This 43-minute video presentation by Karen Poppe from American Printing House for the Blind (APH) provides a comprehensive overview of the progression of tactile skills that are prerequisites for an understanding of tactile graphics. The stages of tactile skills are:
- Exploration of real objects
- using thermaforms to represent objects
- flip books with photographs and raised illustrations
- tactile beads to match with cards with raised images
- Picture Maker for tactile maps with miniature landmarks to greater abstraction
- Tactile Treasures with shapes and shapes inside/outside of shape; near/far; left/right/center
- Picture Maker can be used to put shapes above/below, inside/outside
- lines from top to bottom, left to right
- point symbols
- trace top of tapered cup and bottom of cup. How are these the same? (round) Different? (big/little)
- 3 dimensional textured house with cards that show house from different perspectives
- press objects or shapes into clay and look to see what happens when the objects are pressed in from different vantage points
- pair real object, such as a cube, with tactile representation
- use Wikki Sticks to wrap around outer edge of cube and see how it stays a square (illustrating how a 3-dimensional object can be represented by 2-dimensional)
Understanding tactile terminology through basic elements of tactile graphics
- point symbols used to represent capitols
- line paths, such as those used to represent borders
- aerial patterns or textures, e.g. those used to show rain forest
- Recreation and leisure activities
- Start early!
- Be sure that graphics are meaningful.
- Provide a variety of different textures.
- Encourage the use of graphics in recreation and leisure activities, so that there is a positive association.