Auditory Discriminations of Typographic Attributes of Documents by Students With BlindnessBy Argyropoulos, Vassilios S.; Sideridis, Georgios D.; Xydas, Gerasimos; British Journal of Visual Impairment, Vol. 27, No. 3, pp. 183-203
Publication Date: September 2009
Study explored the effectiveness of various psycho-acoustic manipulations for the understanding of the typographic attributes bold and italics included in aural texts by individuals with and without blindness. Participants were 30 blind and 30 sighted Greek university students aged 20 to 25 years, who were asked to distinguish a number of controlled conditions of auditory components, as well as to express their preferences and opinions on the auditory font variables of the synthetic speech used to indicate bold and italics, those variables being the acoustic features pitch, volume, and speed. Study results showed significant differences between the two groups of students, with blind students having a higher performance with regard to correct auditory discrimination as well as ability to distinguish changes in pitch, volume, and speed over different auditory representations of the same text. All participants faced difficulties in conceptualizing modifications in speed; however, they were well disposed toward modifications of pitch in conjunction with modifications of volume. All participants characterized the application as “very interesting,” and indicated that the different auditory representations of the prosodic (tune, tone, and rhythm of the speaking voice) characteristics of a text would help them to focus better when studying from a speech composer. Study limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Published by: Sage Publications (Website:http://www.sagepub.com)
Link to text: http://jvi.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/27/3/183