’s ability to study tactile graphics at their own pace? Write in the comment section below!

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