Main content

Alert message

Tutorials by Pat Van Geem - TSBVI

Tactile Graphics Resource List

Compiled by Judi Piscitello, TVI, COMS (), New York State School for the Blind Outreach Department; in conjunction with Monika K. Rieger, Ph.D. (), Adjunct Professor, Department of Geography, The University of Calgary; Terry Maggiore, TVI, COMS (), Massachusetts; and Robert S. Jaquiss, Jr., Executive director, VIEW International Foundation.

Updated 3/05.

Adapted Graphics Listserv

The Adapted Graphics List's purpose is to discuss graphics designed for people who are blind or visually impaired.  This includes the development of tactile graphics, and other types of information design for folks who are blind or visually impaired. 

Subscribe to the list by sending email to:
with 'subscribe' in the Subject line. 
To post on the list, simply send email to: .

Adobe®Illustrator® Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) drawing software program to produce tactile graphics:

AFB Press

American Foundation for the Blind
11 Penn Plaza, Suite 300
New York, NY 10001

Tactile Graphics by Polly K. Edman
544-page paperback book,
ISBN 089128-194-0, $59.95

Access World and the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness

American Art Clay Co., Inc.

6060 Guion Road
Indianapolis, IN 46254-1222
(800) 374-1600; Fax: (317) 248-9300
Email: ;

A wide variety of clay, glazes, modeling clay, other craft supplies and pottery equipment.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.  (APH)

1839 Frankfort Avenue
Box 6085
Louisville, KY 40206-0085
(800) 223-1839

American Thermoform

1758 Brackett Street
La Verne, CA 91750
(800) 331-3676 / Fax (909) 593-8001

Braillo, Basic-D, Everest-D and Dot& Print Printers and embossers; Duxbury and Megadots braille translation software; Thermoform machines (EZ-Form and Maxi-Form); Swell-form Graphics Machine and Swell-touch Paper; Paper, labeling and binders (Brailon, Compu.Dot, SwellTouch, Braillabels, Embossables, Poly Covers).

Anglia Polytechnic University Enterprises

Researcher institute and supplier of polymer ink graphics, tactile diagrams & 3D printing
Contact: Jonathan Rowell


Art Education for the Blind, Inc.

160 Mercer Street,
New York, New York 11102
phone: (212) 334-3700

Assistive Technology Group at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Blind Audio Tactile Mapping System (BATS)

BANA Tactile Graphics Technical  Committee

Braille Jymico

Produces illustrations, graphics and spatial representations adapted to touch recognition for people who are blind using a Graphtact prototype printer designed to produce standardized tactile designs.  Braille Jymico also produces a computerized aluminum master to create Thermoform copies. 

C.A. Reading Technology, Inc.

P2RD Portable Print Reading Device

Carolina Biological Supply Company

2700 York Road,
Burlington, NC 27215-3398
( 800) 334-5551
Fax: 800-222-7112
Sells materials for science teachers including preserved specimens.

Comparison of Thermal Expansion Machines for Raised Line/Tactile Graphics

Computer Center for Visually Impaired People,

Baruch College, City University of New York
Tactual Maps, Floor Plans and Charts
Contact Karen Gourgey: 

Computers to Help People (CHPI)

825 East Johnson Street
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 257-5917 / fax (608) 257-3480
Private, nonprofit organization, providing tactile graphs and maps, and science and mathematics books in Braille and e-text.

Corel Drawing program

produce tactile graphics

Creating and Using Tactile Experience Books for Young Children With Visual Impairments

by Sandra Lewis and Joan Tolla

Creative Adaptations for Learning (CAL)

38 Beverly Road
Great Neck, New York 11021-1330.
Phone: (516) 466-9143
Tactile greeting cards, flashcards, shapes and rhymes books, raised shapes counting cards, etc.

Dots Plus Tactile Fonts

Duxbury Systems, Inc.

270 Littleton Rd., Unit 6
Westford, MA 01886-3523 USA
(978) 692-3000
Fax: (978) 692-7912
Duxbury and Megadots braille translators, LaTeX importer for graphics, Duxbury Braille Board: Easy-to-use translator for sign making.

Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI)

Guide to Math and Graphics

Enabling Technologies

1601 Northeast Braille Place
Jensen Beach, Florida 34957
(800) 777 DOTS / Fax: (800) 950 DOTS

Embossers: Romeo, Thomas, Marathon, Juliet, BookMaker, Braille Express, BraillePlace, PED-30;
Signmakers: PrestoBraille and KGS Braille Labeler;
Print/braille devices: TranSend and Gemini Print and Braille Embosser;
Braille translation software from Duxbury Systems;
Tactile Graphics Hardware & Software: ET-Graphix, Tactile Image Enhancer (TIE) and TIE Jr.; Thermo-Pen, Flexi-Paper"; Tactile Graphics Designer (TGD) Pro Software, TagPad from Repro-Tronics;
Braille Paper


52 Allees Charles-de-Fitte
F-31300 Toulouse, France
+33-561-426866 voice/ +33-561-591382 fax

Copieurs-Relief: French translation and graphics program.

Exceptional Teaching Aids, Inc.

20102 Woodbine Ave.
Castro Valley, CA  94546
(800) 549-6999 / Fax: 510-582-5911

Raised line coloring books; labeling, marking, writing, and transcribing aids

Fingerprints Tactile Books

Fingerprints books are original or retellings of classic tales, with quality tactile illustrations designed to be accessible and understandable to a blind person.  Fingerprints' books are designed by volunteers and are available free of charge or at a reasonable cost.  Contributions to production means are sought through institutions and other interest groups.  When it is otherwise not possible to offer the books free of charge, the book will be similar in cost of a children's book.

Fischer Scientific

Scientific equipment, supplies, and models


Model A Technology
2420 Van Landen Way
Modesto, California 95356
(209) 575-3445; fax: (209) 575-2750
A wide variety of construction sets, some very sophisticated, including pneumatic, robotic, and computer interface components.

Freedom Scientific

11800- 31st Court North
St. Petersburg, FL 33716-1805
(800) 444-4443 FAX (727) 803-8001

Braille Blazer and VersaPoint Duo embossers

Frontier Computing

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Tactile graphics materials, hardware

gh, LLC

Purdue Technology Center
3000 Kent Avenue
West Lafayette, IN 47906
Toll Free: (866) MY-3-DOTS [693-3687]
Fax: (765) 775-2501

LaserLine Graphics, Digital Talking Books, Electronic Braille and Large Print, Random Electronic Access Documents (READ").

Hallogram Publishing

14221 E 4th Ave, Suite 220
Aurora CO 80011
Phone (866) 340-3404/ Fax (303) 340-4404

Scientific Notebook and barcode scanning software and solutions

Holt Anatomical, Botanical and Zoological models

PO BOX 441987,
MIAMI, FLORIDA 33144-1987
(800) 642-HOLT (4658); Fax: (305) 261-9629
Anatomical models for professional use or artistic display, priced to match.

Horizons for the Blind Touch Pictures

Howe Press

Perkins School for the Blind
175 North Beacon Street
Watertown, MA 02172-2790
(617) 924-3434 / FAX (617) 926-2027

Perkins Braillers, Tellatouch & Brailler Accessories, Brailling Slates, Slate Accessories, Braille Paper, Drawing & Measuring Devices (raised line drawing kits, protractors, compasses, tactile rulers, tracing wheels, and rubber pads

Hubbard Scientific

401 West Hickory Street
P.O. Box 2121
Fort Collins, Colorado 80522
(800) 289-9299; fax: (970) 484-1198
A variety of items including a large collection of raised relief maps, useful for showing the actual shape of land areas and are a valuable adjunct to Braille maps.


175 Mason Circle,
Concord, CA 94520
Phone (800) 722-3393/Fax (925) 681-4630
BrailleNote notetaker; Braille Star braille displays; Mountbatten Pro Braille Writer; Paragon, ET, Romeo and Juliet braille embossers; Duxbury Braille Translation software, Pictures in a Flash (PIAF) tactile graphics maker.

Hungry Fingers Educational Tools for Visually Impaired Children

Educational materials to help totally blind learners understand the basics of tactile graphics


iFeelPixel"is a software application designed to create audio-tactile sensations based on image.  Any pictures generated by your computer and being under your cursor position on screen are represented with a subjective audio-tactile sensation on an Immersion TouchSense device and a sound card.  It's the first software that allows a user to feel the pixels on the screen with both haptic and auditory feedback.

Immersion Corporation

TouchSense devices for use with iFeelPixel software

Independent Living Aids, Inc.

