Istituto di Informatica e Telematica     
Senette C., Buzzi M. C., Buzzi M., Martusciello L., Leporini B. Enriching Graphic Maps to Enable Multimodal Interaction by Blind People. In: HCI 2013 - Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction. LNCS 8009 - http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-39188-0_62 (Las Vegas (USA), 2013). Proceedings, pp. 576 - 583. Springer, 2013.
Geographical maps are by their nature inherently inaccessible to blind users since the information is conveyed mainly in a visual way. The attempt to convert all the information to an alternative modality allowing satisfactory exploration by blind people is a very active field of research. Several studies offer interesting solutions currently only available as prototypes. The work described herein investigates multimodality, focusing on the tactile interaction skills of a blind subject. Given the difficulty of rendering all the information available in a generic map in a tactile and/or text (Braille) format, the challenge is to provide additional substantial information content through different means: speech synthesizer, text or sound alerts and vibration events that the user may call as needed. A further challenge of our work is to make a map opportunely modified to "speak" for itself, without using dedicated devices, through web technologies and the possibility of easily developing programs for Android-based mobile devices.
Subject visual impairment
tactile maps
multimodal interaction
graphics maps
K.4.2 Social Issues: Handicapped persons/special needs.

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