[accessibleimage] SV: Re: Oliver Sacks on Empathy as a Path to Insight podcast

Hi Lee,

Very interesting questions and congratulations on your company's project.

What height distances are you working with?

I would like to put my two pennies worth in, though it perhaps comes at your
question from a little different angle. I design tactile graphics daily - both
digitally and manually. When I work with Tiger embosser output and levels I try 
to be
extremely careful using different levels. I think the most I typically use are 
three -
that is 1. Blank -  un-embossed paper 2. 100% embossed point 3. #% embossed 
point.
I tend to use texture more and divide and spread the information over several 
pages.
When using texture I might incorporate another height in a texture but then it 
is in connection with a texture and not alone.

This of course is not the only way to work and there are surely many other 
ways. The reason
I keep to such a limited pallet is the attempt to make the graphics as clear as 
possible.
It has nothing to do with the question you wondered about 

" ... the ability of typical users to distinguish multi-level  information"

The ability of typical users is MUCH greater. Tactile graphics are challenging 
to design that is
why I tread carefully.


A while back I came across a blog where the writer was discussing tactile 
screens for phones and etc. He ended
it with a question wondering about the accessibility issues for visually 
impaired and wondered if there where
any standards for tactile information for these screens. At first reading I 
thought "boy what he doesn't know!" and
pooh-poohed it. Second thought was well,  why not? Ok not with the tactile 
screens as they are now but with screens
such as in your project and other types. It seems this might be is an issue for 
refreshable tactile displays and content. 
Perhaps a type of tags/coding might keep a refreshable screen from tactile 
clutter?  W3 get your thinking caps on!

Another thought - probably something that many have thought. With a refreshable 
screen the access to tactiles will
hopefully increase dramatically thereby increasing the ability of reading and 
interpreting tactile graphics. 

Would also think it would help to increase the number and ability of Braille 
readers.

There is a hitch though. The design that goes to the refreshable screens, I 
think, has to be adapted to the tactile screen medium.
That is a picture that is used on a light screen I am guessing would not be 
suited for a tactile screen. This (refreshable tactile pin screens)
will be a new medium for information/graphic designers to work with.. This is 
not a new issue - designing
tactile graphics is different than designing ink graphics. Pictures are tweaked 
to fit the medium or better yet created for the medium.

Would like to hear your thoughts.

Regards,

Lisa
 

-----Opprinnelig melding-----
Fra: accessibleimage-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:accessibleimage-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] På vegne av Lee Winter
Sendt: 12. oktober 2010 20:29
Til: accessibleimage@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Emne: [accessibleimage] Re: Oliver Sacks on Empathy as a Path to Insight podcast

Dear Accessible Image,

We have been working on a low-cost, refreshable tactile display for
quite a while.  Recently we completed a research project aimed at
providing grayscale (variable pin heights) images with a
user-controlled pallete.

The purpose of this message is to solicit input on two issues: the
ability of typical users to distinguish multi-level  information
within an image and the most appropriate number of grayscale levels
(resolution) for typical tactile images.

If either of these topics interests you please respond via any of the
contact information below.

Lee Winter
NP Engineering
Five Bellingrath Place
Nashua, New Hampshire
United States of America
603-595-2608



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