Tactile Lithophane Makes Scientific Data Accessible to Students With Blindness

Tactile Lithophane Makes Scientific Data Accessible to Students With Blindness

Universal Pictures: A Lithophane Codex Helps Teenagers With Blindness Visualize Nanoscopic Systems

Author: Baylor University – Contact: baylor.edu
Published: 2024/01/11
Peer-Reviewed: Yes – Publication Type: Observational Study
Table of Contents: Summary – Main Article – About/Author

Synopsis: Tactile learning device makes science accessible to students with blindness or low vision (BLV) opens possibility of transfer of scientific data or images for sighted students into functional formats for students with blindness. The study, which incorporated students from TSBVI, demonstrated that students with blindness or low vision could accurately describe, recall and distinguish high-resolution data and imagery at an average accuracy of 88 % – comparable to sighted peers. The students were able to visualize this data through the use of lithophanes. Likely created in China as early as the seventh century and popularized in Europe in the 1800s, lithophanes are thin engravings made from translucent materials, now 3D-printed with raised imagery suitable for tactile learning.



A lithophane is a slender, translucent plaque typically crafted from porcelain. Its thickness varies across the surface, and when illuminated from behind, the diverse thicknesses manifest as distinct shades, collectively shaping an image. The mechanism of a lithophane [...]

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