Making Geology Accessible: Free Tactile Image Files

Do you have a student studying rocks, volcanoes, atmosphere, soils, glaciers, water or ecosystems? Geoscience or Earth science is the study of all fields of natural science related to the planet Earth. Traditionally, geoscience courses are full of colorful maps and diagrams; best practice suggests that students who are blind or low vision have access to tactile graphics to support these courses. 

Kent Ratajeski, a senior lecturer in earth and environmental sciences at the University of Kentucky created a digital repository of over 82 tactile graphics!  Covering a wide range of topics related to geoscience, images are designed to correspond with high school and introductory college geoscience courses. These amazing tactile graphic files are available at no cost from the International Association for Geoscience Diversity website. Each image is included as a PowerPoint file which can modified for customized use. Each file contains three images:

  1. The graphic with accompany text and labels in English
  2. The graphic with accompanying text and labels in Grade 2 (contracted) 24 point Braille
  3. The graphic with no accompanying text or labels

The images are designed to be printed on 8.5 x 11 thermal capsule ("swell" paper)and run through a PIAF or Swell tactile graphic machine. 

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