Accessible Comics for the Blind Project – an ongoing collaboration at SFSU between Comics, Studies, the Program for Visual Impairment, and the Longmore Institute (now called The Accessible Comics Collective) to explore ways of making comics accessible for blind and low vision readers. The Accessible Comics Collective has now hosted two international conversations, with an exhibition in the works as part of the just-launched (May 2022) design competition for teams to make Accessible Comics.  (Scroll down past the events for existing resources and a rundown of comics created for blind/low vision readers.)

EVENT: The Messy Work of Making a Visual Medium Accessible: Tactics and Techniques for Audio Describing Unflattening
Wednesday February 21, 2024 4-5:30pm PT / 7-8:30pm ET

Join Unflattening artist/author Nick Sousanis in conversation with a panel of blind access experts as they explore three audio description translations of his work. We will learn out loud together about the  tough choices and strategies for making complex visual comics accessible to blind and low vision readers. Panelists: Georgina Kleege, Joshua Miele, Silvana Rainey.

UPDATE: Recording is available below and audio & transcripts discussed on the panel are here. The Q&A was super lively online – and prompted some amazing suggestions. Check that out as well here.

Innovations in Accessible Comics Zoom symposium: hear from the winners of our Accessible Comics Design Competition! May 5, 2023, 10am-1:30pm on Zoom. Poster below, Audio flyer here, Details & Registration here: And please click here to explore a Showcase of our Prizewinner’s Creations!

Please go here for the comic on accessible comics Emily Beitiks and I created for MIT Review Comic on Accessibility!

Accessible Comics Design Competition – Launches May 2022!
Building on our two public forums on Comics for Blind & Low Vision Readers in 2021, SF State’s Accessible Comics Collective seeks proposals for teams to produce comics in accessible formats & help push the comics industry forward! Details and the Call for Proposals are all available here All our earlier events and resources are below. 

Winners of our Accessible Comics Design Competition announced – see them here and stay tuned for more on this in 2023! ACC Winners

Adapting Comics for Blind & Low Vision Readers (March 23, 2021): Comics Studies @ SFSU, the Program for Visual Impairment, and The Longmore Institute hosted a panel on ways to make comics accessible for blind and low vision readers. Funded by a grant from the College for Liberal and Creative Arts at SFSU. View the recording with ASL & Captions on YouTube here

Overview of my slides that I shared at the opening of roundtable, with examples drawn from many of the links above. PDF here (alt-text on PDF if read in PDF Reader).

Workshop on Tactile Design (April 2021): A recording of our session on Tactile Design with SF Lighthouse’s Media and Accessible Design Laboratory (MADLab) – it was great! Watch on YouTube here:

Adapting Comics for Blind & Low Vision Readers, One-Day Virtual Symposium (August 12, 2021): we hosted an all-day symposium to follow up and go into greater depth than the initial event. For panelist info and the detailed schedule please see here.

Sketchnote of morning session from Sam Hester!

Sketchnote of Chancey Fleet’s amazing closing keynote from Sam Hester!

The entire event is now available on the Program for Visual Impairment’s YouTube Channel! View them all here.

Next steps include a to be planned design charrette with teams developing multiple accessible adaptations to a single comic. Stay tuned and reach out if you’d like to be involved!

Blind Reader Comics Resources

A Study in Comic Books, Accessibility, and the Visually Impaired Reader
Research Study AccessComics: an accessible digital comic book reader for people with visual impairments – Lee, Joh, Yoo, Oh
Article – overview on accessible comics methods
Myfanwy Tristram on – collaboration to adapt comics for blind readers – UK
Interview with Hatiye Garip on making accessible comics – Creative Boom
Article on Hatiye Garip’s comic for the visual impairment – from It’s Nice That
Ilan Manouach’s Shapereader Textured comic for blind readers! – very cool
Ilan Manouach’s Shapereader for blind readers featured on hyperallergic
Article on Manouach’s Shapereader by Bill Kartalopoulos on 50 Watts
A look at LIFE – a tactile comic for blind people
Article on Life: a comic for the blind – fantastic idea, hope it opens new possibilities
Article Tactile comics, disability studies and the mind’s eye Journal of Graphic Novels & Comics
Academic Article – Rethinking Comics & Visuality from audio Daredevil to Philipp Meyer’s Life – Disability Studies Quarterly
Info on and the Tactile comic “A Boat Tour” navigating Venice by Max (Info on BlindWiki project that supported this)
Benjamin Fraser – scholarly article on Max’s Boat Tour & tactile comics  – PDF
Article on Dr. Darren DeFrain Vizling app for blind readers Wichita State University
Details on the Vizling App
Mexican comic in braille – from Cool Hunting
Matthew Shifrin Augmenting the power of language – TED Talk
Matthew Shifrin Comic Book access for the Blind – article
Matthew Shifrin Lego for the Blind – accessible instructions
Matthew Shifrin “Project Daredevil” – immersive reality, 3D audio comics w/MIT
Article on Josh Miele/MacArthur award & next projects – Berkeley Side News
Amber Griffith on the transcription process of making the comic How Well? accessible – from 2023
Andy Slater’s comic with transcription on experiences as a blind person “How Many Fingers Am I Holding Up?”
Marieke Davis’s Ember Black – accessible comic created by blind cartoonist with accompanying audio version (on BandCamp)
Article on Marieke Davis thriving as a blind cartoonist in Arizona State Press
Marieke Davis’s audiobook for Lily, The Blind Unicorn children’s book (on Bandcamp)
Rebecca Singh’s interactive comic w/audio description My Origami Motorcycle
Unseen – audio-comic about a blind assassin by blind author Chad Allen
Lacey Gwen Lord’s MIT Thesis Comics as not solely a visual medium
Veronica Hicks, Alesha Nichols, & e jackson Woven – comic w/rich alt-text descriptions
Liana Kerr’s textual, panel-by-panel description of Watchmen – for blind readers
Guy Hassan’s Comics Empower audio for Blind Comics Readers – on Graphic Policy
Marvel makes braille comic about blind football player
Braillant – 3D printed comic for blind readers
Dedicon – Dutch company specializing alt reading forms for blind readers
Accessible Comics project – using alt-text featuring Lucy Bellwood
Paul Spencer’s comics tech for visually impaired readers Comica11y
The Comic Book Script archive – useful resource for visually impaired readers
Listen to Marvel Audiobooks – from Dreamscape Media
Article on Philly’s Museum of the American Revolution’s Visually Impaired accessibility programming – Nov 2021 WHYY NPR/PBS
Article summarizing comics projects for blind and low vision readers – from Scroll India
Article on Making data visualization more accessible for blind and low-vision individuals – MIT
Article on Blind Architect Chris Downey – Hunker Magazine
Graphiti – tactile graphic display – video
Michael Sutjiadi tactile comics for kids (hope to be able to share someday…)
Article on using enhanced audio description for a film (personalized AD)
Making the solar eclipse accessible with sound and touch for blind viewers TIME article 2024

Deaf/Hard of Hearing Resources
Interview with Georgia Webber on her comic Dumb about damaging her vocal cords – in Paper Darts [DEFUNCT link]
Dack Virnig sign-reading Calvin & Hobbes for Deaf/Hard of Hearing
Michael Skyer talk on importance of visual communication & multimodality in education

Comics & Disabilities
Scholarly Article – Comics & Disability Rhetorics in Hawkeye #19 – INKS Journal