TactileView Design Suite
The TactileView Design Suite is a fully accessible tactile graphics system that allows both sighted and visually impaired user the ability to create tactile graphics fast and efficiently. The system consists of 3 main components: Tactipad Drawing Tablet, TactileView Design Software & the Audio Reading System
1) TactiPad Drawing Tablet - Draw raised graphics instantly!
- Place the drawing paper on the tablet and use a pen or stylus to begin drawing. As you draw a raised line will appear so you can see the results instantly
- Or draw using the digital pen and your drawings will be stored electronically. Then use the TactileView Design Software described below to continue editing your image if necessary.
2) TactileView Design Software - Create your own tactile graphics!
- Use the drawing tools within the software to make custom graphics.
- Import or scan images and convert them to line drawings
- Add braille and audio labels to create even more interactivity
- Preview the free online catalog for thousands of pre-made images
3) Graph Grid and Circle Frame
- Graph Grid - draw graphs, tables, bar charts and other grid-based diagrams
- The Graph Grid is the tactile equivalent of grid paper. It uses rubber bands to provide a grid to your drawing surface. Use it, for example, to create tables, for drawings with repetitive patterns or for graphs and other mathematical drawings.
- Circle Frame – create pie charts, a clock, mandalas and other circular drawings
- The Circle Frame can be used to create all kinds of circular drawings with great accuracy. With the drawing tools, you can easily create images such as pie charts, the face of a clock or interesting circular patterns and motifs like mandalas.
The TactiPad has many applications: it is the ideal drawing board for leisure activities, schoolwork or in your professional career. It can even be used on the go. You can choose whether you want to make a simple sketch by hand, or use the different drawing tools – ruler, triangle, protractor and compasses – for highly accurate drawings. Eight adjustable buttons and measurement indicators around the drawing surface allow you to accurately fix the tools while drawing.
Emily – October 2017
As blind students, drawing and the visual aspects of math and science are often dismissed as a waste of time or impossible. This totally disregards those students, like myself who happen to be visual learners. My brain thrives on pictures, in spite of the years of teachers and professors striving to cram me into the memorizer box that is assigned to blind learners. Once I got away from so-called blindness experts/educators, I entered the real academic world.
I am completing my premed requirements, and my physics professor and Tudor both made it clear that if I wanted to do physics, I would be exposed to drawings one way or another. The same has been true for my more extensive studies of organic chemistry. There is a reason these subjects use drawings, and without the TactiPad, I could not learn at the pace of my classmates or do impromptu exercises/quizzes.
I suffered many frustrations learning to make decent lines, rings, and free-body diagrams, but I am now drawing with confidence. I have spent 34 years of my life only handling a pen or pencil in order to sign my signature, and so the learning curve has been steep for me. However, my drawings don’t look any worse than those of my peers at this point I am proficient enough with this product to turn out very useable pictures from the descriptions my professor gives as he is drawing on the chalkboard. If I get lost or confused, I simply pass the pad to my notetaker, and I get a structure or graph that allows me to participate and answer questions along with the rest of my class.
The TactiPad has been instrumental in my transformation from a fearful and anxious student who lacked the confidence to speak up in class or go to my professor in private with my questions, into a strong participant in lectures and study sessions who is often right on the money with the answers.
Yesterday we were learning to construct energy diagrams of reactions, and the instructor was explaining how to draw the activation and free energies for two products from the same reactants under different conditions. I went home still somewhat unsure what the final product should look like, as I was also focused on what was being said about this particular reaction. I did some reading on my own and produced what I thought was an accurate representation of the energy diagram which best described this situation.
I went to see my prof this morning and presented my drawing. He did not tell me it was okay or adequate. He said it was excellent, and that it just needed a few labels in the form of some deltas to represent changes in free energy.I have gotten a handle on the common printed letters used in o chem, but a lot of it is still Greek to me, but I will get there.
In the past, I was so ashamed of my attempts to construct mental pictures of things, that I was afraid to seek help from anyone who might be critical or dismissive if I had it wrong. This created a vicious cycle of misunderstanding, getting questions wrong, and having more anxiety the next time I needed to take a quiz or exam. After working with the TactiPad, I am now confident enough to present my pictures as visual aids for my questions or as parts of assignments.
Perhaps the most ironic thing to come out of this, is that my mental acuity and ability to do organic chemistry in my head from memory has improved exponentially. If I can draw, I can remember. I don’t know how so many of us blind students keep believing we can memorize things and understand science without ways to visualize it in our brains. Science is done in the mind. How it gets there is not as important as getting it there via one’s hands, or eyes, or both.