Technological Support for Mobility and Orientation Training: Development of a Smartphone Navigation Aid

ID: 40587 Type: Virtual Brief Paper
  1. Emily Sheepy, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
  2. Stepan Salenikovich, McGill University, Canada

Abstract: The Directions application for smartphones is a navigation aid for the blind and visually impaired community developed by Canadian students. Directions supports independent travel for the blind by presenting a series of prompts that elicit appropriately detailed travel directions from a sighted individual. This structured audio input can then be reviewed or followed using the accessible touchscreen interface. Designing this application presented many usability challenges, including: development of appropriate task models for the sighted and visually impaired user groups; development of prompts to facilitate verbal communication of a spatial map; and finally, implementation issues with Android’s accessibility services. This paper shares early project experiences and future directions for technological support for mobility and orientation training.

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