Route learning by blind and partially sighted people

Hersh, M. (2020) Route learning by blind and partially sighted people. Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research, 10(2), (doi: 10.5241/10-173)

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The paper aims to fill an important gap in the literature by reporting on blind and partially sighted people's route-learning experiences and strategies from their perspective. The existing literature has largely reported the results of experiments in indoor and outdoor, often artificially created, environments rather than real experiences of travel and route learning. The results presented here were obtained from semi-structured interviews with 100 blind and partially sighted people in five different countries. They show that they prefer to keep to known routes where possible, in line with the literature, but do not wish to be restricted to them. The paper discusses the conditions in which they consider it worth learning new routes and the strategies they use to do this. The paper is interpreted in a theoretical framework of independence, autonomy, and self-determination, understood, in line with the disability literature, as making choices and decisions and having control rather than necessarily doing everything oneself. A further contribution is a confirmation of the role of the (greater) memory of blind people in travel and a suggestion that the ability to develop memory may affect differences in travel skills. The paper concludes with several recommendations, including for further research.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hersh, Dr Marion
Authors: Hersh, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research
Publisher:National Federation of the Blind
ISSN (Online):2155-2894
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 National Federation of the Blind
First Published:First published in Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research 10(2)
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher
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