Making Aquariums and Museums More Accessible

The Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA) is a project of the Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Architecture. One of their innovative projects involves aquarium accessibility for blind visitors.

CATEA is a multidisciplinary research center devoted to enhancing the lives of people with all levels of ability functional limitations through the development and application of assistive and universally designed technologies. Rather than focusing on disability, seeing people as "disabled," we believe that the limitations of current technologies and the design of the built environment account for the difference between any individual's potential and his or her ability to perform activities and participate in society. We seek to minimize those limitations.

To do so, CATEA brings together the diverse talents of many different types of engineers, scientists, clinicians, and other professionals, drawing them from the College of Architecture, the broader Georgia Tech community, and a wide range of other organizations such as Duke University, Georgia State, University of Pittsburgh, Syracuse University, the Shepherd Center, the U.S. Veteran's Administration, Emory University, and the University of Georgia...


Georgia Tech researchers are using music to aid the visually impaired in understanding the movements and displays featured in aquariums, zoos, museums and other dynamic facilities.

The research is using technology that tracks movements; in the case of an aquarium, it tracks the fish and interprets the movements into music and automated commentaries and narrations.

"We have three main components to this research," said Bruce Walker, associate professor in the School of Psychology and the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech. "The first is tracking the animals, the second is interpreting it into music and the third is making a seamless and interactive human experience."
 
Sources:

http://www.catea.gatech.edu/about.php
http://www.catea.gatech.edu/news/newsItem.php?id=2269&table=news&referringPage=home
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