Tactile Graphics Helper (TGH)

Tactile graphics use raised lines, textures, and elevations to provide individuals with visual impairments access to graphical materials through touch. Tactile graphics are particularly important for students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, where educational content is often conveyed using diagrams and charts. However, providing a student who has a visual impairment with a tactile graphic does not automatically provide the student access to the graphic's educational content. Instead, the student may struggle to decipher subtle differences between textures or line styles, and must deal with cramped and confusing placement of lines and braille. These format-related issues prevent students with visual impairments from accessing educational content in graphics independently, because they necessitate the students ask for sighted clarification. We propose a machine-vision based "tactile graphics helper" (TGH), which tracks a student's fingers as he/she explores a tactile graphic, and allows the student to gain clarifying audio information about the tactile graphic without sighted assistance.


  • Collage of RERC staff mebers and RERC projects

    Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center

    The Center's research goal is to develop and apply new scientific knowledge and practical, cost-effective devices to better understand and address the real-world problems of blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind consumers

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  • Giovanni Fusco - Engineering Manager and Lead Machine Learning Eng., Pixofarm
  • James Coughlan - Senior Scientist, Director: Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center
  • Valerie Morash - Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychology

Project Members

Giovanni Fusco James Coughlan Val Morash