Accessible Graphics for the Vision Impaired Community

  • 3D printed map of Monash University's Caulfield campus
  • 3D printed maps
  • 3D printed land and cityscapes

Accessible Graphics for the Vision Impaired Community

Investigating and prototyping technology-based solutions for the development and provision of accessible graphics.

Project Members

Kim Marriott
Matthew Butler
Cagatay Goncu
Leona Holloway

Category

Accessibility

Information graphics, diagrams, plans, maps, plots and charts, are widespread in written communication. The ability to comprehend, use and create these graphics is an important skill that most of us take for granted. However, for those who are blind or have severe vision impairment, access to such graphics is severely limited, restricting effective participation in the workplace, limiting educational opportunities, especially in art and design, mathematics, and science and technology, and constraining enjoyment of popular media including the web.

This project seeks to develop processes for improving access to graphic and investigate and prototype technology-based solutions for the development and provision of accessible graphics.

A number of technology-based ways to address these problems have been developed. The first is the combination of 3D printing and low-cost computing and electronics to create interactive accessible objects. These objects include “intelligent” maps created with 3D printing and embedded electronics and also various teaching and learning objects to enable vision-impaired students to move from concrete to abstract representation.

Accessible 3D printed maps for the vision impaired

The second technology is GraVVITAS (Graphics Viewer using Vibration Interactive Touch and Speech). GraVVITAS is a multi-modal presentation device that uses touch screen and haptic feedback technologies to give blind people access to graphics. A wearable ring, equipped with vibrating motors, provides haptic feedback when the finger is over a graphic element on the tablet computer. GraVVITAS also provides speech and 3D non-speech audio feedback to help the user with navigation.

Tags:
3D printing accessible graphics electronics haptic tactile