Jasmine and I had planned on meeting with Kim and her Seeing Eye dog for coffee today but she recently emailed me and said she was sick. Instead, we kept e-mailing this morning about my major project. I originally contacted her to gain insight from a visually impaired person whose interests lied in sports. Because I was unable to physically meet with her, I proposed my ideas instead and saw what she thought. This is what Kim had to say:
I proposed my idea to help integrate the visually impaired into the audience of sporting events. She opened my eyes to some problems I as a sighted person had never thought about and gave me suggestions about additional features:
“Very interesting. One time, we were watching the olympics. I am a former paralympic swimmer.
We were watching and I started realizing that I had no idea about what you did for some sporting events.
For example, I did not know anything about the hammer throw.
Did you actually throw a hammer?
So people started telling me about what it really was.
then I asked what you did when you did the pole vault.
Again I had no idea what that was.
We started talking about skeleton racing and ski jumping and things that you would not know about if you had never seen.
I love watching the olympics especially and sports like hockey etc but this would be very interesting.
It would be great if it also was connected to an audio description (radio announcers and things like htat or a description of the sport) but I do love love love this idea so much and would absolutely love to test it and help you with it.
Would there be different feeling textures say for different teams? Like they have different coloured jerseys etc?
I could see this for curling too as it is visual.
You would then know what is going on”
I asked her what her childhood was like as a visually impaired athlete. She talked about the difference between being at a game live or experiencing it via radio or tv and suggested some alternative solutions:
I have skated on a rink and as a kid we played in the back yard.
they made a puck out of a jug with some rattling things in it for me to hear so I kind of can imagine how it might be. However, I do not know what is going on on the tv broadcast or live unless I listen to the radio feed which I kind of prefer. so, if you had a radio feed in the device too so someone could put headphones on and listen to play by play as they examined the board, that would be really great I think.
Also, when you are watching live, it gets noisy and you can't hear the play by play so the board would be amazing then too. Another interesting thing would be an audio description when you first pick up the board.
It would describe the field and tell you how many players etc and maybe could be like an audio guide where you press 1 say to find out more about the sport if you aren't familiar with it. Press 2 to find out more about the teams etc.
Very very fascinating.
I asked her about emerging technologies and audible feedback:
I do have a braille display which I use with my computer and phone. The pins of the braille pop up and down as needed. it is very cool.
Perhaps a different sound when you crossed the line into the other team's territory?
The audio guide might also have the program in it. Any program you might get when you enter the stadium.
It could also mention what food is available and where bathrooms are etc.
So in a way you are handed an electronic program and all about the services etc when you go to a live event.
She has so much experience is a range of different sports and festivals and I hope I can speak with her in person and perhaps test my mockups with her.