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 Post subject: Go board for blind guy
Post #1 Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2022 2:53 pm 
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Hey there everyone. I'm just starting to get into Go. I'm very comfortable on a computer but I feel that my practice would benefit from some having a physical board and stones.
The issue is that I'm legally blind. I have a tiny bit of sight, but for non digital things I rely heavily on touch. I'm not entirely certain what I would be looking for either. Likely magnetic and a different feel or shape for each color.

Any advice, places to look or people to talk to would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

(Shipping isn't a big deal, but I'm in California if that's relevant.)


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 Post subject: Re: Go board for blind guy
Post #2 Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2022 1:47 am 
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I think Michael Redmond also mentioned this, around which time I was thinking of a new design for a low-vision friendly board
I'm sure there's a thread here somewhere about a visually impaired individual on the road to pro. I wonder what type of board he uses? Presumably small bumps are put half the stones, however I don't know why instead they don't just make all the black stones very smooth, all the white stones very rough, and engrave all the lines in the board.


A probably better alternative to magnets when making a travel set go board is to make the black stones smooth, the white stones rough, and then make a third wood-coloured stone that is smooth but also with a black cross placed on top or engraved, anything so that it can be felt. Then put them together into a triangle. If you could put 19 in a line surrounding a rod such so they can all be individually rotated, and you have a star of a blind-friendly travel set.

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 Post subject: Re: Go board for blind guy
Post #3 Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2022 2:26 am 
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Shell and slates stones feel differently. Perhaps you can meet somebody with a set of those to check if this would work for you.

You could buy two different set of glass stones with different size/thickness.

Yunzi stones are asymmetrical and can be turned up side down.

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 Post subject: Re: Go board for blind guy
Post #4 Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2022 6:11 am 
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jesterswilde wrote:
(Shipping isn't a big deal, but I'm in California if that's relevant.)


In that case you should contact the American Go Association. They were touting this equipment a few years ago. Basically, according to the link the AGA has some boards and probably could help you order one. The picture in the link show the equipment and it looks same as equipment I have seen in pictures from Japan where they have lot of experience with promoting Go to blind and visually impaired people.

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 Post subject: Re: Go board for blind guy
Post #5 Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2022 7:08 am 
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Thanks, that link is helpful. I can follow up on that.

The magnets idea was so that when I go blindly feelin 'round the board I don't knock the stones out of position, though the slotted bit on raised lines feels like a better solution.

Stones made of different materials would be cool, though the raised dot I'm sure will work.

Unrelated to Go, I was In Japan a few years ago and the streets were very blind accessible. They had the raised vertical lines on the sidewalk, braille on the underside of railings and lots of talking stoplights. It was quite pleasant.

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 Post subject: Re: Go board for blind guy
Post #6 Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2022 11:41 pm 
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jesterswilde wrote:
Thanks, that link is helpful. I can follow up on that.

The magnets idea was so that when I go blindly feelin 'round the board I don't knock the stones out of position, though the slotted bit on raised lines feels like a better solution.

Stones made of different materials would be cool, though the raised dot I'm sure will work.

Unrelated to Go, I was In Japan a few years ago and the streets were very blind accessible. They had the raised vertical lines on the sidewalk, braille on the underside of railings and lots of talking stoplights. It was quite pleasant.


The nodes on the floor that let you know when you can cross the road is a Japanese invention! Though I've had to write to my MP because they still don't have sound signals on a major traffic quasi-zebra crossing. Go figure

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 Post subject: Re: Go board for blind guy
Post #7 Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2022 5:18 pm 
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the set pictured in the AGA article has been more or less the standard go equipment for the visually impaired for decades. If you look back over the literature, you will see the same plastic setup over and over again. That AGA article is three years old, hope they still have a few in stock.

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 Post subject: Re: Go board for blind guy
Post #8 Posted: Sat Sep 10, 2022 6:47 am 
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The board shown in the AGA article is called "AIGO" and produced by Japan Go Association for the Visually Impaired: https://aigo.tokyo/introduction

The board in the article is in fact an old version, made of heavy plastics. In 2021, new version "AIGO II" was introduced. The new version is made of laser-cut fiberboard and much lighter and cheaper. The association is promoting the board passionately and have held a Go meeting using the boards at Nihon Kiin HQ(!) in this August. See https://aigo.tokyo/news/617.

You can buy it by sending an email to Japan Federation of Visually Impaired; See http://nichimou.org/welfare/211112-jouhou-2/. At the bottom of the page, the first e-mail adress is for Order, the second is for Inquiry (though I don't know they ship abroad or not). 19x19 board dimensions are 44 cm x 46 cm and costs 8800yen.


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 Post subject: Re: Go board for blind guy
Post #9 Posted: Sat Sep 10, 2022 4:52 pm 
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The board shown in the AGA article is called "AIGO" and produced by
Japan Go Association for the Visually Impaired: https://aigo.tokyo/introduction

The board in the article is in fact an old version, made of heavy plastics. In 2021, new version "AIGO II" was introduced. The new version is made of laser-cut fiberboard and much lighter and cheaper. The association is promoting the board passionately and have held a Go meeting using the boards at Nihon Kiin HQ(!) in this August. See https://aigo.tokyo/news/617.

You can buy it by sending an email to Japan Federation of Visually Impaired; See http://nichimou.org/welfare/211112-jouhou-2/. At the bottom of the page, the first e-mail address is for Order, the second is for Inquiry (though I don't know they ship abroad or not. It might be safer to prompt AGA to import some). 19x19 board dimensions are 44 cm x 46 cm and costs 8800yen.

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 Post subject: Re: Go board for blind guy
Post #10 Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2022 4:48 pm 
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That is very good information about AIGO. I reached out the AGF and acquired one of the original AIGO boards. I think at some point I may see if I can commission someone to make me one made of metal or wood and stone but this is definitely gonna work for a while.

My board, pictured below. Gonna use it to help me work my way through Invincible.
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Go board for blind guy
Post #11 Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2022 5:48 pm 
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The photo fails to load for me but I am happy to hear that you got a board. Maybe you can share later what your experience is using it? I think that would be interesting.

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