Tactile Narratives: Augmenting Body Maps through Textured Fabric in Soma Design

In Human-Computer Interaction, body maps are a standard tool to understand an individual’s bodily phenomenon. Body maps often use abstract drawings and text annotations on an outline of a body. However, little research has explored alternate ways we can collect similar data. In this pictorial, we present tactile body maps, which use an array of textured fabric circles attached to a felt-shaped body instead of a more traditional approach to drawing body maps. We first present an illustration of how researchers can use tactile body maps and show an example of the type of data collected in the method. We then tested the augmented body map method alongside drawing body maps and verbal-only body descriptions with eight participants to explore the benefits and disadvantages of each technique. Through the data, we present a set of considerations that a researcher can use to decide which way would be most appropriate for their soma design process.

“Why are there so many steps?”: Improving Access to Blind and Low Vision Music Learning through Personal Adaptations and Future Design Ideas

Music can be a catalyst for self-development, creative expression, and community building for blind or low vision (BLV) individuals. However, BLV music learners face complex obstacles in learning music. They are highly reliant on their learning environment and music teachers for accommodations and flexibility. Prior research identified the challenges faced by BLV musicians. Yet, limited research has addressed these challenges through the development of technology. Drawing upon the experience and suggestions of 40 BLV professional musicians, amateur musicians and music teachers (including sighted teachers with experience teaching blind students), we identified five themes: (1) Key Challenges of BLV Music Learning, (2) Personal Adaptations to Overcome Music Learning Challenges, (3) Perspectives on Current and Future Assistive Technologies, (4) Contention Between Braille Music and Auditory Learning, and (5) Role of Human Support for Music Learning. Together, these findings outline a path to make music learning more accessible to BLV people. To this end, we describe opportunities for enhanced audio cues for musical communication, recommend integrating vibrotactile feedback to aid music reading and design technology that supports independence and interdependence in music learning.