ERIC Number: ED400838
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Some Issues Concerning Access to Information by Blind and Partially Sighted Pupils.
Green, Christopher F.
This paper examines problems faced by visually-impaired secondary pupils in gaining access to information in print. The ever-increasing volume of information available inundates the sighted and is largely inaccessible in print format to the visually impaired. Important issues of availability for the visually impaired include whether information is up-to-date, accurate, legible, and intelligible. The paper postulates the desirability of empowerment for personal autonomy through advocating a learner centered approach for coping with information. After considering some of the difficulties of presenting print to visually-impaired pupils, the paper examines some recent technological developments: the RNIB electronic newspaper, CD-ROM technology, and optical character recognition systems; notes some of the problems arising from graphical user interfaces; and makes some observations about study from tape. Braille has served the blind community well for over a century and a half, but its abiding utility for providing ephemeral information for visually-impaired people in the electronic information age is questionable. More effort should be put into promoting communication skills which involve keyboards and adaptations of existing communications devices rather than continuing to promote Braille as the only respectable means of information input and output for the visually impaired. (Contains 33 references.) (Author/SWC)
Descriptors: Access to Information, Assistive Devices (for Disabled), Audiotape Recordings, Braille, Character Recognition, Communication Aids (for Disabled), Computers, Electronic Publishing, Electronic Text, Foreign Countries, Full Text Databases, Information Technology, Optical Data Disks, Optical Scanners, Printed Materials, Secondary Education, Sensory Aids, Technological Advancement, Visual Impairments
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A