A Digital Resource Collection of Tactile Graphics for Geoscience Education

Grants and Contracts Details


Geology is a visually-stimulating science, and as such, presents significant challenges to students with visual disabilities. This problem has been exacerbated by the dramatic increase in the amount of visual material in introductory geoscience textbooks over the last few decades. These published images are usually described only in text form in accessible textbooks, and thus visually disabled students are deprived of a deeper level of understanding that could be gained by a tactile examination of these materials. Preparation of tactile graphics and other hands-on materials by instructors not trained in tactile graphic design is a problem which requires a considerable investment of time, effort, and money, usually in consultation with campus disability services which have appropriate expertise and equipment. An easier and more effective method of producing and distributing tactile graphics for introductory geoscience education is needed. A digital resource collection of at least 125 tactile graphics suitable for introductory geoscience education at the high-school and college level is proposed. The images will be created with an on-screen digitizing tablet and computer graphics software, and will be suitable for printing on heat-sensitive microcapsule paper with a Harpo “Pictures in a Flash” (PIAF) printer. The graphics in this collection will be chosen, designed, annotated, labeled (with Braille) and produced by the PI with the aim to represent commonly-taught topics and themes within introductory geoscience courses at the college and university level. Graphics files will be saved in PowerPoint format in a way that allows for easy modification and use by other instructors. Users and beneficiaries of this resource collection will include instructors and visually-disabled students at the high-school and college level. The collection will be housed on the website of the International Association for Geoscience Diversity (IAGD), a leader in the support of accessible geoscience curricula. A primary goal of this project is to increase the scope and usefulness of the IAGD’s website, particularly its existing collection of “Blind and Low Vision Resources”.
Effective start/end date9/1/1912/12/20


  • American Geophysical Union: $5,000.00


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