Accessible Viewing Device Research

Accessible Technology for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Low Vision Students

The goal of Accessible Viewing Device is to provide Accessible Technology in the classroom for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and low vision students. This software was developed and designed for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students in mind, then later on it included low vision students.

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 Figure 1.

Figure 1

We 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.

Introducing DREU Researcher and Mentor

Researcher Noella A. Kolash

Noella Kolash is researcher and developer for the Accessible Viewing Device software. She is a senior and has completed all of her bachelors level courses. After completing her summer 2013 research with DREU, she will be awarded with Bachelors of Science Degree in Information Technology, Web-Database Integration Track from Rochester Institute of Technology. For fall semester of 2013, she will be a graduate student at Rochester Institute of Technology in Information Sciences and Technologies. She can be reached by noella at kolash dot org or her Linkedin website.

Mentor Raja S. Kushalnagar, J.D., LL.M, Ph.D.

The mentor, Raja Kushalnagar is also the project director of this research. Dr. Kushalnagar published research work about this project. His publications can be found in the publications page of this website. He desires to expand this project to more possibilities. He desired the accessibility to be even more accessible by creating more mobility. Dr. Kushalnagar is instructional faculty at the Department of Information and Computing Studies at National Technical Institute of the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. He can be reached by rskics at rit dot edu, his Linkedin website or, his research website.