The Impact of Electronic Mobility Devices for Persons Who Are Visually Impaired: A Systematic Review of Effects and EffectivenessBy Roentgen, Uta R.; Gelderblom, Gert Jan; Soede, Mathijs; deWitte, Luc P.; Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, Vol. 103, No. 11, pp. 743-753
Publication Date: December 2009
Literature review conducted to investigate the effects and effectiveness of electronic mobility devices on visually impaired users. A search of 7 medical databases supplemented by a manual search of sources not indexed in the databases resulted in 13 relevant articles. Two of the studies concerned mobility devices designed for navigation, specifically the BrailleNote GPS. The remaining studies evaluated 5 obstacle detection and orientation devices: the UltraCane, Teletat and Tom Pouce, the Laser Cane, and the Sonic Pathfinder. Eight studies used an experimental design with a sample size varying from 1 to 19 participants, whereas the remaining studies were designed in the form of a field trial, survey, or follow-up and included 5 to 298 participants. In the majority of studies, positive effects of the use of electronic mobility devices were found, including (1) improved wayfinding performance; (2) detection of obstacles, objects, landmarks, and travel path alignment; and (3) feelings of safer, more comfortable, and less stressful travel, accompanied by a higher quality and increased frequency of travel. Negative effects were restricted to decreased travel speed and discontinued use of the devices because of their design or due to participants’ health conditions or increased familiarization with the environment that was traveled. Recommendations for future research on the potential benefits of electronic mobility devices for visually impaired users are offered.
Assistive Products Discussed: LASERCANE (MODEL N-2000)
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 )
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J58194