200 Robbins Lane
Jericho, NY 11753
Phone (800) 537-2118
Fax: (516) 937-3906

Art History Through Touch and Soundbook with tactile graphics, Braille embossers, braille displays, braille labelers, braille paper, braille translation software, braille writers and braille marking products, Head Start Set of Books with Tactile Images and Braille,raised line drawing kit and polyester film sheets, Mimio Xi electronic whiteboard (diagrams can be sent to a Tiger Embosser), tactile maps, VTPlayer tactile device for Windows PCs

Index Braille

Braille and braille-based tactile graphics embossers and WinBraille braille editor

Tactile Visualization and Tactile Graphics

Information Access Laboratory

INTACT Commission on Maps and Graphics for Blind and Visually Impaired People

ICEB* Tactile Graphics Project

(*International Council on English Braille)
Coordinates research and writing guidelines for tactile graphics (site includes listserv subscription information)

Investigating tactile graphics in the education of blind children

Dr. Frances Aldrich
Reginald Phillips Research Programme
Experimental Psychology
University of Sussex
Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QG, United Kingdom.

Tel: +44 1273 678058 (Direct)
+44 1273 678058 (Dept.)
Fax: +44 1273 678058

IVEO Accessible SVG

The new ViewPlus IVEO Technology is intended as a mainstream method for displaying graphical information that is universally accessible. The IVEO Viewer can be downloaded free from the ViewPlus web site, and is used with the IVEO hardware to make graphical information accessible to blind people.  The Viewer permits a user to mouse-click on objects and hear labels read, identifying those objects.  Any text can also be spoken by mouse-clicking. B lind users can print from the Viewer to any ViewPlus embosser to obtain a tactile copy of the graphic, place it on the IVEO Touchpad and use fingers to locate objects and text and mouse click to hear them.  All spoken information can also be read with an on-line Braille display.  IVEO documents are in Scalable Vector Graphic format.  The IVEO Creator is used to import files from any Windows application or by scanning paper documents, make them accessible, and then save as IVEO SVG. Creator automatically makes all of the text accessible, so a blind user can gain access to many otherwise inaccessible documents without any assistance from a sighted person.  If graphical object labels are essential, then a sighted person needs to click on objects to open a dialog box for adding labels and optional descriptive information.

JP Trading, Inc. (Matsumoto Kosan Corp)

400 Forbes Blvd., Unit3
So.  San Francisco, CA 94080-2026
Tel: (650) 871-3940
Fax: (650) 871-394
Capsule Paper

LaTeX Project

(can be used to prepare technical & scientific documents with tactile graphics):

The Living Paintings Trust

Audio & tactile interpretation of art works

MacKichan Software, Inc.

19307 8th Avenue, Suite C
Poulsbo, WA 98370-7370
(877) 724-9673 / Fax: 360-394-6039

Scientific Notebook for mathematics graphics converted from LaTeX files with Duxburys LaTeX importer

Mapping for the Visually Impaired free downloadable .pdf and CorelDraw maps for education, mobility, transportation and tourism

free downloadable interactive audiotactile maps

  Flash maps (needs a Flash reader, get it from

  SVG Research 1

SVG Research 2


Use the MathType equation editor to insert math into MS Word documents.  Just click on the "export to math page" menu option in the MathType menu after selecting the MathML option.  This gives a XML page that can then be read with any screen reader.  Use Internet Explorer and the free MathPlayer plugin from Design Science, the same people who make MathType.  If your student doesn't have a screen reader and has enough vision not to require something like Jaws, use TextHelp.  It's inexpensive and excellent.

Mimizu refreshable tactile display

National Braille Association

3 Townline Circle,
Rochester, NY  14623-2513
(585) 427-8260; Fax: (585) 427-0263
A membership organization for Braille transcribers.  NBA membership includes quarterly newsletters that contain articles on improving tactile graphics, workshops and handouts regarding tactile graphics.

National Braille Press - tactile graphics creation process tour

National Braille Factory

Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Brailled business cards, documents, books

National Centre for Tactile Diagrams

Conference programme, proceedings, and abstracts for the 1st and 2nd Conference on Tactile Diagrams, Maps and Pictures. Best practice guidelines for the design, production and presentation of vacuum formed tactile maps  Ann Gardiner and Chris Perkins.

Natural Resources Canada - Mapping for the Visually Impaired

Ottawa, ON, Canada
Research department and supplier of web-based maps

NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Braille Display Project

Refreshable Tactile Display Computer Monitor

Omnicor, Inc.

