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Publication Detail
Newly blind persons using virtual environment system in a traditional orientation and mobility rehabilitation program: a case study.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Lahav O, Schloerb DW, Srinivasan MA
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    420, 435
  • Journal:
    Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Country:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Blindness, Computer Simulation, Disabled Persons, Feedback, Psychological, Female, Humans, Learning, Middle Aged, Mobility Limitation, Occupational Therapy, Task Performance and Analysis, User-Computer Interface
  • Addresses:
    Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA, USA. lahavo@post.tau.ac.il
This paper presents a virtual reality system (the BlindAid) developed for orientation and mobility training of people who are newly blind. The BlindAid allows users to interact with different virtual structures and objects via auditory and haptic feedback. This case study aims to examine if and how the BlindAid, in conjunction with a traditional rehabilitation programme, can help people who are newly blind develop new orientation and mobility methods. Follow-up research based on this study, with a large experiment and control group, could contribute to the area of orientation and mobility rehabilitation training for the newly blind. The case study research focused on A., a woman who is newly blind, for 17 virtual sessions spanning ten weeks, during the 12 weeks of her traditional orientation and mobility rehabilitation programme. The research was implemented by using virtual environment (VE) exploration and orientation tasks in VE and physical spaces. The research methodology used both qualitative and quantitative methods, including interviews, questionnaire, videotape recording, and user computer logs. The results of this study helped elucidate several issues concerning the contribution of the BlindAid system to the exploration strategies and learning processes experienced by the participant in her encounters with familiar and unfamiliar physical surroundings. [Box: see text].
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