Dept. Of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Sara Azari is a 4th year computer science student at Lassonde School of Engineering at YorkU. Holding a special interest in HCI and UI development, Sara is Completing her EECS4080 Project on exploring Interactive Systems at Dr.Melanie Baljko’s laboratory, working on the ENAMEL (ENAbling MEdia for Literacy) project. She worked at the lab as a RA during the Winter 2017 semester doing a literature review on previous achievements related to the subject. Considering the special needs of children with Visual Impairments in the home/family setting, Sara will be conducting usability studies using the help from recruited participants. By the end of the summer, Sara will have furthered the research by using the results from the usability study to improve the User Experience. This is important because considering the lack of such technology in the market, the ENAMEL team aims that the product is used by VI children who want to learn Braille with various individual needs and preferences.
Usability study for TBB (ENAMEL project)
At present, there are no low-cost commercially-available assistive technology available in the marketplace for children with visual impairments to learn Braille. Treasure Braille Box (TBB) is an assistive technology that provides an innovative approach to supporting the development of functional knowledge of Braille in children with visual impairments, espousing a low-cost, DIY approach. TBB consists of a 3D printed box, a low-cost single-board computer (Raspberry Pi), a specialty refreshable Braillecell, a audio speaker, and open source software. It provides an interactive audio and tactile display for the delivery of content for teaching and learning. The objective of this research project is toinvestigate and test the usability of the Treasure Braille Box and its associated set of teaching materials. To perform this evaluation , weemploy a four week probe in an at-home setting with families that have a child with a visual impairment using a pre/post methodology. We employ standardized measures of usability, empowerment, satisfaction, and motivation. We also evaluate impact on the child’s knowledge of Braille, and generate design feedback. This work is part ofthe ENAMEL (Enabling Media for Literacy) project.