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Opportunities for Supporting Self-efficacy through Orientation and Mobility Training Technologies for Blind and Partially Sighted People

Colour photograph of Maryam. Maryam is wearing sunglasses and a floral headscarf with matching pink jacket and is outside

Maryam Bandukda

Research Fellow

Abstract

Orientation and mobility (O&M) training provides essential skills and techniques for safe and independent mobility for blind and partially sighted (BPS) people. The demand for O&M training is increasing as the number of people living with vision impairment increases. Despite the growing portfolio of HCI research on assistive technologies (AT), few studies have examined the experiences of BPS people during O&M training, including the use of technology to aid O&M training. To address this gap, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 20 BPS people and 8 Mobility and Orientation Trainers (MOT). The interviews were thematically analysed and organised into four overarching themes discussing factors influencing the self-efficacy belief of BPS people: Tools and Strategies for O&M training, Technology Use in O&M Training, Changing Personal and Social Circumstances, and Social Influences. We further highlight opportunities for combinations of multimodal technologies to increase access to and effectiveness of O&M training.