In honor of World Braille Day, NARIC’s information specialists searched the NIDILRR Program Database to find NIDILRR-funded projects related to people who are blind or with visual disabilities. Here are a few examples:
- The project Indoor Navigation Aid for Individuals with Visual Impairments in Unfamiliar Places is developing a technology solution to address the indoor navigation needs experienced by people with visual disabilities. This solution has several advantages including that it does not require infrastructure in indoor spaces nor does it need maps to be created before users navigate an indoor space.
- The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC): Develop and Evaluate Rehabilitation Technology and Methods for Individuals with Low Vision, Blindness, and Multiple Disabilities addresses a number of barriers to opportunity faced by people who are blind, have low vision, and have multiple disabilities, including emerging and underserved populations, such as infants with cortical visual impairment and veterans and people with visual disabilities due to brain injury. Solutions include access to graphical information; improvements in indoor and outdoor navigation; and access to science, technology, engineering, and math.
- Researchers at the project Employment for Individuals with Blindness or Other Visual Impairments are studying the efficacy of rehabilitation services and technology used to support the employment outcomes for people who are blind or who are visually impaired (B/VI). The research, related training, technical assistance, and dissemination activities of this project contribute to improving competitive employment outcomes for people who are B/VI, including transition from school to work or college, evidence-based vocational rehabilitation practices, and job retention strategies.
NARIC’s information specialists searched REHABDATA and found over 800 articles from the NIDILRR community and beyond relating to people who are blind or have other visual disabilities, including:
- The article, Connected cane: Tactile button input for controlling gestures of iOS voiceover embedded in a white cane, discusses a study of a Bluetooth-connected white cane handle that would allow a user to securely interact with Apple VoiceOver Accessibility on their mobile phone while on the go. Researchers found that participants were able to interact with their phones successfully while safely leaving it stowed and they were able to control their device without having to go through the motions of holstering their cane before using both hands to interact with the phone screen.
- The article, Using the JAWS screen reader and the Focus braille display to read foreign language books downloaded from the Bookshare accessible online library, discusses the use of current assistive technology hardware and software to read e-books printed in a foreign language downloaded from Bookshare. The screen reader speaks the foreign language while the braille display features the foreign language transcribed correctly. Steps to enable JAWS to recognize foreign languages in Bookshare books are provided.
- The article, Survey of music programs at state residential schools for blind students, discusses a study that looked at the types of instructional strategies and musical programs used in state schools for students with visual disabilities. Researchers found that the data suggests that there are no signs of limited musical opportunities for students at the schools that were surveyed in the study. They also found that the instructional strategies used for music learning appeared to be similar to the approaches used with sighted students; however, specific accommodations and assistive technology, such as enlarged and braille music notation and adapted instruments, were provided regularly to students with visual disabilities.
Make sure to take a look through NARIC’s Research In Focus series that includes articles on visual disabilities, such as Logging In Can Be a Frustrating Task for Computer Users with Visual Impairments. Would you like to learn more about NIDILRR’s research on visual disabilities? Contact NARIC’s information specialists by email, chat, or by calling 800/342-2742 to learn more!