Kitchin, R.M., Jacobson, R.D., Golledge, R.G., and Blades, M. (1998) Belfast without sight: Exploring geographies of blindness. Irish Geographer. 31(1), 34-46.
In this paper the transformed spaces of visually impaired and blind people is explored through a detailed analysis of interview transcripts with twenty seven visually impaired people living in or around Belfast. Data were collected using a structured open-ended interview and were analysed within NUD-IST, a qualitative data analysis package. Analysis revealed that visually impaired people become spatially confused (e.g. lost or disorientated) for two primary reasons. ‘Self-produced’ confusion is spatial confusion caused by the misperception / miscognition of a route (e.g. miscounting intersections). ‘Situational’ confusion is spatial confusion caused by a permanent or temporary localised occurrences such as road works, vehicles parked on pavements, and street furniture. Both types of spatial confusion were found to induce feelings of fear and anxiety, leading to a loss of self-confidence, embarrassment and frustration, which in turn led to less independent travel and exploration, and constrained patterns of spatial behaviour. Respondents detailed a number of strategies for coping with spatial confusion. In addition, they assessed methods to make Belfast more navigable including environmental modifications and orientation and mobility aids.
Thursday, 16 May 2013
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Techniques to collect and analyze the cognitive map knowledge of people with visual impairments or blindness: Issues of validity
Kitchin, R.M. and Jacobson, R.D. (1997) Techniques to collect and analyze the cognitive map knowledge of people with visual impairments or blindness: Issues of validity. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness. July-August, 360-376.
This article is an assessment of a variety of techniques used by researchers in the fields of geography, psychology, urban planning, and cognitive science to collect and analyze data on how people with visual impairment or blindness learn, understand, and think about geographic space. The authors concluded that these techniques and their results need to be used cautiously. They also made recommendations for increasing the validity of future studies, including the use of multiple, mutually supportive tests; larger sample sizes, and movement from the laboratory to realworld environments.