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Picture Finding Service for the visually impaired

The title says it all
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Pictures speak a thousand words and registered visually impaired people (VIPs) still find it useful to use pictures to convey what they are trying to describe. To a sighted person, this sounds bizarre but pictures within websites or educational coursework for instance only enhance the project the VIP is trying to achieve for both the VIP and audience the project is aimed at. Seeking out a picture is very difficult for VIPs and so a voluntary run service could be set up with just such an aim. The service could be conducted over the internet or the phone and could even be extended to describing pictures in magazines or family holiday photos for instance. It would probably be run in conjunction with local blind associations.
NumboJumbo, Sep 23 2007

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       Baked... my girlfriend is blind and I always do this stuff for her. Most other people do also. I am counting friends, family and co-workers as the volunteers.
rascalraidex, Sep 24 2007
  

       But what about people and couples who live on their own. I know plenty of people like that and don't have the same family and friends to call on as your girlfriend does. At least, this is what happens in my area that I live in.
NumboJumbo, Sep 24 2007
  

       I can't imagine that a visually impaired person trying to put together a website or educational package would not have have some sighted person handy to do this for them, or be able to find one easily. Feedback from the visually impaired would be helpful in this respect.
DrCurry, Sep 24 2007
  

       I volunteer my time with the visually impaired and have taken part in a few online discussion groups for the visually impaired. This idea was spawned from involvement with the visually impaired who do say it is a problem. It does not affect everybody, but from my experience it's those visually impaired people who want to remain independant as much as they can, but in instances like finding a picture, they say it would be real handy to have a service like the one I describe.
NumboJumbo, Sep 25 2007
  

       This is probably a silly question, but has someone devised a tactile image renderer? Something like a fine grid of pins which can be electromagnetically raised to sort of Braillify an image?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 25 2007
  

       There's lots of research on tactile/haptic rendering, yes. (On this site, see "Pin Matrix Terminal.)   

       People tend to forget that visual impairments doesn't always mean that a person is blind; often, visually impaired people have partial vision, just fewer pixels. So, they can see things if they know where to look, it just takes them a lot longer to navigate visually. With that kind of impairment, creating visual output by yourself is doable, but looking through a list of thumbnail images on flickr for the "right" one just takes forever.   

       This is too specific. Why not just have people standing by with audio and internet access, doing whatever is needed? Why the restriction to finding images? (Other Internet problems: navigating &@%#! flash sites; solving captchas that don't offer an audio/text alternative; ...)
jutta, Sep 26 2007
  
      
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