Skip to main content

Technology and blindness

Objective

The main objective of the Concerted Action was the analysis of the impact of technology (in particular information technology, signal processing and telecommunication) on the socioeconomic integration of blind people into society, with the main emphasis on access to information. It consisted essentially of an exploration of all the aspects of application of technology, to point out unsolved problems and, when possible, to coordinate and/or stimulate cooperative research to solve them.
A European collaborative project has been set up to analyse the impact of technology (in particular information technology, signal processing and telecommunication) on the socioeconomic integration of blind people into society, with the main emphasis on access to information. It consisted essentially of an exploration of all the aspects of application of technology, to point out unsolved problems and, when possible, to coordinate and stimulate cooperative research to solve them. There has been analysis of how interactions and exchanges of information among members of society are being organized as an effect of the introduction of technology and of its foreseen developments, trying to point out new problems and possibilitiesfor blind people (development of application scenarios), for example, financial transactions, (teleshopping) and telecommunication networks. The problems connected with the functions of locating sources of information (eg terminals), of orientating oneself in the environment, of navigating to the information sources and the problem of accessing the information itself have been analyzed.

A European wide network of active institutions has been set up which are now able to work in a concerted way on different research and development schemes, for example the RACE program and the pilot action of the TIDE program. Selected research and development projects with different characteristics have been coordinated to prove the feasibility of concerted research in this multidisciplinary sector and to produce results on some relevant topics.
To carry out the above considered tasks it was necessary:

- to analyze how interactions and exchanges of information among members of society are being organized as an effect of the introduction of technology and of its foreseen developments, trying to point out new problems and possibilities for blind people (development of application scenarios);
- to analyze corresponding problems of physical and functional access to information sources and terminals, pointing out research and development actions (identification of research and development activities);
- to promote and coordinate research projects on a concerted basis, together with any action that can be useful to increase awareness.

Funding Scheme

CON - Coordination of research actions

Coordinator

Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Address
Via Panciatichi 64
50127 Firenze
Italy