Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

visually impaired Related Abstracts

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

Authors: T. Nishimura, K. Doi, H. Fujimoto, M. Kawano, 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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7 Obstacle Detection and Path Tracking Application for Disables

Authors: Aliya Ashraf, Mehreen Sirshar, Fatima Akhtar, Farwa Kazmi, Jawaria Wazir

Abstract:

Vision, the basis for performing navigational tasks, is absent or greatly reduced in visually impaired people due to which they face many hurdles. For increasing the navigational capabilities of visually impaired people a desktop application ODAPTA is presented in this paper. The application uses camera to capture video from surroundings, apply various image processing algorithms to get information about path and obstacles, tracks them and delivers that information to user through voice commands. Experimental results show that the application works effectively for straight paths in daylight.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Face Detection, visually impaired, CCD camera, ODAPTA, Region of Interest (ROI), driver fatigue, expression recognition

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6 The Effectiveness of Logotherapy in Alleviating Social Isolation for Visually Impaired Students

Authors: Mohamed M. Elsherbiny, Ahmed T. Helal Ibrahim

Abstract:

Social isolation is one of the common problems faced visual impaired students especially in new situations. It refers to lack of interactions with others (students, staff members, and others) and dissatisfaction of social networks with others. In addition, it means "a lack of quantity and quality of social contacts". The situation became more complicated if we know that visual impaired students at Sultan Qaboos University were in special schools for the blind completely away from any integration with regular student, which may lead to isolation for being with regular students for the first time. Because the researcher is an academic advisor for all blind students in the College of Arts and Social Sciences at Sultan Qaboos University, he has noted (from the regular meetings with them) some aspects of isolation and many complaints from staff which motivated the researcher to try to alleviate the problem. Logotherapy is an important therapy used in clinical social work with various problems to help children and young people who are facing problems related to the lack of meaning in their life. So, the aim of the therapy is to find meaning in life and to be satisfied with that life. The basic meaning for visual impaired students in this study is to provide opportunities to build relationships and friendships with others and help them to be satisfied about interactions with their networks. The study aimed to identify whether there is a relationship between the use of logotherapy and alleviating social isolation for visual impaired students. This study is considered one of the quasi-experimental studies, the researcher has used experimental method. The researcher used one design which is before and after experiment on two groups, one control (did not apply to the therapy) and experimental group which is applied to the therapy. About the study tools, social isolation scale (SIS) was used to assess the degree of isolation. The sample was (20) of the visually impaired students at the College of Arts and Social Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University. The results showed the effectiveness of logotherapy in alleviating isolation for students.

Keywords: Disability, social isolation, visually impaired, logotherapy

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5 Ontology for a Voice Transcription of OpenStreetMap Data: The Case of Space Apprehension by Visually Impaired Persons

Authors: Said Boularouk, Didier Josselin, Eitan Altman

Abstract:

In this paper, we present a vocal ontology of OpenStreetMap data for the apprehension of space by visually impaired people. Indeed, the platform based on produsage gives a freedom to data producers to choose the descriptors of geocoded locations. Unfortunately, this freedom, called also folksonomy leads to complicate subsequent searches of data. We try to solve this issue in a simple but usable method to extract data from OSM databases in order to send them to visually impaired people using Text To Speech technology. We focus on how to help people suffering from visual disability to plan their itinerary, to comprehend a map by querying computer and getting information about surrounding environment in a mono-modal human-computer dialogue.

Keywords: Ontology, visually impaired, TTS, open street map

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4 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, visually impaired, affordability, social challenges and technology innovations, assistive tools

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3 Understanding the Experience of the Visually Impaired towards a Multi-Sensorial Architectural Design

Authors: Sarah M. Oteifa, Lobna A. Sherif, Yasser M. Mostafa

Abstract:

Visually impaired people, in their daily lives, face struggles and spatial barriers because the built environment is often designed with an extreme focus on the visual element, causing what is called architectural visual bias or ocularcentrism. The aim of the study is to holistically understand the world of the visually impaired as an attempt to extract the qualities of space that accommodate their needs, and to show the importance of multi-sensory, holistic designs for the blind. Within the framework of existential phenomenology, common themes are reached through "intersubjectivity": experience descriptions by blind people and blind architects, observation of how blind children learn to perceive their surrounding environment, and a personal lived blind-folded experience are analyzed. The extracted themes show how visually impaired people filter out and prioritize tactile (active, passive and dynamic touch), acoustic and olfactory spatial qualities respectively, and how this happened during the personal lived blind folded experience. The themes clarify that haptic and aural inclusive designs are essential to create environments suitable for the visually impaired to empower them towards an independent, safe and efficient life.

