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The majority of blind people travel only with the help of another person. This dependency is seen especially in the case of children, who cannot get to school without the help of their parents. And this harms their education, primarily visual education, because they can only study the expensive tactile graphics at school. This is why a solution was needed for them to be able to enjoy visual information in the comfort of their home. 

 

That solution is called the Tactile Images LIBRARY, and you will find out more about it right here. 

 

  1. From churches to online libraries
  2. The Tactile Images LIBRARY

a) Self-describing images – the innovation of the moment

b) A wide variety of subjects 

c) Freedom of access and no charge 

d) How can you help enrich the LIBRARY?

1. From churches to online libraries

 

Source: Siona Photography | Unsplash 

In the past, churches were not only a place of preaching but also of teaching. Back then, scribes would play the role of a printer and copy all the manuscripts, thus having access to knowledge before anyone else did. Education was limited to a minimal number of people. But years later, libraries appeared and encouraged group studying, giving access to education to more and more people. 

 

When the Internet and then the World Wide Web appeared, the process of studying was revolutionized and moved online. This implied that there were no space and time barriers slowing down the learning process anymore and that access to information was no more limited. But the visually-impaired could still not benefit from this fantastic change, as information was mainly visual and impossible for them to relate to it.

2. The Tactile Images LIBRARY

a) Self-describing images – the innovation of the moment

 

The Tactile Images LIBRARY is not the first tactile graphics library in the world. There are many other you can choose from, and that is amazing because the blind need all the support they can get.

 

But there is something that makes this LIBRARY special and unique: it’s the fact that it is filled with self-describing images. This self-describing attribute is made possible with the aid of the READER App, which was created especially for reading tactile graphics. Modern technologies such as Interactive Augmented Reality and voice-over create this link between the App and the tactile graphics. This is how the App turns into the virtual assistant of the blind, playing the role of the person above the shoulder. This person would normally guide the blind people’s hands and explain to them the information related to the drawing they are touching. 

 

Self-describing tactile graphics give blind people independence and facilitate their access to education and professional development. With an embossed tactile graphic, the READER App and an internet connection, the visually impaired can study independently wherever they want.

 

b) A wide variety of subjects 

 

The primary purpose of this online LIBRARY is to help the blind understand as many visual concepts as possible. Because they see with their hands, the blind can’t perceive what they cannot touch. And no one will ever be able to fully touch a block of flats.

 

The LIBRARY is exceptionally vast as houses about 800 tactile graphics. The graphics depict small animals like insects, maps to help with orientation and mobility, and even paintings. 

c) Freedom of access and no charge

If in the case of a physical library, a person’s access is limited to schedule, an online library allows you to explore for as long as you want. Sighted people can access the LIBRARY whenever they want to download the available tactile graphics for the visually impaired to study. 

 

What is more, accessing the LIBRARY is free of charge. It does not matter how many tactile graphics one wants to download; one can do as he pleases without worrying about money. 

d) How can you help enrich the LIBRARY?

There are many ways in which you can help enhance the Tactile Images LIBRARY. For starters, you can help translate the available tactile graphics from Romanian to English. If you are interested and want to help us help the blind, send your request here.

 

Another way in which you can help us add more tactile graphics to the LIBRARY is by donating for future projects. We have already created a catalog with the aid of ING Bank and are currently working on other two catalogs. Our entire community would be grateful if you donated

 

If you have tactile graphics at home and want to share them with the world, you can use the EDITOR to do that. Because it’s an invitation-based module, you can request access here, free of charge. 

The EDITOR allows you to create personalized tactile graphics or adapt existing ones, something you can read more about in this article. If you do this, you can also help enrich the LIBRARY.

The Internet and our online LIBRARY can revolutionize the education of the blind. Through the online LIBRARY, children now have access to a wide variety of tactile graphics they could otherwise explore only at special schools. Give blind children the freedom they deserve!

 

We also created a mobile App to encourage the independent study of tactile graphics. You can download it free of charge from the App Store and learn more about it in this article.

Because embossing materials are costly, we are here to teach you how to manually emboss the tactile graphics downloaded from the LIBRARY and save a lot of money.

Do you have any questions about the online LIBRARY? Write your comments in the section below! 

Image source: Glenn Carstens-Peters | Unsplash

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