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Tactile graphics and braille embosser for network and personal use

A producer of braille materials for scientists, engineers, and mathematicians who are blind and the coordinator for a state textbook and media center for the visually impaired ask: Please describe what you like about the TIGER and your experiences with it. Also, could you provide some supportive information about its uses in making graphics and efficiencies it provides.

Susan replies: When John and Carolyn Gardner visited TSBVI in April 2000, I arranged an Open House for TSBVI students and faculty, as well as any of those interested in the general Austin area. I had heard from sighted transcribers that they didn't like the dots. Although I was more interested in using the TIGER for graphics rather than regular text, I still asked each braille reader to evaluate the quality of the dots. Some swore they couldn't tell the difference; others said they liked them better. No one disliked them. Not satisfied, I brought out some of those regular plump dots (we've all grown to know and love) found in our standard textbooks and made sure they compared. They didn't change their minds. The TIGER dots have more space between dots since they are not as "plump" (sorry for my non-technical description), and this seemed to allow for better tactual discrimination, especially for diabetics. So, I decided that the beauty of the dots should not depend on the eye of the beholder but rather the fingertips.

I personally like using the TIGER in conjunction with John's AGC (Accessible Graphing Calculator) which is now available from ViewPlus Technologies, Inc. During the summers of 2000, 2001, and 2002 my students and I just worked that TIGER to death graphing linear, quadratic, and trig functions with grid lines and without, with 50 dots to 1000 dots, with and without a smooth line, etc. My right half and team teacher during the summers of 2000 and 2001 (Gloria Bennett) taught them how to use Excel with JAWS, and they produced their own spreadsheets on the TIGER as well. With a little tweaking, we were able to print the spreadsheets just as they would appear to the print reader, even if they were two feet long. We've also had several requests for the Periodic Table done on continuous paper and several maps of the United States and individual states. In addition, Gloria has done quite a few word-find mazes for elementary teachers. I have continued to use the TIGER with my comprehensive program students as well as the students who come for our short courses in special programs. They all find the TIGER graphics superior to other embossers' graphics.

Gloria and I like the fact that curves are curvy instead of flat on top. Circles look like circles. This is the only embosser that can produce such quality in computerized tactile graphics. In addition, you can emboss directly from a Word or Excel file. Moreover, the TIGER can print on any media, including paper which is 17 inches wide and up to 50 inches long. Finally, the TIGER uses either TIGER or regular braille fonts.

However, the number one thing people keep asking me about is a quality talking graphing calculator. John's AGC comes the closest I've seen, although of course it is not stand-alone. With the TIGER, it's awesome!

To learn more about the TIGER and the AGC, contact:

ViewPlus Technologies, Inc.
1853 SW Airport Avenue
Corvallis, Oregon 97333
Phone: 541.754.4002
Fax: 541.738.6505