2432 W. Peoria #1188
Phoenix, AZ 85029
(800) 869-4554 / Fax: (602) 870-9877

Wikki Stix One-of-a-Kind Creatables
(Also available from Exceptional Teaching Aids, Inc.)

Personal Data Systems, Inc.

PO Box 1008, Campbell, CA   95009-1008
408-866-1126 voice
408-866-1128 fax

PicTac software takes an OCR image and turns it into embossable graphics

Preparing Tactile Adaptations for Math and Science

(Video tape) by Myrna Whigham & Dianne Utsinger (CV-5-1196.1)
Iowa State University
Instructional Technology Center
Ames, Iowa 50011-3243
Ph. (515) 294-8022

Princeton Braillists

Tactile atlases and anatomical graphics.
76 Leabrook Lane
Princeton, New Jersey 08540
phone: (609) 924-5207

Project Salute 

resource on tactile learning strategies

Quantum Technology

5 South Street (PO Box 390)
Rydalmere NSW 2116, Australia
+61 2 8844 9888 / Fax +61 2 9684 4717

Mountbatten Brailler, braille displays, braille embossers, braille notetakers and personal data assistants, scanning and OCR software/hardware, Pictures in a Flash (PIAF), Woolly Pen tactile drawing kit


75 Carver Ave.
Westwood, NJ 07675
(800) 948-8453 / FAX (201) 722-1881

Tactile Image Enhancer, Flexi - Paper, Thermo Pen II, tactile graphics software

Robotron Group

15 Stamford Road
Oakleigh 3166

BrailleMaster Braille Transcription software

Science Access Project (SAP)

John Gardner, Director


Making science, math, and engineering information accessible to people with print disabilities.  Products developed in the Science Access Project include the Tiger Tactile Graphics and Braille Embosser, the Accessible Graphing Calculator, and TRIANGLE, a fully accessible DOS program for reading and doing math and science.

Sensible Graphics Tactile Graphics

SensibleGraphics' aim is to increase the availability and use of adapted graphics for the blind and visually impaired. This is done by making graphics available online.  Graphics are free to use for nonprofit purposes.  Various organizations and individuals have supplied graphics for this site.  Graphics are provided as are. Feel free to adapt them.  Support is not provided for the graphics.

Tactile Audio

Tactile Graphics Designer (TGD) develops software to enable design and use of tactile graphics and tactile audio graphics, especially for blind and low vision users. Tactile graphic + Sound = Tagraphic.  Design tools are TGD QikTac, TGD Pro and - TGD Workshop with integrated Braille and tactile graphics in a multimedia setting of touch and sound.  AudioBraille in Workshop leads to Braille learning including graphics on the same page.  AudioPIX, in Workshop leads to speech and sound enhanced tactile images - physics, math, geography; any subject and also for just plain 'fun'.

Tactile Colour Ltd.

42 Inwood Crescent
Brighton, BN1 5AQ, UK.
Phone +44(0)1273 565037

Tactile Colour System of textured vinyl stick-on sheets in twelve bold colors, each with a distinctive texture, used for tactile diagrams -plus: Colour identification cards with raised print and Braille, Greeting cards, Shaped identification stickers, Jigsaw puzzles, Maps to order, Memory cards

Tactile Graphics Design:

Tactile Graphics Downloads:

Tactile Graphics, An Overview Resource Guide:


Tactile Vision, Inc.

461 North Service Rd., W., Unit B11
Oakville, Ontario, Canada L6M 2V5
(905) 465-0755, Fax (905) 465-1334

Raised printing for tactile graphics and braille, produced from hard copy originals or electronic files supplied by the customer, from materials available in Tactile Vision files or from designs commissioned by organizations or individuals.  Applications include maps, calendars, books, business and greeting cards, labels and a wide range of teaching materials.

TAEVIS (Tactile Access to Education for Visually Impaired Students)

TAEVIS, Purdue University
Office of the Dean of Students
509 Harrison Street
West Lafayette IN 47907-2025
Phone: (765) 496 2856 Fax: (765) 496 3423

TAEVIS at Purdue University utilizes a variety of alternative formats to provide academic accommodations for students who are blind, visually impaired, or have other print disabilities. Innovative applications for tactile diagrams, technical braille, and electronic text are opening new opportunities in math, engineering, and science.

Tactile Graphics  Nomad MENTOR:

Nomad is a touch sensitive pad that can be connected to a PC running MENTOR software.  Draw shapes on a piece of paper lying on the pad to be reproduced by the software on the computer screen.  The paper can then be put in an embosser and the screen image embossed over it.  The resulting Tactile Graphic can then be positioned back on the Nomad pad for further work.

