Evaluating Orientation and Localization Abilities in Individuals with Sensory Impairment

Project Overview

Vision and hearing are the most important senses when navigating space or interacting with others. For individuals with vision impairment, hearing impairment, and especially those with dual sensory impairment (concurrent vision and hearing impairment), it becomes more difficult to determine the locations of objects or people in the environment. Rehabilitation therapy exists to enhance the functional abilities of those with impairments. However, there is a need for customized training strategies amongst individual patients to increase their awareness of potential risks and strategies in coping with them. A test to inspect the visual and auditory localization abilities of individuals with sensory impairment may be predictive of how they perform in real-life localization tasks. Our study aims to design such a spatial localization test that will identify critical patterns of localization and will be easily conducted by clinicians and therapists.

Why are We Doing This Research?
Spatial localization refers to determining the direction of sounds or lights in relation to us. This localization ability is important for both spatial navigation and social interactions. When crossing a street we must first localize the cars; and when talking to a friend we must first know where they are. Individuals with vision or hearing impairment often experience difficulties in localizing visual or auditory objects. For people who have both vision and hearing impairment (dual sensory impairment), these challenges are even more significant. The goal of our study is to develop a test to systematically investigate the impacts of vision and hearing impairments on spatial localization, both independently and in combination. This test will assist clinicians in customizing the rehabilitation strategies for patients with sensory impairment, and will help the patients themselves to be aware of potential risks in their daily life.
About the Test.
We are currently recruiting participate for our study. Our inclusion criteria include:
  • 21 years or older
  • Normal vision or impaired vision
  • Normal hearing or impaired impairment
  • Normal cognition ability
If you are interested in this study, we will ask you about your vision and hearing status, and conduct vision and hearing screening for you. We will then ask you to localize simple sounds or lights in the environment. The test will take approximately 2 hours, and you will have plenty of time to take breaks. You will get monetary compensation for the time you spend in our study.
How to Participate?
If you are interested in participating in our study, please contact Diamond Brunt for more information: 316-440-1524 or diamond.brunt@envisionus.com


Join This Study

Join This Study If you would like more information, please contact Diamond Brunt: 316-440-1524 or diamond.brunt@envisionus.com

Yingzi Xiong, PhD (Alumni)
ADS, Inc. Research Fellow

Team Members

Yingzi Xiong, PhD (Alumni)
ADS, Inc. Research Fellow Gordon E. Legge, PhD
Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota; Director, Minnesota Low Vision Research Lab; Co-Director of the Center for Applied and Translational Sensory Science Peggy Nelson, PhD
Professor, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Science; Director of the Center for Applied and Translational Sensory Science Donald Fletcher, MD
Medical Director, Envision Low Vision Rehabilitation Center Diamond Brunt
Research Assistant