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Screen navigation system for visually impaired people

James Francis Ohene-Djan (Department of Computing, Goldsmiths University of London , London, UK)
Sandra A. Fernando (Department of Computing, Goldsmiths University of London , London, UK)

Journal of Enabling Technologies

ISSN: 2398-6263

Article publication date: 10 September 2018

Issue publication date: 7 November 2018

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116

Abstract

Purpose

The SETUP09 system consists of both navigation and a computer-aided drawing technique for people who are blind and visually impaired (BVI). The purpose of this paper is to address the need for a screen navigation technique, which can facilitate a user’s ability to produce art, and scientific diagrams electronically, by introducing a compass-based screen navigation method.

Design/methodology/approach

BVI computer users were tested using different screen navigation tasks to assess the accuracy and efficiency of this compass-based navigation technique by using a prototype (SETUP09) and tactile paper grid maps.

Findings

The results confirmed that the compass-based navigation facilitates higher accuracy in screen-based moving and location recognition with a noticeable reduction in time and effort.

Research limitations/implications

Improvements such as the addition of a sound layer to the interface, use of hotkeys, braille and user speech inputs are yet to be tested.

Social implications

The current lack of suitable and efficient screen navigation technology is a limiting factor for BVI students and computer users in producing diagrams and drawings. This may place limitations on their career progression and life contentment. It is challenging for a BVI person to draw diagrams and art, which are commonly taught in education or used in industry. The compass-based screen navigation system was developed to address BVI users’ need to be able to create such content.

Originality/value

A compass-based navigation method enables screen navigation through a formal command language and enables intuitive movement to a screen location using matrix-style compass directions with zoom-in and zoom-out capabilities.

Keywords

Citation

Ohene-Djan, J.F. and Fernando, S.A. (2018), "Screen navigation system for visually impaired people", Journal of Enabling Technologies, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 114-128. https://doi.org/10.1108/JET-04-2018-0019

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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