A Tactile Image is worth a Thousand Words

Presented at 3:15pm (50 min) in Lakehouse on Thursday, November 21, 2019.



  • Dave Wilkinson, Director, Sales, American Printing House for the Blind

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


Session attendees will learn about several ways of quickly creating detailed tactile images, maps, and other materials for students who are blind.


Tactile graphics creation has long been a "Holy Grail" project. It often involved large and noisy embossers or lots of string and glue. But there are answers that do not involve either of these approaches. APH offers several solutions for creating detailed tactile graphics. One option is the Draftsman, a tool which instantly raises lines as they are drawn by hand. Another option is the Tact Plus,, a printer that instantly and silently creates images of virtually anything on your computer screen. The Tact Plus is approximately the size of an ink jet printer so it is not only silent but also portable. In this workshop participants will learn how to use both the Draftsman and the Tact Plus.


  1. tactile graphics creation does not need to be a high-stress activity.
  2. Effective tactile graphics creation is essential for blind students to see images that others take for
  3. APH has two simple ways of creating tactile graphics and you will learn about both of them.

Disability Areas


Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Dave Wilkinson

Dave Wilkinson is the first Director of Sales at APH. He is currently building a sales department from scratch. Dave is a lifelong Braille reader and advocate for braille. He has been in the assistive technology field for over 20 years. He has presented nationally and internationally on a myriad of Assistive Technology topics including but not limited to GPS for the blind, refreshable braille and mathematics, utilization of various forms of electronic books, etc.

Before coming to APH, Dave was the National Training Manager for HIMS. He has also worked as an Access Technology Specialist for a number of other companies and organizations including World Services for the Blind, HumanWare, and Freedom Scientific.

Jobs outside of the adaptive technology industry include working as a college residence hall director, several clerical positions while working his way through college, and running his own piano tuning business in high school.

For several years Dave was a competitive cross-country skier. In 2003, after moving to the South, he started running as cross-country skiing wasn't a viable sport in that part of the country. He has run numerous marathons, half marathons, and other races and is currently training for the Louisville Ironman in October.

Dave has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in History and Radio and a Masters of Education in Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education from New York University.

When he's not surfing the Net or listening to outdated 70's art rock music, Dave enjoys spending time with his family, running, coin collecting, and a good book.