[Art_beyond_sight_educators] Talking Map Kiosks at Chicago Lighthouse

Lisa Yayla Lisa.Yayla at statped.no
Wed Nov 3 09:27:42 UTC 2010


Touch Graphics together with RERC-DU, Dr. Joshua Miele and Chicago Light house are testing a new way-finding kiosk.
Video  and more information at


Touch Graphics is testing a new approach to making public way-finding information accessible to people with print disabilities. Two new talking map kiosks at Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired present multi-sensory information in many ways simultaneously. Kiosk users can consult a raised line map that speaks the names of places that are touched. Alternatively, users can scroll through alphabetical lists of departments, and staff members, and then listen to verbal way-finding scripts that explain in clear language how to reach various destinations.   Information is also displayed visually; as the white, 3D surface of the map is touched, a visual highlighting is projected from above, painting the contoured, textured surface with light. All spoken messages are also captioned in large print displayed on the map surface.

This work is being carried out by Touch Graphics working in partnership with staff at the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Universal Design (RERC-UD), located at the University of Buffalo; Dr. Joshua A. Miele of Smith Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco; and staff at the Chicago Lighthouse. User tests of the talking maps will take place in early 2011. Based on the outcomes of these test, we hope to improve our understanding of how diverse audiences process multi-sensory cartographic information, and how time spent studying these talking maps impacts one's ability to navigate in this huge, and complex facility.



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