APH Introduces PermaBraille™ for the Production of Tactile Graphic Products, Textbooks, and Test Materials
APH is pleased to introduce a new vinyl material that will make a positive difference in your students’ learning experiences with tactile graphics. APH plans to incorporate the use of PermaBraille, a durable vinyl material, into our tactile products, textbooks, and tests in lieu of other materials on the market. In anticipation of this transition, APH is sharing some common questions and answers about the unique features and applications of this vinyl material.
What color is PermaBraille?
PermaBraille is white and provides an updated, modern look that integrates well with standard paper.
What is the texture of the PermaBraille?
PermaBraille has a very smooth, paper-like quality that is easy on tactile readers’ fingers during braille reading and graphic exploration.
Is PermaBraille durable for repeated use?
PermaBraille is notably tough and resistant to tearing. The tactile integrity of formed braille and graphic elements remain intact throughout multiple uses.
How thick is PermaBraille?
The thickness of PermaBraille is 5 mil.
Is PermaBraille safe to use with students?
PermaBraille is a nontoxic, latex-free, and moisture-proof vinyl material that is safe for classroom use.
Can PermaBraille be used in combination with a table-top thermoform machine?
PermaBraille was successfully tested with tabletop thermoform machines using a variety of tactile masters (e.g., collage, UV-printed diagrams, aluminum foil). Ideal temperature and cycle settings should be tested and adjusted on a specific machine to ensure expected braille and tactile results before multiple copies are thermoformed.
Can PermaBraille be used with a slate and stylus?
A slate and stylus is an appropriate means to add braille text/labels to PermaBraille. The thinness of PermaBraille contributes to an effortless tooling experience, requiring very little hand strength.
Can PermaBraille be used with tactile drawing tools (e.g., serrated spur wheels, point symbol tongs)?
PermaBraille accepts tactile elements and braille labels tooled via cold-forming methods. Always tool from the reverse side of a sheet to transfer needed tactile lines and point symbols to the upright side of a tactile graphic.
Can a student or teacher mark on PermaBraille sheets?
If a student should need to mark on a graphic formed with PermaBraille, or if the teacher would like to add print text next to braille labels, it is best to use a smear-resistant drawing or writing tool (e.g., permanent marker, crayon).
What sheet sizes and styles of PermaBraille are available for APH customers to purchase?
PermaBraille is custom-cut for APH using conventional braille sheet dimensions (11.5 x 11-in.) in both unpunched and 19-hole punched versions, as well as 8.5 x 11-inch sheets offered in 50-sheet packages. APH plans to provide this material in bulk packaging styles (500 sheets per box) that are convenient and suitable for vendors or individuals who mass-produce tactile graphics via table-top-thermoform processes.
Within which types of APH products will teachers and students likely encounter tactile graphics using PermaBraille?
Tactile graphics formed using PermaBraille will become more commonplace and may be encountered in various APH products, including future Building on Patterns editions, as well as transcribed textbooks and tests.
What is the cost of PermaBraille?
APH strives to keep the cost per sheet of PermaBraille competitive with other similar commercially available options used for the same end use. Because PermaBraille sheets are custom designed and packaged for APH customers, packages will be available for purchase with Quota funds.
What do braille readers say about PermaBraille?
- “pleasant to the touch”
- “not clingy”
- “feels more like paper”
- “doesn’t tear easily”
- “easy to read for longer periods of time”
- “hands slide/glide across paper in a smooth motion”
- “feels nice and crisp”
- “(produces) nice sharp braille”
- “great texture and closer (in feel) to embossed paper”
APH wants to know what you and your students think as well. Please keep APH informed about your first-hand experiences with tactile graphics produced with PermaBraille by sending your thoughts and feedback to Karen Poppe (firstname.lastname@example.org).
PermaBraille should be available to order by late May/early June. More information about this new and exciting vinyl material will be available in future issues of APH News.