Goals of the project
The project titled “Specification of symbols used on audio-tactile maps for individuals with blindness” (ATMAPS) is a project within the Lifelong Learning Programme financed by the EU 2014-2016. The project brings basic needs, problems and challenges into focus. Although there are already considerable prospects for the development of new tools and aids that are directly connected to the capacities of an audio-touch tablet, scarce audio-tactile maps (AT-Maps) and audio-tactile O&M maps/aids have been constructed. Moreover, there is no study designed and substantiated for the specification/ standardization of symbols that can be used in AT-Maps. This inevitably means that the AT-symbols (that could be i) tactile, ii) audio and iii) audio & tactile symbols) that are currently used for the representation of spatial information, certainly; do not follow a series of specifications. In other words, there is not a research-derived, effect-assured, specified “audio-tactile language”.
Solving these problems and satisfying the above mentioned needs is a priority since:
- the AT-maps constitute a new, pioneering mode of presenting spatial information that is expected soon to be fully incorporated in the education/training and everyday life of IVIs,
- the O&M aids are necessary for IVIs in their daily life,
- O&M in space is a prerequisite for the independent living of IVIs, and
- the specification of symbols will give rise to the production of effective AT-maps by forming and using a universal language – a unique code – in the representation of spatial information.