:We live in a visual world and build environments that rely heavily on visual perception. Want to find somewhere? You look on a map or read a road sign. Perhaps the GPS on your touch screen smartphone can help you. It probably couldn’t help you find your mislaid house keys or help you choose between a red and green apple but we don’t need it to, we have our eyes to do that.
“Well, most of us do. For the 40m people who are legally blind worldwide, functioning in these visual environments is much more problematic. The signs can’t be read, and the apples, without tasting, are the same. At least the GPS will “talk” to me but the touch screen keyboard is awkward.
“Efforts to increase accessibility to the environment for the visually impaired are not new – white stick, guide dog, Braille – but rapid technological advancements in the past three or four decades have facilitated not only new assistive devices but also techniques to restore a visual percept in the blind.”