Creating Tactile Graphics, Geeky to Artsy Approaches


Presented at 1:30pm in Westminster I on Tuesday, November 15, 2016.



  • Robert Beach, Assistive Technology Specialist, Kansas City KS Comm. Col.
  • Gaeir Dietrich, Director, High Tech Center Training Unit
  • Lucia Hasty, , Rocky Mountain Braille Associates

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 3-hr
  • Format:
  • Expertise Level: Intermediate
  • Type of session: Pre-conference


The presenters will demonstrate technologies to assist in designing graphics. Then participants will be given the opportunity to create graphics using an assortment of non-techy tools. The concept of “what is important to the graphic” will be discussed throughout the workshop.


Creating tactile graphics can be challenging, but it can also be fun. This workshop will put a focus on the concept of “what is important to the graphic” throughout the session. The concept will be demonstrated and practiced by the participants through a hands-on approach. Technologies such as Adobe Illustrator will be demonstrated as a means of creating digital files used to produce tactile graphics. Then participants will be given the chance to create tactile graphics with a variety of tools such as puff paper, markers, and other art supplies. Participants are encouraged to bring their own challenging graphics so together we can turn them into fun tactiles.


  1. Not always does the entire graphic need to be produced.
  2. There are great technology tools that can help produce tactile graphics.
  3. Many tactiles can easily be produced using general art supplies.

Disability Areas


Topic Areas

Alternate Format

Speaker Bio(s)

Robert Beach

Robert has been the Assistive Technology Specialist at Kansas City Kansas Community College since January of 1994. He is a member of AHEAD and ATHEN. He currently serves on the ATHEN Executive Board as a Member at Large Representative, is the current president of KAN-AHEAD and is on the Advisory Council for the Assistive Technology for Kansans Project. He has presented several sessions at previous Accessing Higher Ground conferences as well as other regional and national conferences.

Gaeir Dietrich

Gaeir Dietrich is the director of the High Tech Center Training Unit (HTCTU) of the California community colleges, located at De Anza College in Cupertino, California, and a nationally recognized exert in the field of alternate media. Gaeir is a member of the advisory boards for the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), Bookshare, the Alternate Text Production Center (ATPC), the Descriptive Leadership Network, and the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center. She serves as an expert to the board for the Access Text Network (ATN). In 2010-2011, she served as the chair for the national Advisory Commission on Accessible Instructional Materials in Postsecondary Education.

Lucia Hasty


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