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With all the assistive technology available today, studying visuals is still difficult for blind people. Although there are already some solutions that allow the blind to explore tactile graphics independently, they are all costly, and they limit the exploration process to studying at a desk.

The Tactile Images READER mobile app works as the virtual assistant of the blind. It can be carried in the pocket for the blind to study tactile graphics whenever and wherever they want independently.

  1. The Tactile Images READER mobile app and mobility.
  2. Where can you explore tactile graphics independently?

a) At school
b) At home
c) At the library
d) At the station
e) At the museum
f) Other locations

1. The Tactile Images READER mobile app and mobility

The Tactile Images READER app was designed as a mobile solution. With mobility being its main great attribute, it comes to give the blind the ability to walk around and explore tactile graphics at a desk, tactile graphics that are posted on a wall, at an event, or the museum.

The only condition is that the graphic has a QR code attached and is present in our database. This is how the app was designed to work – it reads tactile graphics with a QR code, using the code as the link between the physical graphic and the digital.

Where can you find these tactile graphics? You can either download them from the Tactile Images LIBRARY for free or create your own in the Tactile Images EDITOR. That’s also free. All you have to do is fill out this form.

The Tactile Images READER app uses modern technologies such as artificial intelligence and interactive augmented reality to guide the hand of the blind and VoiceOver to send audio information. For now, the app is only available for iOS and can be downloaded from the App Store.

2. Where can you explore tactile graphics independently?

a) At school

Studying tactile graphics in specialized schools is now a lengthy process that depends on the teachers’ availability, goodwill, time, and knowledge. With the READER app, blind children will be able to study graphics independently, giving the teachers more time to answer questions and start debates on specific subjects.

The app can be used to study books or catalogs of tactile graphics. For an extensive study, we recommend using a flexible phone holder, which can be placed above the book or catalog. By using headphones, all the children in a classroom can study graphics independently and simultaneously.

 

b) At home

When they do not have a specialized person next to them, the study of visual content is impossible for blind children. This is why the majority cannot continue studying when at home. The READER mobile app allows them to deepen the knowledge they gained at school, by guiding their hand on a tactile graphic just like a teacher would do.

Apart from the chance to gain more and more knowledge, another great benefit of independent study would be the freedom parents of blind children gain. With their children using the READER mobile app, parents could focus on solving pending problems or enjoy free time.

Of course, not only blind children can enjoy the independent study of tactile graphics. Blind adults can explore the tactile maps of their neighbourhood, city, or country.

 

c) At the library

If there is another person next to you, meant to give you guidance and verbal information, you cannot go into a library to study. This is precisely the case of blind children, who traditionally need space to study graphics.

The READER mobile app can be used for the individual study of tactile books in the LIBRARY, just like it can be used in the classroom. It comes to play the role of the person over the shoulder, and the blind can use headphones to solve the problem of space – in this way, they can study next to other people, without bothering them. There are such tactile books at the National Library of Romania, books blind people can now study independently.

 

d) At the station

Mobility is one of the main problems of the blind. This is why placing tactile maps on the walls of train stations will help them tremendously. If they have the READER mobile app, it’s easy for them to explore maps independently, wherever they are placed. It does not matter if they are posted on a wall; the app can be used to explore a graphic nevermind its position.

Just remember: the graphics must be downloaded from our LIBRARY or created in the EDITOR for the app to read them.

 

e) At the museum

Art should not be considered a privilege for blind persons. They should be able to attend exhibitions and explore as many tactile drawings they want on their own.

The READER app can also be used in cultural contexts apart from its educational purposes and uses in schools and libraries. With it, the blind can explore drawing after drawing without the help of another person and enjoy art independently. What is more, blind people can also use the Tactile Images READER app to explore bas-reliefs uploaded in the EDITOR on their own.

 

f) Other locations

Museums, libraries, and train stations are just some examples where you can use the READER app. Because it is a mobile solution, you can carry it with you wherever you go – there are no restrictions. You only need a tactile graphic from our LIBRARY or created in the Tactile Images EDITOR, the READER app, access to the Internet, and enough battery to explore.

The Tactile Images READER app is all about mobility. Because it is a mobile app, the blind can take it anywhere – to school, to train stations or museums – and explore tactile graphics independently.
Do you have any questions about how blind people can explore tactile graphics independently with the aid of a mobile app? Write in the comment section below!

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