May 30, 2016 – Windsor, ON – A pioneering Windsor-based graphics company – Tactile Vision Graphics – that serves visually impaired clients around the world is launching an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to help purchase a 3D printer.
Co-owners Rebecca Blaevoet – herself blind since birth – and her husband Emmanuel understand the challenges individuals with vision impairments face interacting with the world around them.
Specializing in Braille transcription and printing as well as tactile graphics, Tactile Vision Graphics strives to make the world more accessible to the visually impaired.
“Some vision impaired people really have a hard time reading a 2D diagram of something because it doesn’t have any relation to what they can touch,” says Rebecca. “One of the ways to solve that is through 3D printing technology.”
“Because we produce on paper, people were coming to us asking us to produce the same on hard material – for example a tactile map that can be used outside or could be bolted straight to the door or wall.” says Emmanuel. “The process we use, so far, doesn’t allow us to do this. We’re paper based and we need to go 3D, which is necessary for a blind person to grasp the concept of depth.”
Unfortunately, the 3D printers currently on the market won’t cut it.
“We’ve looked absolutely everywhere to find the kind of 3D printer we’re trying to build and it doesn’t exist,” says Rebecca.
A local company is custom designing a 3D printer for Tactile Vision Graphics with a design that makes sense to a blind person – 3D objects with Braille printed directly on the piece.
“It’s $15,000 to get the engineering work from inception to production,” says Rebecca. “This will enable us to be able to bring the kind of accessible products to the blindness market and to the world that need to be there.”
The Indiegogo campaign launches at Noon – and as part of the kick-off Tactile Vision Graphics is hosting a free Braille 101 Session from 8:30 – 9:30am on Tuesday, May 31st at Craft Heads Brewing Company – in partnership with WEtech Alliance.
“This technology will not only open up a new market and new opportunities for Tactile Vision, but it will also provide improved accessibility for the visually impaired community,” says Marco Fiori, Business Advisor at WEtech Alliance.
For more information, visit:
Indiegogo Campaign (launching at noon, May 31st):
400 Erie Street East, Windsor, ON N9A 3X4