An Illustration Book for Visually Impaired Persons and a method and device for preparing the same.

Patent Published, 2018

The main idea of this patent was to develop a method of illustrations for visually impaired community with simplified raised outlines of pictures/images to provide them with a means of natively sensing the illustrations with haptic touch of their fingertips that comes naturally to them.

The accompanying drawings of the innovation disclosed here is to provide a further understanding of the present disclosure, are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings illustrate exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure and, together with the description serve to explain the principles of the present disclosure.

The above image illustrates steps involved in an exemplary illustration development process in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. From the exemplary image (1A), first of all an outline of important objects in the exemplary image (1A) is developed (1B). Next, if there are overlapping objects (like the dog, man and woman in front of the hut in this case), they are identified as shown in (1C).

Then, if such overlapping objects are insignificant to the whole image and accompanying story, they are removed (e.g. dog (1B1)). And if they are important, objects are shifted apart such that overlap is eliminated as in (1D). Then, since the objects in (1D) are still in non-standard, vague and unclear shape like real objects, they are converted into illustrations as shown in (1E).

Then Braille cues are inserted for important illustrations, like hut, tree, woman with baby etc as shown in (1F). As far as possible they are inserted inside objects. Finally if any accompanying text is provided with the original image, it is checked for consistency with the final Illustration as in (1F) and if there are inconsistencies like mention of dog in the text, the text is adapted accordingly and its Braille is shown at the prescribed place according to running theme of the Illustration Book, say at the lower half of the page in the present embodiment as shown the illustration sheet.

The illustrations for visually impaired community are designed
such that the real life images are simplified to an extent that
a blind/visually impaired person is comfortable while reading it.

The Blind Men and the Elephant

Out of many differences as to how a VI person receives information vis-à-vis a sighted person, one main difference is that while a sighted person sees an image as a whole at once, he can relate one part with other parts and develop a holistic perspective. However, a blind person receives an image line byline, literally.

If the image that is given to a VI person is that of an elephant, while sensing, say for example its tail with his fingertips, he just gets information about shape of that tail. He does not have other parts of the image of elephant, like its trunk, legs, head etc in front of him. Hence he cannot compare this tail with head, legs, etc of the elephant in the image.

 

Hence if the image served is with lot of details like the ones that are obviously there in any real life image, a VI person simply cannot comprehend the image, let alone making sense out of it or remembering it. Hence as such the blind person is bound by limitation of receiving images linearly, on top of it, if the lines/outlines of the image are too detailed; he gets entangled in making sense of details in illustrations. Being frustrated of his inability to make sense, he gives up and does not like reading the images haptically.

 

The method comes as a breakthrough research to visualize and imagine the world as it is. It opens the gate of potential possibilities to the VI community to explore picture books like never before. Because perhaps this is for the first time that the VI community would get an opportunity to feel the true shapes of objects. This would improve their learning, speed and efficiency, thereby improving their quality of living. Moreover, this invention would make the learning process more enjoyable.

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