Development of Electronic AIDS for the Visually Impaired: Workshop Proceedings

This book is based on the papers presented at the Workshop on Rehabilitation of the Visually Impaired held in Flo rence at the Institute for the Research on Electromagnetic Waves of the Italian Research Council on April 4-6, 1984. The Workshop, sponsored by the Committee for Medical and Public Health Research of the Commission of the European Communities, was meant to exchange ideas about the need, importance and feasibility of a European cooperation in the field of visual impairment and to identify promising research areas, where current national activities could take advantage of such a collaboration in order to increase their efficiency. In particular, it dealt with the develop ment and use of technical aids (mainly based on computers and signal processing techniques) and with the elaboration, evaluation and standardization of new methods and tests. The attendance was multidisciplinary, including researchers from the fields of technology, medicine and psychology and representatives from organizations involved in the rehabi litation of the visually impaired. Five technical sessions were organized, dealing with the following topics: automatic production of Braille and systems for paperless Braille, aids for reading and for the interaction with coded informa tion sources, low vision aids, transduction of visual infor mation into a tactile representation, mobility aids. Three different application sectors were mainly considered: education and culture, vocational training, mobility. A final session was devoted to a discussion in working groups. The results are briefly outlined in the following concise report of the Workshop.