Register | Login
Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Orienteering for the blind

in: Orienteering; General

Mar 15, 2024 11:36 AM # 
If anyone has experience or ideas for doing orienteering with blind persons, would you please reply here or email/call me?
Mar 15, 2024 4:11 PM # 
Steve and Robin Shannonhouse explored orienteering for the blind back in 1989.

I also have a black and white symbol set that might be helpful.
Mar 15, 2024 6:05 PM # 
You might reach out to the group in Sweden working on this:

There is a little info about the project in English and more in Swedish (maybe Google translate would work). They also list contact people. I notice two of them are Yngström's. They might be related to Arne Yngström.

Peggy will probably see this thread and she wrote her Master's thesis at KU that might be relevant. But that was a long time ago.
Mar 15, 2024 8:16 PM # 
Yup, wrote my Master's thesis on orienteering for the physically disabled. But it *was* 40 years ago. I relied heavily on Arne Yngström's work; he'd sent me a bunch of documents on his programs after I translated an article about it for OUSA's magazine. (He also sent me a thumb compass, which was pretty new at the time. I've been a thumb compass user ever since.)
I never actually worked with anyone who was blind though, just wrote about it (and mostly wrote about other physical differences).
Mar 15, 2024 8:43 PM # 
Spike, I don't know Malin Yngstrom but Tomas Yngstrom is a son of Arne Yngstrom.
Mar 15, 2024 9:08 PM # 
barb, I found the link, although not based on maps, Audio-based navigation program introduced in 2022 in Charlotte:
Mar 15, 2024 9:13 PM # 
I believe there has been quite a lot of advance over the last few decades in terms of tactile mapping. Orienteering mappers would probably enjoy an article like this one... whre you will find discussions of minimum line widths, and minimum space between features for tactile legibility.

A major enabling technology includes things like tactile printers. There are various technologies out there that includes embossers with tactile-graphic capabilities that basically work like dot-matrix printers, and complementary tools like swellform and thermoform papers. None of these technologies are very cheap, but libraries and schools will sometimes have them.

Edit: this is an interesting story.
Mar 16, 2024 12:30 PM # 
I have thought about doing something with sound after cmpblla remarked that she has located swamps from a distance by hearing the call of a red-winged blackbird. Neat to see there are audio-based programs out there.

cmpbllj has produced a modified map for someone with limited sight and can share more if that's of interest.
Mar 17, 2024 9:27 AM # 
Thanks! Some great stuff here. I love the article by Robin Shannonhouse. The audio-based program sounds super cool (Microsoft Soundscape, no longer supported but the code is available). The Swedish project was funded 2019-2023 -- I wonder what's next for them.

I co-presented with a math teacher last week about orienteering, at a math conference, on Pi Day. While there I talked to a teacher from the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston. She connected me to one of their "orientation" specialists. We hope to have a call with him in the next few weeks. All this info is helpful. If there is interest from the school, I'll post again to see if anyone locally (or not) wants to help with a project there.

(Making these connections is a good reason to attend conferences. People are much more responsive when you are talking in person at a professional conference, than if you "cold call" them.)

In googling, I found:
Mar 17, 2024 9:05 PM # 
Barb, when I went to the MAPHERD conference all those years ago I spoke with an adaptive PE teacher at Perkins about doing orienteering. Her name was Maebh Barry, I believe, and she had some interest. She probably doesn't remember, and she may not still be there, but that's a possible help. I was very impressed with the kinds of adaptive PE they did at the school, so they definitely know how to make things work for their students.
Mar 18, 2024 11:48 AM # 
Thanks, Cristina!
Mar 22, 2024 6:09 AM # 
David Cynamon:
I find it really interesting how the mobility skills blind people use (or at least the one I know) are very similar to orienteering skills. I don't remember the terms she uses, but she follows handrails, aims off, uses attack points, collecting features, and catching features on a daily basis.

This looks interesting, but I don't currently have access:
Mar 22, 2024 9:43 PM # 
The article is from 1981, and I recognized one of the authors: Dr. Bruce Blasch. I had some contact with him in this era, and IIRC, I met him when he came to DC. He knew a lot about mobility, navigation, and the blind. Good guy.
Mar 23, 2024 5:26 AM # 
Contact Russ Myer. He has been doing quite a bit with this lately, although I think it's mostly sound based rather than tactile map based.
Mar 27, 2024 10:23 AM # 

Please login to add a message.