Initial mobility behaviors of people with visual impairment in a virtual environment using a mixed methods design

Natasha A. Knopf, Mei Ying Boon, Gregg J. Suaning, Marc Patrick H. Zapf, John Grigg

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Visual impairment (VI) can result from many different ocular diseases and is defined as the poor functioning of the visual system. To describe the extent of VI, clinical measures of visual function are used, which include visual acuity (VA), visual field (VF) and contrast sensitivity (CS). When there is a reduction in any of these visual functions, safe and efficient mobility is one such activity that may be compromised. While there is currently no cure for VI-causing retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP), age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma, gene therapy is gaining traction as a possible treatment. Preliminary results have shown that patients have performed significantly better on mobility tasks, such as the navigation of an obstacle course, post-treatment. Interestingly, visual function measures have not always shown such significant improvement. It is therefore important to develop a standardized obstacle course that can assess therapy efficacy, as the drawbacks of current physical orientation and mobility obstacle courses include high cost of set-up, potential dangers to participants and the fact that performance may reflect non-visual abilities such as physical fitness. To address these concerns, we have investigated the use of a virtual obstacle course in people with visual impairment. Here we report the initial behaviors and strategies of people with visual impairment as they navigate through four obstacle tasks using a virtual reality headset.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 IEEE Life Sciences Conference, LSC 2017
EditorsSameer Antani, Mohamad Sawan
Place of PublicationUnited States
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Pages153-156
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781538610305
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event1st International IEEE Life-Science Conference, LSC 2017 - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 13 Dec 201715 Dec 2017

Publication series

Name2017 IEEE Life Sciences Conference, LSC 2017
Volume2018-January

Conference

Conference1st International IEEE Life-Science Conference, LSC 2017
CountryAustralia
CitySydney
Period13/12/1715/12/17

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