PRTODAY / NewswireToday press release distribution service network
More news: Software
Written by / Agency / Source: SAS Institute, Inc.
Check Ads Availability|e-mail Article

Are you the owner of this article?, Turn it PREMIUM with your LOGO instead - and make it 3rd party Ads-Free! within the next hour!

Campus Maps for Students with Visual Impairments Open Up the Higher Education Experience - SAS launches free resources to create and share non-visual digital maps -
Campus Maps for Students with Visual Impairments Open Up the Higher Education Experience


NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Cary, NC, United States, 2020/08/18 - SAS launches free resources to create and share non-visual digital maps -

Your Banner Ad Here instead - Showing along with ALL Articles covering Software Announcements

Replace these Affiliate Programs at ANYTIME! Your banner here within the next hour. Learn How!


Many new college students stress over finding classrooms, residence halls, cafeterias and other campus landmarks. It is even more challenging for students with blindness. That could be changing thanks to a new resource from analytics company SAS. Using SAS® Graphics Accelerator, students with visual impairments or blindness can explore a growing library of maps that already includes 35 college campuses across the United States.

Maps present the real world in small, easy-to-digest pieces to help users travel, explore and learn about an area from the safety of their home. Maps are also used to build concepts such as mental mapping, spatial relationships and other critical orientation-related skills.

SAS, working with Perkins School for the Blind (, is bringing these capabilities to people with visual impairments. With SAS Graphics Accelerator, a free browser extension that transforms graphs and charts into sound, users create non-visual digital maps that contain points of interest such as intersections, bus stops, buildings and other landmarks.

Diane Brauner, Manager of Perkins’ Paths to Technology website and an Orientation & Mobility Specialist, uses the maps to prepare students for life on campus.

"I've been able to use digital maps like these to acclimate incoming college students to their campus in advance,” said Brauner. “The maps increase the mobility, confidence and safety of students with visual impairments as they navigate their new environments.”

Using a map of Elon University she created using the SAS Graphics Accelerator, Brauner conducted a remote Orientation & Mobility lesson with Victor, an incoming freshman, to help him learn about the North Carolina campus before his arrival.

“It gave me a better mental map,” said Victor. “For instance, I hadn’t grasped how some streets related to each other. Now I understand how campus is laid out, what I need to find and where I’m going.”

Help from the crowd
The Map Repository currently includes maps from schools including Brown University, Carnegie Mellon, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Johns Hopkins, North Carolina State, Texas Tech, UCLA, University of North Carolina, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech, among many others.

SAS plans to crowdsource maps for the hundreds of other colleges and universities around the world, which will be housed on Perkins’ Paths to Technology site and can also be posted on a school’s website or shared with students via email. Campus accessibility resource personnel, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists and other people familiar with the needs of people with visual impairments are encouraged to create and submit maps to the repository but anyone can contribute.

Enabling insight without sight
The scale of the maps can range from a city block, to a campus, to an entire metropolitan region. Users can pan around the map, zoom in or out, understand the name of nearby points as well as the bearing and distance of each point from the current virtual location.

Students with visual impairments or blindness explore the maps using a “virtual cane” supported by a pair of headphones or earbuds and controlled with a keyboard, joystick or standard gamepad controller.

The campus maps will help high school, college students and campus visitors with visual impairments or blindness to:

• Navigate a campus efficiently and effectively.
• Take a virtual tour of campus as they navigate the college selection process.
• Orient themselves to campus before they arrive for their first semester.
• Plan new routes of travel at the beginning of each semester.

Communicating distance and location through sound
SAS Graphics Accelerator, a tool for making data visualizations accessible to people with visual impairments, uses sonification to convey distance, direction and orientation. For instance, the relative distance of an object from the user’s virtual location to the end of her virtual cane is indicated using pitch. Nearby objects are indicated using high pitch, while more distant objects are signaled by low pitch. The user can zoom in and out by changing the length of their virtual cane.

The tone for each object is panned between the left and right speakers based on the object’s bearing off due north. Objects that are due north and south from the user’s virtual location are perfectly balanced between the left and right speakers or earbuds and differentiated using synthesized sound. Objects to the north are not synthesized, whereas objects to the south have a slightly metallic sound. Sound coming from the right and left speakers indicate objects that are due east and west, respectively.

In addition to the sonification described above, the user can choose to hear a verbal description of each object. The verbal description can include the label of the object, the distance to the object, and the bearing of the object. For example, the user might hear “bus stop, 100 Campus Rd, 183 yards north” to indicate the location of a bus stop and its side of the street.

The user can quickly move around the map by panning due north, south, east or west. They may also jump to any object they encounter with their virtual cane or search the entire map for an object and then jump to it.

Ed Summers, Director of Accessibility at SAS, led the creation of SAS Graphics Accelerator. “This product was built by the blind for the blind,” said Summers, who is visually impaired. “With the ability to make charts and graphs consumable to people with blindness, geospatial data is a natural application for SAS Graphics Accelerator.”

