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Grafilux System
Blackboards with strongly-lit sketches for the visually-impaired and, in scholastic use, for the entire class.

What they are, how they work
Grafilux whiteboards are used like traditional  whiteboards. The difference is writing on the Grafilux emits an intense light that remains bright until wiped off.

The whiteboard itself is not luminous; the writing is. The strong contrast of the background makes the writing  visible to the visually-impaired who might not be able to see non luminous marks. What’s more, the entire class can take advantage of the fact that the board is much easier to read, even from the back of the classroom.


Scientific report
By Dr M.L. Gargiulo
-from the National Commission of the Visually Impaired, Italian Union for the Blind.

Whiteboard material
Grafilux whiteboards are an infrangible polymethylmetacrylate surface in which invisible light is emitted (as in an optic fibre) until it connects with written word, sign etc traced by a marker pen or a Magnetolight overlay which then emits intense light.

Accessories
Markers. Marker pens are used to absorb the light when used on a Grafilux whiteboard.
Magnetolight overlays. Emit light on contact with the whiteboard. Available in several colours.
Lift-off drawing sheets. Transparent sheets with an adhesive side, to allow work  to be removed and saved.
Small frames. (Product still under experimentation tests; not yet in commerce.) Rigid small frames containing a transparent film which sticks to the board (without glue) to affix to the blackboard before writing on it. This will enable users to take it off material to save it and revise the work. Will re-emit light from the markings when used again.

Magnetolight overlays
Overlays of about 1mm thickness that stick to the surface without glue, through atmospheric adhesion, emit intense light. Can be repositioned and used again they can be configured into multiple forms.

The overlays also act as an illuminating support for photographic symbols, transparencies, and generally for figures on transparent films such as acetate. These figures and symbols adhere to the Magnetolight overlays without the need for glue and are therefore interchangeable.

Subject users
-The visually-impaired with up to 1/50 vision.
-In particular, but not exclusively, children and youths of school age. 
-Children with a disability syndrome.
-Entire classes of normal-vision students, for whom reading the whiteboard even from the back of the room is easier.

Report on applications in the typhlological field

The ‘Grafilux’ system constitutes an effective instrument to permit those with low residual vision access to graphics, both as beneficiaries by watching other users, as well as directly themselves.

The System has undergone testing with persons of different ages and under different practical conditions.

Those seriously visually-impaired from birth do not normally use figurative representations because these have too-low luminosity chromatic contrast characteristics. Or, more frequently, because they have not been taught to use the visual channel as the graphic representation’s vehicle and to improve their own capacity to produce and interpret signs and symbols, as well as focusing attention on all these things.
 
From this derives a limited and restrictive use of the sense of sight and consequently exclusion from all the teaching and communicative representative forms which use the visual channels, using drawing as the preferred or only source of communication.


The visually-impaired with late development of gradual visual deficit, have a better ability to interpret graphic signs and classical sources of visual communication. //?: However in the condition of not using the perceptive signs of the remaining sight, the scarce quality for which they are not used to and, having passed from a normal-vision condition to a ‘problematic vision’, generally underestimated and under use their remaining ability.

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