Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 16

Search results for: braille

16 Electronic and Computer-Assisted Refreshable Braille Display Developed for Visually Impaired Individuals

Authors: Ayşe Eldem, Fatih Başçiftçi

Abstract:

Braille alphabet is an important tool that enables visually impaired individuals to have a comfortable life like those who have normal vision. For this reason, new applications related to the Braille alphabet are being developed. In this study, a new Refreshable Braille Display was developed to help visually impaired individuals learn the Braille alphabet easier. By means of this system, any text downloaded on a computer can be read by the visually impaired individual at that moment by feeling it by his/her hands. Through this electronic device, it was aimed to make learning the Braille alphabet easier for visually impaired individuals with whom the necessary tests were conducted.

Keywords: visually impaired individual, Braille, Braille display, refreshable Braille display, USB

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15 Influence of Readability of Paper-Based Braille on Vertical and Horizontal Dot Spacing in Braille Beginners

Authors: K. Doi, T. Nishimura, H. Fujimoto

Abstract:

The number of people who become visually impaired and do not have sufficient tactile experiences has increased by various disease. Especially, many acquired visually impaired persons due to accidents, disorders, and aging cannot adequately read Braille. It is known that learning Braille requires a great deal of time and the acquisition of various skills. In our previous studies, we reported one of the problems in learning Braille. Concretely, the standard Braille size is too small for Braille beginners. And also we are short of the objective data regarding easily readable Braille size. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct various experiments for evaluating Braille size that would make learning easier for beginners. In this study, for the purpose of investigating easy-to-read conditions of vertical and horizontal dot spacing for beginners, we conducted one Braille reading experiment. In this our experiment, we prepared test pieces by use of our original Braille printer with controlling function of Braille size. We specifically considered Braille beginners with acquired visual impairments who were unfamiliar with Braille. Therefore, ten sighted subjects with no experience of reading Braille participated in this experiment. Size of vertical and horizontal dot spacing was following conditions. Each dot spacing was 2.0, 2.3, 2.5, 2.7, 2.9, 3.1mm. The subjects were asked to read one Braille character with controlled Braille size. The results of this experiment reveal that Braille beginners can read Braille accurately and quickly when both vertical and horizontal dot spacing are 3.1 mm or more. This knowledge will be helpful data in considering Braille size for acquired visually impaired persons.

Keywords: paper-based Braille, vertical and horizontal dot spacing, readability, acquired visual impairment, Braille beginner

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14 Relationship between Readability of Paper-Based Braille and Character Spacing

Authors: T. Nishimura, K. Doi, H. Fujimoto, T. Wada

Abstract:

The Number of people with acquired visual impairments has increased in recent years. In specialized courses at schools for the blind and in Braille lessons offered by social welfare organizations, many people with acquired visual impairments cannot learn to read adequately Braille. One of the reasons is that the common Braille patterns for people visual impairments who already has mature Braille reading skill being difficult to read for Braille reading beginners. In addition, there is the scanty knowledge of Braille book manufacturing companies regarding what Braille patterns would be easy to read for beginners. Therefore, it is required to investigate a suitable Braille patterns would be easy to read for beginners. In order to obtain knowledge regarding suitable Braille patterns for beginners, this study aimed to elucidate the relationship between readability of paper-based Braille and its patterns. This study focused on character spacing, which readily affects Braille reading ability, to determine a suitable character spacing ratio (ratio of character spacing to dot spacing) for beginners. Specifically, considering beginners with acquired visual impairments who are unfamiliar with reading Braille, we quantitatively evaluated the effect of character spacing ratio on Braille readability through an evaluation experiment using sighted subjects with no experience of reading Braille. In this experiment, ten sighted adults took the blindfold were asked to read test piece (three Braille characters). Braille used as test piece was composed of five dots. They were asked to touch the Braille by sliding their forefinger on the test piece immediately after the test examiner gave a signal to start the experiment. Then, they were required to release their forefinger from the test piece when they perceived the Braille characters. Seven conditions depended on character spacing ratio was held (i.e., 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.8, 2.0, 2.2 [mm]), and the other four depended on the dot spacing (i.e., 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5 [mm]). Ten trials were conducted for each conditions. The test pieces are created using by NISE Graphic could print Braille adjusted arbitrary value of character spacing and dot spacing with high accuracy. We adopted the evaluation indices for correct rate, reading time, and subjective readability to investigate how the character spacing ratio affects Braille readability. The results showed that Braille reading beginners could read Braille accurately and quickly, when character spacing ratio is more than 1.8 and dot spacing is more than 3.0 mm. Furthermore, it is difficult to read Braille accurately and quickly for beginners, when both character spacing and dot spacing are small. For this study, suitable character spacing ratio to make reading easy for Braille beginners is revealed.

