Blades, M., Lippa, Y., Golledge, R.G., Jacobson, R.D., and Kitchin, R.M. (2002) Wayfinding by people with visual impairments: The effect of spatial tasks on the ability to learn a novel route. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 96, 407-419.
Thirty-eight people with visual impairments learned a 483-meter novel route through a University campus which included 28 choice point (e.g. left or right turns). After a single guided experience of the route participants were divided into four groups and walked the route three times under different conditions. In the verbalization condition participants gave a verbal description of the route from memory after each route experience. In the modeling condition participants made a model of the route from memory after each route
experience. In the pointing condition participants made pointing estimates between places on the route as they walked along it. In the control condition participants walked the route without any additional testing. Performance was measured in terms of accurate decisions at choice points. All four groups showed an improvement in performance with greater experience of the route. The modeling group showed the greatest improvement compared to the control group. The methodological implications of these results are considered, and the implications for mobility training are discussed.