Augmented Reality for People with Visual Impairments: Designing and Creating Audio-Tactile Content from Existing Objects
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Tactile maps and diagrams are widely used as accessible graphical media for people with visual impairments, in particular in the context of education. They can be made interactive by augmenting them with audio feedback. It is however complicated to create audio-tactile graphics that have rich and realistic tactile textures. To overcome these limitations, we propose a new augmented reality approach allowing novices to easily and quickly augment real objects with audio feedback. In our user study, six teachers created their own audio-augmentation of objects, such as a botanical atlas, within 30 min or less. Teachers found the tool easy to use and were confident about re-using it. The resulting augmented objects allow two modes: exploration mode provides feedback on demand about an element, while quiz mode provides questions and answers. We evaluated the resulting audio-tactile material with five visually impaired children. Participants found the resulting interactive graphics exciting to use independently of their mental imagery skills.
We thank the participants (teachers and students) especially C. Briant; and J. Laviole (Reality Tech) and J. Albouys for participating in the design of this tool. Done with the support of the EU Erasmus+ Pr. no 2016-1-EL01-KA201-023731.
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