Keywords: Braille, character spacing, people with visual impairments, readability

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13 Braille Code Matrix

Authors: Mohammed E. A. Brixi Nigassa, Nassima Labdelli, Ahmed Slami, Arnaud Pothier, Sofiane Soulimane

Abstract:

According to the world health organization (WHO), there are almost 285 million people with visual disability, 39 million of these people are blind. Nevertheless, there is a code for these people that make their life easier and allow them to access information more easily; this code is the Braille code. There are several commercial devices allowing braille reading, unfortunately, most of these devices are not ergonomic and too expensive. Moreover, we know that 90 % of blind people in the world live in low-incomes countries. Our contribution aim is to concept an original microactuator for Braille reading, as well as being ergonomic, inexpensive and lowest possible energy consumption. Nowadays, the piezoelectric device gives the better actuation for low actuation voltage. In this study, we focus on piezoelectric (PZT) material which can bring together all these conditions. Here, we propose to use one matrix composed by six actuators to form the 63 basic combinations of the Braille code that contain letters, numbers, and special characters in compliance with the standards of the braille code. In this work, we use a finite element model with Comsol Multiphysics software for designing and modeling this type of miniature actuator in order to integrate it into a test device. To define the geometry and the design of our actuator, we used physiological limits of perception of human being. Our results demonstrate in our study that piezoelectric actuator could bring a large deflection out-of-plain. Also, we show that microactuators can exhibit non uniform compression. This deformation depends on thin film thickness and the design of membrane arm. The actuator composed of four arms gives the higher deflexion and it always gives a domed deformation at the center of the deviceas in case of the Braille system. The maximal deflection can be estimated around ten micron per Volt (~ 10µm/V). We noticed that the deflection according to the voltage is a linear function, and this deflection not depends only on the voltage the voltage, but also depends on the thickness of the film used and the design of the anchoring arm. Then, we were able to simulate the behavior of the entire matrix and thus display different characters in Braille code. We used these simulations results to achieve our demonstrator. This demonstrator is composed of a layer of PDMS on which we put our piezoelectric material, and then added another layer of PDMS to isolate our actuator. In this contribution, we compare our results to optimize the final demonstrator.

Keywords: Braille code, comsol software, microactuators, piezoelectric

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12 Braille Lab: A New Design Approach for Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Assistive Tools for the Visually Impaired

Authors: Claudio Loconsole, Daniele Leonardis, Antonio Brunetti, Gianpaolo Francesco Trotta, Nicholas Caporusso, Vitoantonio Bevilacqua

Abstract:

Unfortunately, many people still do not have access to communication, with specific regard to reading and writing. Among them, people who are blind or visually impaired, have several difficulties in getting access to the world, compared to the sighted. Indeed, despite technology advancement and cost reduction, nowadays assistive devices are still expensive such as Braille-based input/output systems which enable reading and writing texts (e.g., personal notes, documents). As a consequence, assistive technology affordability is fundamental in supporting the visually impaired in communication, learning, and social inclusion. This, in turn, has serious consequences in terms of equal access to opportunities, freedom of expression, and actual and independent participation to a society designed for the sighted. Moreover, the visually impaired experience difficulties in recognizing objects and interacting with devices in any activities of daily living. It is not a case that Braille indications are commonly reported only on medicine boxes and elevator keypads. Several software applications for the automatic translation of written text into speech (e.g., Text-To-Speech - TTS) enable reading pieces of documents. However, apart from simple tasks, in many circumstances TTS software is not suitable for understanding very complicated pieces of text requiring to dwell more on specific portions (e.g., mathematical formulas or Greek text). In addition, the experience of reading\writing text is completely different both in terms of engagement, and from an educational perspective. Statistics on the employment rate of blind people show that learning to read and write provides the visually impaired with up to 80% more opportunities of finding a job. Especially in higher educational levels, where the ability to digest very complex text is key, accessibility and availability of Braille plays a fundamental role in reducing drop-out rate of the visually impaired, thus affecting the effectiveness of the constitutional right to get access to education. In this context, the Braille Lab project aims at overcoming these social needs by including affordability in designing and developing assistive tools for visually impaired people. In detail, our awarded project focuses on a technology innovation of the operation principle of existing assistive tools for the visually impaired leaving the Human-Machine Interface unchanged. This can result in a significant reduction of the production costs and consequently of tool selling prices, thus representing an important opportunity for social entrepreneurship. The first two assistive tools designed within the Braille Lab project following the proposed approach aims to provide the possibility to personally print documents and handouts and to read texts written in Braille using refreshable Braille display, respectively. The former, named ‘Braille Cartridge’, represents an alternative solution for printing in Braille and consists in the realization of an electronic-controlled dispenser printing (cartridge) which can be integrated within traditional ink-jet printers, in order to leverage the efficiency and cost of the device mechanical structure which are already being used. The latter, named ‘Braille Cursor’, is an innovative Braille display featuring a substantial technology innovation by means of a unique cursor virtualizing Braille cells, thus limiting the number of active pins needed for Braille characters.

