User Requirements Regarding Information Included in Audio-Tactile Maps for Individuals with Blindness
The aim of this study is to investigate the user requirements of young adults with blindness regarding the information to be included/ mapped in two different types of audio-tactile mobility maps: (a) audio-tactile maps of indoors, and (b) audio-tactile maps of campuses. Forty young adults (aged from 18 years to 30 years) with blindness took part in the research. Participants came from four countries: 14 from Greece, 2 from Cyprus, 18 from Turkey, and 6 from Germany. The researchers developed two lists of information to be included in the two types of audio-tactile maps (indoor and campus) respectively. Participants were asked to evaluate the information, regarding: (a) the significance of the information in regard to safety, location of services, way finding and orientation during movement, and (b) the frequency the participants meet the information (within their surrounding and the environment they move in). The first list of information to be evaluated, related to the maps of indoor places consisted of 136 different information, and the second list of information to be evaluated, related to the campus maps consisted of 213 different information. The result of the study is the definition of the most important information that should be included in each one of the two different types of audio-tactile maps. Thus, the findings of the present study will be particularly important for designers of orientation and mobility (O&M) aids for individuals with blindness. Moreover, the findings can be useful for O&M specialists, rehabilitation specialists, and teachers who design and construct O&M aids for their students with blindness.
KeywordsBlind Visual impairment Audio-tactile map Audio-tactile symbol
The work presented in this paper was conducted in the frames of the ATMAPS project titled “Specification of symbols used on audio-tactile maps for individuals with blindness” under the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP). The project (543316-LLP-1-2013-1-GR-KA3-KA3MP) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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