Creative Art Materials
By: Carmen Willings
Updated March 11, 2016
There are a number of materials and resources you can use to make art accessible to students who are blind or visually impaired. The following are some options.
Time for Art: Art Projects and Lessons for Students with Visual Impairments
This handbook, available through APH, is for teachers and parents. It explains how to instruct visually impaired students in art, how to handle the media being explored, and points to consider in art program planning.
Paint Pot Palette
The Paint Pot Pallet from APH includes a set of custom-made drawings that are printed and embossed on heavy paper; each picture is titled in print and braille. The embossed lines make it easy to trace the subject with the fingers and then follow with a crayon or paint brush this makes it easier for beginning artists to learn to color and paint.
Feel 'n Peel Sheets: Carousel of Textures
This kit, available from APH, includes an assortment of sheets in a variety of textures and colors that can be used in numerous ways. Although frequently used to adapt materials and create tactual graphics and charts, it can be used for classroom art activities.
Textured Paper Collection
This paper collection, available from APH, contains tactile colored sheets that can be cut and applied to other surfaces. These textures can be used in combination with other materials to create tactual pieces of art.
Quick-Draw paper, available from APH, allows teachers or students to create instant tactile graphics or raised line drawings.
DRAFTSMAN Tactile Drawing Board
The DRAFTSMAN, available from APH, is typically used to create tactile graphics for student, but can also be used by the student to create their own art drawings. The board has a plastic frame that encases a double-layer rubber surface. Clamp a sheet of drawing film onto the board and use the stylus or a ballpoint pen to quickly draw a raised image.
The inTACT Eraser is a battery operated eraser specifically designed for tactile drawing. It allows the user to erase mistakes and can also be used to create dashed lines. The eraser works like a miniature iron, heating the flat tip to approximately 180 degrees. It flattens tactile drawings quickly and erases them tactually. This eraser can be used in tandem with the inTACT Sketchpad or it can be used with the APH Draftsman. Some students may be able to use inTACT eraser independently while other students will need supervision or assistance.
The inTACT Sketchpad is a great alternative to the Draftsman. It is particularly beneficial for students to use and create their own tactual graphics due to its ease of use. When the cover is lifted, there is a recessed area to place the drawing sheet on. Magnet strips completely cover the perimeter of the board creating a secure closing when the lid is lowered. Although students may have a difficult time independently using the Draftsman, they will quickly discover that the Sketchpad is much easier to use and is more secure.
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