Event description

Blind and visually impaired communities have little to no access to graphic information that would help them learn about their surroundings. Braille and tactile maps have proven useful, however, historically these maps have been difficult and costly to design, manufacture, and distribute.

Tactile Maps Automated Production (TMAP) is a tool for on-demand creation of tactile street maps. TMAP is an accessible, web-based app, using Google maps search information and OpenStreetMap data to generate tactile and visual representations of streets centered on a user-specified location. Using design parameters to ensure tactile legibility, TMAP quickly and cheaply generates tactile map files that are compatible with a variety of printers and embossers.

We will demonstrate the need for tactile maps and graphics and maps and of their value to people who are blind or visually impaired. We will discuss the competencies needed for tactile literacy as well as considerations for designers to create excellent tactile graphics. Starting from a basic understanding of the Braille Authority of North America’s Guidelines and Standards for Tactile Graphics, we will add our own experiences as daily practitioners of the tactile arts.

*Admission to the workshop, refreshments and light snacks. A tour of the LightHouse (The LightHouse interior was designed in 2015 by Mark Cavagnero Associates in consultation with Chris Downey, an architect who became blind after surgery for a brain tumor).

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