Finding a Target With an Accessible Global Positioning SystemBy Ponchillia, Paul E.; MacKenzie, Nancy; Long, Richard G.; Denton-Smith, Pamela; Hicks, Thomas L.; Miley, Priscilla; Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, Volume 101, Number 8, pp. 479-488
Publication Date: August 2007
Review of two target-location experiments using the BrailleNote Global Positioning System (BGPS). The BGPS contains 3 segments: (1) 24 operational satellites in space; (2) the earth-based control sites that monitor the satellites; and (3) the handheld user-receiver component, the GPS unit, which interprets the radio signals from the satellites. The GPS unit also contains Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data such as the locations of roads, railroads, etc. In the first experiment, the BrailleNote PDA running Keysoft 5, a Braille keyboard and a Magellan GPS receiver Model IEC-529 IPX7 were used. Nineteen participants, adults aged 20-64, 10 sighted and 9 with visual impairments and all novice users of the GPS, located a 25-foot chalk circle 93% of the time with the GPS, compared to 12% of the time without it. In a single-subject follow-up experiment to determine the highest performance level of the BGPS, the participant, a functionally blind 62-year-old man with 3 years experience using the equipment, came within 1 foot of the target on all GPS trials, compared to 53.3 feet when using only wayfinding skills. Limitations of the experiments are discussed as are implications for future research.
Assistive Products Discussed: KEYSOFT
Published by: AFB Press (Website:http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=46)
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) (Web Site: http://www.afb.org )