[Art_beyond_sight_theory_and_research] RNIB, HaptiMap, Touchable Art, Touch-based navigation

fnugg at online.no fnugg at online.no
Mon Oct 11 17:53:40 UTC 2010

  link to RNIB tactile books

The Blind Point of View
HaptiMap - Haptic, Audio and Visual Interfaces for Maps and Location 
Based Services
"Multimodality is a useful addition for navigation applications, 
allowing transfer of information from the relatively overloaded visual 
sense to hearing and touch.  However, unless well understood the use of 
touch and sound can be annoying.  In HaptiMap we are looking at ways to 
effectively employ touch and hearing to make map and navigation 
applications more useful and engaging as well as more accessible to 
users with impairments.

During the first year the project focused on user studies and on laying 
the foundations for the implementation work. In HaptiMap we use and 
advocate an iterative and user-centred design methodology where end 
users are involved all through the work process and where designs and 
prototypes are tested iteratively.

The focus of the project as a whole during this first year has been the 
user studies. In order to get a full picture of the relevant issues we 
have used a range of techniques that involve questionnaires, interviews, 
focus group discussions, probe studies, workshops, and contextual tests. 
221 users were involved in the first year activities, where 83 were 
sighted, 72 visually impaired and 66 elderly. In addition, 188 users 
answered a web questionnaire.

Our studies of severely visually impaired, elderly and sighted users 
indicate general similarities in the types of information all people 
need, although we observe that in general visually impaired users 
require a higher level of detail. We have explored both goal directed 
navigation and other more exploratory situations, since appliances 
supporting navigation may be used in both scenarios. The contemporary 
lack of a proper solution for pedestrian navigation was apparent 
throughout our current studies. "

Amazing Painting Of A Blind Artist
The story of this blind artist is extraordinary and unbelievable. 
Professional CPA with a photographic memory, Lisa Fittipaldi  lost her 
vision due to a vascular disease in 1993. She lost her job too, but 
overcame blindness and began painting in 1995. Her paintings are so 
colorful and bright; it's hard to believe that they were drawn by a 
blind person who can't even see colors or distance. The main challenge 
to Lisa was when she was told she could never create complex scenes of 
everyday life with people as main characters. But she managed to do so, 
and today her paintings are exhibited in museums and galleries around 
the world. Fittipaldi is a unique artist with an amazing inner vision. 
You can judge for yourself after the jump.


ANCHORAGE, Alaska ---
The Out North Theater is hosting "Feelings 2: A Touchable Art Show." 
It's the first exhibit in 10 years geared for the visually impaired.

Sight-impaired clients of the Alaska Center for the Blind explored the 
exhibit Thursday. The artwork is all tactile, and some pieces even tell 
a story or include hidden messages or jokes.

"Most people think that people are blind can't see anything, and most 
people that are blind can see quite a bit, and maybe sometimes even have 
20-20, but just a small field that they can see in," said curator Lowell 
Zercher. "So even they can enjoy the colors and the shapes, but they 
also get to touch it."

The exhibit will be on display until Sunday.




    9th Annual Tactile Art Show at St. Augustine Art Association

The St. Augustine Art Association will host the 9th Annual Tactile Art 
Show through Oct. 28 in the Main Gallery, at 22 Marine St.

Students from the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind help prepare 
the exhibit by creating Braille labels for each work of art. During 
their visits to tour the exhibit, the FSDB students will be working on 
art projects for children at Wolfson Hospital.


Westmoreland museum takes creative approach in tour for visually impaired

Wearing a pair of white gloves, Cindy Morrow reached down to move her 
hands over the smooth bronze form of a reclining cat.

"It felt like the artist got it right," she said. "The position was 
right -- perfect. You can imagine it's a real cat."

Morrow, 45, of Acme has been blind since she was a baby, but she and two 
other clients of the Westmoreland County Blind Association used their 
other senses to explore the Westmoreland Museum of American Art on Thursday.

Sighted people, she said, may not realize that there are other ways to 
appreciate art.

"They don't think about it," she said, "but I think about it a lot -- 
touch and hearing."

It was the first time the museum, on North Main Street in Greensburg, 
was asked to organize a tour for visually impaired people, said Maureen 
Zang, the museum's public programs coordinator.

article excerpt
Mill Creek Elementary student wins national art contest

COLUMBIA --- Madisyn Hinkebein doesn't know what the art of Wassili 
Kandinsky looks like exactly, but you wouldn't know it from looking at 
her winning art piece.

The Columbia School Board recognized Madisyn, 6, as the first place 
winner in the preschool/kindergarten category of American Printing 
House's national 19th Annual Blind InSights 2010: Visions from the Mind 
art contest.


business card designs for photographers 
If you want a business card with a little extra spice, consider a 
tactile map. These maps were felt different from other business cards. 
They can be printed on a particular surface, such as metal, or they can 
be raised or embossed designs that can be felt with the fingers. Keep in 
mind that commercial printing companies color additional charge for this 
type of card because of the work that must be added to design and print 


Blind use visual brain parts to refine sensation of sound and touch

Researchers have indicated that people who have been blind from birth 
make use of the visual parts of their brain to refine their sensation of 
sound and touch.

According to an international team of researchers led by neuroscientists 
at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC), this finding helps 
explain why the blind have such advanced perception of these senses - 
abilities that far exceed people who can see.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the researchers 
found that the blind use specialized "modules" in the visual cortex that 
process the spatial location of an object when a person localizes it in 
space. More generally, they believe that the different functional 
attributes that make up vision, such as analysis of space, patterns, and 
motion, still exist in the visual cortex of blind individuals.

But instead of using those areas to understand what the eyes see, the 
blind use them to process what they hear and touch because the same 
components are necessary to process information from those senses.

In this experiment, which included researchers from Belgium and Finland, 
12 sighted and 12 blind participants agreed to perform a set of auditory 
or tactile tasks.


Sight Line: Designing Better Streets for People with Low Vision

Author Ross Atkin, a research associate at the Helen Hamlyn Centre at 
the Royal College of Art, also interviewed local authority designers and 
researchers from across the country.

He has developed a practical new mapping technique to communicate how 
three different groups (residual sight users, long cane users and guide 
dog users) use a combination of sound, touch, and memory to get around 

Touch-based navigation may move the blind

But how would you find your way to a "point of interest" if you were 
blind? You could use your fingers -- one day.

William Provancher, 38, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering 
at the University of Utah, developed a technology based on haptics -- 
the sense of touch -- that in a couple of years might help blind people 
find their way to a favorite coffee shop.

Video games already use tactile cues such as "rumble" to give the player 
a more realistic experience when crashing a virtual go-cart into a wall. 
And cell phones have been using vibration as an alternative to sound for 

But Provancher has taken the use of haptics to another level.

"What our device can do is give you direction cues," he said.

The technology would allow users to place their fingertip on top of a 
small button about the size of a pea, and receive direction cues through 
skin stretch.

In the study that took about two and a half years to conduct, Provancher 
found, "people are very good at perceiving small amounts of skin 
stretch," he said.

The device gives cues by stretching the skin slightly in both horizontal 
and vertical directions (left, right, front, back).


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