Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Computer Interface To Help Deaf-Blind Community

Date:
July 31, 1998
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
Krista Caudill, a deaf and blind undergraduate researcher at the University of Delaware, is helping to design a portable computer that will "speak" as she types and will translate other people's speech into Braille.

Also Helps Researchers Understand How To Use Computers To Communicate

Krista Caudill, a deaf and blind undergraduate researcher at the University of Delaware, is helping to design a portable computer that will "speak" as she types and will translate other people's speech into Braille.

Caudill is participating in a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded project to design the system that will begin to free her and others from total dependence on sign-language interpreters in order to communicate.

In addition to designing the prototype which Caudill will evaluate extensively in the real-world setting of her campus, researchers will study the impact on communication between individuals when a computer translates the information from one format to another, such as from the spoken word to Braille. During such translation, errors are inevitable. The project will address many questions: How many mistakes are acceptable before communication breaks down? What happens when Caudill is talking to someone who has never used such a system? How will the users adapt to using a computer to facilitate human-human communication? Can the system be adapted to include other users-people who are deaf-blind, people with other disabilities and perhaps people who have no disabilities?

Caudill, who has been deaf and blind since she was a child, uses the Internet extensively to stay in touch with many people around the world. However, she must rely on a human interpreter for face-to-face interactions with people who do not know sign language. Since trained interpreters are costly and must be scheduled in advance, spontaneous one-to-one conversations are difficult. Caudill has been eager to pursue a meaningful college education, but both formal education and personal interactions are frequently stymied by her complete dependence upon a sign language interpreter to communicate.

Richard Foulds of A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., received the approximately $98,000 grant from NSF to conduct the two-year study. The project includes Caudill and several other students to design and evaluate the system. This project was inspired by Caudill's participation in an undergraduate student design course taught by Foulds. Using a technique known as scenario-based design, Caudill and a colleague, Beth Finn, developed a conceptual design selected as a winner in the student design competition of the Rehabilitation Engineering Society.

The project will allow student researchers to construct a working prototype that implements the design concepts. The goal is to create a system that can be used by a wide range of users.

"Computers have such potential to open doors to better communication for people with disabilities-and for all people," said Gary Strong, NSF program manager for human-computer interaction. "By understanding how computers can mediate communication, we can not only help Krista and the deaf-blind community, but potentially everyone."

Caudill is also pleased. "This system will help me tremendously," she said. "I will be able to communicate with other people who don't know sign language. I would be able to have conversations with a group of people, such as a study group, or carry the laptop and use the system in public. It will also help other people who are like me."

According to the Helen Keller National Center, more than 70,000 individuals in the United States are deaf and blind. Many thousands more have related communication difficulties.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Science Foundation. "Computer Interface To Help Deaf-Blind Community." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/07/980731083513.htm>.
National Science Foundation. (1998, July 31). Computer Interface To Help Deaf-Blind Community. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/07/980731083513.htm
National Science Foundation. "Computer Interface To Help Deaf-Blind Community." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/07/980731083513.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Earnings Put Smile on Investors Faces

Facebook Earnings Put Smile on Investors Faces

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Facebook earnings beat forecasts- with revenue climbing 61 percent. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins