Workshop: Tactile Graphics Tech and Media

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We will be having Chancey Fleet visit to help us host a workshop on braille and tactile graphics here at CMU. Chancey is a resident scholar at Data and Society and Assistive Technology Coordinator at the New York Public Library, including lead of their Dimensions Lab project. Chancey is a blind researcher and practitioner who has a wide array of unique expertise in tactile and braille media, data ethics, and data work.

While our lab is specifically interested in accessible data representation authoring and accessible analytical work, we want to focus this workshop on the connections we hope to form with our community related to graphics (as a broader topic) and braille and tactile media and set the groundwork for better understanding the materials and tools we have available to us.

Our workshop has 2 high level goals:

  1. Bring the local community of researchers and interested BVI and deafblind experts together.
  2. Explore:
    • challenges around braille and tactile graphics for BVI and deafblind individuals,
    • limitations of our current materials and tools,
    • considerations for research and collaboration.

This workshop is invite-only, but you’re more than welcome to email Frank Elavsky if you think there is someone who should be present who has additional expertise to offer. If you’re wondering whether you’re invited or not, you should have already received an email.

We are not intending to use this workshop as a “hackathon” or time to come up with solutions, since that may be outside of the scope of our time and interests. However we do expect that many of our participants will choose to pursue potential future projects together and want to encourage attendees to follow up with each other.

The specifics of the agenda and details are subject to change, but roughly will look like the following:

Summary information for attendees:

  • When: Thursday, November 17th from 11am - 3pm Eastern Time, with breaks at 12 and 2.
  • Where: DIG Lab, A408 NSH (that’s on Floor A).
  • Who is welcome: Members of the local community who identify as blind or visually impaired, are researchers here at CMU, or are practitioners in braille or tactile media design and production.

The agenda (details pending and subject to updates):

  • Introduction and demo, 11am - 12pm: The first hour will be for folks to introduce themselves to the group and share why they are attending. Then we will have an introductory talk and discussion led by Chancey Fleet and a demo of our Dot Pad, a refreshable tactile display.
  • Lunch, 12pm - 1pm: We will be providing lunch. Please provide us with your dietary needs and information about any accommodations you require. We’ll do our best to make sure you’re well taken care of.
  • Second topic, 1pm - 2pm: “What are the limits and potential in our current tools and materials?” Activities for defining the scope of problems BVI and deafblind individuals face with braille and tactile materials and limitations of our current materials and tools.
  • Break, 2pm - 2:15pm: A short break.
  • Final topic, 2:15pm - 3pm: “What are the considerations and needs for forming collaborations in this space?” Activities for defining the scope of challenges in terms of research and collaboration efforts with braille and tactile tools and materials.

Note, if you are an attendee and haven’t already responded to us by using the link above: Please provide us with your dietary needs and information about any accommodations you require. We’ll do our best to make sure you’re well taken care of.

Don’t hesitate to email Frank Elavsky with any questions, comments, or concerns about this workshop.