The Future of State-of-the-art Instructional Technologies

World Access for the Blind has aligned in partnership with the well established Oregon Research Institute (ORI) to exchange expertise in human sonar and virtual reality computer models. ORI has designed and put in place the only virtual environment that can be accessed nationally by children in wheelchairs - a system found effective in instructing and promoting recreation and mobility for children who face orthopedic challenges. Our long term objective is to design and distribute a comprehensive computer program to provide supplementary instruction in hearing and orientation using a virtual reality simulation. This program will accomplish the following:

  • provide blind students and instructors with a powerful tool to expand options for delivering services in this severe shortage of instructors.
  • improve access for blind people to computerized educational programs to which they currently have almost none.
  • provide a means of exposing students to all forms of auditory based assistive technology (such as sonar systems with sonic feedback, Talking GPS systems, talking compasses, audible traffic signals, and Talking signs), as well as additional options for instruction in the use of this technology.
  • provide a method of testing auditory based prototype technologies (such as alternative perception systems and modern way finding devices).