Art galleries and museums are no places for the visually impaired, it offers visual experience and therefore deprives them of experiencing artefacts and national art treasures.
A photograph “by” the visually impaired (created under Blind With Camera project) has to be “for” the visually impaired.
Keeping this in mind we are in the process to implement the “In Touch With Pictures” project to provide adaptive ways for the visually impaired to access and enjoy photographs. The project incorporates the best practices followed by art museums around of world to engage the visually impaired visitors to access their art collections. “In Touch With Pictures” is guided by the Disability Equality Policy on access to art and culture. To know more about our Disability Equality Policy, click HERE
Below are adaptive ways which collectively gives holistic experience of art to the visually impaired –
1. Tactile (Touch & Feel) Pictures: These images are “raised” on a flat surface and designed to provide access of photographs or visual arts by visually impaired people through touch. Tactile images are not exact reproductions of the visual image, but reinterpretations of the visual image into a tactile language. Based on the original picture tactile images are created by printing black and white onto swell paper (also known as microcapsule paper), and then heating it in a tactile image enhancer so that the black areas (which absorb heat faster) raise up and create a relief version of the design.
The picture on the left is the original picture and to its right is the touch & feel raised picture, first drawn by an artists, printed on thermal sensitive paper and followed by heating techinique to “swell” the picture.
2. Audio Description: Commonly know as AD, are recorded or live description by trainers used in our workshops and exhibition tour guide. The narrative provide a detailed description of the original work and give emphasis on the perceptive, shapes of object, foreground, background, distance, color, expressions and features.