Presentation on theme: "A Computing Education for the Vision Impaired Iain Murray Curtin University of Technology Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering Rehabilitation."— Presentation transcript:
A Computing Education for the Vision Impaired Iain Murray Curtin University of Technology Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering Rehabilitation Engineering Research Laboratory
Introduction Objectives Learning environments What is the Cisco Network Academy Program?
Rehabilitation Engineering is the systematic application of engineering sciences to design, develop, adapt, test, evaluate, apply, and distribute technological solutions to problems confronted by individuals with disabilities in functional areas, such as mobility, communications, hearing, vision, and cognition, and in activities associated with employment, independent living, education, and integration into the community. (US Rehabilitation Act of 1973)
Objective Develop systems and methodologies to assist people with sensory disabilities to gain access to education and technology
Resources Rehabilitation Engineering Research Laboratory Researchers 3 academic staff 1 technical staff 6 Postgraduate students 2 Masters and 4 PhD Over 30 Honours students (4th & 5th year engineering) Industry & consumer advisors
Changing Learning Environment Educational content delivery is changing On-line eLearning Instructor led Distance learning Supplemental material People with disabilities (particularly vision) Being left behind Reliance on visiocentric material Multimedia E.g. Click and drag
Changing Learning Environment This requires a change in thinking Ensure effective content delivery to ALL students irrespective of learning style or physical ability Cisco Access for the Vision Impaired (CAVI)
Cisco Network Academy Program The Networking Academy program is an e-learning model that delivers Web-based educational content, online testing, student performance tracking, and instructor training and support, as well as hands-on labs. (Cisco,2002)
Cisco Network Academy Program (CNAP) 10,312 Academies 162 Countries 494,063 Students 278,005 Graduates 14 vision impaired students All in Perth
Cisco Network Academy Program (CNAP) Several programs CCNA, CCNP, FNS, FWN, ITE, UNIX etc CAVI covers IT Essentials and CCNA only The CNAP is a comprehensive program designed to teach students computer, Internet & networking technology skills.
Why CNAP? Router/switch configuration is text based Network topologies are logical not physical Network administration does not require mobility Orientation and mobility training is time consuming and expensive New employment opportunities
The Students Age range from 18 to 55 Range of technical ability/experience 14 Legally blind in total 5 have no useful vision Light perception or less 3 require screen reader access Cannot read a monitor 5 can access a computer with screen enhancement May just require contrast or specific colour schemes 1 deaf/blind Has limited tunnel vision and profoundly deaf Communicates through Auslan and whiteboard
Current Access Methods For low vision users. Screen enlargement. Zoomtext, Magic. Screen review programs. Jaws, Slimware, Artic. Two output methods - speech and Braille displays. Screen review software must rely on text output. Tactile Graphics PIAF Printed Braille and Audio recordings
Access Methods Other Disabilities Quadriplegics. Morse, Eye tracking, scan boards. Emphasis on keyboard/mouse replacement issues. Deaf. Subtitles, visual alerts, transcription of conferences/video. Many others.
CAVI Project Description Develop a method of course delivery to vision impaired students Standard Curriculum Existing lab bundles CCNA & IT Essentials initially Long term aim to include other academy programs Create a “bridge” between the curriculum and assistive technology Includes instructor training
Curriculum Access Use text documents Explain diagrams Stress important but uniquely difficult points The OSI model Layer 2 technologies Tactile objects Network dominoes Pipe cleaners Function Generator
CAVI Describe the difficulties that vision impaired students face Investigate how students with severe vision impairment can utilize cognitive and perceptual properties of non-visual sensory modalities to learn (as compared to sighted students) Develop new visualisation techniques Develop a novel multimodal user interface Explicitly designed to deliver technology and engineering skills to vision impaired students Investigate how these new technologies may be incorporated into future systems
Earcons Earcons were first proposed by Meera Blattner in 1989. They are abstract, musical tones that can be used in structured combinations to create auditory messages. "non-verbal audio messages that are used in the computer/user interface to provide information to the user about some computer object, operation or interaction" They are based on musical sounds.
AsTeR Audio System For Technical Readings A computing system for rendering technical documents in audio Developed by T.V. Raman
Diagrams Host A sends SYN (seq =x) Host B receives SYN (seq=x) and sends SYN(seq=y, ack=x+1) Host A Receives SYN (seq=y, ack = x+1) and sends ACK (ack = y+1) Host B Receives ACK (ack = y+1)
Other CAVI Applications Speech Friendly Packet Sniffer Braille Transcription Software Router Simulator XML to Descriptive Text
Progress First Class Mid way through CCNA 2 Improved self confidence Modifications to the course are being finalised Second Class Progressing much more rapidly Modified curriculum is working
Conclusion Cavi Project is a test bench Includes most of the devices/techniques currently being researched Final outcome Deliver an “Academy in a Box” For Academies that wish to teach vision impaired students Two of the first students are now qualified as instructors in the Academy Program
Current Research Projects Cisco Access for the Vision Impaired (CAVI) Curtin University Brailler (CUB) Wireless Stereo Headset Parakeet -Apple OS X Accessibility iView - Classroom Aid for Low Vision Students Dasher Auslan to Text Currency Identifier for the Blind Braille Scanner Ultrasonic White Cane/Seeing with Sound 7 Segment reader and colour sensor
The Target Demographic In Western Australia 8,800 legally blind Nearly 2,400 under 65 The Association for the Blind 75 new clients each month 411 clients per year in technology training (ABWA annual report 2001) Extrapolate to the world market Third world countries have higher rates of vision impairment
Disability Discrimination Act DDA is administered by the Human rights and Equal Opportunities Commission (HREOC). Accepts that some differential treatment is unavoidable. Commonwealth Departments and Agencies must develop action plans. Emerging DDA standards on “Electronic Communication”.
Curtin University Brailler (CUB) Perkins Brailler Mechanical only Mountbatten Brailler Electronic, very old technology
Braille Scanner Aimed at Sighted non-Braille Readers Converts Braille to Expanded Text in real time
A Secure Dual Channel Wireless Headset for Multi-user Environments Funded by Dept. of Training Science & Technology Grant Joint Project Association for the Blind WA RAC (WA)
Proof of Concept Prototype Dual channel, two- way, high quality, low power infrared headset prototype which has been field tested by the ABWA and certified.
DSP based system Upgradeable, flexible Ultra Low Power Secure comm ’ s Current BOM < $150 … IR TxRx ’ s < $3 Cellular Architecture
The Future Infrared / 802.1x Hybrid Keep low power, security, and bandwidth benefits of infrared, but combine with 802.11g to overcome infrared mobility issue. Commercialisation Packaging Alternative markets Navy
Parakeet The project involves designing, building and testing a screen reader application for Mac OS X operating system. A screen reader is an application that allows a vision- impaired person to use a graphical user interface by providing audible feedback in the form of speech. The screen reader interrogates the actions of the user via the Accessibility APIs and produces speech output using the text-to-speech (TTS) APIs. Both of these APIs are provided by Apple as part of Mac OS X.
Dasher Information-efficient text-entry interface driven by natural continuous pointing gestures. operating a computer one-handed with zero hands (i.e., by head-mouse or by eyetracker). The eyetracking version of Dasher allows an experienced user to write text as fast as normal handwriting - 25 words per minute; using a mouse, experienced users can write at 39 words per minute.