In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the importance of convex drawing as a specific aid for the blind. Convex drawings can be used in many fields. They are a valuable aid in teaching and education, in learning a profession, in vocational work, in learning spatial orientation and independent movement and in leisure activities.
In many countries, convex drawing for blind children is introduced from the age of five. Preparing blind people for independent living in society requires the early introduction of drawing and practising the ability to read and understand it from an early age.
A blind person will not understand the language of graphics until they learn it.
Fundamental to the usefulness of well-made graphics for the blind is proper graphic education for blind students. Only a reader who has been taught the 'language of graphics' can read and understand the information conveyed in this language, and in this language express their ideas.
The tiny, compared to the size of a convex presentation, "finger visual field" means that the blind person does not so much look at the presentation as read it, and builds up a picture of the whole in his or her imagination. This requires spatial imagination and memory training.
The most significant difficulty in reading graphics posed by a visual impairment is the lack of an obvious connection between the graphic image and the object presented by the graphic. The images formed on the retina of a sighted person when observing an object and when observing a photograph or picture of it are physiologically the same and substantially similar. On the other hand, the impressions perceived by a blind person with the fingertips when reading a graphic are completely different from the impressions perceived when viewing a real object by touch involving the fingers, hands, arms. For a blind person the drawing is not similar to the object, the drawing tells the blind person about the object.
Graphics, is not the natural language of a blind person.
The natural language of a blind person is the spoken or written word. The verbal setting of graphics for a young child will be a verbal explanation by a parent or educator.
There is no doubt that the teaching of drawing, i.e. drawing and drawing reading as one of the techniques of school work, should be integrated into the curriculum in relevant departments and subjects such as early childhood education, spatial orientation, mathematics, fine arts, natural science, history or others, because the modern, well-regulated blind person must be aware of the social role of drawing and its substantive content, and be proficient in drawing.
The ability to read a drawing has been studied and taught more than once. The tactile reading of a drawing is a complex and difficult activity. The blind person does not so much look at the drawing as read it. If he already knows how to read a drawing, he gradually recognises the basic shape of the drawing and begins to understand what spatial shape is depicted in the two-dimensional drawing.
The experience of the tylopedagogues shows that graphics make sense to a blind person when they inform:
- spatial concepts (geometric and orientation concepts)
- about the shapes of objects (view, projection, projection, cross-section)
- spatial relationships between objects (plan, map)
In creating and adapting graphics for the blind, it is necessary to take into account the limitations or barriers posed or posed by the lack of sight and to make full use of the possibilities of touch. At the conference "I touch the world - tylographics" in Bydgoszcz, tylopedagogues established the PRINCIPLES OF CREATING AND ADAPTING GRAPHICS FOR BLIND STUDENTS. I invite you to familiarise yourself with them.