A New Design Approach for Academia to Work with the Visually Impaired
Jim Budd, Lois Frankel, and Paul Thibaudeau | School of Industrial Design, Carleton University
1. Assistive Technology and the Visually Impaired
Globally in 2002 more than 161 million people were visually impaired. Of this total, 124 million people had low vision and 37 million were blind. Despite ongoing efforts to develop assistive technology to offset the implications of this range of disabilities current research indicates that roughly one in three assistive devices are abandoned.
These figures are truly staggering. Clearly there is a problem, and it should be evident there is a significant opportunity for involvement of the design community to advance the state of the art.