Images central

Ways to access UK education collection images


The accessible images (sometimes known as 'Tactile images') on UK education collection can be read by your print-disabled learners either by touch or by sight; as a tactile image or a large print with supporting materials. Some accessible images are a combination of tactile and large print image with raised or embossed lines and colour overprinted. Any text used would be either in braille or large print text.

With thousands of accessible images on UK education collection there is something to interest everyone; curriculum subjects including Science, Geography, Maths, History, Physical Education and Psychology as well as general interest images of nature, home and garden, life skills and hobbies.


The accessible images are available in three formats:

  1. Large print (LP)
  2. Unified English Braille uncontracted (UEB1)
  3. Unified English Braille contracted (UEB2)

The image title will include the format indicator at the end (Large Print , UEB Uncontracted, UEB Contracted). For example:

  • Water cycle (Large Print)
  • Water cycle (UEB Uncontracted)
  • Water cycle  (UEB Contracted)

Files are downloaded as PDF's.

What are Tactile images?

Tactile images or accessible images have been specifically designed to be looked at by touch and not by sight. The image will usually have been designed to be simpler and bolder with only the essential elements of the image remaining. All non-essential decorative elements are removed. Dot and line textures replace colours.

The images in our collection are designed as 'swell' paper  images (also called 'Minolta', 'Hotspot' or 'Zychem' paper) .They are easy to create once you have downloaded the PDF of the image you want.

The image is printed onto a specialised paper with a coating containing microcapsules of alcohol. When a black image is printed onto it the carbon in the image causes the microcapsules to burst when it is heated in a swell paper fuser. As a result the image becomes tactile with raised lines and textures.

What are Large print images?

Large print images are designed to be clearer, simpler and larger than their mainstream equivalent. If a large print image has colour, clear bold colours should be chosen carefully so they would not be confusing for someone with colour vision deficiency.