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Making visual media accessible to vision-restricted Canadians . . .

voiceprintTM

Canada's 24 Hour Audio Newsstand

Delivers published news and information in audio format primarily for Canadians whose access to print is limited or non-existent. Every day volunteers read full-length articles, columns and feature reports related to news and sports, health, entertainment . . . from more than 100 newspapers and magazines. The service is available free via cable TV and/or cable FM.

audiovision

Television for People Who Cannot See

Produces narrated descriptions of the visual elements of film and video products, offering blind, low-vision and other Canadians the opportunity to fully appreciate these products and services at will.

alternatemedia

Cutting Edge Technology

Researches and develops cutting-edge technical systems and devises of benefit to blind and low-vision Canadians and the computer technology that allows voiceprintTM and audiovision to operate and service their clients.

NFB:AE Awards Grant

Funding Research in Tactile and Auditory Perception

At the December 1995 meeting of its Board of Directors, the Board of the National Federation of the Blind unanimously passed the following motion:

That a research grant of $5,000 be made available to Okanagan University College for specific research in the areas of auditory and tactile perception by the blind. The Board directed that the research be either basic or applied. The Board further directed that the principal investigator and grant recipient must be a faculty member at Okanagan University College with a doctoral degree. The Board required that there be an open competition for the grant at Okanagan University College. The Board suggested that applications could be reviewed by the Grants-In-Aid Committee. The Board requested that the decision as to the recipient of the grant should be left to the Grants-In-Aid Committee. The Board requested that the entire grant be awarded to one recipient. The suggested deadline for the competition was March 31, 1996. The Board also requested that the recipient of the grant not be precluded from other competitions and other money available from the Grants-In-Aid Committee at Okanagan University College. Last May, the Grants-In-Aid Committee at Okanagan University College awarded the NFB:AE Research Grant of $5,000 to our President, Dr. Paul Gabias. Dr. Gabias was awarded an additional $2,000 from Okanagan University College.

Dr. Gabias is currently studying Gestalt Laws of Perceptual Organization in Visual and Haptic Perception. He is comparing data for evidence of the applicability of these laws in vision and touch. The Gestalt laws of perceptual organization are classic in psychology, particularly in vision. Every introductory psychology textbook discusses them in the perception chapter. Yet, their possible applicability to the sense of touch is rarely discussed. The purpose of Dr. Gabias's research is to rectify this situation. Preliminary analyses of data from forty subjects who were presented with raised dot displays visually, suggest that the classic Gestalt predictions about perceptual organization are not ubiquitous, in other words, they are not as stable as had been presumed. They may be affected by grid orientation. Data collection from blind subjects is underway for purposes of comparison.

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