The Haptic Deictic System—HDS: Bringing Blind Students to Mainstream Classrooms Academic Article uri icon


  • Mathematics instruction and discourse typically involve two modes of communication: speech and graphical presentation. For the communication to remain situated, dynamic synchrony must be maintained between the speech and dynamic focus in the graphics. In sighted people, vision is used for two purposes: access to graphical material and awareness of embodied behavior. This embodiment awareness keeps communication situated with visual material and speech. Our goal is to assist students who are blind or visually impaired (SBVI) in the access to such instruction/communication. We employ the typical approach of sensory replacement for the missing visual sense. Haptic fingertip reading can replace visual material. We want to make the SBVI aware of the deictic gestures performed by the teacher over the graphic in conjunction with speech. We employ a haptic glove interface to facilitate this embodiment awareness. We address issues from the conception through the design and implementation to the effective and successful use of our Haptic Deictic System (HDS) in inclusive classrooms.

author list (cited authors)

  • Oliveira, F., Quek, F., Cowan, H., & Fang, B.

citation count

  • 6

publication date

  • June 2012