Evaluation of adapted books and the use of Tactile Cartography at public schools in the State of São Paulo, Brazil
Keywords: Tactile Cartography, visually impaired students, Geography teaching
Abstract. Brazil adopts an educational inclusion policy, which is based on the insertion of students with special needs in the elementary and high school. In the State of São Paulo, Brazil, visually impaired students, who attend public schools, receive books adapted for blind and low sighted individuals, so they can participate on Geography classes. This paper presents the results of the analysis of the enlarged material adapted to braille used at the elementary school. The analysis was based on the principle of the graphical semiology developed by ALMEIDA (2015), which discusses the use of alternative materials in order to represent areas, lines and dots with different heights, textures and shapes. The results were obtained through interviews, surveys and evaluation of teachers and students, who somehow experience the specificities of the visually impaired students daily. We observed that the adapted books do not bring all information contained in the original versions of the books and some of the exercises are not presented. Furthermore we could notice that the teachers and other students do not have any level of proficiency in understanding braille, which can hamper the interaction between visually impaired and the other students. After the observations, we adapted 22 maps using colored materials and handcraft techniques taking in-to account the different needs of the low sighted audience. The materials used are easy to be found and purchased, since they have a low cost. Using this alternative material we achieved a learning that was representative to all students and to the teachers, providing the socialization of the acquired knowledge.