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The end of an era: Changing the way shape is conveyed to the visually impaired

Jennifer Anne Cherry, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This research was designed to contribute to the development of new training systems to convey shape to the visually impaired. This dissertation consisted of two experiments which addressed the similarities and differences of visually impaired persons' and sighted persons' impressions of outlines of real objects perceived under auditory and touch display conditions, as well as tactile impressions of actual real objects, wood cutouts of those objects, tactor-pin diagrams of those objects, and raised-line drawings of those objects. Experiment 1 examined auditory and tactile perceptual equivalence, as well as sighted and visually impaired perceptual equivalence. Within each sight level group, Experiment 1 demonstrated a lack of equivalence for auditory and tactile perceptual structures. Experiment 1 demonstrated both similarities and differences in the perceptual structure comparisons between the sighted and the visually impaired. Experiment 2 examined the impact of sight level and four stimulus types on tactile percent correct identifications, response latencies, and familiarity ratings. Experiment 2 demonstrated sighted and visually impaired participants performed equally on a percent correct identification task. This Experiment also revealed the best performances were exhibited when real objects were presented, followed by wood cutouts, followed by tactor-pins, and performance with raised-line drawing (RLD) presentation was poorest. Experiment 2 also examined the exploratory procedures utilized during tactile identification of the four stimulus types. Experiment 2 revealed wood cutout presentation was associated with the largest percentage of different exploratory procedures being utilized, followed by real objects and tactor-pins which were equivalent, but utilized a larger percentage than the RLDs. Wood cutouts were the only other objects beside the real objects to use all exploratory procedures. The results of Experiment 1 and Experiment 2 indicate the utility of changing current industry standards for displaying shape information. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Experimental|Psychology, Cognitive

Recommended Citation

Cherry, Jennifer Anne, "The end of an era: Changing the way shape is conveyed to the visually impaired" (2000). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9976980.