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ERIC Number: ED552692
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 243
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-8196-7
An Examination of the Potential for Blissymbolics to Serve as the Foundation for a Tactile Symbol System
Isaacson, Mickey
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Purdue University
The primary purpose of this study was to determine whether Blissymbolics have the potential for being developed into a tactile symbol communication system. Tactile techniques are used by many individuals with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) needs. Tactile processing is optimized by the use of minimalistic stimuli, i.e., stimuli that do not contain superfluous material. Blissymbolics is a minimalist graphic symbol system that was originally developed for communication through visual means. In the present study, Blissymbols were modified to a form that could be sensed through touch. This modification consisted of raised-line renderings of Blissymbols made on thermal expansion paper. These raised-line representations were tactually minimalistic because of the stylistic simplicity of the Blissymbolic graphic image from which they were derived. Minimalism may be critical for tactile discernment of Blissymbols. A pilot test with raised-line Blissymbols found that it was possible to reliably discern Blissymbols from each other through haptic processing. This indicated that Blissymbolics may have the potential for serving as the foundation for the development of a tactile symbol system. The pilot test, however, was limited in the number of Blissymbols that were tested. Only four simple Blissymbols (sometimes referred to as Blissymbol elements) were tested. A more comprehensive examination of tactile discernment of Blissymbols is needed. An objective of the following research was to develop and implement a protocol for a more comprehensive examination of the tactile discrimination of Blissymbols. The basis of Blissymbolics is a core of simple Blissymbols that can be combined to produce a multitude of compound symbols with meanings that differ from the simple symbols that comprise the compound. For a tactile symbol system based on Blissymbolics to be successful, it is critical for the simple Blissymbols to have the capacity to be tactilely discriminated from each other. The method for testing tactile discrimination was similar to that used in the pilot test. It entailed having participants tactilely exam a target Blissymbol and to correctly identify through tactile means a duplicate of the target from among foils consisting of tactile Blissymbols that differ from the target. To determine whether Blissymbolics have the potential for a tactile symbol communication system, a criterion for was established. The criterion was that at least 80% of the simple Blissymbols tested must have discrimination scores of 90% correct or better. Eighty-four percent of the simple Blissymbols tested had discrimination scores of 90% correct or better. Thus, Blissymbols exceed the established criterion and appear to have the potential for being developed into a tactile symbol system. Moreover, the total number of tactile discrimination trials was 1548. Of this total, the overall percentage of correct tactile discrimination responses was 94%. This is a considerable number of discrimination trials with a very high percentage of correct responses and can be considered as corroborative to the above performance measures. Identification of simple Blissymbols that are easily confused through tactile processing will be critical for developing a tactile symbol communication system. Symbols that are easily confused through haptic processing will not be viable in their present form for a tactile communication system. Another objective of the present study was the identification of potentially problematic simple Blissymbols. A total of 74 simple Blissymbols were tested. Of those 74 symbols, 4 were identified as statistical outliers because of their low tactile discrimination performance. These 4 symbols are not suitable candidates in their present form as tactile Blissymbols. An additional eight Blissymbols had discrimination performance of less than 90% correct. The performance of these eight symbols was not sufficiently low enough for them to be statistical outliers but because they were below the 90% criterion they should be consider as questionable in regards to their capacity to serve as a tactile Blissymbol. The four unsuitable and eight questionable symbols should be examined to determine appropriate remediation for use as tactile symbols. (Abstract shortened by UMI.). [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A