Using tactile imagery to teach geometry to students with visual impairments in the United Arab Emirates

Ashraf Moustafa, Maxwell Peprah Opoku, Shashidhar Belbase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Learning geometry is difficult for students with visual impairments (VIs). However, tactile imagery, the process of constructing mental images of physical objects with certain shapes, may help them make sense of geometrical shapes. Thus, discussions have centred on interventions to promote the participation of students with VIs in the learning of shapes. This study explored tactile imagery connecting physical touch to memory as an approach to teaching shapes to students with VIs. Eleven students, five with VIs and six sighted students took part in this experimental design study. A tactile imagery test and intervention lessons were developed for this study. Four tactile imagery domains (tactile discrimination, tactile memory 2D, tactile memory 3D and pattern recall), each made up of 10 tests, guided the design of the tests and training lessons. The students’ scores from the pre-test and post-test were subjected to mean computations, Mann-Whitney U tests and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. The post-test results revealed that students with VIs performed better than their sighted peers. The study concludes with a discussion of the need for teacher educators to consider using tactile imagery as a way of teaching geometry to students with VIs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104309
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Mathematics
  • Students with visual impairment
  • Tactile memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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