An interface to virtual environments for people who are blind using Wii technology - mental models and navigation

Evett, L, Battersby, S, Ridley, A and Brown, DJ ORCID: 0000-0002-1677-7485, 2009. An interface to virtual environments for people who are blind using Wii technology - mental models and navigation. Journal of Assistive Technologies, 3 (2), pp. 30-39.


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Accessible games, both for serious and for entertainment purposes, would allow inclusion and participation for those with disabilities. Research into the development of accessible games, and accessible virtual environments, is discussed. Research into accessible Virtual Environments has demonstrated great potential for allowing people who are blind to explore new spaces, reducing their reliance on guides, and aiding development of more efficient spatial maps and strategies. Importantly, Lahav and Mioduser (2005, 2008) have demonstrated that, when exploring virtual spaces, people who are blind use more and different strategies than when exploring real physical spaces, and develop relatively accurate spatial representations of them. The present paper describes the design, development and evaluation of a system in which a virtual environment may be explored by people who are blind using Nintendo Wii devices, with auditory and haptic feedback. The nature of the various types of feedback is considered, with the aim of creating an intuitive and usable system. Using Wii technology has many advantages, not least of which are that it is mainstream, readily available and cheap. The potential of the system for exploration and navigation is demonstrated. Results strongly support the possibilities of the system for facilitating and supporting the construction of cognitive maps and spatial strategies. Intelligent support is discussed. Systems such as the present one will facilitate the development of accessible games, and thus enable Universal Design and accessible interactive technology to become more accepted and widespread.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Assistive Technologies
Creators: Evett, L., Battersby, S., Ridley, A. and Brown, D.J.
Publisher: Emerald
Place of Publication: Hove
Date: 2009
Volume: 3
Number: 2
Rights: © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:28
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:30

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