As difficult as it is for most sighted people to gain a spatial understanding of their surroundings, it can be even more challenging for people with visual impairments. This tactile puzzle called Perspectives from industrial designer Jacqueline Tollington helps visually impaired people gain a deep understanding of the places in which they live.
In the designer’s concept, the puzzles could be made to represent any city, town, province, state or country. Starting with a bunch of pieces and putting them together into a topographical map of the place they live could help visually impaired and sighted people alike gain a deeper understanding of their surroundings.
The topographic bumps of the puzzle pieces make for some interesting tactile sensations as the pieces come together. Once the picture of the geographical area comes together, it is easy for both sighted and non-sighted people to understand the area the puzzle represents.
“This tactile puzzle has been designed as a mapping aid for the visually impaired. The puzzle’s surface is in fact an accurate depiction of a real-life geographical location, and the puzzles can be ordered to be made in the likeness of any location in the world (town, province or country). When the puzzle is put together, visually impaired players have the opportunity to better physically relate to their geographical location of choice. (currently a concept, not purchasable).”
It’s really too bad you can’t actually buy this, as it’s a great idea, and there’s a general lack of quality products that address disabilities or make the lives of people living with sight problems and other health issues easier. Why shouldn’t we have varieties of literally everything – not just puzzles – that can be used by a much wider range of people? Brava to the creator for coming up with this brilliant idea, and may many more come in the future.