The prototype of an interactive Tactile Audio Campus Map (TAC Map) has been created as a navigational aid for students with visual impairments at the University of California, Davis. It was designed to replace a Braille campus map that was at least 25 years old. The new campus map is three-dimensional, featuring slightly raised buildings, roads, paths and more. It sits atop a touchscreen video monitor. Users touch campus destinations with Braille captions on an index and then a continuous sound gets louder as they near that destination.

Joshua Hori, who worked with the Student Disability Center, applied for a Student Affairs grant to build the protype. He worked with a professor in the Department of Design who created a course that design students and students with visual disabilities enrolled in to help create the map.

“The map is intended for low vision and blind students, but it really is for everyone because it shows what we can do as a community,” Hori said. “Hopefully it will expand everyone’s minds to what is possible.”

Sebastian Niles, accessible technology specialist at the Student Disability Center, agreed: “This map is just the beginning of innovation in navigating and wayfinding. We have more exciting projects in the works.”

You can read more about the TAC Map here.