Cheap tactile graphics developed in a joint IIT Delhi-Indiana University project
A collaborative research project involving the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and Indiana University of the United States has led to the development of cost-effective designs for tactile graphics. The research took over three years and will help improve quality of life for the blind.
India is home to the highest number of blind people in the world
Tactile graphics, also known as raised line drawings, help convey non-textual information to people who are blind or visually impaired. They include representations of pictures, maps, graphs and other images. A blind or low vision person can feel these raised lines and surfaces to get access to the same information that people get through pictures or other visual images.
Similar graphics have been discovered in the US, Britain and Japan but this study has used inexpensive tactile graphics, which is useful in developing countries like India.
While U.S.-based tactile diagrams cost around $25 per page at the moment, now the new research has helped bring the price down to 25 cents per page. The final aim is to make them available for as low as 5-7 cents, which amounts to Rs 455 a page.
The Blind Relief Association says this is great news as it will help raise the quality of education of blind students. And the cost factor being so cheap, it can also be made available for students easily.