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