TouchVIC: Touch-system for Visual Impaired Children
Research Project CEI2014-PTIC7 (Projects CEI-BioTic). University of Granada.
Main researchers: María Visitación Hurtado Torres and Daniela Rubio Trujillo.
TouchVic was developed with the collaboration of members of the groups: Modelling Development of Advanced Software Systems-MYDASS (TIC-230) of the University of Granada, Telematic Systems for the Information and Knowledge Society (T>SIC) of the Politécnic University of Madrid, together with experts of the group ACCEDO of ONCE early stimulation department in Madrid, Once team in Granada; the director of the ophthalmology, section from the Virgen de las Nieves hospital, the members of the institution Macneticos (accessibility and inclusion experts) and the reference state center of personal autonomy and technical aids (CEAPAT).
The creation of this app was possible dew to the support received from the CEI-Biotic Granada excellency campus, and to the mobile apps development experience of the company Everyware Technologies.
TouchVIC is available on the App Store.
Touch-system for Visual Impaired Children (TouchVIC) is a Mobile application designed to be used as a support tool in early stimulation of visually impaired children. It includes nine kinds of different activities for iPad, which are intended to stimulate cognitive, emotional, sensorial and motor aspects; as well as an author tool which allows the customization and configuration of exercises in order to adapt them to the child’s interests, needs and abilities at al times. It also has options which allow the creation of customized agendas, where activities and evaluation sessions can be sequenced and planned.
An other outstanding feature of TouchVIC, is that it is one of the first app of its kind, which is really inclusive and accessible for professionals or family members who are visually impaired.
TouchVIC has been designed as an authoring tool, which enhances the early stimulation therapy given by professionals and family members. They are the ones who will decide which activities to use, when and in which situations, and also evaluate their utility and benefits.
TouchVIC is conformed with two parts: The App for early stimulation (Child mode), and the authoring tool (Tutor mode). The stimulation App destined to the children has been designed for it to be accessible by it self (addressed application), so assistive technology is not needed. This characteristic has been incorporated, because very young children don’t have yet the required skills to use the adaptations integrated in the operating systems. In this case, the App will guide the child for him or her to complete all stimulation activities in “free game mode” and “agenda mode”.
The App offers nine kinds of different activities for iPad, which include educational and gaming exercises for the early stimulation of blind and visually impaired children.
The App provides templates associated to each kind of activity. There, the educator can select which resources to use, the activities appearance and difficulty level. In that way, the creation and customization of activities is easier.
While the child is completing the activities, the app makes automatic records of the child’s achievements and mistakes, gaming time, and other particular aspects of each activity. Those records are made for individual activities and sessions; and after they are completed, the tutor can add comments and consult the assessments of a specific child.
The authoring tool has incorporated accessibility features for educators with a remaining sight, and it is fully compatible with iOS accessibility tools like VoiceOver or Switch control. As mentioned before, apart of providing a homogenized and structured interface, so the screen can be easily scanned to brows through information, the educator can choose if he or she wants to use it as a “addressed Application” or use it in combination with iOS accessibility tools.
For both, authoring tool and stimulation App, different specification, design and implementation guidelines have been used. In that way, we were able to obtain an intuitive and accessible tool for educators and children with visual impairments.