Braille art of chicken

Braille Art as a Stepping Stone to Tactile Graphics

Braille art can be a stepping stone to tactile graphics, using real objects and other tactile materials to reinforce the meaning of an image.

By Liz Eagan

Braille art is fun and can provide a meaningful stepping stone into the world of tactile graphics for students. Perkins’ book Drawing With Your Perkins Brailler is a fantastic tool to use! There are 36 directions with an accompanying braille image with it. I have quite a few patterns for braille art images, but none have the accompanying braille image with it. I don’t always know what they’ll look like until I’m done brailling it and then the image may have errors in it or is not what I want.

braille Christmas tree
Braille Christmas tree

That being said, I’ve taken the images one step farther. I’ll have the student braille the image and then add to it. It provides the opportunity to discuss what the purpose of the image is, what is important in the image, and what materials are needed to make the image. I feel this is vitally important as tactile graphics will become a mainstay in their academic career. It is my personal belief once they understand what goes into creating a graphic and make them, reading them in curricular materials will make more sense.

braille art with chicken feathers
Braille picture of chicken with feathers and chicken food

In the examples on this page, my student and I created a braille picture of a chicken, and then added feathers and chicken food.  In the other image, we created a Christmas tree and added ornaments and presents.  Both of these allowed me to reinforce the meaning of the images and extend the braille art with additional tactile materials.

braille art collage