TACTUAL GRAPHICS GUIDELINES
By: Carmen Willings
October 28, 2017
Much of text content in textbooks, handbooks, and worksheets are presented in graphic form. This includes high stakes tests where students will be required to interpret graphs, charts and tactual diagrams. The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) has developed guidelines and standards for the production of tactual graphics. According to BANA, “The purpose of these guidelines and standards is to provide transcribers, educators, and producers with information about best practices, current methods, and design principles for the production of readable tactile graphics.” It is essential for tactual graphics in textbooks and assessments to follow these guidelines.
Key Design Guidelines
BANA provides a downloadable 362 page manual on Tactual Graphics guidelines. The following are just a couple of the key points! Don't be intimidated by the overwhelming amount of rules for creating graphics. Although planning ahead is ideal, some flexibility is permitted in order to provide “on the spot” graphics as needed.
The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) The mission of BANA is to assure literacy for tactile readers through the standardization of braille and/or tactile graphics. BANA disseminates rules, makes interpretations and renders opinions pertaining to braille codes and guidelines for the provisions of literary and technical materials and related forms and formats of embossed materials now in existence or to be developed in the future for the use of people who are blind in North America.
Their publication on Guidelines and Standards for Tactile Graphics is available in hardcopy format through the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). This 365 page manual is also available online for download. This can be found on the BANA website. The following are some key points from the guidelines.
A great resource on everything pertaining to the creation of tactual graphics can be found at www.tactilegraphics.org. This site was created and maintained by Lucia Hasty, who is a consultant and has developed training materials on tactile graphics. She is also a co-author of the recent BANA Guidelins and standards for Tactile Graphics.
APH specifies guidelines developed out of an APH workshop involving Nancy Aick, Jane Corcoran, and APH staff in July 1997. They are meant to expand on and clarify guidelines.
The American Foundation for the Blind has prepared a list of basic principles for creating tactile graphics that can be found here.
Additional Tactile Graphics Pages...
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Good Tactile Graphic: Booklet
This booklet, available through APH, provides specific guidelines for the design of tactile graphics, expanding on those mentioned in the videos on the Good Tactile Graphic DVD. It also provides further resources and information that may be of use to creators of tactile graphics. In addition, it contains actual samples of some of the tactile graphics depicted in the videos.