Tactile Maps:

Talking Tactile Tablet (TTT)

Touch Graphics

330 West 38 Street, Suite 1204
New York, NY 10018
(646) 515-3492 / FAX (212) 375-6341
Steve Landau demo of Talking Tactile Tablet, a new computer peripheral device, along with an Authoring Tool that allows teachers of blind and visually impaired students to create talking tactile pictures for the TTT.

Technologies for the Visually Impaired, Inc. (TVI)

9 Nolan Ct.
Hauppauge, NY 11788
Voice & Fax: (631) 724-4479

A variety of hardware and software (refreshable braille products, braille embossers, braille translation software, tactile imaging products, accessories, etc.) from various manufacturers, as used (demo/loan) products at a discount

Terrifically Tacky Tape and other products for Tactile Graphics: 

  • tacky tape -
  • Block it -
  • embossing enamel -
  • embossing powder -
  • Raise it -

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

Online resource listing, including sources of materials, directions on creating object books, a listing of books, videos, journal articles, web sites, documents and human resources for preparing and teaching the use of quality tactile graphics.  Lots of information about tactile graphics all over the TSBVI site!

ViewPlus Technologies, Inc.

1853 SW Airport Avenue
Corvallis, Oregon 97333
(541) 754-4002
Fax: (541) 738-6505

Tiger printers and embossers that print braille and tactile graphics (including 3-D) direct from mainstream Windows software, DotsPlus® braille font for braille math, the Accessible Graphing Calculator (AGC) that facilitates mathematics accessibility through audio or braille.

Tiger User Group

Subscription (Subject: Sign me up):

Listserv to discuss the use of the Tiger Advantage embosser

VirTouch, Ltd.

Performance Systems
9660 Hillcroft, Suite 302
Houston, Texas 77096
(713) 723-6000
Fax: (713) 723-6221  

Adaptive Technology Consulting
Gayle Yarnall

The Virtual Touch System (VTS) enables remote tactile and audio access for Windows graphics and text through direct feedback from the computer screen.  VTS, with its VirTouch Player and Mouse, also enables the drawing of graphics and displays text tactually in regular alphabets and braille as well as providing audio feedback.



Aldrich, F.K., Sheppard, L. & Hindle, Y. "First steps towards a model of tactile graphicacy", British Journal of Visual  Impairment, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp62 - 67, May 2002.

Sheppard, L & Aldrich F.K. "Tactile graphics in school education: perspectives from teachers," British Journal of Visual Impairment, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp93 - 97, Sept 2001.

Aldrich, F.K. & Sheppard, L."Tactile graphics in school education: perspectives from pupils," British Journal of Visual Impairment, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp69 - 73, May 2001.

Sheppard, L & Aldrich F.K. "Tactile graphics: A beginner's guide to graphics for visually impaired children," Primary Science Review, Vol. 65, pp29 - 30, Nov - Dec 2000.

Aldrich, F.K. & Sheppard, L. "Graphicacy: the fourth 'r'?", Primary Science Review, Vol. 64, pp8-11, Sept - Oct 2000.

Scientific Visualization through Tactile Feedback For Visually Impaired Students
Richard R. Jones

Tactile Depictions for Visually Impaired People: 2D Pictures and Virtual 3D Objects

Homere, an Haptic System for Exploring a 3D Space
JP. Colinot , D. Paris , R. Fournier , F. Ascher PSA Peugeot Citroën, Ondim, CEA-List, Institut pour la ville en mouvement, available from

Presenters Joshua A. Miele, Ph.D.
The Smith Kettlewell Eye Research
Institute 2318 Fillmore St. San Francisco, CA 94115


Presenters Janice Walth
San Joaqin Delta College
Disable Students Programs and Services
5151 Pacific Ave.
Stockton, California 95207
(209) 365-0345

Ted Wattenberg, M.S., C.R.C.
San Joaqin Delta College
Disable Students Programs and Services
5151 Pacific Ave.|
Stockton, California 95207
(916) 736-2251

SCHNEIDER, J., TH. STROTHOTTE, "Virtual Tactile Maps", in: H.-J. Bullinger, J. Ziegler (eds.), Human-Computer Interaction: Ergonomics and User Interfaces, Proc. HCI Int'l. '99 Vol. 1, Mahwah, NJ & London 1999.