BLINDNESS, BRAILLE, CUSTOMER satisfaction, DOCUMENT markup languages, GRAPHIC arts, STUDENTS with disabilities, MATHEMATICS, USER interfaces (Computer systems), EVALUATION research, and SOFTWARE architecture
The preparation of mathematical learning content for blind students does not include many elements of the implicit didactic information included in the visual layout of math schoolbooks, e.g. spatial arrangements for sequencing or relations, color-coded information, and other layout based content representation. This kind of information is an indispensable component for up-to-date math learning and teaching. Due to the limitation of other senses and assistive devices for blind people, this missing of explicit semantic mark-up of these implicit didactical elements is seen as one key reason for the disadvantages of in STEM education and related job opportunities. This paper presents basic research on developing an approach for making this implicit information accessible by marking-up the implicit visual elements used in math schoolbooks, which goes beyond linear text. Describing and marking-up this dynamic content forms the base for our prototyping of an inclusive math-learning environment for blind students. Interactive dialogues guide the blind user and provide assistive functionalities for better managing the complexity when solving math problems using sequential audio, refreshable braille display, and other presentation and interaction methods. In this attempt, our prototype covers four basic arithmetic operations. We use the Eclipse SWT framework and Microsoft UI Automation to be in line with known accessibility concepts and skills of users. The prototypes have been evaluated both by blind and sighted persons. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Cassinelli, A., Sampaio, E., Joffily, S.B., Lima, H.R.S., and Gusmão, B.P.G.R.
Technology & Disability. 2014, Vol. 26 Issue 2/3, p161-170. 10p. 2 Color Photographs, 1 Black and White Photograph, 1 Illustration, 1 Chart.
TELECOMMUNICATION equipment & supplies, ANALYSIS of variance, BLINDNESS, CONFIDENCE, CUSTOMER satisfaction, INTERVIEWING, RESEARCH methodology, PROBABILITY theory, PSYCHOLOGICAL tests, QUESTIONNAIRES, RESEARCH funding, PRODUCT design, AIDS for people with disabilities, EVALUATION research, BODY movement, and STATE-Trait Anxiety Inventory
BACKGROUND: Individuals lacking or having impaired vision face serious difficulties during autonomous locomotion. Sensory substitution devices can contribute to alleviate such difficulties, significantly (and measurably) reducing anxiety. OBJECTIVE: The present paper evaluates a device - the Tactile Radar (TR) - that can detect obstacles at a certain distance from the user and generate meaningful and unobtrusive tactile stimuli.METHODS: We evaluate the impact of its use on the degree of anxiety that autonomous locomotion usually trigger on people who are blind.RESULTS: Decreased anxiety as well as increased sense of safety and independence was observed on the tested subjects, through subjective (semi-structured interviews) and objective assessments (STAI inventories).CONCLUSIONS: This device seems promising. More experimentation is needed to evaluate the capacity of the TR to enhance indoor localization and body placement with respect to walls and obstacles, as well as evaluation of the device in real life situations including outdoors. Last but not least, we need to consider ways of moving from a prototyping to a real production phase - of an affordable yet reliable device that can reach as soon as possible the interested population. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]