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Assessing social competence in visually impaired people and proposing an interventional program in visually impaired children

By Giulia Cappagli, Sara Finocchietti, Gabriel Baud-Bovy, Leonardo Badino, Alessandro D'Ausilio, Elena Cocchi and Monica Gori

Abstract

Visually impaired children and adults have difficulties in engaging in positive social interactions. This study assesses social competence in sighted and visually impaired people and to propose a novel interventional strategy in visually impaired children. We designed a task that assesses the ability to initiate and sustain an interaction with the experimenter while performing free hand movements using a sonorous feedback on the experimenter’s wrist. Both participant and experimenter kinematic data were recorded with a motion capture system. The level of social interaction between participant and experimenter has been computed through objective measurements based on Granger causality analysis applied to the participant arm kinematics. The interventional program followed by the visually impaired children lasted 12 weeks and consisted in a series of spatial and social games performed with the use of a sonorous bracelet which provides an auditory feedback of body actions in space. Visually impaired individuals present a poorer communication flow with the experimenter than sighted people, which indicates a less efficient social interaction. The amount of communication between the two agents resulted in a significant improvement after the interventional program. Thus, a specific intervention, based on the substitution of visual with auditory feedback of body actions, can enhance social inclusion for the blind population

Topics: blindness, Games, Granger causality., Kinematics, Retinopathy, social interaction, Task analysis, Time series analysis, Visualization, Wrist, Software, Artificial Intelligence
Year: 2018
DOI identifier: 10.1109/TCDS.2018.2809487
OAI identifier: oai:iris.unife.it:11392/2384939
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