Creating a Tactile Overlay

Featured Image: 
Screenshot of Tactile Map iPad Overlay

There are times that a braille student will benefit from a tactile map or graphic.  Quick tactile overlays can be created that can be used in conjunction with an iPad.

This video will demonstrate how to create a tactile overlay using the Maps app and an clear plastic binding cover or overhead projector transparency.  I am going to create a map to show a student where his town is in relationship to the nearby cities.

Use the Maps app to display the desired map; pinch in or out to make the map the desired size.  Take a picture by simultaneously pressing the Home button and the on/off button.  The picture of your desired map will now be in the Photo app.  If you try to work from within the Maps app, every time you touch the screen, the iPad will react.

Open the Photo app; your map will be the last photo at the bottom of the screen.  Place an overhead transparency directly over the map, lining up the top left corner.  You can use masking tape to secure the transparency to the iPad while you draw.

Use a fine point permanent marker and trace over the important details of the map.

Use a tactile Graphics Kit from APH:  in this video I am going to use the tracing wheel that has one end to create 1 tactile line and the opposite ends creates two tactile lines. 

Place the transparency upside down on top of the rubber pad.  Use the end of the tool with two lines to trace the main roads; be sure to push down hard.  Use the end of the tool with one line to create the smaller roads. 

Use the circular tool and mallet to indicate the towns and cities.  I am going to use the triangle tool and mallet to indicate the airport.

If desired, label the cities by their first letter, using the APH braille letters, or create your own braille using sticky back sheets.