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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Maine
  • Nicholas Giudice
  • (207) 581-2187
Award Date:11/01/2017
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 50,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 50,000
  • FY 2018=$50,000
Start Date:11/01/2017
End Date:04/30/2019
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040106 NSF Education & Human Resource
Award Title or Description:I-Corps: Touchscreen-based Graphics for the Blind and Visually-impaired
Federal Award ID Number:1758174
DUNS ID:186875787
Parent DUNS ID:071750426
Program Officer:
  • Pamela McCauley
  • (703) 292-8950

Awardee Location

Street:5717 Corbett Hall
Awardee Cong. District:02

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Maine
Cong. District:02

Abstract at Time of Award

The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is in resolving the long-standing graphical access problem for millions of blind and visually-impaired (BVI) people. Lack of access to these substantial informational components of daily life represents one of the biggest challenges to the independence and productivity of BVI individuals. This project addresses this vexing accessibility issue through a viable information access solution built on commercial, low-cost touchscreen-based smart computing devices such as smartphones and tablets. The solution will assist BVI people by potentially providing dynamic access to digital school books and test materials, graphics in vocational settings, digital maps, and graphical contents of printed materials. The broader impact of this project is that it will promote empowerment of BVI individuals by supporting increased educational advancement, vocational opportunities, enhanced quality of life, and overall greater independence. This I-Corp project will explore the commercial potential and market fit for a touchscreen-based graphics screen reader. This solution will allow blind people to freely explore and access graphical information via vibration and auditory feedback on a smartphone or tablet. Through a battery of usability, psychophysical, and technical experiments, the technology has been shown to be effective compared to existing solutions and is accurate in conveying informative graphical materials such as graphs, shapes, patterns, and indoor maps. The focus of the proposed I-Corp project is to understand the commercial fit and usability of the solution in meeting end-user needs and problems.

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