Skip to main content
- Smaller Text | + Larger Text

Refined Software for Readers with Vision Disabilities

Printer icon
  • Synopsis: Published: 2014-12-08 (Rev. 2015-03-18) - Improving experience of people who are blind or have low vision who use iPads as touch based reading devices. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Texas A&M University at tamu.edu.

Main Document

"In the future, Quek foresees developing note-taking and highlighting capabilities for the software."

Two key refinements that improve the experience of people who are blind or have low vision who use iPads as touch-based reading devices have been developed by Francis Quek, Texas A&M professor of visualization, and Yasmine N. El-Glaly, assistant professor of computer science at Port Said University in Egypt.

A research paper detailing the refinements, which improve how accurately the software responds to a user's touch, earned an outstanding paper award at the Nov. 12-16, 2014 International Conference for Multimodal Interaction at Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey.

In their paper, "Digital Reading Support for The Blind by Multimodal Interaction," Quek and El-Glalydescribe how blind or visually impaired readers drag their fingertips along virtual lines of text on the tablet's screen or an overlay to hear the tablet "speak" text of a book or article.

"Existing applications force the user to be slow," said Quek, director of the Texas A&M Embodied Interaction Laboratory. "If the user runs her finger too quickly on the virtual lines of text or changes the software's access mode to read bigger chunks of words, she can easily lose her place or wander between virtual lines of text without realizing it," he said.

iPad Mini
iPad Mini

Even if existing systems are adjusted to render words faster, he said, interaction problems remain because there is often a poor relationship between the speed of a user's finger on the tablet and the speed of the words pronounced by the device, he said.

To address these issues, Quek and El-Glaly developed software for an iPad that predicts the direction of a user's finger on a tablet overlay, audibly rendering words in sequence then alerting the reader if she strays from the reading line. Their work was supported with a $302,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

Words in the new software are also rendered in sync with the speed of the user's finger across the tablet screen, not at a default speed set by the application.

In the future, Quek foresees developing note-taking and highlighting capabilities for the software. He will continue to develop the overlay and application in the TEIL with Sharon Lyn Chu, TEIL associate director, and Akash Sahoo, a graduate computer science student.

The Istanbul conference where Quek and El-Glaly present their paper is a global forum for multidisciplinary research on human-human and human-computer interaction, interfaces and system development.

"This is a very selective conference with an 18% acceptance rate for oral presentations," said Quek.

The conference focused on component technologies, theoretical and empirical foundations and combined multimodal processing techniques that define the field of multimodal interaction analysis, interface design, and system development.



Related:

  1. iPad Mini Accessibility Features for People with Disabilities - Thomas C. Weiss - (2012-10-26)
    https://www.disabled-world.com/assistivedevices/computer/ipad-mini.php
  2. Apple iPad Information Price and Accessibility Features - Disabled World - (2010-04-12)
    https://www.disabled-world.com/assistivedevices/computer/ipad.php
  3. Apple iPad Accessibility Features - TestFreaks - (2011-02-06)
    https://www.disabled-world.com/assistivedevices/computer/ipad-7.php

Comments and Discussion





Newsletter

     What will I receive?

Money ChartLoan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Albert EinsteinFamous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


Pink awareness ribbonList of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Chart IconBlood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be. Also see information on blood group types and compatibility.


  1. Census Bureau Facts and Statistics Show Senior U.S. Population Is Still Growing
  2. Athletes Warned About Consuming Clenbuterol in Meat Products
  3. Mini-Strokes - Understanding and Knowing the Warning Signs
  4. Vision for Accessible Transportation in Canada




Citation