Tactile Images – Art the blind can experience
Photography and art take viewers on exciting journeys that were previously inaccessible to the blind without sighted assistance. As a photographer, John knew the depth of feelings photography evoked and, although he did not know anyone who was blind, he thought of the many experiences they were missing by not being able to see these images. Making art accessible to the blind became his goal and in 2008 with his wife, Nancy, the company 3DPhotoWorks was founded where tactile printing enables the blind and partially sighted to enjoy art by touch and sensory stimulation. John and his wife are also the co-founders of Tactile Images, which was formed in January 2021 in partnership with Getty Images and the National Federation of the Blind. Through this partnership, tactile images can now be made available to the blind internationally.
Art is being brought to the blind by museums around the United States through Tactile Images’ Travelling Exhibitions which is also available to countries around the world. The pieces in the exhibition are either their own or formed in affiliation with Getty Images. They are available for use by museums, science centers, libraries, and government programs that serve the disabled, and also available for purchase.
Tactile Images’ first major museum exhibition was entitled ‘Sight Unseen’ at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg. This exhibition featured artwork by artists who were blind or low vision.
The collection of images can be easily accessed through Tactile Images website at www.tactileimages.com. Any image can be turned into a tactile print. These include, but are not limited to:
- Architectural Renderings
- Scientific and Mathematical Formulae
- Historical Documents and Manuscripts
With the goal of bringing tactile imagery to the blind and disabled on a global scale, Inclusion and accessibility are at the forefront of this initiative.