February 14, 2011 at 1:13 pm #10586
I have a question about XY grids. The student that I work with has a very difficult time reading the grids that are in his braille math books (not sure if I should ask this question under the math forum, but thought I would check here first). The grid lines are very faint and he can hardly feel them, and he has an extremely hard time following them. I have been told that the guidelines for tactile graphics state that the x- and y-axis lines are high, but the grid lines are to be kept very faint. Are the guidelines posted somewhere? Has anyone heard of other braille readers having trouble with this? Our student is an excellent braille reader and also does well with reading tactile graphics, except for these grids.February 15, 2011 at 1:48 am #20707
The grid lines should be a lighter-weight line than the x-y axis, but should not be so faint that the reader has difficulty finding them. What method are you using to create your tactile graphics? (thermoformed copy of collage? microcapsule paper? embossed image?) Perhaps the problem lies with the equipment being used to duplicate the copy. Is the thermoform machine set at an appropriate temperature? Is there not enough definition given to the grid lines on the Master (original) diagram page? Are you getting a dark enough image when you photocopy onto the microcapsule paper? Some developing machines produce a better-quality product on the microcapsule paper than others. There are many issues that could be causing the faint grid lines. I would need more information in order to adequately answer your question. Perhaps you are not producing the graphics yourself and an agency is not keeping a close watch on their quality control.
A carefully planned, and well prepared tactile graphic should have enough contrast in the types and strength of the lines that your student should not be having the difficulty that you describe. I do hope that you are able to find a solution.
BANA is responsible for publishing the approved copy of Standards and Guidelines for Tactile Graphics. That would involve getting quotes (or bids) to determine where to have it published. Timelines would need to be established with the publisher. The supplement of tactile graphics that accompanies the Guidelines includes samples of all the various methods of production and will be labor-intensive to reproduce. I believe that it is BANA's intention to post a print version on their website, but even that takes time to prepare the markup language for accessibility. Watch for details on their website.
BettyFebruary 15, 2011 at 8:20 am #20706
Thanks for your reply. My question was more geared toward the braille books that we are receiving from other agencies. Our student has continually had trouble reading the grids in the math books. These are grids that are produced on thermoform machines. They come from a variety of agencies. When I produce grids for the student, I am aware of the issue and make sure the grid lines are more readable.
I was inquiring to see if anyone else who works with braille-readers was having the same issues.