ETSU helping visually impaired geography students

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) -- Two educators at East Tennessee State University have developed maps and graphs designed to help students with visual impairments understand geography.

The new resources are now included in a collection of lab materials given to students enrolling in the online sections of the ETSU course "Earth Science: Weather and Climate."

Dr. Michelle Byrd and Ingrid Luffman created a series of tactile maps, which feature raised line images that use texture rather than color to distinguish between regions. They also added Braille labels to the maps.

Byrd is assistant director of ETSU's Office of Disability Services; Luffman is a lecturer in the Department of Geosciences.

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