ELIA — Education, Literacy, and Independence for All — uses technology to create tactile reading tools for those with visual impairment.
ELIA aims to become an alternative to traditional braille, which is only understood by 1% of the visually impaired. Its founder, Andrew Chepaitis approached Order to bring his new alphabet system to life.
The team designed and developed a roman alphabet counterpart to each ELIA Frame, to create a unified language for those both with and without visual impairment.
99% of individuals with visual impairment are unable to read and/or learn the complex braille system, which requires specialized machinery to produce printed materials like the punch plate show above.
ELIA is a system based on the roman alphabet that requires less time to both print and learn, and has a higher rate of retention for those with impairment after birth.
In addition the their alphabet, the ELIA team is creating a printer with the ability to produce raised-ink letterforms. A partnership with HP will enable this capability to exist for personal computing systems and at-home use.
Based on ELIA Frames, shown above, we devised a grid that reflected the fundamental geometric properties.
The result was a supporting typeface, ELIA Roman, designed to be paired with ELIA Frames at all times. This allows users without visual impairment to read alongside those who do.
Ultimately, our team developed a typographic structure that allowed three alphabets — ELIA Frames, ELIA Roman, and braille — to be stacked as single, double, or triple unit. This extended the inclusivity to cover everyone, regardless of visual condition.