> Disabled: AudioTact, that is, the web with your eyes closed

the Goal of the project is to create a device that allows the browsing of images for visually impaired users taking advantage of the computer applications that exist, and if they were not complied with the directions of accessibility; adapting the same, both in office and teaching.

Currently è was made by the Polytechnic, a working prototype with some test application specially developed. The device is presented to the press in the last quarter of 2006 is available on a copy in the Computer Centre.

The invention consists in an apparatus that, during the exploration of an image using the touch screen, using the two channels of the stereo sound and offer a combination of stimuli, audio and tactile. The image is arranged so as to be able to generate sounds through the left channel, to generate a normal pulse audio, while through the right to generate a pulse tactile accessible through a transducer contact to be worn on the finger.

Following an exploration technique that has been set, the user of AudioTact, può in a completely autonomous manner obtain a series of information from the sections of the image. Even if at the moment the device is still considered to be a phase of experimentation, and, as such, is not; possible, né assess the results in terms of achievement of objectives né precederne a possible diffusion from the commercial point of view, the optimization of the hardware, and the implementations in the program could potentially lead to breaking down another barrier with which the user visually is forced to live with on a daily basis.

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Of the rest, one of the key points that as an Institute we have set for ourselves and for the achievement of which we are working on is, first of all, the removal of barriers of every kind, architectural and digital, with which visually impaired people have to face on a daily basis.

To ensure thereò è essential to the spread and sharing of know-how acquired in these years of research and experimentation. In this regard we are promoting as the Blind Institute of Milan, a series of seminars and training courses aimed at training managers, developers of internet sites, experts in web communication and in such a way that issues related to the accessibility and usabilità to become, progressively, the elements of «natural» to be considered in the design phase of any device or software application. In this way, the hope is; that in the future, we hope what ever next, anyone can enjoy without limitations of opportunity; offered by the new technologies.

Franco Lisi Stretch from Light to Light, the Blind Institute of Milan, 2006; 4: 8.

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