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.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tactile Town: A 3-D O&M Kit from APH

Tactile Town provides an extensive interactive, three-dimensional model to help teach spatial concepts and environmental layouts.
This kit assists in the development of cognitive mapping skills by helping students who are visually impaired and blind perceive and organize their physical environment specific to concepts such as street layouts, intersections, route patterns, city block arrangements, etc. It encourages active participation and interaction with displayed map layouts so that concepts and skills, not conveniently accessed through real-life exploration, can be learned and practiced.
Tactile Town is designed to be inviting to both tactile and visual learners, with attractive pieces incorporating contrasting colors, textures, and recognizable features. By providing a wide variety of fun, colorful components that can be easily customized or extended, Tactile Town is an ideal starter kit for instruction and reinforcement of mapping skills and concepts.
The included large print Teacher's Guidebook (braille version available separately) provides 17 suggested layout activities that are presented in a progressive manner, from basic compass directions to a complex city block. Suggested interactive games can be completed for an individual student using the MS Word® file on the accompanying CD-ROM. Accessible versions (html, brf, txt, and dtb) of the guidebook are also on the CD-ROM.

Tactile Town Includes

20 Buildings
  • 4 Large Houses
  • 8 Small Houses
  • 4 Curved-Topped Buildings
  • 4 Flat-Topped Buildings
Street Scenery Pieces
  • 1 Pond
  • 2 Railroad Tracks
  • 4 Long Crosswalks (vertical lines)
  • 4 Long Crosswalks (horizontal lines)
  • 12 Short Crosswalks (vertical lines)
  • 12 Short Crosswalks (horizontal lines)
  • 8 Yellow Dividing Lines/Medians
  • 10 Long Sidewalks
  • 8 Short Sidewalks
  • 5 Splitter Islands
  • 66 White Road Dashes
  • 4 Arrows – 2 Left, 2 Right Turns
3-D Components
  • 6 Stop Signs
  • 4 Yield Signs
  • 2 Yellow Pedestrians (smooth texture)
  • 2 Blue Pedestrians (bumpy texture)
  • 4 Orange Cars (smooth texture)
  • 7 Yellow Cars (bumpy texture)
  • 4 Pedestal Traffic Lights
  • 8 Flat Traffic Signals
Sewn Grassy Pieces
  • 1 Cul-de-sac
  • 1 Large Circle
  • 1 Small Circle
  • 2 Long Narrow Strips
  • 2 Short Narrow Strips
  • 4 Roundabout Corners
  • 4 Wedges (2 pairs of mirrored opposites)
  • 2 Triangles
  • 8 Rectangles with rounded corners
  • 8 Rectangles with square corners
  • 8 Squares
Print/Braille Labels
  • 16 Location Labels
  • 8 Street Name Labels
  • 16 Direction Labels
  • 13 Zoo Labels
  • 8 Personal Name Labels
  • 1 Package of blank labels for customizing
Other Items
  • 1 Package of full-size, blank Braillable Labels and Sheets
  • 2 Picture Maker Storage Panels
  • 1 Tri-fold Board
  • 1 Compartment Tray Insert
  • 1 Red Carrying/Storage Box
Recommended ages: 5 years and up. Note: Some assembly required to attach hook/loop material to manipulatives.
WARNING: Choking Hazard -- Small Parts. Not intended for children ages 5 and under without adult supervision.

Catalog Number: 1-03135-00
Click this link to purchase Tactile Town: 3-D O&M Kit.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
Web site:
APH Shopping Home:

No comments:

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter


Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at


The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.

The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.

The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.

Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.

Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.

Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email to request permission.

Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.

Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.

Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.