Tactile Media Studies



  • Nicole Johnson, PhD student, tactile illustrator, University of Colorado Boulder

Session Details

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


This presentation is centered around tactile media and its place within the blind and visual impairment community, focusing on both the present state of the field and future possibilities.


Participants will gain an introduction to the visual branch of accessibility and the challenges facing the blind and visual impairment community in regards to visual information access, including an overview of existing methods, principles, and resources as well as current research topics and technological development within the field. Exciting progress has been made with computer haptics and has the potential to greatly improve access to digital content. These possibilities are very exciting but important strides still need to be made. Examples of various tactile media will be passed around for firsthand experience, hopefully sparking creative solutions and adaptations within participants.


  1. Survey of current tactile media resources.
  2. Look into research projects that will increase visual accessibility and information availability.
  3. Hands-on examples of tactile media and technology

Disability Areas


Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, Research, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson is pursuing a PhD at the University of Colorado Boulder in the ATLAS (Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society) Institute. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in biophysics from Central Washington University and has five years of experience producing tactile graphics for higher education textbooks used by blind or visually impaired students nationwide. Research topics include accessible STEM content, tactile graphic usability, and innovations in technology that will improve alternative-media systems in education.