Enhancing Independence and Safety for Blind and Deaf-Blind Public Transit Riders

Abstract

Blind and deaf-blind people often rely on public transit for everyday mobility, but using transit can be challenging for them. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 13 blind and deaf-blind people to understand how they use public transit and what human values were important to them in this domain. Two key values were identified: independence and safety. We developed GoBraille, two related Braille-based applications that provide information about buses and bus stops while supporting the key values. GoBraille is built on MoBraille, a novel framework that enables a Braille display to benefit from many features in a smartphone without knowledge of proprietary, device-specific protocols. Finally, we conducted user studies with blind people to demonstrate that GoBraille enables people to travel more independently and safely. We also conducted co-design with a deaf-blind person, finding that a minimalist interface, with short input and output messages, was most effective for this population.

Citation

Azenkot, S., Prasain, S., Borning, A., Fortuna, E., Ladner, R. E., & Wobbrock, J. O. (2011, May). Enhancing Independence and Safety for Blind and Deaf-Blind Public Transit Riders. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in computing systems (pp. 3247-3256). ACM.

Paper – external link

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