A blind user using an overlay to explore a pie chart on a phone. The cutouts (in green) allows the user to interact with the touchscreen and hear relevant audio descriptions at those locations.
Tactile overlays with audio annotations can increase the accessibility of touchscreens for blind users; however, preparing these overlays is complex and labor intensive. We introduce TacTILE, a novel toolchain to more easily create tactile overlays with audio annotations for arbitrary touchscreen graphics (e.g., graphs, pictures, maps). The workflow includes: (i) an annotation tool to add audio to graphical elements, (ii) a fabrication process that generates 3D-printed tactile overlays, and (iii) a custom app for the user to explore graphics with these overlays. We close with a pilot study with one blind participant who explores three examples (floor plan, photo, and chart), and a discussion of future work
TacTILE: A Preliminary Toolchain for Creating Accessible Graphics with 3D-Printed Overlays and Auditory Annotations