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robertogreco : blind   31

Architect Chris Downey goes blind, says he’s actually gotten better at his job - 60 Minutes - CBS News
"A social worker tried to tell him about "career alternatives" after he lost his sight, but Chris Downey wasn't about to stop being an architect"



"At age 45, Chris Downey had pretty much constructed the life he'd always wanted. An architect with a good job at a small housing firm outside San Francisco, he was happily married, with a 10-year-old son. He was an assistant little league coach and avid cyclist. And then, doctors discovered a tumor in his brain. He had surgery, and the tumor was safely gone, but Downey was left completely blind.

What he has done in the 10 years since losing his sight, as a person, and as an architect, can only be described as a different kind of vision."
architecture  blind  blindness  design  2018  accessibility  chrisdowney  sound  acoustics  via:johnrickford 
january 2019 by robertogreco
Blind Birdwatcher Sees With Sound - YouTube
"Juan Pablo Culasso is a birdwatcher in Uruguay, but he doesn't see birds the way that most birdwatchers do. In fact, he doesn’t see them at all. Born without sight, Culasso listens to the birds and has developed a keen ability to identify their distinct calls and melodies. He has also embarked on a quest to record their sounds to help conserve his country's natural heritage in an audio archive."

[via: http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/blind-birdwatcher-sees-with-sound ]
birds  blind  birding  sound  nature  animals  classideas  juanpabloculasso  birdsongs  2017 
october 2017 by robertogreco
Please Touch the Art on Vimeo
"cantorfineart.com/story/please-touch-the-art/

One day a blind man discovered a screw painting by Andrew Myers with his hands. The blind man found as much enjoyment out of the tactile elements of the work as any sighted person ever has by just looking at them. Andrew considers this moment as one of the most inspiring of his career. Which led us to a question: Why is touching artwork so taboo?

Prior to the mid-1800s, tactile interaction was commonplace for visitors experiencing collections of art, but as museums of art evolved, rules forbidding touch became the norm. In some cases, these were to protect artwork that truly was not meant to be touched, but in large part these norms had nothing do with preservation and everything to do with nineteenth century politics of gender, race and class control.

In light of all this, we decided to create a documentary that elevates the level of tactile arts, and gives back to the visually impaired community. It was at that point that we met George Wurtzel.

George is a blind artisan and teacher working at Enchanted Hills Camp in Napa Ca. This is a 300 acre camp nestled in the red wood forest above Napa Valley. Enchanted Hills is a summer camp for the visually impaired. Here George teaches blind folks, through example, how to use all the equipment necessary to become blind artisans.

Currently, George is converting an old grape crushing barn into a Tactile Art Center. The top floor of the building is his 1900 sq. ft. wood working shop. The bottom floor will be his Tactile Art gallery space where blind people can feel and sell their artwork.

We fell in love with George and his mission and wanted to support his new tactile art gallery. So we worked with Andrew Myers to surprise George with a tactile portrait of himself. The first portrait he will be able to feel and recognize.

Learn more about Enchanted hills here: lighthouse-sf.org/programs/enchanted-hills/

The Academy of Music for the Blind (AMB) were kind enough to create a song for our soundtrack. AMB specifically addresses the educational, social, and physical needs of talented blind music students so that they can fully develop their unique talents and be prepared for integration into the workplace or other educational settings.

To learn more about the AMB visit:ouramb.org/

To learn more about this project, visit cantorfineart.com/story/please-touch-the-art/

Music Credits:

Artist: Tycho, Song: A Walk
Buy it in iTunes: itunes.apple.com/us/album/a-walk/id679251532?i=679251628

