Using a Tactile Map With a 5-Year-Old Child in a Large-Scale Outdoor EnvironmentBy Renshaw, Rebecca; Zimmerman, George J.; RE:view, Vol. 39, No. 3, pp. 113-120
Publication Date: Fall 2007
Study assessed the efficacy of using a tactile map to teach routes in an outdoor playground environment to a blind child. The study participant was a 5-year-old girl who was totally blind, had no other disabilities, and had a verbal IQ in the superior range. The tactile map used in the study was an actual blueprint of the outdoor environment, reduced to 11 by 17 inches. Materials chosen to construct the tactile components were perceptually similar to the textures in the actual environment; for example, felt and Velcro represented grass and concrete, respectively. An orientation and mobility (O&M) specialist guided the girl in her exploration of the tactile map to locate five landmarks: (1) entrance gate, (2) playground area, (3) swing, (4) bench playing children’s songs when someone sat on it (song bench), and (5) fountain. The O&M specialist also guided the girl through the actual environment, whereupon she explored the area on her own using a constant-contact long-cane technique. Data were collected, using a stopwatch, once a week for 9 weeks as the girl explored the map and then traveled the 5 outdoor routes in sequence. Data analysis showed significantly reduced time in locating the landmarks on the map and the outdoor destinations. The authors conclude that it is unclear whether the participant acquired a spatial understanding of the routes through the use of the map or because of repeated exposure to the same routes traveled. Implications for further research are discussed.
Published by: Heldref Publications (Website:http://www.heldref.org)
Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (Web Site: http://www.aerbvi.org )
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J55392