UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Asia-Pacific Journal for Arts Education
Name(s) of Author/Editor(s): 
Shiu Chuen-Jiang
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Country of publication: 
Hong Kong
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The paper studies the possibility of replacing visual sense with tactile sense in the spatial representation of the blind. Subjects of the study come from Chiming Senior High School in Taiwan (eleven persons) and regular colleges (five persons), totaling sixteen in all. Their visual conditions are classified into: congenitally blind with no light sense (six persons), congenitally blind with light sense (five persons) and acquired totally blind (five persons). The drawing task focused on real-life object and sketch model. The 84 drawings were classified based on the spatial representation development stage of the blind proposed by I and Shiu (2001) and Kennedy (1984). Results show that visual condition and age both have influence on spatial representation of the totally blind. The spatial representation development of the totally blind continues even beyond 18 years of age, while the development of most of the sighted is stable. The results show that insufficiency of visual conditions delays the spatial representation development of an individual, yet does not terminate the spatial representation development of the totally blind. However, tactile sense does not offer enough spatial messages for spatial representation. Thus, the totally blind are limited and they fail to naturally adopt any advanced projection system. Education, drawing experience and the motivation of drawing are all key factors that enhance spatial representation of the totally blind.

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