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TACT-A-KIT

Visually impaired children are challenged with limited social integration and a lack of independence. These children are heavily reliant on sighted individuals to guide their everyday activities. Because of this, they are often separated from their peers - not only because of sighted aids, but also due to the lack of physical resources available to help bridge the gap in accessibility.

TACT-A-KIT provides families with activities promoting social interaction, as well as a system for navigating new surroundings. TACT-A-KIT will elevate the independence of visually impaired children, elevating their sense of social integration.

OVERVIEW

TACT-A-KIT is a travel kit for families with visually impaired children. TACT-A-KIT’s values include: Independence, Integration, & Inclusivity.

Featured throughout this page are digital and physical prototypes of TACT-A-KIT and its components.

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TACT-A-KIT BRAND

Whereas the TACT-A-KIT components are designed to fit the needs of visually impaired children, TACT-A-KIT’s brand is targeted at the parents. The brand radiates positivity and elementary level education. TACT-A-KIT uses color and pattern to indicate meaning.

VISUAL ASSETS

The TACT wordmark is built from the shapes included in the TACT-A-KIT brand. It uses bright colors and basic shapes to convey a child-friendly and educational product.

TACT-A-TYPE

TACT-A-TYPE is a font created specifically for the TACT-A-KIT brand. The letterforms are based on the TACT-A-KIT shapes and patterns featured throughout the kit components.

TACT-A-TYPE is available for download below.

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TACT-A-KIT

TACT-A-KIT is designed for young children between the ages of two and six. At this age, children are not yet reliant on the Braille system of communication.

TACT-A-KIT consists of three components: a Navigation System, a Card Game Activity, & an Experience Storybook.

FEATURES

TACT-A-KIT’s components are contained within a box that has a handle for ease of travel. Each side of the box is colored in bright, high-contrasting hues and provides a tactile experience.

Six patterns appear throughout TACT-A-KIT. Each pattern is paired with one of six colors. A child interacting with TACT-A-KIT will practice tactile discrimination, which is an important pre-Braille skill.

HOW-TO-TACT

Three HOW-TO-TACT instruction cards explain how to use the kit’s components. They are located in a pocket under the lid of the box. The front of each card provides step-by-step details in writing, as well as an inventory of the pieces that make up each component. The backside of the card includes an illustration of the component in use.

NAVIGATION CUES

ADA requirements mandate the use of Braille signage around buildings; however, these cues are placed out of a child’s reach and use Braille to direct visually impaired individuals. Young children do not yet know how to decode Braille characters. The TACT-A-KIT navigation cues utilize raised patterns to indicate specific locations.

The TACT-A-KIT navigation system aids families when traveling to unfamiliar living spaces. Indicator cues are attached by reusable adhesive to the outside of each door in a new space. Each cue includes a tactile pattern – each pattern representing a different room type.

NAVIGATION CUES IN USE

The navigation cues should initially be used in the child’s own home. The cues should attach to the wall at a height that is easily accessible to the child. Once they can correctly associate the raised patterns with the room types, then a family can use the cues in an unfamiliar living space such as a hotel room or a rental home.

PLAYING CARDS

The TACT-A-KIT card game is a matching activity for two to four players. The cards allow sighted and visually impaired individuals to interact in a way that is equally accessible for all.

The HOW-TO-TACT instruction card provides detailed instructions about how to play the game.

STORYBOOK

Visually impaired children learn best when they are able to physically interact with real life objects, as opposed to plastic or miniature versions.

A board book story will keep children occupied while traveling. Each object mentioned in the story is physically attached to the book by string so the child can hold it in their hands and make associations between shapes and objects.

STORYBOOK IN USE

The storybook features raised letterforms for accessibility, as well as pages that can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth for convenience. This allows families to bring the book along on any outing!

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RESEARCH

The idea of TACT-A-KIT evolved from extensive research on sensory possibilities in achieving more successful communication with visually impaired children. Below is an overview of the significant findings from my research.

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Mara Weeks Biography

Mara Weeks

I am a wandering creative – always in search of a new favorite pen. I thrive on sunny days with a caramel latte in my hand and a scrunchie around my wrist. Music and caffeine keep me moving forward. I am a big believer in genuine kindness and doing good… just cause.

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