Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Refreshable Tactile Graphics Display

hand on refreshable tactile graphics display
American Printing House for the Blind (APH) has teamed up with Orbit Research to create a revolution in digital tactile graphics for users who are blind, visually impaired or deafblind.  The new The Refreshable Tactile Graphics Display (RTGD) addresses the challenge of providing on-screen graphics for people with visual impairments.  The RTGD allows students and adults to access a wide variety of on-screen graphics by touch, including pie charts, bar graphs, geometric forms, maps, floor-plans, flow-charts, line drawings, and dynamic graphical content.
The RTGD has pins of variable heights, so that up to four different types of information can be represented.  To change to the next graphic, the pins on the refreshable display move up and down to create a tactile representation of the graphic. The RTGD can display topographical maps and other features, such as grey levels and colors.  RTGD features the ability to detect touch, so the student can draw, zoom, or scroll directly on the display pins. The RTGD can display tactile versions of images of most file types.
Watch this video to learn more!


Field Testing of Prototypes

APH and Orbit will begin field testing in the fall of 2016.  The fall review will be with experts in the field of tactile graphics and assistive technology. Reviewers will test software, hardware, connectivity, and new features as they are implemented.
The spring field evaluation will be with teachers of students who are visually impaired, including students in elementary, middle, and high school.
Pinterest collage of refreshable tactile graphics display