Enhancing the Means of Learning for the Visually Impaired

Education Technology Insights | Thursday, January 31, 2019

The accessibility of ICT educational tools is considered a significant issue worldwide to ensure equal opportunities for all students. Today, visually impaired students can take advantage of a wide range of effective assistive technologies, but they often encounter many different accessibility and usability problems while using electronic material for learning purposes. The variety of obstacles they can face on their way is quite large, mainly because the term “visually impaired” includes a wide range of deficits, ranging from blindness to some other multifaceted, but less severe, visual impairments.

The niche market for screen readers is unrivaled, and the products and services are becoming more and more user-friendly. Simply put, readers of the screen convert text to sound on the screen. Advanced SEO programs also allow developers to place text on the screen in each image that describes the model on the display when used.

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Electronic braille recorders are small devices with a braille keyboard to take quick notes. Students can then take notes when listening in class. The information in the invention is then stored electronically and can then either be accessed as an audio file or connected to a Braille display for later re-reading.

EmacSpeak is a revolutionary tool that allows visually impaired and blind users to interact with their computers. This tool was developed by lauded blind programmer T.V. Raman (now part of Google’s AI Team). EmacSpeak does use non- speech auditory signals, intonation and inflection to help define these visual characteristics, giving the user the same sense of how the information is sorted.

Music is undoubtedly a fantastic way to enjoy, connect, create, and communicate for those who are visually impaired. Music making and producing is also an essential way of employing many visually impaired people. The music editing tools of today are however designed with highly visual feedback loops. For example, if there is a need to change the EQ curve in a path, an individual has to drag the cursor up or down to change the trajectory, which leaves serious musicians, who are blind, in a dilemma—as screen readers would still not be able to make the graphical interface head or tail. HaptEQ is the panacea that visually impaired can comfortably use in creating and producing music.

With such advancements and the four industrial revolution, the future certainly looks bright for the visually impaired students.

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