I recently discovered an inspiring 5 minute video called, "Please Touch the Art" about artist, Andrew Meyers making a tactile portrait from screws, for a blind man named, George.
After looking at more work by Meyers, I decided that this would be something that my blind students could not only appreciate, but create.
They each began by drawing a shape onto a piece of wood, and creating a grid of 1/2" squares.
Finally the heads of the screws were painted. Half an inch apart was not as close as I would have liked to have placed the screws, but each student was allotted about 50 screws, so they did what they could to fill the space. One student who is totally blind, felt a piece progress and said, "There's the 'A'" I didn't even know she knew the shapes of print letters, since she is a Braille reader. It was gratifying to teach my students how to use sandpaper, hammer, and drill, not just once or twice, enough times to actually gain some confidence in a life skill that they wouldn't have learned from observation.