Artist: Aphex Twin, Song: 14th Avril
Buy it in iTunes: itunes.apple.com/us/album/avril-14th/id50235099?i=50235117 "
video  art  tactile  blind  blindness  music  tactileinteraction  touch  senses  andrewmyers  georgewurtzel  enchantedhillscamp  napa  lagunabeach  tactileartcenter  2016 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Kindle-style Braille tablet for the blind will allow people to feel images and text | Daily Mail Online
"• Researchers are developing a refreshable device like an Kindle e-reader
• It will display pages of raised bumps, which can be read by touch
• Current devices are expensive, running into thousands of pounds
• Pneumatic system creates bubbled surface to produce braille and graphics"
reading  howweread  blind  braille  ereaders  ebooks  technology  2016 
january 2016 by robertogreco
the blind man's stick - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis
"How Things Shape the Mind: A Theory of Material Engagement, by Lambros Malafouris, is a maddening but also fascinating book that is seriously helping me to think through some of the issues that concern me. Malafouris wants to argue that the human mind is “embodied, extended, enacted, and distributed” — extensive rather than intensive in its fundamental character.

He starts his exploration wonderfully: by considering a thought-experiment that Maurice Merleau-Ponty first posited in his Phenomenology of Perception. Merleau-Ponty asks us to imagine a blind man navigating a city street with a cane. What is the relationship between that cane and the man’s perceptual apparatus? Or, as Gregory Bateson put it in Steps to an Ecology of Mind,
Consider a blind man with a stick. Where does the blind man's self begin? At the tip of the stick? At the handle of the stick? Or at some point halfway up the stick? These questions are nonsense, because the stick is a pathway along which differences are transmitted under transformation, so that to draw a delimiting line across this pathway is to cut off a part of the systemic circuit which determines the blind man's locomotion.

(Bateson does not mention and probably was not aware of Merleau-Ponty.) For Malafouris the example of the blind man’s cane suggests that “what is outside the head may not necessarily be outside the mind.... I see no compelling reason why the study of the mind should stop at the skin or at the skull. It would, I suggest, be more productive to explore the hypothesis that human intelligence ‘spreads out’ beyond the skin into culture and the material world.” Moreover, things in the material world embody intentions and purposes — Malafouris thinks they actually have intentions and purposes, a view I think is misleading and sloppy — and these come to be part of the mind: they don't just influence it, they help constitute it.
I believe this example provides one of the best diachronic exemplars of what I call the gray zone of material engagement, i.e., the zone in which brains, bodies, and things conflate, mutually catalyzing and constituting one another. Mind, as the anthropologist Gregory Bateson pointed out, “is not limited by the skin,” and that is why Bateson was able to recognize the stick as a “pathway” instead of a boundary. Differentiating between “inside” and “outside” makes no real sense for the blind man. As Bateson notes, “the mental characteristics of the system are immanent, not in some part, but in the system as a whole.”

If we were to take this model seriously, then we would need to narrate the rise of modernity differently than we’ve been narrating it — proceeding in a wholly different manner than the three major stories I mentioned in my previous post. Among other things, we’d need to be ready to see the Oppenheimer Principle as having a far stronger motive role in history than is typical.

When I talk this way, some people tell me that they think I'm falling into technological determinism. Not so. Rather, it's a matter of taking with proper seriousness the power that some technologies have to shape culture. And that's not because they think or want, nor because we are their slaves. Rather, people make them for certain purposes, and either those makers themselves have socio-political power or the technologies fall into the hands of people who have socio-political power, so that the technologies are put to work in society. We then have the option to accept the defaults or undertake the difficult challenge of hacking the inherited tools — bending them in a direction unanticipated and unwanted by those who deployed them.

To write the technological history of modernity is to investigate how our predecessors have received the technologies handed to them, or used upon them, by the powerful; and also, perhaps, to investigate how countercultural tech has risen up from below to break up the one-way flow of power. These are things worth knowing for anyone who is uncomfortable with the dominant paradigm we live under now."
alanjacobs  2015  technology  modernity  blind  blindness  lambrosmalafouris  mauricemerleau-ponty  gregorybateson  oppenheimerprinciple  culture  assistivetechnology  disability  mind  materiality  bodies  body  disabilities 
july 2015 by robertogreco
'Seeing' Through Touch - an album on Flickr
"“To them, their fingers are eyes”

From 1913, John Alfred Charlton Deas, a former curator at Sunderland Museum, organised several handling sessions for the blind, first offering an invitation to the children from the Sunderland Council Blind School, to handle a few of the collections at Sunderland Museum, which was ‘eagerly accepted’.

They were so successful that Deas went on to develop and arrange a course of regular handling sessions, extending the invitations to blind adults.

The work that J. A. Charlton Deas carried out whilst at Sunderland Museum is much to be admired. His interest in the education of the blind and his determination to assist in their development, had a great impact on how they viewed the world."
touch  tactile  blind  1913  via:ablerism  johnalfredcharltondeas  sunderlandmuseum  seeing 
january 2015 by robertogreco
List of Physical Visualizations
"This page is a chronological list of physical visualizations and related artifacts, curated by Pierre Dragicevic and Yvonne Jansen. Thanks to Fanny Chevalier and our other contributors. If you know of another interesting physical visualization, please submit one! Or post a general comment.
This list currently has 169 entries."
dataviz  data  datavisualization  visualization  physical  physicalvisualization  objects  pierredragicevic  yvonnejansen  history  timelines  tactile  blind  textured  textures 
january 2015 by robertogreco
A Blind Legend - Ulule
[via: https://twitter.com/louije/status/472078747672121344 ]

"A Blind Legend est un jeu d'action-aventure audio jouable sur mobile.

Il s'appuie sur les sons binauraux permettant de se repérer dans un environnement en 3 dimensions uniquement par le biais de l'audio, et l'écran tactile du mobile pour contrôler le héros."
games  videogames  audio  sound  blind 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Sonic Boom - The Atlantic
"How digital technology is transforming our relationship with sound"



"Sound, at its most basic, is simply a wave of pressure and displacement—a mechanical vibration that bounces around the surfaces of the world until it alights on an obliging eardrum. Some sound waves are audible to us; many are not. Some sound waves are pleasant to us; many are not. There are subtle subjectivities built into the act of listening. As Emily Thompson, a Princeton professor who studies the cultural history of sound, put it to me: “One man’s noise is another man’s music.”

The problem with this otherwise delightful diversity is that sound, whatever a single mind makes of it, is generally shared. (“Blindness separates people from things," Helen Keller once remarked, while "deafness separates people from people.”) Long before homes were built around Bourbon Street, human dwellings were designed around shared auditory experiences. The Huns arranged their pop-up towns in ways that would ensure human voices could be heard in a kind of relay: empire by way of earshot. Plato limited the size of his model Republic to 5,040—the number of people that could have been addressed, at the time, by a single orator."



"Which brings us back to noise’s pesky subjectivity. “If you can measure it, you can make it be quieter than some regulations say,” Berens says. “But that doesn't necessarily correlate well with whether people are annoyed by it."

We’re sitting in Acentech’s offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the middle of a reverberant room—a small chamber, about 20 feet long by 15 feet wide by 15 feet high, that exists for no other purpose than to encourage echoes. The chamber’s walls and ceiling are composed of concrete blocks; those blocks have been coated multiple times with thick white paint to seal their pores. This means, says Berens, that “there’s no place for the sound to go—nothing to suck it up.”"
megangarber  sound  digital  2014  history  humans  hellenkeller  blindness  deafness  blind  deaf  music  cities  urban  urbanism  stress  noisepollution  noise 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Pretty Ramp Machine — Weird Future — Medium
"Unlike its siblings, which must rotate or be used as an active tool to perform work, the plane lies still. It barely seems like a machine at all. “I’ve been calling it a ‘sleeping machine’ for that reason,” says Hendren, who focuses her work on disability studies. It’s “a static object, deceptive in its simple geometry.”

Hendren calls herself a public amateur. Her research and practice, documented on her website, is a riot of associations that cross the lines between high-end design, architecture, medical theory, prosthetics, and cybernetics. Spend some time with Hendren and you’ll find yourself in a conversation that veers wildly between fashionable hearing aids, Braille tattoos, the design of space suits, the relation of curb cuts to gentrification, and the origins of the smooth curves of the Eames Chair in the lacquered wooden leg splint that Charles and Ray designed for the US Navy.

Her own projects tend toward the informal and the temporary. She seeks out what she calls the margins of design: work that’s happening away from the spotlight of the mainstream tech and design press, “either because they’re made of low-cost materials, or in informally organized settings, or because they happen in the context of, say, special education.” Her low-tech approach allows her to intervene and launch discussions in graphic design, architecture, and prosthetics.

“All of these fields are professionalized for good reasons — standardization of practice and form,” she says. “But you can easily get some calcification around the ‘proper channels’ for the way things are done.”

“Defining what counts as health, as normative experience, as quality of life — these are easily as much cultural questions as they are about statistics and data,” she says. “I want the latitude, as an amateur, to also ask those questions in public, to engage with specialties as much as possible as an outsider.”



"She explains that in disability studies, there is a growing distinction between the medical model of disability and the social model. In the medical model, people with atypical bodies are seen as being impaired. In the social model, the problem isn’t with the bodies, but with the environment that was built around them.

After all, the environment we live in didn’t just leap out of the ground from whole cloth. Cities were designed and then built a certain way; they could have been built differently. In the social model, “people are disabled, but by the built environment, schools, transportation, economic structures having evolved to offer only the rather narrow goods that a late capitalist culture presumes,” says Hendren. “So we nurture some bodies, and we tolerate others.” If stairs were 5' tall, just about everyone on earth would be disabled."



"In the social model, disability is a matter of circumstances rather than a fundamental diagnosis about any particular body. It’s a state that we pass into and out of depending on what’s going on with us and the environment we’re in. If you are in possession of a relatively typical body and have found yourself blocked by a door because your arms were full, you’ll have a sense of what it means to be temporarily disabled.

If, laden by packages, you’ve ever hip-checked one of those buttons adorned by a wheelchair logo, you’ll have a sense of the degree to which the environment plays a role in enabling or disabling you. The automatic door is not an accommodation for special cases but a useful feature for everyone."



“What I want is much more energy and imagination given to questions of access and use — not tiresome and medicalized ‘accommodations,’ but edited cities where alternate bodies are assumed to be part of the landscape, and where the use of structures and tools might be less scripted,” she says.

Hendren reads a passage from Susan Wendell’s The Rejected Body.
Not only do physically disabled people have experiences which are not available to the able-bodied, they are in a better position to transcend cultural mythologies about the body, because they cannot do things the able-bodied feel they must do in order to be happy, “normal,” and sane…
If disabled people were truly heard, an explosion of knowledge of the human body and psyche would take place.

“I would take out ‘physically’ from the first sentence and add cognition/development to this idea as well,” Hendren says.

In the medical model of disability, this attitude is almost impossible to understand and feels pretty patronizing. After all, aren’t people with disabilities missing out? In the medical model, resistance in the deaf community to cochlear implants seems incomprehensible.

The point, says Hendren, is that we all get the same number of hours per day. “It’s as simple as: some experiences you’re having, and some you’re not,” she says. “You are not having rather more or rather less, unless you arrange your metrics in a lazy way.”

Hendren thinks designers and architects can do better. “It’s possible to have a very ‘correct’ idea about accommodations, provisions for schooling and such, and still presume a medical model,” says Hendren. “You can carry around the notion that a democratic society is one in which everyone thrives — regardless of productivity, regardless of capacity — and want to provide for those ‘needs.’”

“But it’s a much more radical notion to start to think about the ways structures have been un-imagined or preemptively imagined without much variation in body or mind. What would it mean to really profoundly undo our sense of which bodies count?”
sarahendren  timmaly  disability  disabilities  design  amateurs  amateurism  professionals  professionalization  imagination  access  cities  health  society  education  art  democracy  architecture  ada  capacity  productivity  davidedgerton  chrisdowney  bodies  diversity  assistivetechnology  susanwendell  galileo  ramps  inclinedplanes  standardization  brianglenny  blind  blindness  urban  urbandesign  urbanism  body 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Deep Sea
"Deep Sea is a game about being vulnerable.

In this audio-only game, players don a mask that obscures their vision and takes over their hearing, plunging them into a world of blackness occupied only by the sound of their own breathing and the rumbles made by unseen terrors.

Survival means the careful tracking of a liquid constellation of alien sounds, requiring the player to focus intently to the point of suppressing their own breathing, further reinforcing the sensation of claustrophic isolation. The player aims, fires their weapon and hopes to hear the creature cry out in pain, but more often than not the sound they hear is their shot disappearing uselessly into the void.

The sense of being surrounded by invisible dangers is reinforced by the reality of playing the game in a public space, with the player knowing that all around are people they can neither hear nor see. At the same time spectators can watch the gyrations of the player’s body and hear their voice but have no access to the world the player is experiencing, and so remain helpless to rescue the player from their watery fate."
audio  games  sensorydeprivation  sound  videogames  gaming  via:ablerism  blind 
december 2013 by robertogreco
My City: Life as a blind architect in San Francisco | TED Blog
"Downey became intrigued with architecture when he was 6 years old, when his parents worked with an architect to design a brand-new house in his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. He realized that buildings and structures could be creative and fun. “I got to explore the house being constructed, which was great. It was like a playground — you could walk onto the roof from the tall side of the house, and it was built around big trees, creating a courtyard. It was a modern space that tied into the landscape.”

Now, as one of the few blind architects in the world, Downey has taken a keen interest in multisensory design, which is important for visually impaired people who rely on touch, sound or smell to navigate. “Think about architectural environments that are [visually] monotonous, like hospitals or big convention centers,” he says. “Try that blind, when it all feels the same and sounds the same.”

When he first returned to work in Oakland, for example, he found that he couldn’t get to the bathroom on his own. “I returned to the office before I started orientation and mobility training,” he recalls. “The bathrooms were out of the office and down a few hallways. I typically had the office manager guide me there.”

These days, he says, he designs with a tactile palette, not just a color palette, in mind. “Blind people rely on acoustics to get around. I test materials with my cane to see how they feel. Instead of doing a ‘walk-through,’ we create a ‘tap-through,’ so you hear what it’s like when you tap your cane throughout the building.” He uses an embossing printer to print out drawings of the spaces he works on. (Recent projects include eye centers in California and at Duke University, and innovative transportation hubs in the Bay Area.)

“The San Francisco Bay Area really does have a vibrant and empowering blind community,” he says. “I’ve always been quite intentional about networking. I wanted to meet the most effective, aggressive and accomplished blind people that I could. It seemed important to have great mentors while also keeping the bar high relative to expectations and goals. The blind crowd had it down, with all sorts of pragmatic and philosophical advice. Besides, it seemed like I kept meeting all sorts of really cool and interesting people — I was miffed that I had to lose my sight to meet them!” Today, Downey is himself a key member of the city’s blind network, and also serves on the board of directors for LightHouse, an organization promoting independence and self-reliance for those who are blind or visually impaired.

“The blind crowd tends to be pretty resilient and great problem-solvers,” he continues. For Downey, that resilience includes a newfound appreciation for life’s everyday sounds.

“I love sitting on our front porch,” he muses. “It’s something I didn’t think that much of before I lost my sight. I’ll be sitting there, early in the morning, just listening to the birds coming out and the breezes blowing through. It’s an incredible sensory experience. I’m hearing leaves falling off the branches and bouncing off other branches and hitting the sidewalk. It’s not that I hear any better, it’s just that I never would have noticed that before. It’s incredibly beautiful to think about.” 

["See a gallery of photographs of Downey’s favorite places in San Francisco" http://blog.ted.com/2013/12/04/san-francisco-in-pictures-chris-downey-on-the-experience-of-a-city/ ]

[via: http://studiox-nyc.tumblr.com/post/69085416482/in-2008-architect-chris-downey-had-successful ]

[See also: http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/episode-10-99-sound-and-feel/
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/10/design-within-reach/308220/
https://web.archive.org/web/20151230021453/http://archpaper.com:80/news/articles.asp?id=4814 ]
chrisdowney  sanfrancisco  2013  architects  architecture  blind  blindness  acoustics  design 
december 2013 by robertogreco
BlindSide: A Game for Players Who Can't See : The New Yorker
[Sara followed up on this one: http://ablersite.org/2013/12/09/a-video-game-with-nothing-to-see/ ]

"Built to entertain blind players as well as those who can see, the audio-only game’s accommodation of disabled gamers is a pleasant anomaly in the gaming industry, even though the number of gamers with disabilities is significant. The latest Americans with Disabilities report, which draws on 2010 census data, estimates that nearly fifty-seven million Americans, or roughly nineteen per cent of the population, have a disability, with over thirty-eight million suffering from what the report considers to be a “severe disability” of a physical, mental, or communicative nature. While nearly twenty million Americans “had difficulty with physical tasks relating to upper body function,” more than eight million over the age of fifteen have difficulty seeing and seven and a half million reported difficulty hearing. There is certainly overlap with the fifty-eight per cent of Americans who, according to the Electronic Software Association, play video games; the Able Gamers Foundation, a charity organization for disabled gamers, estimates that there are thirty-three million gamers with some kind of disability.

In the nineteen-eighties, gamers like John Dutton, a quadriplegic who learned to use the Atari 2600 joystick with his mouth and chin, drew attention to the need for hardware that disabled gamers could use. In 1988, Nintendo released the NES Hands Free, a video-game controller designed explicitly for disabled gamers, which was worn like a vest. It had a chin stick for movement and a tube that players breathed in and out of to control the “A” and “B” buttons. In the nineties, attention shifted to making in-game control schemes more accessible, leading to releases like Shades of Doom, a first-person shooter for visually impaired gamers. More recently, the Call of Duty franchise, inspired by the quadriplegic professional gamer Randy Fitzgerald, introduced a special button layout for disabled gamers which makes it easier to aim, while the Able Gamers Foundation has published a guide that shows developers how to design more accessible products."



"“There are gamers out there who are anxious for more accessible content, and very little, if any, of it is coming from established publishers,” Astolfi said. “People with disabilities are a group that has, in general, not been targeted by major video-game releases. But as the indie game movement continues to grow, I think we’ll see more games designed specifically for this audience.”

Yet a large part of BlindSide’s success seems tied to the fact that it doesn’t feel like a game that’s been designed for disabled players. A game with no visual stimulus can be just as engrossing for players who can see as for those who cannot, it seems. “Our favorite feedback on the game was actually a negative comment,” Astolfi said. “It was a three-star review from a sighted player who said he found the game too scary.”"
blind  blindness  papasangre  games  gaming  videogames  blindside  2013  accessibility  play  disability  disabilities  sensors  audio  johndutton  randyfitzgerald  kinecy  ios  aaronrasmussen  michaelastolfi  thenightjar  sarahendren  ablerism 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Anab Jain: Designing the future
"Anab Jain talks about design in a future world of insect cyborgs, mass surveillance, DNA monetization and guerilla infrastructure. "This sort of speculative work explores the remarkable potential of technology and its new experiential aesthetics.""

[See also: http://www.superflux.in/work/staying-with-the-trouble ]

[Alt video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-stunrZcB24 ]
anabjain  superflux  design  future  cyborgs  surveillance  infrastructure  speculativedesign  designfiction  biotech  biotechnology  genetics  science  nearfuture  robots  bostondynamics  23andme  2013  drones  jugaad  thenewnormal  bees  humanism  bodies  humans  vision  blind  prosthetics  memory  consciousness  supervision  film  storytelling  speculativefiction  shanzai  china  innovation  resilience  ingenuity  poptech  body 
november 2013 by robertogreco
The White Cane as Technology - Sara Hendren - The Atlantic
"A conversation with scholar Georgina Kleege about what her cane tells her, how tech designers should think about visual impairments, and why "bluetooth shoes for the blind" are a terrible idea"

[See also Alan Jacobs in reaction: http://text-patterns.thenewatlantis.com/2013/11/bluetooth-shoes.html

"And there’s another aspect of this: the white cane is clearly a superior technology here, but connectivity is just what we do now, technologically. Bluetooth is cool in a way that Lucite is not. People want to offer digital solutions to problems — or pseudo-problems — that are not really digital in nature. It’s like rummaging around in your ear with a screwdriver." ]

[See also: http://ablersite.org/2013/11/06/the-white-cane-as-technology/ ]
sarahendren  blind  2013  assistivetechnology  technology  alanjacobs  problemsolving  disability  georginakleege  disabilities 
november 2013 by robertogreco
'Seeing' Through Touch - a set on Flickr
“To them, their fingers are eyes”

From 1913, John Alfred Charlton Deas, a former curator at Sunderland Museum, organised several handling sessions for the blind, first offering an invitation to the children from the Sunderland Council Blind School, to handle a few of the collections at Sunderland Museum, which was ‘eagerly accepted’.

They were so successful that Deas went on to develop and arrange a course of regular handling sessions, extending the invitations to blind adults.

The work that J. A. Charlton Deas carried out whilst at Sunderland Museum is much to be admired. His interest in the education of the blind and his determination to assist in their development, had a great impact on how they viewed the world."

[See specifically: http://www.flickr.com/photos/twm_news/5863459522/ ]
via:anne  perception  feeling  senses  sunderlandmuseum  johnalfredcharltondeas  1913  blindness  blind 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Technology - Liat Kornowski - How the Blind Are Reinventing the iPhone - The Atlantic
"At first many blind people thought that the iPhone would never be accessible to them, with its flat glass screen. But the opposite has proved true."
2012  accessibility  blindness  blind  technology  iphone 
june 2012 by robertogreco
Song of the Machine on Vimeo
What if we could change our view of the world with the flick of a switch? 'Song of the Machine' explores the possibilities of a new, modified – even enhanced – vision, where users can tune into streams of information and electromagnetic vistas currently outside of human vision.

This film is a part of an ongoing collaboration between Superflux and neuroscientist Dr. Patrick Degenaar, whose pioneering work in optogenetic retinal prostheses aims to bring back sight to the blind.

Unlike the implants and electrodes used to achieve bionic vision, this science modifies the human body genetically from within. First, a virus is used to infect the degenerate eye with a light-sensitive protein, altering the biological capabilities of the subject…"

[More: http://superflux.in/blog/song-of-the-machine-in-depth AND http://www.sciencegallery.com/humanplus/song-machine ]
2011  vision  sensing  senses  justinpickard  blind  sight  augmentation  prosthetics  perception  augmentedreality  ar 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar; » Video games with less video
"Discussion with colleagues here at the design school about “screenless interaction design” led me to present some projects that I find interesting in the field. It seems that there’s starting to be a cluster of projects that aim at creating playful and digital interactions with less emphasis on the visual senses. Some examples I find interesting:

[1] SAP (for Situated Audio Platform) a “Barely Game prototype” by Russell Davies…

[2] Oterp by Antonin Fourneau (development by Kevin Lesur)…

[3] Papa Sangre…

It seems that there’s a continuum based on the degree to which the user need to look at his or her own device: from no need to do this to a quick glance once in a while. Interestingly, this connects to another interest of mine: asynchronous interactions between the user and digital realms… which led me to this kind of design space (teku teku angel is a Nintendo DS game in which you have to walk with a pedometer to raise so tamagotchi-like creature)…"
pedometer  tamagotchi  barelygames  kevinlesur  antoninfourneau  mobile  digitalinteractions  audio  senses  videogames  ds  nintendods  tekutekuangel  gaming  games  asynchronousinteractions  asynchronous  papasangre  oterp  nicolasnova  situatedaudioplatform  blind 
january 2012 by robertogreco
‘This Stuff Doesn’t Change the World’: Disability and Steve Jobs’ Legacy | Epicenter | Wired.com
"My son is on the autism spectrum and has a severe receptive and expressive language delay. He’s 4 years old, and can read and spell words, and sing entire songs, but is more like an 18-month- or 2-year-old in normal conversation. He cannot use a telephone and has a hard time sitting still for video telephony. He has a thoroughly well-loved iPod Touch, filled with videos and apps that have helped him learn to speak and augment his ability to communicate."

"Apple never had a perfect record when it came to user accessibility. No technology company does. But I bought my first iPhone when I broke my arm, because it let me use a computer with one hand. And on Tuesday, when I saw Apple’s demo video for Siri, its new voice-command AI assistant — which ends with a blind woman using Siri to send and receive text messages — knowing that blindness has been the disability least well-served by the touchscreen revolution — I wept. I’m weeping again now."
disability  timcarmody  accessibility  ipodtouch  itouch  stevejobs  2011  communication  autism  blind  blindness  design  disabilities 
october 2011 by robertogreco
RFB&D: Accessible materials for individuals with visual and learning disabilities | Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic
"RFB&D is a national nonprofit with the largest digital textbook library of accessible educational materials."
dyslexia  reading  audio  audiobooks  books  libraries  blind  resources  tcsnmy 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Who says our way is the right way? « BuzzMachine
"As I sit on the board of Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, I have been thinking about the different ways people learn. RFB&D gives students the tools to learn by listening. We call that a disability. I think it may soon be seen as an advantage.

A group of Danish academics say we are passing through the other side of what they wonderfully call the Gutenberg Parenthesis, leaving the structured, serial, permanent, authored, controlled era of text & returning, perhaps, to what came before the press: a time when communication and content cross, when process dominates product, when knowledge is distributed by people passing it around, when we remix it along the way, when we are more oral & aural.

That’s what makes me think that RFB&D’s clients may end up w/ a leg up. They understand better than the textually oriented among us how to learn through hearing. Rather than being seen as the people who need extra help, perhaps they will be in the position to give the rest of us help."
reading  education  technology  jeffjarvis  attention  literacy  gutenbergparenthesis  gutenberg  listening  learning  deschooling  unschooling  lcproject  dyslexia  blind  distraction 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Modcult: Spiral Path of a Blindfolded Man
"Schaeffer, an American zoologist, observed that an amoeba placed on a cylindrical surface always moved in a spiral path around the cylinder. To further study spiral movement, Schaeffer blindfolded a right-handed friend and instructed him to walk a straight line across a country field. Schaeffer plotted his friend’s track, which described a clockwise spiral form until the blindfolded man happened to stumble on a tree stump."
blind  blindness  spirals  nature  zoology  amoebas 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Blind Search
"Type in a search query above, hit search then vote for the column which you believe best matches your query. The columns are randomised with every query.
search  google  bing  microsoft  yahoo  searchengine  comparison  blind 
june 2009 by robertogreco
The Boy Who Sees with Sound : People.com
"Blind since age 3, Ben Underwood skateboards, shoots hoops and plays video games. How does he do it? Just like bats and dolphins"
blind  echolocation  lifehacks  sound  adaptation 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Neurophilosophy : Seeing with sound: The boy who echolocates
[new link: http://scienceblogs.com/neurophilosophy/2007/10/22/seeing-with-sound-the-boy-who/ ]

"Here's the first 10 minutes of a documentary called Extraordinary People: The Boy Who Sees Without Eyes. It's about Ben Underwood, a blind teenager from Sacramento who uses echolocation."
echolocation  science  brain  people  blind  adaptation  senses  vision  documentary 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Sensory Impact - Cell Phone for the Blind
"the phone features a 3-D keypad with large keys and a concave surface that provides an alternative means to read the surface via touch"
blind  haptic  design  mobile  phones  technology  usability 
july 2007 by robertogreco
News.PDA Live! - Samsung’s Braille phone wins gold at IDEA 2006 - PDA Live.com
"The “Touch Messenger” enables the visually impaired users to send and receive Braille text messages. The 3 x 4 button on the phone is used as two Braille keypads and text messages can be checked through the Braille display screen in the lower part."
mobile  phones  design  culture  blind  usability  technology  products 
july 2007 by robertogreco

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