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Compensation of e-exclusion effects of blind students through applying the multimodal user interfaces into dedicated educational applications

Dariusz Mikułowski

Despite the dynamic grow of the market of electronic educational materials, The blind students have very limited access to such kind of content. It is caused mainly by visual characteristic of user interfaces generated for the sighted people as a combination of images, moving animations and interactivity that are inaccessible for the blind Although there are any opensource projects that try to solve this problem by implementing a simple dedicated games, the market of blind consumers is too small to be worth commercial companies to produce an educational programs for them. So it seems that a good idea to reduce the exclusion of such persons is the creation of specialized solutions within the framework of scientific research and other non-profit initiatives. In such applications, replace the media that is available only to the sighted user, such as animations, videos, graphics on the screen or interaction mechanisms through a set of alternative interfaces is necessary. These alternative interfaces enabled for the blind are: speech synthesize, keyboard shortcut sets, auxiliary sounds, typhlographic, interactive sound-supports touch screen, using the Braille display, etc. In this article, an example of using the method of alternative interfaces in educational game entitled "The encyclopedia of Geography of Europe for the blind." Is described. The software has been implemented for commercial sale. It is located in offer one of the companies spraying equipment and software for the blind. This gave the opportunity for Collecting comments and suggestions from customers. The elements that users found as Beloved were: the application of the simultaneous illustration of geographical questions using textual information, music illustrations, braille graphics and auxiliary sounds. The negative comments were: not quite intuitive implementation for search of the content in all application and Outdating of main geographical data content that necessitates the frequent creation of new versions of the program.

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Dariusz Mikułowski

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DOI: 10.15219/em73.1343

The article is in the printed version on pages 24-29.

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