Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

DRAFTSMAN Tactile Drawing Board: Instant Tactile Drawings Made Easy!

The DRAFTSMAN is a versatile tactile drawing board that is used in combination with special film and a stylus to create instant raised-line images. Intended for a wide audience, such as students, teachers, parents, and adults with blindness, the DRAFTSMAN can be used for a variety of applications:

  • Produce simple raised-line graphics
  • Demonstrate math concepts and tasks
  • Demonstrate science concepts
  • Practice handwriting skills
  • Play games (e.g., tic-tac-toe)
  • Facilitate tracing activities
  • Create art drawings

The DRAFTSMAN has a plastic frame that encases a double-layered rubber surface. Simply clamp a sheet of included drawing film onto the board and use the included stylus, or an ordinary ballpoint pen, to quickly draw a raised image. Kit includes:

  • DRAFTSMAN Tactile Drawing Board
  • Two-ended tactile drawing stylus
  • Tactile inch-ruler
  • 25 sheets of drawing film (also available separately)
  • Braille/print instructions booklet
  • Carrying case

Praise for the DRAFTSMAN Tactile Drawing Board!

I am an itinerant TVI/O&M instructor. I have used the DRAFTSMAN drawing board quite extensively. For O&M, it has been handy to draw up diagrams of intersections on the fly. For example, I was able to stand at a roundabout and make a diagram while I was standing at the intersection. Or, if I found that a student did not understand a particular aspect of a route or intersection, the DRAFTSMAN is a tool that I could pull out of my trunk. In math classes, it has been very useful for me, the classroom teacher or an IA to draw visuals that the other students are getting on the board. It was used daily when a student of mine was taking HS geometry. In classes where teachers might need to use visuals to help a student who is blind, I will often leave a DRAFTSMAN drawing board for the teacher to use whenever they need to. Even when teaching vision concepts such as JAWS with the PC, I will use the drawing board to illustrate concepts like what the desktop looks like, what is in a MS Word window (menu bar, etc). I certainly use other kits as well like the Wheatly and the raised line drawing kit. But the flexibility of what you can do on the spot with the DRAFTSMAN has been a lifesaver for me.

David Rumer, TVI/COMS, Portland Public Schools/Columbia Regional Program in Portland, Oregon. (Published with permission.)

DRAFTSMAN Tactile Drawing Board:
Catalog Number: 1-08857-00

Additional Tactile Drawing Film (25 sheets):
Catalog Number: 1-08858-00
Click this link to purchase the DRAFTSMAN Tactile Drawing Board.

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Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
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Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
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