dxdt Engineering and Research, LLC has developed a brand new system and method for training blind children and adults to master their environments.
In the children’s version of this system, eight electronic “farm animals” are positioned randomly within a room or any indoor or outdoor environment..
There are four different types of farm animals. The orientation and mobility (O&M) trainee is challenged to find the pairs of animals.
When one animal is found, and tapped with a cane, it makes the sound of the animal it represents. The system registers the animal.
If the next animal the trainee “finds” is the same kind of animal, those animals have been paired and are taken out of play (they are put on the ark).
The process is repeated until all of the animals have been paired and placed on the ark. The system records the time required to locate all of the pairs of animals.
The paths between the animals are characterized by different objects, scents, sounds and sensations that most sighted people take for granted.
While the trainee is completing the exercise- which seems like a game - our system is challenging and training them to detect and use all of the characteristics of the environment to make mental maps that they can then use to navigate with more safety and confidence.
So, what are these non-visual cues?
The non-visual cues will be different for different environments. They will include:
The list goes on and on.
Our system trains the Blind to use these cues like navigation beacons in their surroundings.
Where are we now with the Farmer Noah concept?
Dr. Christopher Hekimian, the Principal Scientist for dxdt Engineering and Research, LLC has developed several technologies to assist and enable the visually impaired. These systems are: The Farmer Noah system is in the “proof of concept” demonstration stage. dxdt Engineering and Research is looking for seed funding in order to produce the Farmer Noah Objective System. This system will have the following attributes:
You can watch this Farmer Noah introductory video or Juan Avila's video of Dr. Christopher Hekimian explaining the system at the NFB 2023 event.
Chris was also interviewed by Jonathan Mosen of the important "Living Blindfully" podcast. You can listen to the podcast here (it starts at time mark 1:08:03). You can also access the transcript of the entire podcast here.
The Farmer Noah Team wants to recognize their friends at NFB VA and congratulate them on their excellent State Conference in Williamsburg in November. We loved demonstrating Farmer Noah to your members, children and O&M experts!
If your organization can help us to bring the Farmer Noah O&M training concepts to fruition please contact us so we can provide more information. You can also download one of our brochures for further information.