Students create fort models for visually impaired visitors

Architecture students from the University of Portsmouth have worked with the National Trust to create tactile models of Bembridge Fort on the Isle of Wight for blind and visually impaired people.

The project aims to ‘put the fort’s history within reach of blind and visually impaired visitors’, and the models will have braille captions explaining the layout and features of the fort.

Heather Bradshaw, National Trust assistant property managerof the fort, says, ‘[The models of the fort] will help our visitors have a much better understanding of its size and complexity, only parts of which can be included on the tours.’

Students created the models from high-density polymer plaster, making them suitable to keep outdoors. CAD files stored at the university will allow replicas to be made as and when required.

Martin Andrews, associate senior lecturer of architecture at the University of Portsmouth, says, ‘It is the ambition of the [university] project office to continue to collaborate with the National Trust and other similar organisations to make historic properties accessible to all visitors.’

The models will be on show when the fort reopens following restoration in April next year.

Latest articles