- Visual to Tactile -
Design for Education

A correct and convenient manipulative for introducing
science students who are blind to the periodic table

If you are blind and want to make a rough three dimensional sketch of the braille periodic table discussed here,
click this for verbal instructions.
I have been investigating methods for adapting my 3-D periodic table concept
for use by the blind, as well as trying to determine the need for such.

A currently produced Alexander Arrangements of Elements can be seen at AllPeriodicTables.com, and the website is filled with reasons why all beginning students should be introduced to the ordered elements with this, before being confronted by the traditional table.

I have been convinced that it would be an even greater aid to blind students interested in science or chemistry to have a conveniently sized Braille periodic table where the element number sequence would be absolutely continuous from one to whatever, eliminating the dozen plus times one must jump to the next element, and be able to recognize an element block manually by shape and size.

Below is the flattened version of the 3 D DeskTopper model,
which was the catalyst for design of the Braille version


My first thoughts were to apply the three-dimensional model as pictured on the website, but I have determined that a flattened version with the same features to be preferable - especially for toughness and convenience.

The atomic numbers and element symbols would be Brailled in 'boxes' on the vertical surface of the several hinged 'pages' representing the blocks (with p- and s-block together), correctly sequenced to the others.

By doing this, and using my patented downslant of element rows bringing one period to the next - with group/family elements still intact - one may trace all the elements from beginning to end without (pun intended) 'lifting a finger'.

Below - with sectors named for you - is the Braille art for the raised dots and lines to be imposed
over color printing in a grand version, but, for economy, probably only black or gray text will be seen - or none at all


I am still learning how blind people (or their teachers) approach a learning object like this, and would appreciate yours' and their advice in several areas; i.e.;
1. Is a periodic table with no out-of-sequence elements, no jumps in element order from one end of the table to the next, and with f-block integration valuable for blind science students in introduction to the periodic table?

2. Is this kind of unique learning (and subsequent student owned reference aid) wanted by teachers for blind science students?

3. Will having a Braille periodic table be useful for the blind students?

4. I have had reports that current 'periodic tables' provided in Braille are 15 (big) pages. Would a pocket sized version be welcome?

Marketing questions would be;
A. How many students familiar with Braille each year take science in schools for the visually impaired? ...other schools?

B. What teaching aids are used when introducing the periodic table to blind students in beginning science or chemistry classes - or is it not addressed?

Visual to Tactile Design for Education

The following is a verbal description of the prototype ElementBOOK,
unfinished in the photo above, and showing the element data folded scroll at left.

There are three double faced 'pages' with brailled element atomic numbers and symbols in raised line boxes connected vertically and horizontally.

A user can 'read' the elements from left to right, and when reaching an edge, turn the page and continue the sequence on the reverse side from exactly the same location.

The s- and p-blocks are on part one. Groups 17, 18, 1, & 2 are on one side, and 13, 14, 15 & 16 on the other.

The p-block element boxes (groups 13-18, starting at the right edge of part one and continuing to the other edge, wrapping to 17 & 18 next to the s-block) slant down so that the end of each period is in line with that of the beginning of the next.

Element 1 has an extended box that wraps around and down to connect with element 2, on the other side, forming all of the first period.

The d-block is hinged to group 18 starting at periods 2 & 3, one side of this part with groups 3 to 7, and the other from 8 to 12. D-block atomic numbers are in sequence with the s-block in the 2nd and 3rd periods.

The third part is the f-block, with elements 57-63 and 89-95 on one side, and 64-70 and 96-102 on the other.

This is also hinged at the intersection of groups 2 & 13 in front of part two, with its atomic numbers of periods 6 and 7 now in sequence with both s- and d-blocks - completing the gap-free ordering of all the chemical elements.

Off to the left side in the photo above is the accompanying book with all the atomic numbers, symbols, and associated names of the elements, and conceivably more data. The data is in line with the folds, and read scroll fashion.

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