Skip Navigation

The Barker Code
of Color/Fabric Representation

School Pictures

These items are all at the Ohio State School for the Blind (OSSB).

Learning Basics Shapes (With Shapes' Names in Braille)

This was done quickly by gluing the shapes onto a piece of cotton.   Braille writing done in French Knots. Shapes outlined with Puff Paint.

Learning Shapes (with overlapping shapes)

These are 3 x 5 cards with bits of sandpaper glued on them and puff paint used to delineate the different fractions.  This took no time at all to do.


These two panel show more unusual shapes and are used for shape identification.  These are mounted on plastic grids that are available at hobby shops.
The OSSB had only pictures of the state of Ohio, so I made this one that is tactile.  The Ohio Buckeye tree, red cardinal bird, and crimson carnation flower help the students remember these facts.  The major interstate routes are in different cords, and several major cities are the black shapes.  This is mounted on cardboard so it is easy to hold and store.  The gray cotton is over foam rubber, and the white Ohio shape is over cotton batting.   I am told that it has been very helpful.

When I brought this picture to the OSSB, a student came up and asked what it was that we had.  I told her, "A map of the United States".  She asked where Ohio was, and we showed her.  She said she had family in Texas, and wanted to know where that was.  We placed her hand on Ohio, then dragged it down to Texas to give her an impression how far away the state was.  She then asked about California.  We repeated the process.  Then I asked her, "Which is bigger, Ohio or Texas?"  Carefully feeling both states, she, quite confidently said that Texas was bigger. 

Subsequently, I made cards with each state on the face, and the name, nickname, capital and size in square feet on the reverse. 

Sighted people use color on maps to differentiate the boundaries and to help see where one state ends and the other begins.  Using the textures of different fabrics does the same thing.  Puff paint also helps.




Clifford the Big Red Dog - Norman Bridwell