[blindkid] Wii Device Teaches Visually Impaired to WalkwithCanes

Mike Freeman k7uij at panix.com
Tue Jun 8 02:47:46 UTC 2010


But the device doesn't give the player the same information s/he would get 
were s/he using a real cane in real situations.

I presume that most of you parents of blind children realize by now that 
it's far better to show your blind children a *real* orange rather than a 
play one. Just so, it is far better to just give the kids more cane travel 
practice in the real world than a device which only simulates (and a poor 
simulation it would be at best) what they would feel in reality. In other 
words, the device may simulate the motion but not the information gained. 
And, frankly, just putting someone thru the motions without the feedback of 
real terrain information would be for me a damned sterile learning 
experience.

And yes, I've seen the WII in action; my girlfriend's nephews have played 
more Guitar Hero and boxing matches than I care to contemplate. (grin)

Mike

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "holly miller" <hollym12 at gmail.com>
To: "NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List,(for parents of blind children)" 
<blindkid at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Monday, June 07, 2010 12:37 PM
Subject: Re: [blindkid] Wii Device Teaches Visually Impaired to 
WalkwithCanes


>I am curious how you can know that something can not have any possible
> benefits before it has been put to use?  Yes it's possible it will be a 
> flop
> but what harm could there be in investigating new ideas?   Neither the
> creator or anyone here is suggesting this replaces real life O&M training,
> it's simply a potential tool to put in the tool box.  Isn't one of
> the reoccurring themes here that the best thing for our kids is to make 
> use
> of many different strategies and to not limit options?
>
> Are you familiar with the Wii game system?  If you aren't, it really is
> unique from other video game systems.   What I think may make this
> a plausible option is that the Wii is designed for the user to be in 
> motion
> while playing many of the games.  The system reads & reacts to the players
> motions, not just pushing of buttons. For instance, if you are playing a
> tennis game, you actually swing the controller like a tennis racquet. 
> The
> player wouldn't be sitting still, they would actually be walking around 
> the
> room.  The controller is a long, slim rectangle that can be held similarly
> to a proper cane grip.  The controller vibrates so it can give tactile
> feedback to a simulated obstacle.
>
> Again, this should not in any way be considered a replacement to real 
> world
> training, just an interesting supplement to it.
>
> Holly
> aka Hank's mom
>
> On Mon, Jun 7, 2010 at 3:01 PM, Peter Donahue 
> <pdonahue1 at sbcglobal.net>wrote:
>
>> Good afternoon everyone,
>>
>>    Nothing will replace the total immersion experience. Cane travel is 
>> very
>> hands-on. Playing video games of this kine do nothing to help the blind
>> child hone their cane skills and gain the confidence needed to become a
>> good
>> cane traveler and to feel good about using the cane. We learned cane use
>> that way and appreciate the value of having done so.
>>
>> Peter Donahue
>>
>>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "holly miller" <hollym12 at gmail.com>
>> To: "NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List,(for parents of blind children)"
>> <blindkid at nfbnet.org>
>> Sent: Monday, June 07, 2010 1:50 PM
>> Subject: Re: [blindkid] Wii Device Teaches Visually Impaired to
>> WalkwithCanes
>>
>>
>> Peter,
>> It says in the article
>>
>> "The Wii Cane training program is not meant to replace traditional
>>  training  methods, but is only a supplement."
>> I would be concerned if someone thought it could replace actual real life
>> training but I don't think that's what they are suggesting at all.
>>
>> I'm going to reserve judgement on it until it's actually available.  It
>> sounds very interesting but of course well meaning ideas often fall far
>> from
>> the mark.  On the other hand, if it is well done it could be a huge help
>> especially for newly blind or partial vision kids that are having trouble
>> accepting the idea of a cane.  Cane training doesn't need high tech 
>> tricks
>> to be successful but if there is something that can make O&M training 
>> more
>> fun & add a coolness factor, why would that be a bad thing?
>>
>> If this project is successful or not, the research & development going 
>> into
>> making a game might be a stepping stone to some other assistive 
>> technology
>> that hasn't even been considered before.
>>
>> Holly
>> aka Hank's mom
>>
>> On Mon, Jun 7, 2010 at 11:56 AM, Peter Donahue
>> <pdonahue1 at sbcglobal.net>wrote:
>>
>> > Hello Doreen and everyone,
>> >
>> >    All of the video games in the World won't replace hands-on cane 
>> > travel
>> > instruction. Please don't fall for this stuff.
>> >
>> > Peter Donahue
>> >
>> >
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>
>
>
> -- 
> http://www.raceforindependence.org/goto/Hank
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