CS Faculty Awarded $1.3M from NIH for Smartphone Accessibility Research

Professors Xiaojun Bi and IV Ramakrishnan from the Department of Computer Science received a $1.3M R01 award from the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute (NEI) for the project, Intelligent Text Input and Editing Methods on Smartphones for Blind Users.

The project is inspired by studies indicating that blind individuals usually type at a rate of 4 to 5 words per minute (WPM), which is 90 percent slower than the average typing speed of 36 WPM for sighted individuals.

Nih phone app

To narrow this large disparity in typing speed, researchers will investigate and develop a new generation of intelligent and accessible text input and editing methods to substantially enhance the proficiency with which blind smartphone users input and edit text.

“The project will significantly improve the text-based communication experience for blind users and is certain to benefit millions of blind smartphone users around the world,” Bi said.

Read the full story at the Computer Science website.

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