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Posted to the Art Beyond Sight mailinglist

NASA Unveils a New Lunar Book for the Visually Impaired

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. - NASA will unveil a new book for blind and visually impaired readers at a media event and reception hosted by the
NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) at 6 p.m. PDT on July 18 at NASA's
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

The book "Getting a Feel for Lunar Craters" was created with the NLSI and features tactile diagrams of the lunar surface designed to educate the blind and visually impaired about the wonders of Earth's moon. David
Hurd, a space science professor at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, Pa., is the book's author. He and tactile engineer John Matelock began creating tactile astronomy tools after a student with a visual impairment signed up for Hurd's introductory astronomy course.
Cassandra Runyon, a professor at College of Charleston, Charleston, S.C. and Hurd previously produced "A Tactile Guide to the Solar System with Digital Talking Book" for NASA.

Hurd and students from the California School for the Blind, Fremont, Calif., are scheduled to attend the unveiling.

"NASA's Lunar Science Institute is committed to the development of resources to bring lunar science into the world of those who cannot see.
'Getting a Feel for Lunar Craters' is one giant step for humankind, making lunar science visible through touch and sound," said Yvonne Pendleton, director of the NLSI.

The NLSI is a virtual organization that enables collaborative, interdisciplinary research in support of NASA lunar science programs.
The institute uses technology to bring scientists together around the world and comprises competitively selected U.S. teams and several international partners. NASA's Science Mission Directorate and the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at the agency's Headquarters in Washington, funds the institute, which is managed by Ames.

For more information about the NASA Lunar Science Institute, visit:
kestrell: (Default)
Kes: I hadn't even heard of the tixel before reading this article but, aside from being a cool new technology, it's fun to say. If I ever get that cyber guide dog, I think I will name her Tixel.

New display technology is allowing users to "feel" touch screens, giving the blind a way to interact with mobile devices.

Senseg's E-Sense technology,
being developed in Sweden, recreates the sensation of different textures on touch screen devices. It uses "tixels," or "tactile pixels," to generate an electric field a few millimeters above the device's surface, enabling skin to feel finely tuned sensations replicating different textures.
The technology is similar to the concept of haptic feedback, which vibrates to confirm that a finger touch has been accepted, but has even farther-reaching implications.
Braille reading would be one immediate application for the technology. The blind and visually-impaired would be able to take advantage of the tactile-pixel technology, assisting them in reading messages on touch screen devices like smartphones. Down the road, the technology may even allow people to, for example, touch the face of a newborn baby or hold the hand of the long-lost friend.
Senseg said the technology may also create knobs, buttons and other tactile elements for the increasingly-popular mobile gaming market. Handset makers, currently struggle for placement of controls on the limited space of smartphones, may also find a use for tactile displays.
kestrell: (Default)
Here's a source for purchasing blank board books
in case anyone wants to create a tactile book for the International Tactile Book competition which I mentioned a while back
and I note that that vendor also sells blank game boards

These are two projects which I am reallyhoping to accomplish this year.
kestrell: (Default)
The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) is joining Typhlo & Tactus (TT)
in an international competition to promote tactile books.

TT, an organization comprised of western and eastern European nations, has conducted an annual tactile book competition for the past decade. This year's competition has been opened to the world. A panel of U.S. judges,
including APH, will review each entry. The top five books will be sent overseas for final adjudication by an international panel of children and adults with visual impairments, as well as professionals in the field.

A single winning entry will be chosen, along with ten shortlisted books. If you live in the U.S. or U.S. outlying areas, this is your chance to create a completed tactile book, designed for a child with visual impairment from birth to 12 years of age, by Friday, September 2, 2011!

The TT website provides the competition guidelines as well as a list of suggestions for desirable features in your tactile book creation! All entries must be
accompanied by an official TT entry form, found at the TT website

U.S. entries can be sent to:

American Printing House for the Blind
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206-0085
Attn: Suzette Wright, TT book competition

Originally posted to
Art_beyond_sight_theory_and_research mailing list
kestrell: (Default)
I just heard about one of these machines. It is not, as I had hoped when first hearing of it, a piece of voice equipment which allows you to sing sad songs in French, but instead is a sort of embosser which uses special paper to make tactile images

This reminds me that I still haven't tried puff paint--does anyone have a brand which they would recommend?
kestrell: (Default)
Because Pictures Matter: A Guide to Using, Finding, and Creating Tactile Imagery for Blind Children
written by Deborah Kent, illustrated by Ann Cunningham (National Braille Press, 2008)

This book is available for free from NBP in large print format, and is also available in Spanish.
To order, go to

As a former art student, one of the things I find most frustrating about being blind is the attitude on the part of others that how things look is something of which I am uncaring, oblivious, or entirely ignorant.

As human beings, most of us have brains which automatically attempt to find out information, patterns, stories, and even a sense of aesthetics. An aesthetic is, after all, one's sense of what is good and beautiful, what affects each of us emotionally and psychologically and even sometimes physically.

Let me underscore that last bit, because sighted individuals often seem to forget this: beneath all the linguistic and conceptual abstractions of aesthetics lies the fact that we are talking about reacting to what is, after all, the physical world and it's affect upon us.
continued below cut )
kestrell: (Default)
Kes: This October marks the Eighth Annual Art Beyond Sight Month which makes this free book being offered by NBP perfectly timed to provide people with ideas for creating tactile graphics and accessible art. Note that it is a large print book, but I have ordered a copy to scan, so if any of my blind readers would like a copy of the etext, leave a comment. (Selkie, want my copy when I'm done with it?)

Because Pictures Matter (BPM)
A Guide to Using, Finding, and Creating Tactile Imagery for Blind Children.

Note: This book is also available in Spanish.

Pictures are part of the world we all live in. Pictures matter for blind children because pictures matter for everyone. This booklet for parents and teachers
explains "how" and "why" to introduce tactile graphics in the home and at school.

Price: Free!  
Format: Large Print 
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From the
Art_beyond_sight_theory_and_research mailing list

Kes: I think I am going to get one of those drawing boards and some of the special drawing paper and try drawing again; who knows? maybe I'll enter something in next year's Arisia art show.
products listed below cut )
kestrell: (Default)
The American Printing House for the Blind is making this free guide available in multiple formats, including html and PDF.
kestrell: (Default)
Because Pictures Matter (BPM)
A Guide to Using, Finding, and Creating Tactile Imagery for Blind Children. by Deborah Kent


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