Belfast Without Sight: Exploring Geographies of Blindness

Kitchin, Rob and Jacobson, R. Daniel and Golledge, Reginald G. and Blades, Mark (1998) Belfast Without Sight: Exploring Geographies of Blindness. Irish Geography, 31 (1). pp. 34-46. ISSN 0075-0778

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In this paper (he transformed spaces of visually impaired and blind people is explored through a detailed analysis of interview transcripts with twenty seven visually impaired people living in or around Belfast. Data were collected using a structured open-ended interview and were analysed within NUD-IST, a qualitative data analysis package. Analysis revealed that visually impaired people become spatially confused (e.g. lost or disorientated) for two primary reasons. "Self-produced" confusion is spatial confusion caused by the misperception/miscognition of a route (e.g. miscounting intersections). "Situational" confusion is spatial confusion caused by a permanent or temporary localised occurrences such as road works, vehicles parked on pavements, and street furniture. Both types of spatial confusion were found to induce feelings of fear and anxiety, leading to a loss of selfconfidence, embarrassment and frustration, which in turn led to less independent travel and exploration, and constrained patterns of spatial behaviour. Respondents detailed a number of strategies for coping with spatial confusion. In addition, they assessed methods to make Belfast more navigable including environmental modifications and orientation and mobility aids

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final and definitive form of this article, the Version of Record, has been published in Irish Geography [1998] [copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at: DOI:10.1080/00750779809478630
Keywords: visual impairment; spatial behaviour; accessibility;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > National Institute for Regional and Spatial analysis, NIRSA
Item ID: 3942
Depositing User: Prof. Rob Kitchin
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2012 14:57
Journal or Publication Title: Irish Geography
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes

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