Keywords: Human rights, social challenges and technology innovations, visually impaired, affordability, assistive tools

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11 Development of Beeswax-Discharge Writing Material for Visually Impaired Persons

Authors: K. Doi, T. Nishimura, H. Fujimoto, T. Tanaka

Abstract:

It has been known that visually impaired persons have some problems in getting visual information. Therefore, information accessibility for the visually impaired persons is very important in a current information society. Some application software with read-aloud function for using personal computer and smartphone are getting more and more popular among visually impaired persons in the world. On the other hand, it is also very important for being able to learn how to read and write characters such as Braille and Visual character. Braille typewriter has been widely used in learning Braille. And also raised-line drawing kits as writing material has been used for decades for especially acquired visually impaired persons. However, there are some drawbacks such as the drawn line cannot be erased. Moreover, visibility of drawing lines is not so good for visually impaired with low vision. We had significant number of requests for developing new writing material for especially acquired visually impaired persons instead of raised-line drawing kits. For conducting development research of novel writing material, we could receive a research grant from ministry of health, labor and welfare in Japanese government. In this research, we developed writing material typed pens and pencils with Beeswax-discharge instead of conventional raised-line drawing kits. This writing material was equipped with cartridge heater for melting beeswax and its heat controller. When this pen users held down the pen tip on the regular paper such as fine paper and so on, the melted beeswax could be discharged from pen tip with valve structure. The beeswax was discharged at 100 gf of holding down force based on results of our previous trial study. The shape of pen tip was semispherical for becoming low friction between pen tip and surface of paper. We conducted one basic experiment to evaluate influence of the curvature of pen tip on ease to write. Concretely, the conditions of curvature was 0.15, 0.35, 0.50, 1.00 mm. The following four interval scales were used as indexes of subjective assessment during writing such as feeling of smooth motion of pen, feeling of comfortable writing, sense of security and feeling of writing fatigue. Ten subjects were asked to participate in this experiment. The results reveal that subjects could draw easily when the radius of the pen tip was 1.00 mm, and lines drawn with beeswax-discharge writing material were easy to perceive.

Keywords: beeswax-discharge writing material, raised-line drawing kits, visually impaired persons, pen tip

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10 Muscle: The Tactile Texture Designed for the Blind

Authors: Chantana Insra

Abstract:

The research objective focuses on creating a prototype media of the tactile texture of muscles for educational institutes to help visually impaired students learn massage extra learning materials further than the ordinary curriculum. This media is designed as an extra learning material. The population in this study was 30 blinded students between 4th - 6th grades who were able to read Braille language. The research was conducted during the second semester in 2012 at The Bangkok School for the Blind. The method in choosing the population in the study was purposive sampling. The methodology of the research includes collecting data related to visually impaired people, the production of the tactile texture media, human anatomy and Thai traditional massage from literature reviews and field studies. This information was used for analyzing and designing 14 tactile texture pictures presented to experts to evaluate and test the media.

