The long-term objective of this Bioengineering Research Partnership is to extend the work begun during the initial funding period (2000-2006) to improve access to the pedestrian environment for people who are blind and people who have low vision. We propose a set of 36 studies in 28 research and development projects across three broad programs of research. This work ultimately will lead to improved safety and efficiency of travel in today's most challenging pedestrian environments, and indirectly to improved quality of life of individuals with blindness and low vision. The three programs of research are 1) Strategies for enhancing street crossing at roundabout intersections, 2) Nonvisual cues and training for wayfinding at complex intersections, and 3) The role of vision and audition in street crossing. Methods of investigation include behavioral studies and R&O activities in lab and street settings, with many of the studies involving assessing the performance of various components of the street crossing task and identifying variables associated with safe and efficient street crossings.
Our specific aims are to document the perceptual information that is available to pedestrians with varying degrees of visual impairment and the extent to which individuals can use this information to reduce risk and enhance the efficiency of street crossings, and to develop and evaluate technologies and training that can facilitate safe and efficient street crossing by individuals with blindness and low vision.

Public Health Relevance

The work of the partnership supports the public health goals of Healthy People 2010. Our work will aid in meeting the Healthy People 2010 goal of reducing the proportion of people with disabilities reporting environmental barriers to participation in home, school, work, or community activities. Our work is ultimately focused on the reduction of environmental barriers for persons with visual impairments. It also will improve the visual and hearing health by helping clinicians to develop more appropriate rehabilitation services, another goal of Healthy People 2010.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BBBP-D (51))
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Wiggs, Cheri
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Western Michigan University
Schools of Allied Health Profes
United States
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Salamati, Katayoun; Schroeder, Bastian J; Geruschat, Duane R et al. (2014) Event-Based Modeling of Driver Yielding Behavior to Pedestrians at Two-Lane Roundabout Approaches. Transp Res Rec 2013:1-11
Maloff, Erin S; Grantham, D Wesley; Ashmead, Daniel H (2013) Human sensitivity to differences in the rate of auditory cue change. J Acoust Soc Am 133:2867-75
Guth, David A; Long, Richard G; Emerson, Robert S Wall et al. (2013) Blind and sighted pedestrians' road-crossing judgments at a single-lane roundabout. Hum Factors 55:632-42
Kim, Dae Shik; Emerson, Robert Wall (2012) Effect of Cane Length on Drop-off Detection Performance. J Vis Impair Blind 106:31-35
Kim, Dae Shik; Emerson, Robert Wall; Naghshineh, Koorosh et al. (2012) Vehicle surge detection and pathway discrimination by pedestrians who are blind: Effect of adding an alert sound to hybrid electric vehicles on performance. Br J Vis Impair 30:61-78
Scott, Alan C; Atkins, Katherine N; Bentzen, Billie Louise et al. (2012) Perception of Pedestrian Signals by Pedestrians with Varying Levels of Vision. Transp Res Rec 2299:
Salamati, Katayoun; Schroeder, Bastian; Rouphail, Nagui M et al. (2012) Development and Implementation of a Conflict-based Assessment of Pedestrian Safety (CAPS) to Evaluate Accessibility of Complex Intersections. Transp Res Rec 2011:148-155
Salamati, Katayoun; Schroeder, Bastian; Rouphail, Nagui M et al. (2012) Simulator Study of Driver Responses to Pedestrian Treatments at Multilane Roundabouts. Transp Res Rec 2312:
Ashmead, Daniel H; Grantham, D Wesley; Maloff, Erin S et al. (2012) Auditory perception of motor vehicle travel paths. Hum Factors 54:437-53
Kim, Dae Shik; Emerson, Robert Wall; Naghshineh, Koorosh et al. (2012) Impact of adding artificially generated alert sound to hybrid electric vehicles on their detectability by pedestrians who are blind. J Rehabil Res Dev 49:381-93

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