Giving back to the blind and low-vision community in New York City. After spending the summer getting to know over 40 blind and low-vision individuals, my team and I at Moment Design/Verizon wanted to give back to the people who had been so kind and helpful to us throughout the course of our project, Thea.

Throughout the course of our project, we had the privilege to spend time with over 40 individuals in the blind and low-vision community in New York City. In our discussions with these people, the topic of tactile maps came up often but it is something we ultimately did not include in our concept. In an effort to give back to the community, we designed and printed tactile maps of NYC’s Chelsea area, which is home to, or frequented by, much of NYC’s disabled population.
In collaboration with
Chanel Luu Hai, Darshan Alatar,
Alina Peng

Actual size
8 x 10 inches

Printed by
Elia Frames in Brooklyn, NY

We designed two sets of maps, one using Braille and another using a new, more accessible tactile language called Elia Frames. We used both languages in hopes that Elia Frames—an easier-to-learn, more accessible tactile language—will become more widespread in the future. Each set of maps covers the same area but displays different information, such as the locations of pharmacies (top left, going counter-clockwise), grocery stores, subway stations and banks.

By using both Braille and Elia Frames, we were able to ensure that the maps would be accessible to as many blind and low-vision individuals as possible. 

Lauren Fox
Last Update—May 17, 2019