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

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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.