Performance Evaluation of Blind Persons in Listening Tests in Different Environmantal Conditions
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Visually impaired people are often in target groups of various investigations, including basic research, applied research, research and development studies. Experiments in the development of assistive technologies - navigation aids or computer interfaces (auditory displays) - aim to incorporate the results of testing with blind subjects during development. Listening tests concerning the localization performance of blind subjects can be installed in various environments using different excitation signals. Generally, results can be collected only from a small number of participants and they are compared with results of blindfolded sighted subjects. The goal of this study was to include different environmental conditions (virtual reality, real life, free-field), different localization tasks and a larger number of participants both blind and sighted for comparison. Results indicate that blind subjects’ performance is generally not superior to sighted subjects’ performance from the engineering point of view, but further psychological evaluation is recommended.