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Tactile Photography as a tool for social inclusion of visually impaired people

Fotografia Tátil como ferramenta de inclusão social de pessoas com deficiência visual

academic outreach

Immersive, interactive, and digital art

Digital Fabrication


Started in 2014 and registered at Secult Arte in 2015, this project conducts photography workshops for the blind for subsequent materialization of a set of photos, using 3D machining (machinery existing in the Department of Architecture and Urbanism) and laser cutting technologies. From the materialized images, that make possible the appreciation of the works through the sense of touch, exhibitions of the works of the workshop participants are held to evaluate the experience, in order to improve, not only the content of the exhibitions, but also the workshops and the material produced. Besides the photography workshops, research is needed to select image materialization techniques, for later application in the generated photographs. With the results, it is possible to carry out an evaluation of the adequacy of materialization techniques to the styles of photographs from the tactile recognition of blind photographers in the models generated by machining or 3D printing. Tactile photography workshops for people with visual impairment are inclusion educational tools that may bring benefits both for the blind students and for the student monitors who will follow the activities - as they will be able to have a closer look at broader aspects of accessibility and the real needs of people with disabilities -, and make the attitudes of both change in relation to this coexistence and its potentialities. In addition, the social impact with the exhibition of such works extends the benefits already mentioned to all visitors of the exhibitions to be held.

As a benefit subsequent to the execution of the project, it is intended to have the social inclusion and training of people with visual impairment in the art of photography, with the possibility of the creation of a permanent group of blind photographers. In 2019 we held two trainings in partnership with the Museum of Photography and the Institute of the Blind, with the participation of 20 people who are blind or have low vision. In addition to tactile pieces of photographs, we started the production of tactile pieces of paintings, in partnership with the MAUC. Four pieces were produced to be tested by the Museum. In 2020 we started a partnership with the LEAD Audiodescription Group from UECE. With this partnership, a training in audiodescription was carried out, involving the Museum of Photography, MAUC and project fellows. As a result of this training, the texts for the audio description were generated, discussion about the planning of the materialization of the tactile pieces and an article accepted at the 3rd Brazilian Congress of Research and Development in Assistive Technology (CBTA). In 2021 the Na Ponta dos Fedos exhibition was held, with 20 tactile pieces produced from pictures made by blind people. The exhibition was a partnership between the LEAD group from UECE, the Museum of Photography and the Tactile Photography Project - UFC. An exhibition was also held at MAUC, by photographer Karine Garcez, featuring four tactile pieces.

In 2022, four more pieces were produced for an exhibition at the Museum of Photography, in partnership with the LEAD group, pieces for the exhibition O Que Não Nos Disseram, MAUC, with tactile paintings of the works by the artist Aldemir Martins, project Cores da Arte among others.

In 2023, we intend to hold new exhibitions renewing the partnerships with the Museum of Photography, LEAD, O Que Não Nos Disseram and MAUC.

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