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Education is one of the essential pillars of society. The more individuals have access to it, the better. Our mission is to create the infrastructure needed to give blind people independence in image studying. Louis Braille also thought about the importance of education 200 years ago when he gave the blind reading independence.

 

Educational revolutions for the blind

  1. The Braille tactile writing system (1824) – Reading independence
  2. Tactile Images (2020) – Image studying independence 

a) Tactile graphics

b) Self-describing tactile graphics

1. The Braille tactile writing system (1824) – Reading independence

The tactile writing system was invented by the French educator Louis Braille almost 200 years ago and is still used today by the blind and the visually impaired. This system looks like code and can be used to write texts in any language.

What came to be the tactile writing system was first designed as a military night code. Charles Barbier, a man who served in Napoleon Bonaparte’s army, is the name behind ”Night Writing”, a unique system created so that soldiers could safely communicate at night time. Combat messages were read at night with the aid of a lamp. This would bring the death of some soldiers. So, Charles thought of a tactile system that prevented soldiers from getting killed, because, with tactile writings, no light was needed anymore.

Barbier’s system was nonetheless flawed. Because it was based on too many dots – 12 – the fingertip could not reach all of them with one touch. So, Braille came into the picture and perfected it, by decreasing the number of dots used to only 6.

The tactile writing system gives the blind reading independence. If before its existence, the blind were dependent on other persons if they wanted to gain information on different subjects, Braille gave them the freedom to access new worlds on their own.

2. Tactile Images (2020) – Image studying independence

People have been reading drawings ever since cave paintings, so their importance is crucial in fully understanding a message. Because they cannot relate to visual information, the blind create inaccurate mental images of the world around them. So, we created self-describing drawings to give them the independence they needed to be able to relate to visual concepts.

 

a) Tactile graphics

Tactile graphics have been around for years. The blind have been able to explore visual concepts with their hands, but they could only do it with the help of another person. The other person is the specialist above the shoulder who guides their hands and gives them verbal information about the area they are touching. Although they have been reading independently for 200 years, the blind are still dependent on another person if they want to explore tactile graphics.

Tactile graphics are amazing because they help the blind gain visual knowledge, but it’s time for an educational revolution. Why? Because the blind deserve to be able to explore drawings and enrich their visual knowledge independently.

 

b) Self-describing tactile graphics

The first step in our educational revolution implied creating a LIBRARY of self-describing tactile graphics. There are 800 such graphics on the educational platform Tactile Images, which can be downloaded free of charge by anyone in the world.

The tactile graphics are called ”self-describing” because that’s exactly what they do – they can self-describe. This is possible with the aid of our READER mobile app that can be downloaded for free comes to play the role of the specialist. When placed above a tactile graphic downloaded from the LIBRARY (which has a QR Code), the mobile guides the hand of the blind person and gives information about the part of the image he is touching. This is possible with the aid of modern technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

You can download the READER app free of charge right here. For now, it is available only for iPhone, but we intend to make it available for Android as well. For this, we need your support. If you want to be a part of the educational revolution of the blind, you can donate here.

In 1824, Louis Braille gave blind people access to independent learning.
In 2020, 200 years later, Tactile Images comes to give them images studying independence. Join the revolution!

Do you have questions about the educational revolution of the blind? Write in the comment section below!

Image source: Wikipedia

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