Visualization Tools for Blind People Using Multiple ModalitiesBy Brewster, S.; Disability and Rehabilitation, Vol. 24, No. 11/12, pp. 613-621
Publication Date: July 2002
Paper discusses the use of non-speech sounds and haptics in order to facilitate access to graphs and tables for people who are blind or have low vision. Two solutions are discussed: (1) the Soundgraphs system from Mansur, and (2) the PHANToM from Sensable Technologies. Soundgraphs allows graphs to be presented via sound, as time is mapped to the x-axis and pitch to the y-axis. The graph’s shape can be heard as a rising or falling note playing over time. The PHANToM is a high-resolution, six-degrees-of-freedom device in which the user holds the end of a motor-controlled, jointed arm. The arm provides a programmable sense of touch that allows users to feel textures and shapes of virtual objects. This way, users can feel graphs and tables as if they were actually present in front of them. The author contends that preliminary evaluations of these two systems in academic settings have been promising. Implications for the future design of assistive technology that utilizes these modalities are discussed.
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Limited (Website:http://taylorandfrancis.org)
International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.isprm.org )