Accessibility - Assistive Technologies for Visually Impaired Persons


According to the World Health Organization there are 285 million visually impaired persons worldwide, of which 39 million are blind and 246 million have low vision. The partial of full loss of sight leads to a number of challenges that visually impaired persons have to face. These include difficulties in mobility and navigation in unknown terrain, missing information in social interaction or handling and finding of objects in daily live.
There are already several technical aids available to support blind and visually impaired persons. So digitized texts can be made accessible by sound output or Braille display. There are also various tools which are especially designed for blind persons such as 'speaking' clocks or pocket calculators. However, the most important technical aid by far to improve mobility is the white cane. Although a number of electronic aids to detect obstacles and to support orientation have been developed over the last years they only offer reduced functionality for a relatively high price and are therefore rarely used.

The lecture will give an overview about IT-based assistive technology (AT) for people with visual impairments. It covers the following topics:
• Information about visual impairments and their impact
• Existing assistive technology for various application areas
• AT to access information content
• Designing barrier-free software & websites
• Possibilities and ongoing research in using computer vision methods to develop novel AT for the visually impaired, e.g. to support mobility, and content access among other things.

Language of instructionDeutsch
WorkloadBesuch der Vorlesungen: ca. 20 Stunden

Vor- und Nachbereitung der Vorlesung: ca. 30 Stunden

Klausurvorbereitung: ca. 40 h

Summe: ca. 90 Stunden

AimDie Studierenden erwerben Grundkenntnisse über
  • Sehschädigungen, deren Ursachen und Auswirkungen
  • existierende Assistive Technologien (AT) für verschiedene Anwendungsfelder - wie AT für den Alltag, für die Mobilitätsunterstützung und den Informationszugang
  • Richtlinien für die Entwicklung barrierefreier Webseiten und barrierefreier Softwareanwendungen
  • Barrierefreie Softwareentwicklung
  • Aktuelle Forschungsansätze im Bereich AT
  • Insbesondere über die Nutzung von Methoden des Maschinellen Sehens (Computer Vision) zur Entwicklung neuer AT
  • Evaluierung von Assistiven Technologi