Orientation Systems to Support Indoor Travel by Persons With Multiple Disabilities: Technical Aspects and Applicability IssuesBy Lancioni, Giulio E.; O'Reilly, Mark F.; Singh, Nirbhay N.; Sigafoos, Jeff; Oliva, Doretta; Bracalente, Sandro; Montironi, Gianluigi; Technology and Disability, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 1-6
Publication Date: 2007
Paper focuses on basic orientation systems developed for people with multiple disabilities. Three different types of systems are presented: (1) systems that rely on auditory cues, (2) systems that rely on visual cues and (3) systems that rely on feedback cues. Orientation systems that rely on direction or audio cues are designed to guide people with visual disabilities to their destinations only by following the source of sound. One prototype system consists of a record player, a network of loudspeakers, infrared detecting equipment and a computer-controlled speaker-sequencing system. After pressing a destination selection button, the user is guided to his or her destination via musical cues. A second version of this system was developed that consists of a portable device and a wide range of acoustic sources. The sources included a coded radio receiver that was activated by a signal of the portable device, and electromagnetic generator for the proximity sensor of the portable device, and a battery. All of the components were attached to walls, doorframes, or desks, and marked the routes to different destinations. The system designed with visual cues consists of light sources that emitted roughly one flash per second, as the lights could be used for people with hearing disabilities as well as people who have difficulty taking advantage of auditory inputs as spatial cues. Systems that rely on feedback cues allow the user a greater sense of independence, as he or she is not provided with cues if the user takes the correct direction. The system is made up of small boxes along routes to various destinations that emitted infrared signals or ultrasonic waves, a portable device, and a feedback cue. The user carried the portable device along a route, as a vibrating feedback cue was introduced if the user took an incorrect turn. Questions for future research on orientation systems are presented. This project was conducted by researchers from the University of Bari in Bari, Italy, the University of Texas at Austin, the ONE Research Institute, and the University of Tasmania.
Published by: IOS Press (Website:http://www.iospress.nl)
Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE) (Web Site: http://www.aaate.net )