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Article
Publication date: 19 December 2016

Orly Lahav, Nuha Chagab and Vadim Talis

The purpose of this paper is to examine a central need of students who are blind: the ability to access science curriculum content.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine a central need of students who are blind: the ability to access science curriculum content.

Design/methodology/approach

Agent-based modeling is a relatively new computational modeling paradigm that models complex dynamic systems. NetLogo is a widely used agent-based modeling language that enables exploration and construction of models of complex systems by programming and running the rules and behaviors. Sonification of variables and events in an agent-based NetLogo computer model of gas in a container is used to convey phenomena information. This study examined mainly two research topics: the scientific conceptual knowledge and systems reasoning that were learned as a result of interaction with the listen-to-complexity (L2C) environment as appeared in answers to the pre- and post-tests and the learning topics of kinetic molecular theory of gas in chemistry that was learned as a result of interaction with the L2C environment. The case study research focused on A., a woman who is adventitiously blind, for eight sessions.

Findings

The participant successfully completed all curricular assignments; her scientific conceptual knowledge and systems reasoning became more specific and aligned with scientific knowledge.

Practical implications

A practical implication of further studies is that they are likely to have an impact on the accessibility of learning materials, especially in science education for students who are blind, as equal access to low-cost learning environments that are equivalent to those used by sighted users would support their inclusion in the K-12 academic curriculum.

Originality/value

The innovative and low-cost learning system that is used in this research is based on transmittal of visual information of dynamic and complex systems, providing perceptual compensation by harnessing auditory feedback. For the first time the L2C system is based on sound that represents a dynamic rather than a static array. In this study, the authors explore how a combination of several auditory representations may affect cognitive learning ability.

Details

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 July 2019

Orly Lahav, Vadim Talis, Ravit Shelkovitz and Rona Horen

The purpose of this paper is to examine the ability of high-functioning autistic (HFA) children to programme robotic behaviour and sought to elucidate how they describe…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the ability of high-functioning autistic (HFA) children to programme robotic behaviour and sought to elucidate how they describe and construct a robot’s behaviour using iconic programming software.

Design/methodology/approach

The robotic learning environment is based on the iPad, an iconic programming app (KinderBot), and EV3. Two case studies, of A. and N., both HFA children of average age 10.5, are the focus of this research.

Findings

The research revealed how the participants succeeded in programming the behaviour of an “other” at different programming complexity levels (from simple action to combinations of states of two binary sensors and rule with subroutine). A transformation from procedural to declarative description was also found.

Practical implications

This research on the ability of HFA children to programme robotic behaviour yielded results that can be implemented in K-12 education. Furthermore, learning to programme robots and understand how robotic technologies work may help HFA children to better understand other technology in their environment.

Originality/value

In this research, the authors present an innovative approach that for the first time enables HFA children to “design” the behaviour of smart artefacts to use their sensors to adapt in accordance with the environment. For most HFA children, this would be the first opportunity to “design” the behaviour of the other, as opposed to oneself, since in most of their experience they have been largely controlled by another person.

Details

Journal of Enabling Technologies, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6263

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2014

Orly Lahav

The purpose of this paper is to examine the past 15 years of research and development (R&D) on the role of virtual environments (VEs) as an orientation and mobility (O&M…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the past 15 years of research and development (R&D) on the role of virtual environments (VEs) as an orientation and mobility (O&M) aid to enhance skills and to train people who are blind or newly blind.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper describes and examines studies of 21 VE systems developed specifically to help people who are blind improve their O&M skills. These VE systems, equipped to supply appropriate perceptual and conceptual spatial information through haptic and auditory sensorial channels, are mainly focussed on two goals: helping congenitally blind or late blind persons to collect spatial information in advance and supporting people who are newly blind in practicing their O&M skills during rehabilitation. The R&D studies represented in these 21 studies were examined along three dimensions: descriptive information, system, and research.

Findings

This paper highlights weaknesses and strengths of VE systems that have been developed in the past 15 years as O&M aids for people who are blind. These results have the potential to influence future R&D in this field.

Originality/value

The author hopes that this paper will influence future R&D in this field and lead to accessible O&M VEs in practice and research.

Details

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2012

Orly Lahav, David Schloerb, Siddarth Kumar and Mandyam Srinivasan

This research is based on the hypothesis that the supply of appropriate perceptual and conceptual information through compensatory sensorial channels may assist people who…

Abstract

Purpose

This research is based on the hypothesis that the supply of appropriate perceptual and conceptual information through compensatory sensorial channels may assist people who are blind with anticipatory exploration. The two main goals of the research are: evaluation of different modalities (haptic and audio) and navigation tools; and evaluation of spatial cognitive mapping employed by people who are blind.

Design/methodology/approach

In this research the BlindAid system, which allows the user to explore a virtual environment, was developed and tested. The research included four participants who are totally blind.

Findings

The preliminary findings confirm that the system enabled participants to develop comprehensive cognitive maps by exploring the virtual environment. The BlindAid system could be used as a training‐simulator for O&M rehabilitation training, as a O&M diagnostic tool, and to support people who are blind in exploring and collecting spatial information in advance.

Originality/value

This preliminary study aims to highlight which VE properties could provide perceptual and conceptual spatial information and allow users who are blind to gather and expand their spatial information.

Details

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 10 June 2014

Chris Abbott

Abstract

Details

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

Content available
Article
Publication date: 19 December 2016

Chris Abbott

Abstract

Details

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

Content available
Article
Publication date: 16 March 2012

Chris Abbott

Abstract

Details

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

Content available
Article
Publication date: 9 September 2014

Chris Abbott

Abstract

Details

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

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