Keywords: Architecture, visually impaired, architectural ocularcentrism, multi-sensory design

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2 Investigation of Effectiveness of Activity-Based Postural Stability Training on Occupational Performance in Individuals with Visually Impairment: Pilot Study

Authors: Esma Ozkan, Esra Aki

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is an investigation of the effect of person-centered, based on activity postural stability training on occupational performance levels in visually impaired individuals. Postural stability norm studies were performed on healthy individuals who were between 18 and 35 years of age in the Biodex Balance System to determine inclusion criteria before blind individuals were included in the study. Healthy young adult subjects who participated in the study were 127 (81 female, 46 male) aged 18-35 years with an average age of 22,49 ± 3,66 years. Postural stability was assessed with the Biodex Stability System (Biodex Medical System, New York, USA). In case of standing on two legs; static and dynamic postural stability were assessed. Nine blind individuals (4 female, 5 male) were included in the study between 18 and 35 years of age, average age 26 ± 5,85 which had a standard value above the standard value in the data obtained from this normative study and have visual acuity less than 6/60. Socio-demographic information of the individuals was recorded. Before the intervention, individuals were administered Canada Occupational Performance Scale (COPM). According to COPM, the activities that are forced in the areas of self-care, leisure time and productivity are determined. In addition, the performance and satisfaction values of COPM were determined. Individuals Hacettepe University Department of Occupational Therapy, Vocational Rehabilitation Center conducted postural stability training based on activity for 2 days a week for 12 weeks. The same measurements and evaluations were repeated after the training. The dynamic overall stability deviation of the participants before the intervention was 3.64 ± 0.97 while it was recorded as 2.25 ± 0.68 after the intervention. After the training, postural stability values such as medio-lateral stability, anterior-posterior stability ve overall stability were significantly improved (p < 0,01) in the Biodex Balance System evaluations. Participants' pre-training COPM performance scores were 4,16 ± 1,08 point, while post-training COPM performance scores increased to 6,05 ± 1,13 point, similarly, COPM satisfaction scores were 4,16 ± 1,29 point to 6,50 ± 1,11 point. It was observed that visually impaired individuals included in the study had a statistically significant increase in the positive side in the values of COPM performance and satisfaction (p < 0,01). Person-centered postural stability training based on activity in visually impaired individuals is thought to increase the occupational performance of the individual with visually impairment. It is suggested that education should be person-centered, while postural stability training based on activity is planned in visually impaired individuals.

Keywords: visually impaired, postural stability, occupational performance, occupational participation

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1 Received Signal Strength Indicator Based Localization of Bluetooth Devices Using Trilateration: An Improved Method for the Visually Impaired People

Authors: Muhammad Irfan Aziz, Thomas Owens, Uzair Khaleeq uz Zaman

Abstract:

The instantaneous and spatial localization for visually impaired people in dynamically changing environments with unexpected hazards and obstacles, is the most demanding and challenging issue faced by the navigation systems today. Since Bluetooth cannot utilize techniques like Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) and Time of Arrival (TOA), it uses received signal strength indicator (RSSI) to measure Receive Signal Strength (RSS). The measurements using RSSI can be improved significantly by improving the existing methodologies related to RSSI. Therefore, the current paper focuses on proposing an improved method using trilateration for localization of Bluetooth devices for visually impaired people. To validate the method, class 2 Bluetooth devices were used along with the development of a software. Experiments were then conducted to obtain surface plots that showed the signal interferences and other environmental effects. Finally, the results obtained show the surface plots for all Bluetooth modules used along with the strong and weak points depicted as per the color codes in red, yellow and blue. It was concluded that the suggested improved method of measuring RSS using trilateration helped to not only measure signal strength affectively but also highlighted how the signal strength can be influenced by atmospheric conditions such as noise, reflections, etc.

Keywords: bluetooth, received signal strength indicator, visually impaired, indoor/outdoor localization

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