Facilitating Independence for Photo Capturing, Browsing, and Sharing for Blind People


Both sighted and blind people value having a photographic memento of a moment, a place, or an event. However, due to the visually oriented nature of photography and the lack of non-visual cues to indicate the content of the photo, the photographs taken by blind people are often lacking, sometimes missing the photo subject entirely. This proposal draws on research from team members that investigated how blind smartphone users take, store, and retrieve photos, which found that blind people want to, but hesitate to share photos because it is impossible to identify the photos after they are taken. The advent and ubiquity of smartphones provide a customizable framework that can help blind people capture, organize, browse, and share photos. The overarching aim of this research is to facilitate independence for blind people in capturing, browsing, and sharing photos using a smartphone. As blind people have to rely on non-visual cues to retrieve or organize photos, we plan to test various aural representations of the photos. We also plan to help blind people organize their photos by providing an organization scheme that matches their mental models, which would vary by various characteristics.

CINCH: Cell Phone Technologies to Increase Nigerian Community Health

This project aims to determine suitable mobile technologies that will improve the health care system in Nigeria. Cell phone technologies are the most efficient way to get information to the majority of citizens in cities and in rural areas. Most of Nigeria does not have access to a constant electricity source. Mobile phones are much more versatile than computers or the Internet because they do not require electricity to run. Data can be collected and disseminated regardless of what the situation is regarding electricity. Mobile technologies are also a means to collect health information and surveys in a more organized manor.