ERIC Number: ED248680
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-May
The Use of Traffic Sounds by Blind Pedestrians.
Chew, Stephen L.
A series of experiments were conducted to study variables affecting the alignment of blind pedestrians at street intersections. In the first two studies blindfolded sighted students, serving as adventitiously blind people undergoing mobility training, learned one of three strategies: no concrete strategy, tracking, and tracking and compensation. In the study, blind and blindfolded students were asked to align themselves to parallel oncoming and cross traffic. Results of the studies indicate that Ss preferred to track a car through the intersection and compensate rather than listen for the frequency and intensity shift of the passing car. Results supported reports of blind travelers that parallel traffic, especially parallel ongoing traffic, is more useful than cross traffic or turning traffic for mobility. Finally, blind and trained subjects needed only one parallel ongoing car for good alignment, indicating that alignment to traffic sounds can be both quick and accurate. Implications for mobility training and the study of ecological acoustics are discussed. (Author/CL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association (Chicago, IL, May 3-5, 1984).