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Tactile Graphics Symposium

2017 November 27
by Sue-Ann Ma

In 2016, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and Ann Cunningham initiated an effort to gather the thought leaders and creators of tactile art and tactile graphics to experience and examine the current state of the work in this field. This September, the NFB sponsored the third and final Tactile Art and Graphics Symposium in partnership with the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in San Francisco. The event took place over three days at the Enchanted Hills Camp in Napa, California, and brought together thirty participants, including DIAGRAM Product Manager Sue-Ann Ma and community members Josh Miele, Ting Siu, Abigale Stangl, and Naomi Rosenberg. The event was a wonderful gathering of art practitioners and ignited discussions across a range of topics regarding tactile graphics such as: standardizing symbols for tactile maps, teaching tactile reading skills, developing tools for tactile creation, and making art both for and by the blind community. The gathering was a great opportunity to meet old friends and new, as well as explore innovative ways to continue the important discussions regarding tactile education and promotion.

We recently learned that a portion of the Enchanted Hills Camp was engulfed by the Napa and Sonoma county fires. We were relieved to learn that no one was hurt, but sad to hear about the physical damage and material loss endured by the wonderful staff members at EHC. Our thoughts remain with the EHC staff and look forward to the rebuilding of this amazing site.

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