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Blind man invents software to help visually impaired users see data

Shared by Ana Duarte on 2017-10-03 15:43

About the solution

Ed was diagnosed with the degenerative eye condition retinitis pigmentosa at the age of 10 and eventually went blind.

As he spent the last several years trying to close the vexing gap between data’s possibilities and its accessibility, Ed was driven to also develop this innovation because he found no solutions to help blind people read charts and graphs.

“The real unfortunate aspect of technological innovation in education and the workplace is the accessibility of charts and graphs really hasn’t kept up,” the inventor explained.

SAS Graphics Accelerator consists of a free browser plug-in that scans web pages for graphs or charts and translates them into sound — specifically, piano notes. It moves in stereo from left to right, so the user can follow along. Using speakers or headphones, the sound pans from the listener’s left ear to the right ear as he or she navigates along the X-axis of the graph using the arrow keys on their keyboard. The pitch represents the value, like the height of a bar in a bar graph, with higher pitch indicating a higher value.
The plug-in also converts the visual graph into alternative formats, such as text descriptions, tables and sound.

According to the inventor, the software is not just for professionals and data scientists, and it will give visually impaired students better access to good careers.

Adapted from: http://bit.ly/2oCRGv4

More info: http://bit.ly/2kjc2YO


This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

DISCLAIMER: This story was written by someone who is not the author of the solution, therefore please be advised that, although it was written with the utmost respect for the innovation and the innovator, there can be some incorrect statements. If you find any errors please contact the patient Innovation team via info@patient-innovation.com

About the author

Ed Summers, born in USA, is a blind software engineer who created SAS Graphics Accelerator, a software that allows the visually impaired to see data on a graph or chart using music and other elements.

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