In this pilot study, we devised, tested, and refined a protocol for evaluating the travel behavior of blind individuals. Preliminary analyses of our pilot study data suggest that our new method involving Global Positioning Systems (GPS), accelerometers, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), will enable us to collect objective, quantitative, and valid measures of blind individuals’ travel behavior and Orientation and Mobility (O&M) training’s effectiveness. Preliminary analysis results from a small sample of blind travelers describe the individuals’ trip distances, trip frequencies, trip destinations, trip modes, travel times, whether assisted or not, and perceived ability to get around. With the completion of the full-scale study (proposed for FY 2016-18), we may be able to recommend changes to current O&M training to allow more active, confident, and safe travel by blind individuals in their communities. We may also discover characteristics of the physical environment that inhibit access by blind pedestrians and are more amenable to mitigation through good transportation planning (e.g., geometric design of intersections) than through O&M training.
WMU ScholarWorks Citation
Kim, Dae Shik; Smith, C. Scott; and Connors, Elyse, "15-04 Travel Behavior of Blind Individuals before and after Receiving Orientation and Mobility Training" (2016). Transportation Research Center Reports. 24.