Keywords: blind, tactile texture, muscle, visual arts and design

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9 Influence of Tactile Symbol Size on Its Perceptibility in Consideration of Effect of Aging

Authors: T. Nishimura, K. Doi, H. Fujimoto, T. Wada

Abstract:

We conducted perception experiments on tactile symbols to elucidate the impact of the size of these letters on the level of perceptibility. This study was based on the accessible design perspective and aimed at expanding the availability of tactile symbols for the visually impaired who are unable to read Braille characters. In particular, this study targeted people with acquired visual impairments as users of the tactile symbols. The subjects (young and elderly individuals) in this study had normal vision. They were asked to participate in the experiments to identify tactile symbols while unable to see their hand during the experiments. This study investigated the relation between the size and perceptibility of tactile symbols based on an examination using test pieces of these letters in different sizes. The results revealed that the error rates for both young and elderly subjects converged to almost 0% when 12 mm size tactile symbols were used. The findings also showed that the error rate was low and subjects could identify the symbols in 5 s when 16 mm size tactile symbols were introduced.

Keywords: accessible design, tactile sense, tactile symbols, bioinformatic

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8 Buddha Images in Mudras Representing Days of a Week: Tactile Texture Design for the Blind

Authors: Chantana Insra

Abstract:

The research “Buddha Images in Mudras Representing Days of a Week: Tactile Texture Design for the Blind” aims to provide original tactile format to institutions for the blind, as supplementary textbooks, to accumulate Buddhist knowledge, so that it could be extracurricular learning. The research studied on 33 students with both total and partial blindness, the latter with the ability to read Braille’s signs, of elementary 4 – 6, who are pursuing their studies on the second semester of the academic year 2013 at Bangkok School for the Blind. The researcher opted samples specifically, studied data acquired from both documents and fieldworks. Those methods must be related to the blind, tactile format production, and Buddha images in mudras representing days of a week. Afterwards, the formats will be analyzed and designed so that there would be 8 format pictures of Buddha images in mudras representing days of the week. Experts will next evaluate the media and try out.

Keywords: blind, tactile texture, Thai Buddha images, Mudras, texture design

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7 Development of a Method to Prepare In-School Tactile Guide Maps for Visually Impaired School Children

Authors: K. Doi, T. Nishimura, M. Kawano, H. Fujimoto, Y. Tanaka, M. Sawada, S. Oouchi, T. Kaneko, K. Kanamori

Abstract:

As part of reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities in Japan, which has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, tactile guide maps are necessary. Such maps can enable visually impaired children to attend schools of special needs education (visual impairments) to grasp the arrangement of classrooms on their school campuses. However, it takes many years to be able to use a tactile guide map without difficulty. Thus, information support, in which audio information is added in addition to tactile information, is required. In the present research, a method to prepare an in-school tactile guide map with an additional audio reading function was developed. This map can enable visually impaired school children attending schools of special needs education (visual impairments) to grasp the arrangement of classrooms on their school campuses.

Keywords: accessible design, visually impaired, braille, tactile map, in-school tactile guide map

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6 The Implementation of Special Grammar Circle (Spegraci) as the Media Innovation for Blind People to Learn English Tenses

Authors: Aji Budi Rinekso, Revika Niza Artiyana, Lisa Widayanti

Abstract:

English is one of the international languages in the world. People use this language to communicate with each other in the international forums, international events or international organizations. As same as other languages, English has a rule which is called grammar. Grammar is the part of english which has a role as the language systems. In grammar, there are tenses which provide a time period system for past, present and future. Sometimes it is difficult for some English learner to remember all of the tenses completely. Especially for those with special needs or exceptional children with vision restrictiveness. The aims of this research are 1) To know the design of Special Grammar Circle (Spegraci) as the media for blind people to learn english grammar. 2) To know the work of Special Gramar Circle (Spegraci) as the media for blind people to learn english grammar. 3) To know the function of this device in increasing tenses ability for blind people. The method of this research is Research and Development which consists of several testing and revision of this device. The implementation of Special Grammar Circle (Spegraci) is to make blind people easily to learn the tenses. This device is easy to use. Users only roll this device and find out the tense formula and match to the name of the formula in braille. In addition, this device also enables to be used by normal people because normal written texts are also provided.

Keywords: blind people, media innovation, spegraci, tenses

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5 Basic Examination of Easily Distinguishable Tactile Symbols Attached to Containers and Packaging

Authors: T. Nishimura, K. Doi, H. Fujimoto, Y. Hoshikawa, T. Wada

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In Japan, it is expected that reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities will progress further. In particular, there is an urgent need to enhance information support for visually impaired persons who have difficulty accessing information. Recently, tactile symbols have been attached to various surfaces, such as the content labels of containers and packaging of various everyday products. The advantage of tactile symbols is that they are useful for visually impaired persons who cannot read Braille. The method of displaying tactile symbols is prescribed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). However, the quantitative data on the shapes and dimensions of tactile symbols is insufficient. In this study, through an evaluation experiments, we examine the easy-to-distinguish shapes and dimensions of tactile symbols used for various applications, including the content labels on containers and packaging. Visually impaired persons participated in the experiments. They used tactile symbols on a daily basis. The details and processes of the experiments were orally explained to the participants prior to the experiments, and the informed consent of the participants was obtained. They were instructed to touch the test pieces of tactile symbols freely with both hands. These tactile symbols were selected because they were likely to be easily distinguishable symbols on the content labels of top surfaces of containers and packaging based on a hearing survey that involved employees of an organization of visually impaired and a social welfare corporation, as well as academic experts of support technology for visually impaired. The participants then answered questions related to ease of distinguishing of tactile symbols on a scale of 5 (where 1 corresponded to ‘difficult to distinguish’ and 5 corresponded to ‘easy to distinguish’). Hearing surveys were also performed in an oral free answer manner with the participants after the experiments. This study revealed the shapes and dimensions regarding easily distinguishable tactile symbols attached to containers and packaging. We expect that this knowledge contributes to improvement of the quality of life of visually impaired persons.

Keywords: visual impairment, accessible design, tactile symbol, containers and packaging

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4 Disaster Education and Children with Visual Impairment

Authors: Vassilis Argyropoulos, Magda Nikolaraizi, Maria Papazafiri

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This study describes a series of learning workshops, which took place within CUIDAR project. The workshops aimed to empower children to share their experiences and views in relation to natural hazards and disasters. The participants in the workshops were ten primary school students who had severe visual impairments or multiple disabilities and visual impairments (MDVI). The main objectives of the workshops were: a) to promote access of the children through the use of appropriate educational material such as texts in braille, enlarged text, tactile maps and the implementation of differentiated instruction, b) to make children aware regarding their rights to have access to information and to participate in planning and decision-making especially in relation to disaster education programs, and c) to encourage children to have an active role during the workshops through child-led and experiential learning activities. The children expressed their views regarding the meaning of hazards and disasters. Following, they discussed their experiences and emotions regarding natural hazards and disasters, and they chose to place the emphasis on a hazard, which was more pertinent to them, their community and their region, namely fires. Therefore, they recalled fires that have caused major disasters, and they discussed about the impact that these fires had on their community or on their country. Furthermore, they were encouraged to become aware regarding their own role and responsibility to prevent a fire or get prepared and know how to behave if a fire occurs. They realized that prevention and preparation are a matter of personal responsibility. They also felt the responsibility to inform their own families. Finally, they met important people involved in fire protection such as rescuers and firefighters and had the opportunity to carry dialogues. In conclusion, through child led workshops, experiential and accessible activities, the students had the opportunity to share their own experiences, to express their views and their questions, to broaden their knowledge and to realize their personal responsibility in disaster risk reduction, specifically in relation to fires.

Keywords: accessibility, children, disasters, visual impairment

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3 Disabilities in Railways: Proposed Changes to the Design of Railway Compartments for the Inclusion of Differently Abled Persons

Authors: Bathmajaa Muralisankar

Abstract:

As much as railway station infrastructure designs and ticket-booking norms have been changed to facilitate use by differently abled persons, the railway train compartments themselves have not been made user-friendly for differently abled persons. Owing to safety concerns, dependency on others for their travel, and fear of isolation, differently abled people do not prefer travelling by train. Rather than including a dedicated compartment open only to the differently abled, including the latter with others in the normal compartment (with the proposed modifications discussed here) will make them feel secure and make for an enhanced travel experience for them. This approach also represents the most practical way to include a particular category of people in the mainstream society. Lowering the height of the compartment doors and providing a wider entrance with a ramp will provide easy entry for those using wheelchairs. As well, removing the first two alternate rows and the first two side seats will not only widen the passage and increase seating space but also improve wheelchair turning radius. This will help them travel without having to depend on others. Seating arrangements may be done to accommodate their family members near them instead of isolating the differently abled in a separate compartment. According to present ticket-booking regulations of the Indian Railways, three to four disabled persons may travel without their family or one to two along with their family, and the numbers may be added or reduced. To help visually challenged and hearing-impaired persons, in addition to the provision of special instruments, railings, and textured footpaths and flooring, the seat numbers above the seats may be set in metal or plastic as an outward projection so the visually impaired can touch and feel the numbers. Braille boards may be included at the entrance to the compartment along with seat numbers in the aforementioned projected manner. These seat numbers may be designed as buttons, which when pressed results in an announcement of the seat number in the applicable local language as well as English. Emergency buttons, rather than emergency chains, within the easy reach of disabled passengers will also help them.

Keywords: dependency, differently abled, inclusion, mainstream society

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2 Ergonomic Adaptations in Visually Impaired Workers - A Literature Review

Authors: Kamila Troper, Pedro Mestre, Maria Lurdes Menano, Joana Mendonça, Maria João Costa, Sandra Demel

Abstract:

Introduction: Visual impairment is a problem that has an influence on hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. Although it is possible for a Visually Impaired person to do most jobs, the right training, technological assistance, and emotional support are essential. Ergonomics be able to solve many of the problems/issues with the relative ease of positioning, lighting and design of the workplace. A little forethought can make a tremendous difference to the ease with which a person with an impairment function. Objectives: Review the main ergonomic adaptation measures reported in the literature in order to promote better working conditions and safety measures for the visually impaired. Methodology: This was an exploratory-descriptive, qualitative literature systematic review study. The main databases used were: PubMed, BIREME, LILACS, with articles and studies published between 2000 and 2021. Results: Based on the principles of the theoretical references of ergonomic analysis of work, the main restructuring of the physical space of the workstations were: Accessibility facilities and assistive technologies; A screen reader that captures information from a computer and sends it in real-time to a speech synthesizer or Braille terminal; Installations of software with voice recognition, Monitors with enlarged screens; Magnification software; Adequate lighting, magnifying lenses in addition to recommendations regarding signage and clearance of the places where the visually impaired pass through. Conclusions: Employability rates for people with visual impairments(both those who are blind and those who have low vision)are low and continue to be a concern to the world and for researchers as a topic of international interest. Although numerous authors have identified barriers to employment and proposed strategies to remediate or circumvent those barriers, people with visual impairments continue to experience high rates of unemployment.

Keywords: ergonomic adaptations, visual impairments, ergonomic analysis of work, systematic review

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1 Examining the Design of a Scaled Audio Tactile Model for Enhancing Interpretation of Visually Impaired Visitors in Heritage Sites

Authors: A. Kavita Murugkar, B. Anurag Kashyap

Abstract:

With the Rights for Persons with Disabilities Act (RPWD Act) 2016, the Indian government has made it mandatory for all establishments, including Heritage Sites, to be accessible for People with Disabilities. However, recent access audit surveys done under the Accessible India Campaign by Ministry of Culture indicate that there are very few accessibility measures provided in the Heritage sites for people with disabilities. Though there are some measures for the mobility impaired, surveys brought out that there are almost no provisions for people with vision impairment (PwVI) in heritage sites thus depriving them of a reasonable physical & intellectual access that facilitates an enjoyable experience and enriching interpretation of the Heritage Site. There is a growing need to develop multisensory interpretative tools that can help the PwVI in perceiving heritage sites in the absence of vision. The purpose of this research was to examine the usability of an audio-tactile model as a haptic and sound-based strategy for augmenting the perception and experience of PwVI in a heritage site. The first phase of the project was a multi-stage phenomenological experimental study with visually impaired users to investigate the design parameters for developing an audio-tactile model for PwVI. The findings from this phase included user preferences related to the physical design of the model such as the size, scale, materials, details, etc., and the information that it will carry such as braille, audio output, tactile text, etc. This was followed by the second phase in which a working prototype of an audio-tactile model is designed and developed for a heritage site based on the findings from the first phase of the study. A nationally listed heritage site from the author’s city was selected for making the model. The model was lastly tested by visually impaired users for final refinements and validation. The prototype developed empowers People with Vision Impairment to navigate independently in heritage sites. Such a model if installed in every heritage site, can serve as a technological guide for the Person with Vision Impairment, giving information of the architecture, details, planning & scale of the buildings, the entrances, location of important features, lifts, staircases, and available, accessible facilities. The model was constructed using 3D modeling and digital printing technology. Though designed for the Indian context, this assistive technology for the blind can be explored for wider applications across the globe. Such an accessible solution can change the otherwise “incomplete’’ perception of the disabled visitor, in this case, a visually impaired visitor and augment the quality of their experience in heritage sites.

Keywords: accessibility, architectural perception, audio tactile model , inclusive heritage, multi-sensory perception, visual impairment, visitor experience

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