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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Product Design Student designing for the blind

I am a final year student and would like some information from anyone regarding the emotions and adaptations people go through as part of my research. It is difficult to find some information on this as there is a lack of publications I can use as reference so if I can get any information on this, it would be great especially if it was coming from someone who has experienced this.

I would really thank you for your time if you can answer few of the following questions if possible:

What emotions do people go through when they are blind? How do you overcome it?
Is your house spacious? - which part of the house do you usually stay at i.e. living room/bedroom/etc
How do you go through rehabilitation? Is there enough support at home to allow you to readapt?
How do you pick furniture around your house, especially tables?
-How common would you accidentally knock something over the table when you go through rehabilitation and why?

Many thanks!

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Re: Product Design Student designing for the blind

Over the years, technology has been responsible for some great discoveries,and at the same time has dramatically changed how we live our day-to-day lives. A number of new technologies have also come up for the people suffering with visual impairment.One such technology in this field of Human Augmentation is “Live Braille Mini”.

Live Braille’s flagship product Mini is the only fully wearable Electronic Travel Aid (ETA) that allows users to simply swipe their hand in the air to know in an instant about the environment. The ring like device has two ultrasonic range finders that can detect the distance and speed of an object it is pointed towards. This allows them to spot obstacles and move faster, thereby enhancing mobility by 60%. This new technology is now serving people over 16 countries, aiming to help all those 330 Million to run and live their lives like normal people.

Re: designing products which work for everybody, be they blind, low vision or sighted

You may already know about some of these resources. The most important thing to emphasize is this:
You can help blind people by finding them. That means finding your relatives who are losing their vision and hiding in their houses -- your aunt, your grandfather, your uncle. It means spending the time and energy to help them be more independent, perhaps giving grandpa a ride to breakfast with his buddies from work or finding out how to make the print on your aunt's computer large enough and with the kind of contrast that works for her.
You may have to learn how to use the features on your iPhone for low vision users so that you can show her how to use her phone. Siri will help her easily send email and so forth once you have the patience to teach her how to use it.
So you may end up spending more time with your older relations than you have in a while.You may already know about, the catalogs of specialized products from Independent Living Aids, LS&S and Maxi-Aids. Mostly, you understand that blind and low vision people use the same products, the same furniture and wear the same clothing the rest of the population does. You know that what is needed is inclusive product design, rather than "specialized" products for "the blind". Inclusive design means making products which work for "people" some of whom just happen to have less vision than you do. Apple's VoiceOver is a excellent example of fabulous inclusive product design. Any iPad, iPhone or iOS device you can buy in a store can be used by a sighted user, a low vision user, a deaf user or a user with no vision at all. Apple didn't make a "special" phone for "the blind". Instead, Apple created a "special" product which each person can use in whatever specialized way that person needs to use a product.
Whirlpool did the same thing when they designed a microwave with tactile markings and an oven with the same markings. Anybody can buy it. A totally blind person can set the oven temperature just as if he or she were a real human being.
So design inclusive products which are useful to humans, be they blind or sighted.
That way, when somebody begins to lose vision, he or she will have large print on things, tactile markings on appliances and software which works well for everybody.
By the way, blind people don't knock things off of tables any more than does the average person. Probably less. We teach ourselves to be careful.
Some of us live in larger houses and some of us live in smaller apartments. We tend to use all of the rooms in our homes, just as any human being would.
Here are other people's comments when other product designers wrote to these lists.
Please read all of the responses to each question in the below messages.
Please read the responses from blind and low vision folks on this one even though the question itself is about computer gaming. Research is best done by getting to know real people.
Again, you are creating a product for a person. Each person with a visual disability is a unique person. Just as all women will not buy a particular thing, neither will all blind or low vision folks.

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