As her master’s graduation thesis from the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design graphic design department, Nora Kaszanyi (previously) designed an open source educational tool for blind children, named tacTiles. The tool aims to help sight-impaired children learn the Braille alphabet through tactile pictograms, with each tile pairing a specific letter to an image.
While children with sight have many tools and ways available to help them learn the alphabet, a blind child only meets the system of points. TacTiles offers an alternative, and as an open source concept, the tool is would be available anywhere in the world for everyone via ready to print downloadable files. See the video in the end which explains the idea and execution of tacTiles in full.
Each tile consists of a front side and a back side, with the first being a tactile 3D printed surface with the Braille character, the Latin letter as well as the illustration, while the other explanatory side is for the helper with vision (parent, teacher). Albeit the tool is designed with children in mind, older blind people and those who lost their vision later in life could also rely on tacTiles during their learning process.
While the concept of the open source tool is very intriguing and tackles an important issue, Kaszanyi’s style and design expertise are also noticeable. Besides having to create a coherent and complex narrative through Braille and tactile images, Kaszanyi had to figure out how to design as a visual artist for those who do not have the ability to see?
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