George graduated in 2016 with a First Class Honours in Computer Science at the University of Kent. George is an international expert in digital accessibility regulations, the Digital Accessibility Lead at the University of Westminster, and the director of All Able an accessibility consultancy company. George is the author of several sector leading pieces of research including papers on international adoption of accessibility regulations, and the barriers for blind people in every-day life including education and leisure settings.
Prof. Gordana Fontana-Giusti
Dr. Luigi Tamè
Making Tacting Graphics Accessible For All
Tactile maps and other graphics are touch based alternatives which help blind users understand spatial information or information where layout is an important component. Tactile graphics have a long history of production such as wood carving, thermoforming, and specialist braille printers. The problems with these are they are all time consuming, expensive, require specialist training and, for the most part, are also dying out despite the continued need by blind people.
George’s research is developing a new design and production method to create tactile graphics that are cheaper, faster to produce, require no specialist training or software, and have a low barrier of entry for creators. The production methodology uses resin 3D printing to significantly reduce printing time and costs when compared to extrusion printing. The new design process allows anyone using tools as simple as Microsoft Paint to design their tactile graphics in 2D before a quick and easy conversion process to produce the final 3D object. The conversion works on the same principles as historical sculptural techniques but applied in a new unique way to the 3D printing process.
The results are high quality 3D prints, made for less than £10 per A4 sized diagram, which can be printed over a lunch break. This will move the production from an expensive specialist object to a cheap, readily available tool, accessible to a far wider audience globally.