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.)

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 https://bit.ly/comicsa11y-cfp-2022. All our earlier events and resources are below. 

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
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
Info on and the Tactile comic “A Boat Tour” navigating Venice by Max (Info on BlindWiki project that supported this)
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
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
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

Hearing Impaired 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 hearing impaired
Michael Skyer talk on importance of visual communication & multimodality in education