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Effectiveness of Using Local Cues to Indicate Perspective in Tactile Diagrams for People with Visual Impairments — JVIB Extract

Extract: Introduction: This study presents and evaluates the use of a method using local cues to indicate perspective in tactile diagrams as compared to the current use of visual perspective methods. Methods: Perspective for an object using local cues is represented with standard visual perspective lines but with the thickness of the lines varying as a function of depth away from the viewer. Performance of visually impaired study participants (that is, those who are blind or have low vision), using the new method and the standard visual perspective method, were compared as functions of: onset of vision loss of a participant, perspective method used, repetition, and object and perspective of an object presented. Results: For the main task, the method used—Wald χ2(1, 585) = 7.147, p = 0.008—and the method-repetition interaction—Wald χ2(1, 585) = 4.272, p = 0.039—had significant effects. Participants performed better with our new method and there was a significant improvement for (only) this method between repetitions. Discussion: The findings demonstrate that our new method improved the performance of users for tasks involving perspective on diagrams over the standard visual perspective method. The data also indicates that with more repetition, improvement could become even greater than observed during this study. Implications for practitioners: Perspective frequently plays a critical role in aiding the understanding of questions in mathematics and science. Adding local cues to a standard perspective diagram shows promise in improving users' ability to interpret objects.

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