Iterative Design of A Braille Writing Tutor to Combat Illiteracy

Nidhi Kalra, Tom Lauwers, Daniel Dewey, Thomas Stepleton, and M Bernardine Dias
Proceedings of the 2nd IEEE/ACM International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development, December, 2007.


Download
  • Adobe portable document format (pdf) (2MB)
Copyright notice: This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

Abstract
Less than 3% of the 145 million blind people living in developing countries are literate. This low literacy rate is partly due to the lack of trained teachers and the challenges associated with learning to write Braille on a traditional slate and stylus. These challenges include writing from right to left, writing mirrored images of letters, and receiving significantly delayed feedback. Extensive conversations with the Mathru School for the Blind near Bangalore, India, revealed the need for a robust, low-power, low-cost Braille writing tutor. We present an iterative and participatory design process resulting in the creation and refinement of a prototype Braille writing tutor system. This system uses a novel input device to capture a student's activity on a slate using a stylus and uses a range of techniques to teach Braille writing skills to both beginner and advanced students. We report on lessons learned from the implementation of this project and from a six-week pilot study at the Mathru School, and outline future directions for improvement.

Keywords
developing nations, intelligent tutoring systems, user-centered design, braille tutor, illiteracy, TechBridgeWorld

Notes
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Field Robotics Center
Associated Lab(s) / Group(s): TechBridgeWorld

Text Reference
Nidhi Kalra, Tom Lauwers, Daniel Dewey, Thomas Stepleton, and M Bernardine Dias, "Iterative Design of A Braille Writing Tutor to Combat Illiteracy," Proceedings of the 2nd IEEE/ACM International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development, December, 2007.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Kalra_2007_6020,
   author = "Nidhi Kalra and Tom Lauwers and Daniel Dewey and Thomas Stepleton and M Bernardine Dias",
   title = "Iterative Design of A Braille Writing Tutor to Combat Illiteracy",
   booktitle = "Proceedings of the 2nd IEEE/ACM International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development",
   month = "December",
   year = "2007",
}