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37th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Has Concluded

IMAGE: Accessible Internet Graphics via Audio and Touch

Date & Time
Wednesday, March 16, 2022 - 10:20 AM PST  
Orange County  

Internet Multimodal Access to Graphical Exploration (IMAGE) is a project carried out by McGill University's Shared Reality Lab (SRL), in strategic partnership with Gateway Navigation CCC Ltd, and the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB). Innovation Science Economic Development Canada funds the project through the Assistive Technology Program. The motivation for IMAGE is to improve access to internet graphics for people who are blind or partially sighted.

Team members from McGill University and David Brun from Gateway Navigation CCC Ltd will present.

We have been working since March 2021 to create the initial version of IMAGE for full release in the first quarter of 2022. We expect this to be one of the first significant venues to speak about the system and have it out of beta and available for public use via a free web browser extension.

In our presentation, we will:

- Describe the purpose of IMAGE, including comparing and contrasting IMAGE with other tools, such as JAWS Picture Smart.

- Demonstrate IMAGE being used for multiple scenarios such as accessing maps, charts, and photographs.

- Discuss the audio, including spatialization, and haptic (touch) capabilities of IMAGE, including the hardware devices that IMAGE works with, the Dot pad, and the Haply.

- Provide information about how audience members can install and effectively use IMAGE themselves.

- Discuss the research behind IMAGE, with an overview of the multiple machine learning models it uses to process the graphics the user selects to produce its results. We will also describe how this emerging technology is likely to improve and evolve in the future.

David Brun from Gateway Navigation will discuss efforts to ensure that IMAGE remains available in the future at low or zero cost to end-users.

In addition to end-users, we hope to connect with those interested in incorporating or extending IMAGE since a key aspect of the platform is that it is open-source so that others can expand it to work better with additional graphic types. We will discuss IMAGE's open-source availability to the community and ongoing challenges for improving IMAGE results that may appeal to researchers and developers in the audience. We will also describe how website creators can create content that works well with IMAGE.

Note that one of our project partners, Dot will be exhibiting at CSUN 2022, so we expect there will also be opportunities for hands-on demonstrations of IMAGE's haptic functionality.

This Presentation Link (PPTX) is provided by the Presenter(s) and not hosted by the Center on Disabilities at CSUN. The Center on Disabilities has confirmed, as of April 1, 2022, content linked is relevant to the presentation, but has not been reviewed for accessibility nor will the Center on Disabilities attempt to remediate any accessibility issues in the linked content. Please contact the Presenter(s) with any accessibility concerns.

  • Higher Education
  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Entertainment & Recreation
  • Media & Publishing
  • Research & Development
Audience Level
Session Summary (Abstract)
IMAGE is a new tool that uses rich audio (sonification) and touch (haptics) to provide a faster and more nuanced experience of graphics on the web. Have you ever wanted to hear a photograph? Feel a graph? Learn how you can use IMAGE to explore web graphics in new ways.  
Session Type
General Track  
  • Blind/Low Vision
  • Digital Accessibility
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Information & Communications Technology (ICT)
  • Research


  • Jeremy Cooperstock
    McGill University
  • David Brun
    Gateway Navigation CCC Ltd
  • Cyan Kuo
    McGill University
  • Yongjae Yoo
    McGill University
  • Jeffrey Blum
    McGill University

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