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HCII Seminar Series - Chancey Fleet

Chancey stands in front of a large window with many buildings in the distance, a black lab service dog sits at her side

Chancey Fleet
Assistive Technology Coordinator at the New York Public Library and the Dimensions Project


Newell-Simon Hall 1305



“De-Visualizing Images and Data: A Community-based Approach to Tactile Graphics Creation and Exploration"

Tools and processes for creating tactile graphics (raised images usable by Blind and low vision people) have been available for decades, but the equipment and practices used to produce them – including embossing, swellform and 3D printing – are typically accessed by sighted transcriptionists and designers rather than by Blind people ourselves. As a result, many Blind people receive few tactile graphics, and those we do encounter are driven by the institutional priorities of educators and standardized test makers: we seldom find a clear path from our curiosity to a specific tactile graphic that satisfies it.  Other approaches are possible. This talk explores the founding and growth of the Dimensions Project at the New York Public Library, a free and open lab for the creation and exploration of tactile graphics and 3D models. We’ll explore how we selected equipment for the lab, structured group and individual skill-building opportunities, and engaged community partners to begin making DIY tactile graphics. We’ll also dive into the affordances and limitations of the graphics production processes we use, lessons learned from working with a community with diverse tactile literacy, and efforts (such as our origami, drawing and coding workshops) that aim to build confidence and capacity for spatial literacy among library patrons.


Speaker's Bio

Chancey Fleet is a Blind tech educator and activist based in Brooklyn. She is the founding Assistive Technology Coordinator at the New York Public Library, where she runs a free- peer-powered tech coaching service that connects library patrons with print-reading disabilities to 150 hours of one-to-one coaching each month; curates a rotating selection of workshops on tech topics with accessibility in mind; and runs the Dimensions Lab for free and open tactile graphics creation. Chancey is a 2017 Library Journal Mover and Shaker. She serves as President of the National Federation of the Blind’s Assistive Technology Trainers’ Division.  Check out Chancey’s library at: