Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 9

Visual Impairment Related Abstracts

9 Functional Vision of Older People with Cognitive Impairment Living in Galician Nursing Homes

Authors: C. Vázquez, L. M. Gigirey, C. P. del Oro, S. Seoane

Abstract:

Poor vision is common among older people, and several studies show connections between visual impairment and cognitive function. 15 older adult live in Galician Government nursing homes, and cognitive decline is one of the main reasons of admission. Objectives: (1) To evaluate functional far and near vision of older people with cognitive impairment. (2) To determine connections between visual and cognitive state of “our” residents. Methodology: A total of 364 older adults (aged 65 years or more) underwent a visual and cognitive screening. We tested presenting visual acuity (binocular visual acuity with habitual correction if warn) for distance and near vision (E-Snellen, usual working distance for near vision). Binocular presenting visual acuity less than 0.3 was used as cut point for diagnosis of visual impairment. Exclusion criteria included immobilized residents unable to reach the USC Dual Sensory Loss Unit for visual screening. To screen cognition we employed the mini-mental examination test (Spanish version). Analysis of categorical variables was performed using chi-square tests. We utilized Pearson and Spearman correlation tests and the variance analysis to determine differences between groups of interest (SPSS 19.0 version). Results: the percentage of residents with cognitive decline reaches 32.2% Prevalence of visual impairment for distance and near vision increases among those subjects with cognitive impairment respect those with normal cognition. Shift correlation exists between distance visual acuity and mini-mental test (age and sex controlled), and moderate association was found in case of near vision (p<0.01). Conclusion: First results shows that people with cognitive impairment have poor functional distance and near vision than those with normal cognition. Next step will be to analyse the individual contribution of distance and near vision loss on cognition.

Keywords: Cognition, Aging, nursing homes, Visual Impairment

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8 Social Integration of Visually Impaired Persons in Georgia

Authors: Vakhtang Nozadze, Luiza Arutinova, Khatuna Martskvishvili

Abstract:

The social empowerment of most needed individuals is a challenging issue, especially for developing countries. The current study explores the effects of visual impairment on individuals’ satisfaction with different aspects of life (i.e. education, job, income, family) and coping strategies. Furthermore, the difference between groups according to health status is revealed. Other demographic variables (education, employment, and marital status) is also considered. The cross-sectional design and self-reported questionnaires were adopted. Seventy-two visually impaired males and females (age range 13-66) and seventy healthy individuals participated in the study. The results reveal the importance of health status on the accessibility of social amenities, individuals’ satisfaction with life, and a diversity of coping strategies, irrespective of the age. The research has an important implication for social integration research and policy.

Keywords: Visual Impairment, Life Satisfaction, coping strategies, social integration

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7 Students Competencies in the Use of Computer Assistive Technology at Akropong School for the Blind in the Eastern of Ghana

Authors: Joseph Ampratwum, Yaw Nyadu Offei, Afua Ntoaduro, Frank Twum

Abstract:

The use of computer assistive technology has captured the attention of individuals with visual impairment. Children with visual impairments who are tactual learners have one unique need which is quite different from all other disability groups. They depend on the use of computer assistive technology for reading, writing, receiving information and sending information as well. The objective of the study was to assess students’ competencies in the use of computer assistive technology at Akropong School for the Blind in Ghana. This became necessary because little research has been conducted to document the competencies and challenges in the use of computer among students with visual impairments in Africa. A case study design with a mixed research strategy was adopted for the study. A purposive sampling technique was used to sample 35 students from Akropong School for the Blind in the eastern region of Ghana. The researcher gathered both quantitative and qualitative data to measure students’ competencies in keyboarding skills and Job Access with Speech (JAWS), as well as the other challenges. The findings indicated that comparatively students’ competency in keyboard skills was higher than JAWS application use. Thus students had reached higher stages in the conscious competencies matrix in the former than the latter. It was generally noted that challenges limiting effective use of students’ competencies in computer assistive technology in the School were more personal than external influences. This was because most of the challenges were due to the individual response to the training and familiarity in developing their competencies in using computer assistive technology. Base on this it was recommended that efforts should be made to stock up the laboratory with additional computers. Directly in line with the first recommendation, it was further suggested that more practice time should be created for the students to maximize computer use. Also Licensed JAWS must be acquired by the school to advance students’ competence in using computer assistive technology.

Keywords: Visual Impairment, keyboard, computer assistive technology, job access with speech

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6 Bridging the Gaping Levels of Information Entree for Visually Impaired Students in the Sri Lankan University Libraries

Authors: Wilfred Jeyatheese Jeyaraj

Abstract:

Education is a key determinant of future success, and every person deserves non-discriminant access to information for educational inevitabilities in any case. Analysing and understanding complex information is a crucial learning tool, especially for students. In order to compete equally with sighted students, visually impaired students require the unhinged access to access to all the available information resources. When the education of visually impaired students comes to a focal point, it can be stated that visually impaired students encounter several obstacles and barriers before they enter the university and during their time there as students. These obstacles and barriers are spread across technical, organizational and social arenas. This study reveals the possible approaches to absorb and benefit from the information provided by the Sri Lankan University Libraries for visually impaired students. Purposive sampling technique was used to select sample visually impaired students attached to the Sri Lankan National universities. There are 07 National universities which accommodate the visually impaired students and with the identified data, they were selected for this study and 80 visually impaired students were selected as the sample group. Descriptive type survey method was used to collect data. Structured questionnaires, interviews and direct observation were used as research instruments. As far as the Sri Lankan context spread is concerned, visually impaired students are able to finish their courses through their own determination to overcome the barriers they encounter on their way to graduation, through moral and practical support from their own friends and very often through a high level of creativity. According to the findings there are no specially trained university librarians to serve visually impaired users and less number of assistive technology equipment are available at present. This paper enables all university libraries in Sri Lanka to be informed about the social isolation of visually compromised students at the Sri Lankan universities and focuses on the rectification issues by considering their distinct case for interaction.

Keywords: University Libraries, Information Access, Visual Impairment, Sri Lanka

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5 Disaster Education and Children with Visual Impairment

Authors: Vassilis Argyropoulos, Magda Nikolaraizi, Maria Papazafiri

Abstract:

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

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

Abstract:

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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3 A Systematic Review of Quality of Life in Older Adults with Sensory Impairments

Authors: Ya-Chuan Tseng, Hsin-Yi Liu, Meei-Fang Lou, Guey-Shiun Huang

Abstract:

Purpose: Sensory impairments are common in older adults. Hearing and visual impairments affect their physical and mental health and quality of life (QOL) adversely. However, systematic reviews of the relationship between hearing impairment, visual impairment, dual sensory impairment and quality of life are scarce. The purpose of this systematic review was to determine the relationship between hearing impairment, visual impairment, dual sensory impairment and quality of life. Methods: Searches of EMBASE, PubMed, CINAHL, MEDLINE, Cochrane Library and Airiti Library were conducted between January 2006 and December 2017 using the keywords ‘quality of life,’ ‘life satisfaction,’ ‘well-being,’ ‘hearing impairment’ and ‘visual impairment’ Two authors independently assessed methodologic quality using a modified Downs and Black tool. Data were extracted by the first author and then cross-checked by the second author. Results: Twenty-three studies consisting mostly of community-dwelling older adults were included in our review. Sensory impairment was found to be in significant association with quality of life, with an increase in hearing impairment or visual impairment severity resulting in a lower quality of life. Quality of life for dual sensory impairment was worse than for hearing impairment or visual impairment individually. Conclusions: A significant association was confirmed between hearing impairment, visual impairment, dual sensory impairment and quality of life. Our review can be used to enhance health care personnel’s understanding of sensory impairment in older adults and enable healthcare personnel to actively assess older adults’ sensory functions so that they can help alleviate the negative impact of sensory impairments on QOL in older adults.

Keywords: Nursing, Quality of Life, Hearing Impairment, Older Adults, Visual Impairment, systematic review

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2 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, Visual Impairment, architectural perception, audio tactile model, inclusive heritage, multi-sensory perception, visitor experience

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1 Restructuring Cameroon's Educational System: The Value of Inclusive Education for Children with Visual Impairment

Authors: Igor Michel Gachig, Samanta Tiague

Abstract:

The practice of inclusive education within general education classrooms is becoming more prevalent in Cameroon. In this context, quality Education is an important driver of the development agenda in this era of global sustainable development. This requires that the Cameroon’s educational system be strategically restructured to provide every citizen with the needed quality education for sustainable development. This study thus examined the need for the restructuring of the Cameroon educational system towards inclusive education as a target of the Sustainable Development Goal #4 (Ensure Quality Education), from a critical disability theory perspective. Special focus was on the education of children with visual impairment in the early childhood classroom. This study is suggesting a model design of responsive and contextual inclusive education policies, and the provision of quality human, material and financial educational resources to support the improvement of curriculums and inclusive instructional strategies. This paper is therefore designed as a basic starting point for early childhood educators with limited to no experience in working with students having visual impairments. Ultimately, this work represents a contribution to early childhood educators toward understanding visual impairment challenges and innovative practices to approach accessibility in a meaningful way to students in Cameroon. This is important to achieve quality education due to the peculiar nature of the educational needs of children with visual impairment, toward attainment of the global sustainable development agenda.

Keywords: Sustainable Development, Inclusive Education, Early Childhood Educators, Visual Impairment

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