If you Love Me, read me a braille story

Examples of novelty
books for sighted
So close…
and yet so far away
Is this book
Here’s an example of one of the
best tactile books in the world,
handmade by Lynette Rudman from
South Africa. This book won first
place in the international
Typhlo and Tactus
tactile illustrated books competition
held in France in 2009.
…another book designed by
Lynette Rudman. This was a top
contender in the Typhlo & Tactus
competition in 2011.
Early experience is key
A review of the literature shows...
The capacity of congenitally blind adults for mental
imagery and spatial competence is closely correlated with
early levels of experience and expertise with tactile
drawings (Dulin & Hatwell, 2006)
When readers who are blind are introduced to tactile
graphics early in life, many visual two-dimensional
representations of three-dimensional objects are as
accessible to them as they are to sighted readers
(Kennedy & Fox, 1977)
Early tactual exposure to form and figure helps develop a
young child's readiness for reading with the fingers
(Harley, Truan & Sanford, 1997)
Graphicacy is an
extension of literacy
The literature also shows...
Graphics facilitate cognitive processing and
retention (Lewalter, 2003; Sung & Mayer, 2012)
Early and consistent exposure to graphics
prepares students to become proficient tactile
graphic users in middle and high school (Zebehazy
& Wilton, 2014)
Tactile illustrations can help motivate children to
want to learn to read (Ripley & Voutilainen, 2007)
Role of tactile illustrations…
To be effective, a tactile illustration should provide the child with
a tactual experience that, along with the book’s words, triggers a
connection with the child’s own experience of the object in
everyday life.
(Wright & Stratton, 2007)
Principles of good tactile design…
Use distinctly different textures, shapes, lines, and symbols
Avoid clutter
Avoid many intersecting lines
Use fill patterns or textures
If the illustration has many elements, break it into two or more
separate illustrations
Principles of good tactile design…
Individual pieces should not overlap.
Front views of the body are preferred with side views of
animals (in their entirety).
Shapes represented must be sufficiently thick (at least 1mm).
There must be a proportionate relationship between the
Initially, images should be two dimensional.
Best practices…
Begin with real objects for the youngest students.
Allow the child to develop in his ability to interpret tactile
Start simple and increase complexity as skills increase.
Give assistance for interpreting each graphic.
Use a variety of materials.
Making it meaningful…
Even with good tactile design, illustrations still may not
trigger an association with the real objects or concepts the child
Begin with the child. Consider previous experiences, background knowledge
and abilities.
Consider the story or text. Whether you add tactile illustrations to a
published children’s book or illustrate a book that you or the child has written,
carefully consider the most central aspects of the text.
After identifying the central objects and concepts in the story, decide what
type of tactile illustration will best depict these (objects, textures, cut-out
shapes and textures, raised and filled outlines, unfilled outlines).
Challenges and Limitations…
The purpose of a tactile
illustration is to
communicate an idea or
information – not to
reproduce a visual picture
in a tactile form
A tactile illustration can
never be as complete as a
visual picture or understood
as instantly and completely
Include the child…
One of the surest ways to create a tactile
illustration that has meaning for a child is to
involve the child in choosing how to illustrate a
particular thing or concept
Aldrich & Sheppard (2001) found that younger
students in particular enjoy the process of
creating their own tactile graphics
Creating tactile books with children...
Texture book
Pipe cleaner book
Counting book
Alphabet book
Gooey book
Cutting book
Point book
Fastener book
Staple book
Experience book
Book about me
Shape book
Book of curves
Concept book
Books with braille
labels and simple
tactile graphics of
familiar objects
Another award-winning
“There is a
wonder in
reading Braille
that the sighted
will never know:
to touch words
and have them
touch you
~ Jim Fiebig
APH Guide
Telling Stories Through Touch
Typhlo & Tactus Guide
If a picture’s worth
a thousand words...
If a picture’s worth
a thousand words...
how much is a touch worth?
Dulin, D., & Hatwell, Y. (2006). The effects of visual experience and training in raised-line materials
on the mental spatial imagery of blind persons. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 100, 414–
Harley, R. K., Truan, M. B., & Sanford, L. D. (1997). Communication skills for visually impaired learners.
Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, LTD.
Kennedy, J. M., & Fox, N. (1977). Pictures to see and pictures to touch. In D. Perkins & B. Leondar
(Eds.), The arts and cognition (pp. 118–135). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Lewalter, D. D. (2003). Cognitive strategies for learning from static and dynamic visuals. Learning &
Instruction, 13(2), 177–189. doi:10.1016/S0959 – 4752(02)00019-1
Ripley, M. & Voutilainen, P. (2007). Typhlo and Tactus: The European organization of tactile book
producers. Focus on International Library and Information Work. 38(3). Retrieved from
Sheppard, L., & Aldrich, F. K. (2001). Tactile graphics in school education: Perspectives from teachers.
British Journal of Visual Impairment, 19, 93–97. doi: 10.1177/ 026461960101900303
Sung, E., & Mayer, R. E. (2012). When graphics improve liking but not learning from online lessons.
Computers in Human Behavior, 28(5), 1618–1625. doi:10.1016/ j.chb.2012.03.026
Zebehazy, K. T., & Wilton, A. P. (2014). Charting success: The experience of teachers of students with
visual impairments in promoting graphic use by students. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness,
108(4), 263–274.

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