Digital media and persons with visual impairment or blindness

Authored by: Susanne Zimmermann-Janschitz

Routledge Handbook of Media Geographies

Print publication date:  October  2021
Online publication date:  October  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367482855
eBook ISBN: 9781003039068
Adobe ISBN:


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Persons with visual impairment and blindness (VIB) are facing several challenges in daily life, especially when it comes to media access. Availability as well as accessibility of information can be indicated as key elements to independency and self-determination. Laws, regulations and standards support accessibility in terms of goods, the built-environment, technology or information, but there is still a gap between the legislative framework and reality. This chapter illustrates the various aspects regarding media access for persons with VIB reflecting the state-of-art literature, starting with the definition of challenges in accessing information up to solutions including methodological and practical approaches. Information is discussed from two perspectives—the type of information needed by persons with VIB and the representation of this information. Here, special attention is given to the built environment and wayfinding. This topic offers all aspects of information access, including the varying spatial dimensions, information used as elements for orientation and navigation, senses used to complement or supplement vision and the implementation through tools and (assistive) devices. The conclusion of the chapter argues for the necessity of including persons with VIB in research to overcome barriers in our minds, raise awareness and consequently address innovative research questions.

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