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Reading aids for blind people—A survey of progress with the technological and human problems

  • P. W. Nye
Article

Abstract

In 1786 Valentin Haüy began the development of a type which would emboss characters on paper and en-able blind people to read with their fingers. The year marked the starting point of a series of developments from which Moon type and Braille were evolved. Several factors which limit widespread use of these reading media among the blind are currently being studied by research workers. Other efforts are being directed towards the development of tape-recorded “talking book” libraries and to the design of personal devices which convert print directly into speech or into sounds that the blind person can “read” and understand. The paper proceeds further to give an account of the technical and psychological problems that are involved in this latter range of potential reading aids.

Keywords

Reading Speed National Physical Laboratory Direct Translation Blind People Blind Person 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Sommaire

En 1786, Valentin Haüy entreprit l'étude d'une typographie en relief, permettant aux aveugles de lire avec les doigts. Cette année a marqué le point de départ d'une série d'idées nouvelles, développant le même sujet, qui aboutirent à l'élaboration des méthodes de Moon et de Braille. Certains facteurs empêchant une large diffusion de ces moyens de lecturesparmi les aveugles, sont actuellement étudiés par des chercheurs. Des efforts sont faits pour mettre au point un système de mise en service de bandes enregistrées en tant qu'éléments de base de bibliothèques pouvant fournir aux aveugles des moyens “d'écouter” la lecture. On étudie également les possibilités de mettre à la disposition de chaque aveugle des appareils capables de convertir directement un texte imprimé en langage parlé ou en sons pouvant être “lus” et compris par l'aveugle. Les problèmes techniques et psychologiques liés à la construction et à l'emploi d'un tel appareillage sont discutés.

Zusammenfassung

Im Jahre 1786 begann Valentin Haüy eine Blindenschrift zu entwickeln, bei der die Blinden auf Papier geprägte Schriftzeichen durch Abtasten mit den Fingern lesen sollten. Jenes Jahr war der Ausgangspunkt einer Reihe von Entwicklungen, aus denen die Moon- und Brailleschrift hervorging. Mehrer Faktoren, die der allgemeinen Verbreitung dieser Lesehilfen unter den Blinden entgegenwirken, werden laufend von Forschern untersucht. Weitere Bestrebungen gehen dahin, Tonband-Bibliotheken “Sprechender Bücher” aufzubauen und dem Einzelfall angepaßte Geräte zu entwickeln, die Gedrucktes unmittelbar in Gesprochenes oder in Laute verwandeln, die von dem Blinden “gelesen” oder verstanden werden können. Ferner nimmt der Artikel Stellung zu den technischen und psychologischen Problemen, die sich im Zusammenhang mit dieser neueren Art künftiger Lesehilfen ergeben.

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Copyright information

© Pergamon Press Limited 1964

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. W. Nye
    • 1
  1. 1.Autonomics DivisionNational Physical LaboratoryTeddington

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