Learning the language: The importance of studying written directions in designing navigational technologies for the blind

Morgan Klaus Scheuerman, William Easley, Ali Abdolrahmani, Amy Hurst, Stacy Branham

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Independent navigation is important to individuals who are blind and visually impaired (VI). Researchers have long explored how blind and VI people navigate to inform the design of more useful, accessible wayfinding devices. However, there has been little research on the role language plays in providing effective Text-to-Speech directions for this population. In this paper, we investigate the language and cues expressed in written navigational directions exchanged between blind and VI members of a Yahoo! Group mailing list. Through qualitative analysis, we unpack the types of and frequencies of information exchanged, including how distances are represented, how direction is indicated, and what landmarks are referenced. We notably found that written directions often included warnings about when a navigator may have gone too far, which alternate routes are easier to navigate, and how welcoming and accessible destinations might be for people with disabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2017 Extended Abstracts - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationExplore, Innovate, Inspire
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages2922-2928
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450346566
DOIs
StatePublished - May 6 2017
Event2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2017 - Denver, United States
Duration: May 6 2017May 11 2017

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings
VolumePart F127655

Conference

Conference2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2017
CountryUnited States
CityDenver
Period5/6/175/11/17

Keywords

  • Blind navigation
  • People with vision impairments
  • Written navigational directions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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  • Cite this

    Scheuerman, M. K., Easley, W., Abdolrahmani, A., Hurst, A., & Branham, S. (2017). Learning the language: The importance of studying written directions in designing navigational technologies for the blind. In CHI 2017 Extended Abstracts - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Explore, Innovate, Inspire (pp. 2922-2928). (Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings; Vol. Part F127655). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3027063.3053260