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Multi-Sensory Touch Models Help Individuals with Vision Impairment

People standing around the National Mall Touch Model
National Mall's Multi-Sensory Touch Model

June is National Cataract Awareness Month. Individuals who have cataracts can experience cloudy, blurry or low vision on a daily basis. It is the world’s leading cause of blindness and has affected close to 24 million Americans. At least half of Americans over 65 have developed cataracts.

The IDEA Center actively engages in projects that strive to enhance the built environment through universal design. This month we would like to highlight our work on the Multi-sensory Touch Models. One version of the model is currently installed in the Smithsonian Castle at the National Mall in Washington, DC. The interactive model is an innovative tool that assists all visitors, but particularly visitors with visual impairments, with orientation and mobility around the National Mall. This project is a collaborative effort with our industry partner, Touch Graphics, Inc.

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