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A user study on tactile graphic generation methods

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Methods to automatically convert graphics into tactile representations have been recently investigated, creating either raised-line or relief images. In particular, we briefly review one raised-line method where important features are emphasized. This paper focuses primarily on the effects of such emphasis and on comparing both raised-line and relief methods (produced by a Tiger Braille printer) through psychophysical experiments including discrimination, identification, and comprehension (involving 14 sighted and 6 blind subjects). Results show that raised-line pictures outperform relief images in all three tasks. Also, emphasizing important features significantly increases comprehension of tactile graphics. Raised-line images, however, disregard intensity/colour information unlike relief pictures. A technique incorporating intensity into raised-line graphics is also presented. Further experiments show the validity of this technique.

Keywords: Blindness; Edge detection; Scalable vector graphics; Tactile pictures

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01449290600636694

Affiliations: Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering, University of Delaware, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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