Users’ Evaluations of Four Electronic Travel Aids Aimed at Navigation for Persons Who Are Visually ImpairedBy Roentgen, Uta R.; Gelderblom, Gert Jan; de Witte, Luc P.; Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, Volume 105, Number 10, pages 612-623
Publication Date: October-November 2011
Study investigated the functionality and usability of four different navigation systems for persons who are visually impaired. The systems selected for evaluation were the BrailleNote GPS, Trekker, Trekker Breeze, and Wayfinder Access. Participants were 18 individuals with visual impairments aged 20 to 68 years, 12 of whom were male. Eight participants had very low vision, and 10 were self-described as legally blind. Each participant tested two of the selected devices, performing 11 tasks with each navigation system. Tasks involved traveling an unknown outdoor route in a residential area, including different sections of a footpath and pavement and turns at intersections without traffic lights. The practical testing was followed by a semistructured recorded interview. Participants rated their satisfaction with seven aspects of the devices: dimension, weight, adjustment, safety, simplicity, comfort, and effectiveness. In general, participants assigned high ratings for the tested functionalities and overall evaluation of the devices, with most of the device characteristics receiving high satisfaction scores. On an individual level, participants expressed distinct preferences for various aspects of the devices regarding their usability. These were closely linked to their orientation and mobility and computer skills, prior experiences gained in independent travel, and their knowledge and expectations of the devices’ functional abilities. These findings indicate the importance of careful selection of the most suitable device for the individual user. Study limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Assistive Products Discussed: TREKKER
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 J62371