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

Patent Published, 2018

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

The accompanying drawings of the innovation disclosed here provide a further understanding of the present disclosure and 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 present disclosure’s principles.

The above image illustrates the steps involved in an exemplary illustration development process following the present disclosure’s embodiment. From the illustrative image (1A), first of all, an outline of essential objects in the exemplary image (1A) is developed (1B). Next, if there are overlapping objects (a dog, man, a woman, overlapping a hut, in such a case), they are identified as illustrations shown in (1C).

If such overlapping objects are insignificant to the whole image and accompanying story, they are removed (e.g., dog (1B1)). And if they are essential, items 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 shapes like real objects, they are converted into illustrations, as shown in (1E).

Braille cues are then inserted for important illustrations, like hut, tree, a woman with baby, and others, 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 (1F). If there are inconsistencies like a dog’s mention in the text, the text is adapted; accordingly, it’s Braille is shown at the prescribed place according to the running theme of the Illustration Book, say at the lower half of the page in the present embodiment, as shown in the illustration sheet.

The illustrations for the visually impaired community are designed. The real-life images are simplified to the extent that a blind/visually impaired person is comfortable 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 by line, literally.

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

 

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

 

The method comes as 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 real shapes of objects. This opportunity would improve their learning, speed, and efficiency, thereby enhancing their quality of living. Moreover, this invention would make the learning process more enjoyable.

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