University of Edinburgh

Focus on Maths/Science: Tactile Diagrams

Held on Monday 22 September 2008


This course looked at adapting, delivering and assessing mathematics for pupils/students with visual impairment. Participants discussed teaching methods and the adaptation of materials and work with a variety of specialised equipment. There were practical sessions where participants brought work from their own practice and produce materials using IT skills and other techniques.

Target Audience: teachers and others who support pupils/students with visual impairment, in mathematics.

Presenter: Cathy Balfour, Royal Blind School, Edinburgh


10 am Session 1: Alternative teaching methods

  • Why we use diagrams – pros and cons for pupils with VI
  • Teaching practical skills eg; reading Braille diagrams, graphs
  • Samples of different types of tactile diagrams
  • Participants will use a range of equipment designed for pupils with VI

11.30 am Session 2: Adaptation of teaching materials

  • Recommended standard for tactile diagrams explained
  • Examples of maths and science materials to identify where diagrams are essential
  • Using own materials, participants will adapt and re-write materials, in discussion with others

1.15 pm Session 3: Production of materials

  • Using IT to draw diagrams with Braille labels in accordance with recommendations
  • Raised diagrams using Minolta paper

Session 4: Plenary session