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I recommend the following types of graphics:

Graphs made by using the Tactile Graphics Kit from APH. Region IV Education Service Center in Houston, TX has this down to an art (713-744-8144). Requires an artist, but well worth the effort for textbooks and standardized tests.

Graphs made using a stereo copying system and "capsule" paper; easy for mere mortals (I am no artist.) and quick.

"Capsule paper is a special paper onto which hundreds of millions of thermally-foamed microcapsules have been uniformly coated. These thermally-foamed microcapsules have been developed for the purpose of stereo printing. While moving through the stereo copier, the capsule paper is irradiated with light energy and black portions of the copy absorb the energy and swell outward to form a stereo (raised line) copy." - taken from the description of "Matsumoto's Stereo Copying System for the blind."

We use different types of "capsule" paper at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired to make raised-line graphics. We have a Matsumoto's stereo copier from JP Trading because it was the first on the market. However, several other companies have since developed their own copiers and paper at a considerably lower price. The various "capsule" papers may be used interchangeably with different copiers; however, there is some variablity in feel, durability, flexibility, cost, etc. Below is a list of htree sources of which I am aware and each company's specific name for their copier and paper:

  • American Thermoform Corporation
    1758 Brackett Street
    La Verne, CA 91750
    Phone: 800-331-3676 or 909-593-6711 FAX: 909-593-8001
    Swell-Form Graphics Machine, Swell-Touch Paper.
  • HumanWare, Inc.
    6245 King Road
    Loomis, CA 95650
    Phone: 800-722-3393, FAX: 916-652-7296
    Pictures in a Flash (PIAF), "capsule" paper.
  • Repro-Tronics Inc.
    75 Carver Ave.
    Westwood, NJ 07675
    Phone: 800-948-8453, FAX: 201-722-1881
    Tactile Image Enhancer, thermo paper, flexi-paper, and other tactile image enhancement products.

See "Tactile Graphics, An Overview and Resource Guide" by John A. Gardner for more details on no tech, low tech, high tech, and star trek graphics.