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Developing a Node Graph Tool: Pattern Recognition Through Sound

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Although many data visualization diagrams can be made accessible for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, they often do not present the information in a way that intuitively allows readers to easily discern patterns in the data. In particular,

Although many data visualization diagrams can be made accessible for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, they often do not present the information in a way that intuitively allows readers to easily discern patterns in the data. In particular, accessible node graphs tend to use speech to describe the transitions between nodes. While the speech is easy to understand, readers can be overwhelmed by too much speech and may not be able to discern any structural patterns which occur in the graphs. Considering these limitations, this research seeks to find ways to better present transitions in node graphs.

This study aims to gain knowledge on how sequence patterns in node graphs can be perceived through speech and nonspeech audio. Users listened to short audio clips describing a sequence of transitions occurring in a node graph. User study results were evaluated based on accuracy and user feedback. Five common techniques were identified through the study, and the results will be used to help design a node graph tool to improve accessibility of node graph creation and exploration for individuals that are blind or visually impaired.

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2019-12

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Exploring the Design of Vibrotactile Cues for Visio-Haptic Sensory Substitution

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This paper presents the design and evaluation of a haptic interface for augmenting human-human interpersonal interactions by delivering facial expressions of an interaction partner to an individual who is blind using a visual-to-tactile mapping of facial action units and emotions.

This paper presents the design and evaluation of a haptic interface for augmenting human-human interpersonal interactions by delivering facial expressions of an interaction partner to an individual who is blind using a visual-to-tactile mapping of facial action units and emotions. Pancake shaftless vibration motors are mounted on the back of a chair to provide vibrotactile stimulation in the context of a dyadic (one-on-one) interaction across a table. This work explores the design of spatiotemporal vibration patterns that can be used to convey the basic building blocks of facial movements according to the Facial Action Unit Coding System. A behavioral study was conducted to explore the factors that influence the naturalness of conveying affect using vibrotactile cues.

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2014-05

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Accessible Retail Shopping For The Visually Impaired Using Deep Learning

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Over the past decade, advancements in neural networks have been instrumental in achieving remarkable breakthroughs in the field of computer vision. One of the applications is in creating assistive technology to improve the lives of visually impaired people by making

Over the past decade, advancements in neural networks have been instrumental in achieving remarkable breakthroughs in the field of computer vision. One of the applications is in creating assistive technology to improve the lives of visually impaired people by making the world around them more accessible. A lot of research in convolutional neural networks has led to human-level performance in different vision tasks including image classification, object detection, instance segmentation, semantic segmentation, panoptic segmentation and scene text recognition. All the before mentioned tasks, individually or in combination, have been used to create assistive technologies to improve accessibility for the blind.

This dissertation outlines various applications to improve accessibility and independence for visually impaired people during shopping by helping them identify products in retail stores. The dissertation includes the following contributions; (i) A dataset containing images of breakfast-cereal products and a classifier using a deep neural (ResNet) network; (ii) A dataset for training a text detection and scene-text recognition model; (iii) A model for text detection and scene-text recognition to identify product images using a user-controlled camera; (iv) A dataset of twenty thousand products with product information and related images that can be used to train and test a system designed to identify products.

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Date Created
2020

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"I'm Having Trouble Understanding You Right Now": A Multi-Dimensional Evaluation of the Intelligibility of Dysphonic Speech

Description

Individuals with voice disorders experience challenges communicating daily. These challenges lead to a significant decrease in the quality of life for individuals with dysphonia. While voice amplification systems are often employed as a voice-assistive technology, individuals with voice disorders generally

Individuals with voice disorders experience challenges communicating daily. These challenges lead to a significant decrease in the quality of life for individuals with dysphonia. While voice amplification systems are often employed as a voice-assistive technology, individuals with voice disorders generally still experience difficulties being understood while using voice amplification systems. With the goal of developing systems that help improve the quality of life of individuals with dysphonia, this work outlines the landscape of voice-assistive technology, the inaccessibility of state-of-the-art voice-based technology and the need for the development of intelligibility improving voice-assistive technologies designed both with and for individuals with voice disorders. With the rise of voice-based technologies in society, in order for everyone to participate in the use of voice-based technologies individuals with voice disorders must be included in both the data that is used to train these systems and the design process. An important and necessary step towards the development of better voice assistive technology as well as more inclusive voice-based systems is the creation of a large, publicly available dataset of dysphonic speech. To this end, a web-based platform to crowdsource voice disorder speech was developed to create such a dataset. This dataset will be released so that it is freely and publicly available to stimulate research in the field of voice-assistive technologies. Future work includes building a robust intelligibility estimation model, as well as employing that model to measure, and therefore enhance, the intelligibility of a given utterance. The hope is that this model will lead to the development of voice-assistive technology using state-of-the-art machine learning models to help individuals with voice disorders be better understood.

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Date Created
2020