Abstract

This essay examines the earlier findings regarding the final stages of development of two-dimensional graphic spatial representation among congenitally blind individuals. Using the “draw a cube task,” our study probes into the spatial representation by participants aged 17 and above and with different visual conditions. Nine totally blind participants, ages between 17 and 21, represent five visual conditions. Only one among them, a subject who lost his vision at 9 years of age and who loved to draw prior to loosing his vision, adopted the final stage of graphic development, the oblique projection system. Remaining participants used the orthographic projection system or earlier stages. These results contradict Kennedy’s assumptions and developmental model that purports that congenitally blind individuals may attain the final stages of graphic development through tactile experience. We offer the explanation that participants’ (of earlier studies conducted by Kennedy) past visual experience, their passion to learn drawing, and specific education are possible crucial reasons why these totally blind subjects adopted oblique perception or linear perspective; and we argue that the tactile sense alone cannot replace the visual sense when it comes to either obtaining visual information or two-dimensional graphic representational strategies. Other insights include consideration of implications for the art and education of blind children.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.