All Wired Up Take Two

I had already posted this, or thought i did. I think i deleted it. I wondered why it didn’t post to Twitter :(. So here’s take 2. Hopefully it’ll post this time.

On Wednesday, I was taking part in a research studdy at Queens University. The research was being conducted by the school of psychology at the university. They do quite a number of interesting experiments. I took part in one once where you had to catch a ball as it came down a ramp. It was put down at different speeds. It was to test movement and reflexes i think. Wednesdays experiment was all about audio description and how peoples brain waves reacted to it.

On Wednesday, I was picked up at the train station before being taken to the university itself. Two students who were with the head researcher took me up to where the experiment would happen, while the researcher got parked.

First, the researcher read through a consent form which i needed to sign, before she measured my head to fit the cap that would have the electrodes attached to it. I was taken in to a small booth where all the equipment was. Gel was then put on my head to help the conduction of the electrictity before more individual electrodes were added. I was told i had a very conductive scalp lol. There were also two electrodes placed above and below my right eye to isolate the movements of your eye muscles.

Once all that was taken care of, i was played 4 10 minute segments of audio description. The pieces were written by the students themselves and described by them. There were two stories, but they were repeated with different sound effects in the background, and different things described to see how the brain waves reacted when something was being described that wasn’t happening in the sceen being played. It was quite interesting, and i wanted to know more about what happened in the stories and what happened to the characters.

When i was finished listening to all the segments, i was given the opportunity to wash the gel out of my hair as it can leave your hair quite sticky. The area where the shower is is mainly designed for children, as apparently they would bring a lot of children if they need to have tests for something. Because of this, the sink was quite low, but thankfully we were warned about that before so knew what to expect.

I then returned to the main room where i had to rate each piece of audio description and explain which segments i thought were better. I was also asked how often i watched something with audio description on it and how long i was visually impaired. I was then taken back to the train station.

I would like to thank queens for having this opportunity and it’ll be interesting to find out the results, especially as they are doing it with sighted people too. I look forward to the next interesting experiment they conduct.


Research On Taxi Experiences:Northern Ireland

I got this in an email and thought people might be interested in this if you live in Northern Ireland.

Research on taxi experiences: Northern Ireland

The Department of the Environment (DOE) has appointed Integrated
Transport Planning Ltd (ITP) to undertake a review of accessible taxi
services in Northern Ireland and to work with the taxi industry to
explore options for improving the accessibility of their services.

To inform this work the ITP research team wants to understand the
experiences and views of people who are disabled or who experience
mobility difficulties. ITP has therefore designed a survey to
explore:
• How and when people use taxis
• Any difficulties experienced when using taxis
• People’s views on how barriers to using taxis could be overcome
The survey is relevant to current taxis users; as well as people who
experience difficulties when trying to use taxis, and people who
choose not to use taxis because of this. As part of the research ITP
would welcome views from you. To have your say, go to
http://www.taxiusersurveyni.co.uk
to complete the survey online. If you
would prefer to complete the survey over the telephone then call ITP
on
0115 988 6905. A research team member will then call you back to ask
you the questions at a convenient time for you.
As a thank you for taking part, ITP is offering respondents the
opportunity to enter a prize draw for £150 of high street shopping
vouchers.


The European Guide Dog Survey

Just a quick one to say that I got this emailed to me this morning and thought it might be useful. It is very quick and most of it is pressing buttons on your phone.

Dear ***

I’m hoping that you might help on two fronts re your experiences of being guide dog users or your links to guide dog users re this survey and the use of
new technology.

The European Guide Dogs Federation is trialling the use of the voice form facility of Ipadio. I think this is going to be a really significant way of including
those of us who are concerned re completing surveys online, but have access to a telephone. It also provides much needed information about issues facing
European guide dog users and the survey has been made available online across the EU. To this end, I was wondering whether you could spare a few minutes
to dial up the following number and have a go at completing the form found there: 0330 333 9932

I have had a go at this and it was really painless and took me less than 10 minutes.

Please feel free to pass this on to any other guide dogs users you know to get them to complete it if they wish. We will be closing the survey down on
20th June, so completion before this date would be appreciated. Please let me know how you find the telephone form filling, as I do think that most organisations
for the blind should have this facility for use by the 80% of blind and partially sighted people who do not use a computer!

I have pointed out to the developers that where a nil response is required, it is not obvious what you do or where you do not wish to comment, what you
need to press to leave this section blank. I think I just pushed the hash key, which symbolised completion of that section and it then moved on to the
next topic.

Good luck and please let me know how you get on.

NB: The 0330 number range is a new range of numbers introduced by Ofcom to combat the confusion over call charges to non-geographic numbers. The rules
regarding these numbers are that they must be included in any bundled minute packages on both landlines and mobiles by all operators. In addition where
the call isn’t covered by a package of bundled minutes the call will cost the same or less than calling a 01 or 02 geographic number.

— END OF MAIL —