With a new and inspiring direction, I began researching. I know even less about the visually impaired than I did about the physically disabled so this stage is vital. The CNIB (http://www.cnib.ca/en/living/Pages/default.aspx) is a great resource for learning about the decisions a visually impaired person must make on a day to day basis. Having access to independent living, reading, travelling can all have a big impact on a person’s life. “Although we are living in the information age, the tools and technologies that provide a gateway to resources, services, education and commerce are not available to a significant number of individuals in our society” (http://www.cnib.ca/en/services/accessibilities/Pages/default.aspx). CNIB also has a web store of consumer products aimed mostly towards the impaired, not the fully blind.
I also looked more in the Paralympics and the IBSA for specifics on the visually impaired. I’m a huge fan of soccer and I know the important role it plays in the lives of the disabled as well so I looked into how they go about initiating a game. “Balls are to be made audible by inserting small pieces of metal into them (e.g. stainless steel metal bearings, bee bees, etc.)” (http://www.bbsv-online.org/Tischball/IBSAShowdownRulebook2009-2013.pdf). Watching a game is incredible but it got me thinking about those who enjoy the experience rather than being physically active in a match. What are the opportunities for a visually impaired or blind person to enjoy a game from afar? Far and few between.
To gain more insight into inclusive design focusing on the visually impaired and the visually impaired in general, I took out the following books that I have yet to read and summarize:
Inclusive Design: design for the whole population by P. John Clarkson
Inclusive Design: Designing and Developing Accessible Environments by Rob Imrie (online)
Social & Cultural Perspectives on Blindness by C. Edwin Vaughan
Practicing Universal Design by L. Wilkoff
Accessible Ddesign of Consumer Products
I contacted Kim Kilpatrick who Dean Mellway had referenced us to. I read on her blog about her interest in sports and recreation and I thought she would be amazing to be in contact with (http://www.blogger.com/profile/13261113553139868837). I asked her specifically about being a spectator instead of an athlete. I await her response.