Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Touch & Hear Assistive Teaching System Prototype

Screenshot of online editor

The Touch & Hear Assistive Teaching System (THATS)  hopes to be "the first free e-learning app for the visually impaired".  It is designed to be "an e-learning system which correlates the embossed images with audio descriptions, which allows them to study independently, without the assistance of another person" and also hopes to provide "an international community of editors, who offer any kind of study material, images, texts and audio descriptions, on any topic and in any language".  

Designed by an NGO (non-governmental organization) in Romania, it has a number of features that distinguish it from other similar apps.  These include:

  • A Digital Library

THATS digital library is fueled by the power of the community. Anyone can create audio-tactile content using THATS online editor and store it in the library for the benefit of blind and visually impaired persons. The content is grouped in relevant categories, based on subject and language.
If you have access to a tactile printer, you can download and print the image you want to study. Alternatively, they can send you the printed tactile images by mail.
THATS will have a companion iOS and Android app to study the tactile material and access the audio description.
THATS digital library
  • Companion iOS or Android App

With the iOS or the Android device mounted on a stand, the user points a finger to an area of interest on the image and triggers the audio information about it. The app plays the appropiate track with the help of a QR code placed on the image.
User with image under smartphone mounted on stand
  • Online Editor

The online editor allows anyone to create audio-tactile educational material for people who are blind or visually impaired.  Users will be able to upload an image, select various areas of interest and either write or record audio information about it. Every image is then uploaded in THATS digital library and will be available for every user.

The online editor can be used by teachers, parents or employers to create custom material for their needs.

Seeking Feedback

THATS is currently looking for people to download the prototype and provide feedback.  If you are interested, please contact them at:

For more information, visit: