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Appliance Displays: Accessibility Challenges and Proposed Solutions

Giovanni Fusco, Ender Tekin, Nicholas Giudice and James Coughlan

The 17th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility - Posters and Demos (ASSETS 2015)
Lisbon, Portugal, October 26-28, 2015


Summary

People who are blind or visually impaired face increasing difficulties using a growing array of everyday appliances because they are equipped with inaccessible electronic displays. We report developments on our “Display Reader” smartphone app, which uses computer vision to help a user acquire a usable image of a display and have the contents read aloud, to address this problem. Drawing on feedback from past and new studies with visually impaired volunteer participants, as well as from blind accessibility experts, we have improved and simplified our user interface and have also added the ability to read seven-segment digit displays. Our system works fully automatically and in real time, and we compare it with general-purpose assistive apps such as Be My Eyes, which recruit remote sighted assistants (RSAs) to answer questions about video captured by the user. Our discussions and preliminary experiment highlight the advantages and disadvantages of fully automatic approaches compared with RSAs, and suggest possible hybrid approaches to investigate in the future.


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