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Moving beyond the white cane: building an online learning environment for the visually impaired professional


Internet and Higher Education Volume 3, Number 1, ISSN 1096-7516 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd

Record type: ARTICLE Language: English


This article is about the development of an online learning environment (OLE) for a retired, visually impaired professional named Donald Mitchell. He has macular degeneration (MD). Because of this he is legally blind. The article deals with his fight to overcome the barriers, threats, and challenges posed by the reduction of his visual capacities. The article is organized into four main areas of concern or barriers. The first is physical, the second is intellectual, the third is psychological, and the fourth is technological. The authors place special emphasis on the psychological, intellectual, and technological barriers. In addition, the authors relate the steps Mitchell took in building his personalized OLE that included a laborious process of selecting the right hardware and software as well as harnessing an array of technologies such as personal computing tools, Web-based resources, network resources, audio tapes, voice recognition software, and non-print support devices, including the audio features of broadcast and cable television. This development is especially relevant to this special issue of “IHE” since Dr. Mitchell's work was done in the early days of online learning beginning in the late eighties.


Mitchell, D.P. & Scigliano, J.A. (2000). Moving beyond the white cane: building an online learning environment for the visually impaired professional. Internet and Higher Education, 3(1), 117-124. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved April 24, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Internet and Higher Education on February 1, 2019. Internet and Higher Education is a publication of Elsevier.

Full text is availabe on Science Direct: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1096-7516(00)00036-1