Touch and hearing are the primary senses that people with visual impairments (PVI) use to access written (print or digital) information and to acquire knowledge about attributes of the environments. Nowadays, informative technology offers the possibility to convert the information in audio, tactile or audiotactile form. However, there is little research on the use of this information in the field of spatial knowledge of PVI as well as in the fields of accessing mathematical expressions, geometric shapes and the visual attributes of documents.
The proposed project aims to study:
- the contribution of haptic and acoustic information to spatial knowledge and to the orientation and mobility of PVI,
- the access the typographic attributes of documents through hearing,
- the patterns of access to the recognition of basic geometric shapes through touch,
- the access to mathematical expressions through hearing and touch,
- the mapping of the types of active touch according to the level of comprehension and
- the analysis of the prosody perception through psycho-physiological cues.
The project includes 3 main work packages split-up into 8 tasks:
- 1.1) Cognitive maps creation by PVI based on audiotactile information, 1.2) The contribution of audiotactile information to the orientation and mobility of PVIs, 1.3) Mapping of active touch by PVIs during the recognition of geometrical shapes,
- 2.1) Auditory access of the visual document elements, 2.2) Analysis of psycho-physiological cues of PVI during prosody perception,
- 3.1) Audiotactile access of mathematical expressions, 3.2) Test-retest reliability for active touch by PVIs during the recognition of geometrical shapes, 3.3) Experimental test implementation for active touch. The proposed research is expected to develop novel multimodal learning models applicable to the education of PVI, to broaden the framework of the analytic curricula and to strength the approaches for their social and cognitive inclusion.