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Neeraj Sachdeva

TUCS Department for the doctoral studies: University of Turku, Turku School of Economics

Admitted to TUCS GP on 1.9.2012

Graduate project title:

Enhancing Computer and Mobile Technology for Completely Blind People

Graduate project abstract:

Total Blindness is defined as “complete lack of form and visual light perception, recorded clinically as No Light Perception (NLP)” (Colenbrander, 2002). Total blindness can affect quality of life, reducing the comfort and viable opportunities that normal sighted or even visually impaired people have.

As a result, totally blind people need greater reliance on affordable, effective, and convenient technology; through which they can lead a more comfortable and active life. Improving access to these technologies will ensure that totally blind people can access similar, if not same, opportunities as people with normal vision.

The advent and widespread use of technology, particularly computers and mobile phones, has simplified communication and access to information for the general population. While there are numerous technology solutions for improving quality of life for visually impaired people, not many solutions exist for totally blind people. Due to various complications involved with total blindness, regular technologies including computers and mobile phones need to be further enhanced for improved access. Choraś, et al. (2011) have offered innovative man-machine interfaces and solutions to support social inclusion for totally blind people.

While innovations such as Choraś’ MMI solution offer necessary improvements within technologies to assist totally blind people, there aren't enough of these solutions – especially applied. This research aims to investigate and implement ways of using computers and mobile phones to engage, facilitate and enable totally blind people to improve their quality of life using technology effectively.

The enhancement in technology is in actual a paradox for totally blind people. The ease of available information has not particularly impacted on the ease of information access for totally blind people. Using current screen reading technology, blind people can now access a wealth of on-line resources unimaginable before the birth of the web. However it is still the case that information which is to be accessed especially in the case of totally blind people, needs to be capable of conversion into text (Pennick, 2011).

Further research is necessary for a better understanding and successful implementation of technologies that can provide a better quality of life and easier access to online information portals for totally blind people. These technologies should also be affordable, easily accessible, and easily manageable so that technology acts as a contributor in the lives of blind people.


Hongxiu Li (University of Turku, Turku School of Economics)

Reima Suomi (University of Turku, Turku School of Economics)

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