INVESTIGATION OF AN AUDIO FEEDBACK SYSTEM ALLOWING VISUALLY IMPAIRED ACCESS TO GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACES

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Education
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$39,730.00
Award Year:
1993
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
20895
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Atg
84 Salisbury Rd, Watertown, MA, 02172
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Marshall Clemens
Technical Director
() -
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
THE PROLIFERATION OF GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACES (GUIS) IN PERSONAL COMPUTERS, SUCH AS MICROSOFT WINDOWS AND MACINTOSH, IS A THREAT TO VISUALLY IMPAIRED PERSONS' ABILITY TO USE COMPUTERS BECAUSE GUIS REPRESENT INFORMATION ICONICLY AND SPATIALLY, AS WELL AS TEXTUALLY. THE GUIS VISUAL ORIENTATION MAKES GUIS DIFFICULT FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED TO ACCESS THROUGH TRADITIONAL ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES. WE PROPOSE TO CREATE A PROTOTYPE AUDITORY FEEDBACK SYSTEM FOR THE GUI THAT WILL PROVIDE VISUALLY IMPAIRED PERSONS ACCESS TO GUIS. PHASE I HAS TWO GOALS. FIRST, TO DETERMINE THE TECHNICAL FEASIBILITY OF A NOVEL TECHNIQUE FOR REPRESENTING GUI OBJECTS, SUCH AS POINTERS, BUTTONS AND WINDOWS, IN SOUND. THIS TECHNIQUE WILL REQUIRE TRACKING ALL THE EVENTS THAT OCCUR IN THE GUI SYSTEM. THESE EVENTS WILL BE MAPPED TO PREDETERMINED SOUNDS AND PLAYED THROUGH COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE SOUND-OUTPUT HARDWARE. THE SECOND GOAL IS TO VERIFY THAT VISUALLY IMPAIRED GUI USERS CAN PERFORM TASKS BETTER WITH THE AID OF AUDIO FEEDBACK. IF SUCCESSFUL, THE RESULTING TECHNOLOGY WILL FACILITATE THE USE GUI SOFTWARE BY VISUALLY IMPAIRED PERSONS.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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