Improving Public Transportation Accessibility Using Cognitive Task Analysis Techniques

Individual with visual impairment disembarking from bus

Project Overview

The general aim of this research is to investigate the cognitive processes underlying effective and efficient wayfinding in BVI. The specific aim is to investigate and document critical cognitive skills and strategies used by BVI passengers for safe and efficient travel on public transportation. To determine the relevant navigation cues and information used by BVI, this research will take a mixed-methods approach by using a range of observational, cognitive task analysis (CTA), and cognitive process-tracing (CPT) techniques.

The ability to travel is a significant factor affecting perceived quality of life of the blind and visually impaired (BVI). This ability allows BVI to have independent access to employment, education, medical care, and recreational opportunities. For BVI, public transportation serves as a main link to these important activities and events. However, safe and independent travel on public transportation requires BVI to perform complex cognitive tasks such as knowing which bus to enter or disembarking at the correct destination. Understanding the cognitive processes underlying these tasks remains an important research question that has implications for the development of any navigational technology or wayfinding system intended to assist BVI. Additionally, understanding the cognitive processes involved is essential for creating effective orientation and training programs.

The general aim of this research is to investigate the cognitive processes underlying effective and efficient wayfinding in BVI. The specific aim is to investigate and document important cognitive skills and strategies used by BVI passengers for safe and efficient travel on public transportation. To determine the relevant navigation cues and information used by BVI, this research will take a mixed methods approach by using a range of observational, cognitive task analysis (CTA), and cognitive process-tracing (CPT) techniques. Participants with varying degrees of visual impairment will perform simulated outdoor wayfinding tasks, which represents a typical journey on public transport. CTA and CPT techniques will yield information about the knowledge, thought processes, and goal structures that underlie observable task performance. A variety of CTA/CPT techniques will be used to capture participants’ thinking during and/or immediately after the simulated tasks. The thoughts and knowledge elicited during/after these tasks will include the spatial knowledge participants bring to bear on the task and cognitive strategies used during task performance. The use of CTA/CPT techniques will involve participants being video and/or audio-recorded.
 

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INCLUSION: Individuals who are blind (B), have visual impairment (VI), or are typically sighted, or work in education or rehabilitation of BVI, or who design/develop assistive technology systems for BVI. EXCLUSION: Cognitive impairment

G├╝ler Arsal, PhD
ibMilwaukee Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Guler.Arsal@envisionus.com
316-440-1528
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Team Members

Güler Arsal, PhD
ibMilwaukee Postdoctoral Research Fellow Vinod Namboodiri, PhD
Senior Scientist Alex Chaparro, PhD
Professor of Human Factors, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Paul Ward, PhD
Director, Psychological Sciences & Education and Behavioral Sciences, University of Northern Colorado

References & Publications

Cheraghi, S. A., Namboodiri, V., & Walker, L. (2017). GuideBeacon: Beacon-based indoor wayfinding for the blind, visually impaired, and disoriented. Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications (pp. 121–130). IEEE.

Ericsson, K. A., & Simon, H. A. (1993). Protocol analysis : Verbal reports as data (Rev. ed.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Kim, J.-E., Bessho, M., Kobayashi, S., Koshizuka, N., & Sakamura, K. (2016). Navigating visually impaired travelers in a large train station using smartphone and bluetooth low energy. Proceedings of the 31st Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing (pp. 604–611).  ACM. 

Klein, G. A., Calderwood, R., & MacGregor, D. (1989). Critical decision method for eliciting knowledge. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, 19, 462–472.

Schinazi, V. R., Thrash, T., & Chebat, D. R. (2016). Spatial navigation by congenitally blind individuals. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 7, 37–58.