Raised Graphics

Written by Amy Hall
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Raised graphics allow print-disabled people to comprehend pictures, diagrams, and maps with their hands. Sighted people often take for granted just how much information can be learned from glancing at a picture. Braille and tactile graphics bring this information to light for people who are blind.

Raised graphics take time and expertise to create. It is not an easy process to exactly replicate a picture by embossing a special type of paper with an image. This process often requires the help of computer technology that can reformat an image to scale, which can then be converted to a tactile graphic.

Interpreting Raised Graphics

There are several considerations to take into account before a picture can be converted into raised graphics. For instance, does the graphic represent something of importance in the lesson that the student will miss out on if it is not converted? Or is the graphic just pleasing to the eye and an added supplement to the text?

Since it takes money and time to produce raised graphics, it should be determined beforehand if it is truly necessary to do. Sometimes a picture can just as effectively be transcribed into braille for the person to read, instead of "see." In a nutshell, sometimes the situation warrants for a graphic to be converted into tactile graphics. Other times, the picture can be easily transcribed into braille for a written description that is just as effective.

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