My name is John Rivera, and I am a third-year Computer Science major in the Department of Computer Science at Rochester Institute of Technology. I expect to graduate with the class of 2016.
About The Mentor:
Raja S. Kushalnagar, J.D., LL.M, PH.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Information and Computing Studies Department at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a federally supported college of Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY.. Dr. Kushalnagar is also the project director of the Accessible Viewing Device research project. Dr. Kushalnagar's research interests focus on the intersection of disability law, accessible and educational technology, and human-computer interaction. Currently, he is focused on enhancing educational access for deaf and hard of hearing students in mainstreamed classrooms.
About the Research Project
Deaf and Hard of Hearing students rely more heavily on visual learning than hearing students. However, these students often encounter visual noise, such as large viewing distances, line of sight interference or obstruction, poor lighting or viewing angles. This classroom visual noise can significantly interfere with the visual perception and learning process for deaf students. In addition to visual noise, mainstreamed deaf students have to manage visual attention between two or more simultaneous visual sources. The extra visual sources include the visual representation of the classroom audio, which is typically either a sign language interpreter or real-time text typed in by a captionist, as shown in Fig. 1.
The project aims to develop strategies and technical solutions to reduce visual noise. We also investigate visual and cognitive constraints in managing multiple sources and develop accessible technology views that enable students to manage multiple simultaneous visual information sources within their constraints.
The Accessible Viewing Device is a group of software developed to solve those issues. My part focuses on making the AVD more accessible to those with low vision.