Braille Tattoos and Other Body Alterations for Visually Impaired

Can a person with a visual impairment fully enjoy the sensation of experiencing someone else’s tattoo? And what about the inducement of a blind person to engage in the distinct methods of self-expression known as body alteration?

A traditional tattoo is an utterly visually-oriented experience, but traditions are falling left and right in the world of eliminating the differences between people with disabilities and mainstream society. Thanks, or maybe blame, for breaking down this barrier can be placed at the feet of a young German student named Klara Jirkova.

Braille tattoo
Braille tattoo

The braille tattoo is perhaps a bit misnamed.

A tattoo in its conventional sense is a flat work of art accomplished by injecting ink beneath the surface of the skin. By contrast, a braille tattoo is specifically created to be experienced by those suffering some measure of visual impairment.

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A braille tattoo can undoubtedly draw the attention of those suffering no problems with their sight at all, but to fully appreciate the total extent of this new form of body alteration it helps to be legally blind.

Rather than a tattoo in the conventional sense, this tattoo is an implant placed beneath the surface of the skin that has the effect of creating a risen texture in the form of braille symbols that can literally be read by touching them.

The implants themselves are made of silicone, titanium or surgical-grade stainless steel.

Of course, there is a definite downside to what may at first seem like a fantastic idea for allowing those with visual impairment to either express themselves through body modification or experience that is done by another.

As with all subdermal implants, the life span of these braille tattoos will vary substantially from one person to the next.

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Also, depending on the geographic location of the body that one chooses to ornament there is the potential for massive shifting of the implants in direct relation to how much movement that body part experiences on a daily basis.

Critics of Jirkova’s braille tattoos point to a less intrusive and invasive process known as scarification that essentially can accomplish the same thing with fewer possible disadvantages.

Braille tattoo gallery

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