COD

  • CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Logo

    The Premier AT Conference

Informed Access to Tech for People Who Are Visually Impaired

Description
The availability of accessible technology for visually impaired people is often limited to retail settings. In these situations, users may be subjected to sales pressures that do not allow for adequate pre-purchase instruction or post-purchase training. Buying technology without informed evaluation and training is a frequent cause of disuse. To overcome access limits to assistive technology, Lighthouse Guild (LG) has established a Technology Center, where technologies can be viewed and tried under expert supervision. Lighthouse Guild, located in New York City, is a not-for-profit, social impact organization whose mission is to provide exceptional services that inspire visually impaired people to attain their goals. Access to technology is a major part of our mission. The LG Technology Center showcases assistive and environmental technologies and provides a space where visually impaired people have informed access to and sufficient training with assistive-vision technologies. The Technology Center also provides a hub where users, caregivers, eye care professionals, and accessible technology developers come together to develop new technologies. To anticipate the requests from clients for recommendations about which assistive technologies are best for their individual needs, we have formalized a technology-evaluation program. We use quantifiable and validated procedures, including assessments by people with vision loss, low-vision scientists, orientation and mobility specialists, occupational therapists, assistive technology specialists, and engineers. The process first quantifies visual function, lifestyle, and functional needs, assessed with the Activity Inventory (Massof et al., 2007). The Activity Inventory is an adaptive visual function questionnaire that asks people to rate the importance of goals, the difficulty of completing goals and performing tasks that serve goals. Technologies are then evaluated based upon their objectively measured capacities to relevant and accessible information related to goals, subjectively reported improvements in task performance and acceptance. The outcome of this data collection will allow for the development of an algorithm that will suggest assistive technologies to recommend based upon the individual's vision, lifestyle, and goals.  
Audience
  • Disability Specific
  • Healthcare & Rehabilitation
  • Research & Development
Audience Level
Intermediate  
Session Summary (Abstract)
Lighthouse Guild has established a Technology Center for people who are visually impaired. The center's primary purpose is to help clients attain their goals through the use of assistive technology. A process was implemented to evaluate technologies and make optimal, customized technology recommendations.  
Session Type
General Track  
Topics
  • Blind/Low Vision
  • Evaluation & Remediation
  • Healthcare & Rehabilitation
  • Independent Living

Presenter

  • Paul Misiti
    Lighthouse Guild

Back to Session List