Animations at your fingertips: using a refreshable tactile display to convey motion graphics for people who are blind or have low vision

Leona Holloway, Swamy Ananthanarayan, Matthew Butler, Madhuka Thisuri De Silva, Kirsten Ellis, Cagatay Goncu, Kate Stephens, Kim Marriott

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


People who are blind rely on touch and hearing to understand the world around them, however it is extremely difficult to understand movement through these modes. The advent of refreshable tactile displays (RTDs) offers the potential for blind people to access tactile animations for the very first time. A survey of touch readers and vision accessibility experts revealed a high level of enthusiasm for tactile animations, particularly those relating to education, mapping and concept development. Based on these suggestions, a range of tactile animations were developed and four were presented to 12 touch readers. The RTD held advantages over traditional tactile graphics for conveying movement, depth and height, however there were trade-offs in terms of resolution and textural properties. This work offers a first glimpse into how refreshable tactile displays can best be utilised to convey animated graphics for people who are blind.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASSETS'22 - Proceedings of the 24th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility
EditorsKristen Shinohara, Stephanie Ludi
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781450392587
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventACM SIGACCESS International Conference on Computers and Accessibility 2022 - Athens, Greece
Duration: 23 Oct 202226 Oct 2022
Conference number: 24th (Proceedings) (Website)


ConferenceACM SIGACCESS International Conference on Computers and Accessibility 2022
Abbreviated titleASSETS 2022
Internet address


  • accessible graphics
  • blind
  • refreshable displays
  • tactile graphics

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