Applications go well beyond college campuses
Mapping possibilities exist well beyond higher education. In fact, the repository already includes a map of San Francisco tourist attractions, famous lighthouses and Civil War battlefields.

“We started with college campuses to address a common need among young students with blindness,” said Summers. “It’s exciting to consider what the crowd will come up with, whether it’s theme parks, city attractions or walking tours. We’re just getting started.”

About SAS

SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative software and services, SAS empowers and inspires customers around the world to transform data into intelligence. SAS gives you THE POWER TO KNOW®.

Your Banner Ad Here instead - Showing along with ALL Articles covering Software Announcements

Replace these Affiliate Programs at ANYTIME! Your banner here within the next hour. Learn How!


Written by / Agency / Source: SAS Institute, Inc.


Availability: All Regions (Including Int'l)


Traffic Booster: [/] Quick NewswireToday Visibility Checker


Distribution / Indexing: [+]  / [Company listed above is a registered member of our network. Content made possible by PRZOOM / PRTODAY indexing services]

# # #
Software Warnings - IMPORTANT:
Always be aware/cautious about what you download on your computer/mobile! PURCHASE SOFTWARE related keywords / Banner Ads. Click HERE for details!

  Your Banner Ad showing on ALL
Software articles,
CATCH Visitors via Your Competitors Announcements!

Campus Maps for Students with Visual Impairments Open Up the Higher Education Experience

Company website links NOT available to basic submissions
It is OK to republish and/or LINK any newswire for any legitimate media purpose as long as you name NewswireToday and LINK as the source.
Publisher Contact: Trent Smith - 
919-531-4726 Trent.Smith[.]
Newswire Today - PRZOOM / PRTODAY disclaims any content contained in this article. If you need/wish to contact the company who published the current release, you will need to contact them - NOT us. Issuers of articles are solely responsible for the accuracy of their content. Our complete disclaimer appears here.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Issuance, publication or distribution of this press release in certain jurisdictions could be subject to restrictions. The recipient of this press release is responsible for using this press release and the information herein in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations in the particular jurisdiction. This press release does not constitute an offer or an offering to acquire or subscribe for any SAS Institute, Inc. securities in any jurisdiction including any other companies listed or named in this release.

Software via RSSAdd NewswireToday - PRZOOM Headline News to FeedBurner
Find who RetweetFollow @NewswireTODAY

Are you the owner of this article?, Turn it PREMIUM with your LOGO instead - and make it 3rd party Ads-Free! within the next hour!

Read Latest Articles From SAS Institute, Inc. / Company Profile

Read Software Most Recent Related Newswires:

Bene Selects TrackWise Digital to Enable Digital Quality Management
TIBCO Enables Pirelli to Deploy iPaaS Platform to Support Digital IT Ecosystem
One Brooklyn Health Selects Infor Healthcare to Create Clinically Connected Health System
New Proprietary Research from Aptean Shows Strengthening Focus on Digital Transformation in Food and Beverage Industry
SAP Recognized as a Leader in the Gartner 2020 Magic Quadrant for Procure-to-Pay Suites
Forager to Expand Digital Marketplace Capabilities to More Shippers with Blue Yonder
Yokogawa Releases Field Assistant R2.05
Braille Works and OpenText Team up to Improve Accessibility for Individuals with Visual Impairments
Carbyne and CentralSquare Bring Together Best of Next-Generation 911 Components to Improve Emergency Response
Alter Domus Chooses Yardi to Enhance Global Real Estate Strategy
Aptean Enhances ERP Offerings for Process and Discrete Manufacturers with Acquisition of Open Systems Adaptable Solutions
SAP Fieldglass Solutions Positioned as Market Leader in Ardent Partners 2020 Vendor Management System Technology Advisor Report
Daron Group Launches Infor Solution to Help Harmonize Operations in Africa
Panasonic Enhances Mobile Solutions Business Division with Blue Yonder Luminate Planning
Acceleware and Saa Dene Create Acceleware | Kisâstwêw Partnership

Boost Your Social Network
& Crowdfunding Campaigns

NewswireToday Celebrates 10 Years in Business



Visit  RightITnow, Inc.

  ©2020 NewswireToday — Limelon Advertising, Co.
Home | About | Advertise/Pricing | Contact | Investors | Privacy/TOS | Sitemap | FRANCAIS
newswire, PR press releases distribution service magazines engine news alert newsroom press room breaking news public relations articles company news alerts newswiredistribution ezine bizentrepreneur biznewstoday digital business report market search pr firms agencies reports distri-bution today investor relation successful internet entrepreneurs newswire distribution newswiredistribution asianewstoday bizwiretoday USA pr UK today - NOT affiliated with PRNewswire as we declined their partnership offer in 2013
PRTODAY & NewswireTODAY are NOT affiliated with USA TODAY (