Presentation to by presmaster


									                                    Presentation to
                         Round Table on Information Access
                         For People with Print Disabilities Inc.

                                   Annual Conference

                                        May 2004


                                      Rob Fawell
                      Technical Coordinator, Alternative Formatting
                                Psychology Department
                          University of Southern Queensland
                                      Trudy Haak
                                Disability Support Officer
                                    Student Services
                          University of Southern Queensland

Specialised CCTV for Visually Impaired Student

Key Objective of Presentation
        Showcase a specialised CCTV that has been designed, constructed and
         operationalised to meet the particular needs of a student with a severe visual

The presentation of a student with a severe visual impairment last year provided
University of Southern Queensland an opportunity to explore resources that would
adequately support this student. Fortunately, the previous manager of the psychology
department’s computer labs had some experience working with visually impaired
people in the community and was available to work with us. His creativity and
ingenuity enabled us to provide workable cost effective solutions for this student. One
such solution was a devise that would enable her to read more independently.

Profile of Student and her needs
The student is an international student with Stargardts Macular Dystrophy, a
degenerative visual condition resulting in the loss of visual acuity or sharpness of
vision, decreased color vision and small blind spots. Consequentially this student has
very poor central vision and requires magnification of printed material to font size 36.
She uses ZOOMTEXT on her laptop and required a devise that enables her to read
printed materials such as correspondence from the university, library materials,
newspapers etc. This enables her to quickly access materials when she needs to
without having to rely on electronic print.

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Design and Construction Process
Given that the student requires equipment to assist her with independent reading, we
investigated available CCTVs. After trialing two stand mounted CCTVs, the student
found that moving reading materials under magnifiers was cumbersome and did not
meet her specific visual needs. Rob Fawell, our Technical Coordinator investigated
other more cost effective solutions which would enable the student to read more
effectively and assist her with toggling between a magnifier and her laptop.
Consequentially, a camera/monitor reading facility has been designed, constructed
and trialed using off the shelf components which are inexpensive, portable and
intuitive to use. These components include a small camera placed at the end of a
pantograph and connected to an LCD screen.

Technical Description
An LCD monitor (Panasonic Panaview model TX-LCD155 AU$450) was used as the
display. This allowed for the connection of both computer and composite video inputs
with a toggle between the two. A small monochrome surveillance camera QC3474
(purchased from ‘Vidcam’ AU$100) was mounted on a pantograph type apparatus,
constructed in the USQ Science workshop by Oliver Kinder, approximately 50mm
from the desk surface. The pantograph is mounted to the rear corner of a desk and
has sufficient movement to cover a standard newspaper and is constructed with
sufficient rigidity so as to support the weight of the users arm. Small focusing
adjustments are required for varying text thicknesses.

Demonstration of Equipment
The CCTV will be demonstrated in conjunction with the use of a laptop.

Operational Issues and Solutions
This semester, the student commenced trailing the CCTV. She reports that she is
gaining confidence with the use of the devise and frequently uses the CCTV to read
printed material such as her texts, correspondence, learning materials etc. This has
assisted her with reading more independently. Possible improvements of the device
include making the pantograph height adjustable in relation to the desk. This would
allow for differing levels of magnification.


This process has been a valuable learning exercise and required the cooperation of
the student, technical staff and disability services staff.

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