Audible beacons and wearables in schools: Helping young visually impaired children play and move independently

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


Young children with visual impairments tend to engage less with their surroundings, limiting the benefits from activities at school. We investigated novel ways of using sound from a bracelet, such as speech or familiar noises, to tell children about nearby people, places and activities, to encourage them to engage more during play and help them move independently. We present a series of studies, the first two involving visual impairment educators, that give insight into challenges faced by visually impaired children at school and how sound might help them. We then present a focus group with visually impaired children that gives further insight into the effective use of sound. Our findings reveal novel ways of combining sounds from wearables with sounds from the environment, motivating audible beacons, devices for audio output and proximity estimation. We present scenarios, findings and a design space that show the novel ways such devices could be used alongside wearables to help visually impaired children at school.


External organisations
  • University of Glasgow
  • Italian Institute of Technology
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Interaction Technologies


  • Beacons, Children, Play, Visual impairment, Wearables
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationExplore, Innovate, Inspire
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450346559
StatePublished - 2017 May 2
Publication categoryResearch
Event2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2017 - Denver, United States
Duration: 2017 May 62017 May 11


Conference2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2017
CountryUnited States