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Abstract

The aim of the project was to produce a computer simulation of visual impairments. The project first required an understanding of visual impairments and a familiarisation with computer graphics and graphics programming. The impairments myopia, hyperopia, glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, hemianopia, cataracts and colour blindness were simulated using OpenGL. The impairments were applied to the display of a web browser and a simple drawing program to simulate the use of a computer with a visual impairment. The simulations of glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts were evaluated and found to be useful in understanding the symptoms of these impairments. When applied at a high severity, all three impairments were found to have a significant and important effect on the ability to complete tasks using a computer. Finally, it was concluded that although the simulated impairments had a significant effect on computer use, it was difficult to compare these effects to those experienced by sufferers of 'real' visual impairments when using a computer.

1 Introduction

The aim of the project was to produce a computer simulation of visual impairments. Possible applications for such a system would be:

The project first required an understanding of visual impairments and a familiarisation with computer graphics and graphics programming.


Stephen Ratcliffe. 2005
Department of Computer Science
University of York
Heslington
York
YO10 5DD