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Creating Large Print and Tactile Graphs

Tips on making large print and tactile graphs for students who are blind or visually impaired

Tactile and large print graphs collage

Graphs and charts can be very challenging for students who are blind or visually impaired, whether they are using tactile graphs or large print graphs. Students with visual impairments must be specifically taught how to interpret tactile graphics and these skills are essential to success in later grades in all subjects, but especially in math and science.

In this post I have included examples of different types of graphs and charts, including pie chart, tally charts, bar graphs, co-ordinates, and line graphs, at both the primary and secondary school levels.  Examples are included for tactile graphs and charts, as well as large print versions for each.


Pie Charts

plate with 4 pieces

Primary Pie Charts

Paper plate with thick cardboard used to make the “pie pieces”
Example question:
My first pie chart
Ben and Jen made a jam pie. They cut it up.
They gave some to mum and dad.
1. How many pieces can you count?
2. Which pieces are the same?
3. Who had the biggest piece?
4. Who had the smallest piece?

pie chartsSecondary Pie Chart

Example question:
“Reducing Traffic”
This pie chart shows how many people travel in one car. The government target to get two or more people in one car is 40%.
Has the government met its target from the data shown here? Explain your answer.
pie chartgraph

Further examples of pie charts:

Tactile colour used to identify each area of the pie chart. (Image on left) 
Made on Zyfuse paper, lines raised using Zyfuse machine. (Image on right) 


Tally Charts

tally chartPrimary Tally Charts (tactile and large print) illustrated together

Tactile Tally Chart made on embossing film, positioned on geometry mat.
Example question:
How many cars and bikes came into the garage for petrol and to be mended?
(Using tally charts supports the child’s social skills, particularly if the questions are ones they can ask their classmates.)
tally chart

Primary—Tally charts

Tactile tally chart
Made on embossing film, in table format, with a slightly more advanced recording system introduced. Braille is produced directly onto the embossing film. Lines of the table are drawn with a biro directly onto embossing film. Embossing film is posi- tioned on a Geometry Mat, (RNIB) lines drawn with a biro create a raised line.

Large print—tally chart

tactile tally chart









braille textSecondary—Tally Chart Tactile

Tally chart using the letter ‘l’ to represent one, e.g. 10 skips: 5 ‘l’s’ in a group—space—5 ‘l’s in a group—space-5 ‘l’s in a group

Secondary—Tally Chart Large print

tactile tally chart










Bar Charts

Primary Bar Chart – tactile version (right)

Braille version made using Perkins Braille Machine to create the lines. Braille numbers added directly using Perkins. Foam squares used to make the bars of the graph.

Large print bar chart (left)

tactile bar chart in large printtactile bar chart in braille

tactile bar chartBar chart—secondary Tactile version

On Zyfuse paper. Image prepared on Zyfuse paper and then passed through a heat machine (Zy-fuse machine) Braille added directly onto paper.


Large print bar chart

large print bar chart



tactile graph


Find where the cakes are. 
What shape are the chocolate cakes? Find 1a, 2c, 3b. 
Graph lines brailled directly onto braille paper using the Perkins. 
Braille numbers added on large print graph sticky back braille, felt 
shapes used to represent cakes, stuck on with double sided tape. 
Tactile version (right) and large print version (below).
large print graph
secondary tactile graphSecondary—Co-ordinates
On embossing film, lines drawn with biro, with embossing film positioned on geometry mat. Braille added directly onto film using Perkins Braille Machine. Co-ordinates can be plotted by positioning the embossing film on a cork mat using mapping pins to identify the locations.
Large print version of co-ordinates

secondary large print graph










Line Graphs

tactile graphPrimary—line graph
Lines brailled with Perkins Braille Machine. Thin strips of foam used to highlight the columns, hi- mark used to indicate graph line Braille numbers added using Perkins Braille Machine
Large print version of line graph
Hi-Mark used to indicate line.

primary large print graph









tactile line graphSecondary—line graph
Tactile (right)
Grid lines made using Perkins Braille Machine, braille added directly using Perkins. Two types of line materials used to show clear distinction between the two. (Hi-Mark and foam strip, Wikki Stix could also be used.)
tactile line graph
Line graph (left) made with Zyfuse paper passed through the Zyfuse machine to create raised lines, line of best fit made with Wikki Stix and pins. Graph paper positioned on a cork mat to perform this task.
Below—large print version of line graphlarge print graph


There are more ideas for resources at:



Screen shot of a YouTube video showing the number 6 with touch math concepts
Lessons and materials

YouTube Learning Videos for Students with Visual Impairments

Cube counters stacked together.

Math Manipulatives

Young student in three spots in the classroom, one at a quiet area, one with her iPad, and one at a small table with a book.

Creating a Learning Space for Our Students with Visual Impairments, Including CVI