Empowering Blind People to Create Personal Assistive Technology
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Over 285 million people worldwide are estimated to be blind or visually impaired. Although accessibility research highlights the unique needs of people with disabilities, in practice assistive technologies are designed to be one-size-fits-all and inflexible. To overcome this challenge, we will research best practices for enabling blind and visually impaired people to engage in end-user-programming and design tools so that even less tech-savvy individuals can specify, prototype, and execute personal assistive applications to address unique accessibility problems.
End-user-programming will empower blind people to leverage their expertise and creativity to create personal assistive technologies on mobile devices to support their unique needs via end-user programming, allowing them to create filters for specific visual information (e.g. just the name or address on a piece of mail) and workflows combining multiple complementary services to achieve specific goals (e.g. using Google Maps, Soundscape, and BlindSquare at once for navigation). However, enabling blind people to create assistive applications introduces key challenges in approachability, accessibility, and expressiveness of the creation process and tools.
Zoom information will be sent to e-HAIL members.