Screen navigation system for visually impaired people

Ohene-Djan, James and Fernando, Sandra. 2018. Screen navigation system for visually impaired people. Journal of Enabling Technologies, 12(3), pp. 114-128. ISSN 2398-6263 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Purpose – The SETUP09 system consists of both navigation and a computer-aided drawing technique for the people who are blind and visually impaired (BVI). The purpose of this paper is to address the need for a screen navigation technique, which can facilitate a user’s ability to produce art, and scientific diagrams electronically, by introducing a compass-based screen navigation method.

Design/methodology/approach – BVI computer users were tested using different screen navigation tasks to assess the accuracy and efficiency of this compass-based navigation technique by using a prototype (SETUP09) and tactile paper grid maps.

Findings – The results confirmed that the compass-based navigation facilitates higher accuracy in screen-based moving and location recognition with a noticeable reduction in time and effort.

Research limitations/implications – Additional improvements such as the addition of a sound layer to the interface, use of hotkeys, braille and user speech inputs are yet to be tested.

Social implications – The current lack of suitable and efficient screen navigation technology is a limiting factor for BVI students and computer users in producing diagrams and drawings. This may place limitations on their career progression and life contentment. It is challenging for a BVI person to draw diagrams and art, which are commonly taught in education or used in industry. The compass-based screen navigation system was developed to address BVI users’ need to be able to create such content.

Originality/value – A compass-based navigation method enables screen navigation through a formal command language and enables intuitive movement to a screen location using matrix-style compass directions with zoom-in and zoom-out capabilities.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Screen navigation technology, compass-based navigation, command driven navigation, bind users, and visually impaired

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



1 August 2018Accepted
17 September 2018Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

12 Sep 2018 15:19

Last Modified:

08 Dec 2020 14:22

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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