title

Custom Search

 

[ Correct English | Common Errors | Words Differentiation | Sample Letters | Glossary of Correct Usage | Common Sentences | Q & A ]

[ English Compositions | Movie Reviews | High School Vocab | Advertisements ]

Sponsored Links

<<Prev

Reading  Comprehension

Next>>

   
TOEFL Vocabulary
English Conversation
English Grammar
American Idioms
English Comprehension
English Summary
English News
Business Idioms
 
Read the passage carefully. Then choose the correct answer.
 
Being blind has not stopped Hesham Kamel from participating in the cyberworld. He has also made it possible for other blind people to draw images. Blinded seventeen years ago by the errant hand of a surgeon, Hesham Kamel has nonetheless excelled in a field that relies heavily on the ability to produce complex charts and graphs. A PhD student at UC Berkeley's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, Hesham found his research efforts were often hindered by his reliance on a sighted person who could assist with the production of graphical elements.

About four years ago, after being forced to miss a deadline when his sighted assistant was on vacation, he decided to take matters into his own hands. Hesham designed a unique computer-drawing program called Integrated Communication 2 Draw, or IC2D, that allows visually-impaired users to create and `see' images on the computer screen.

Although the computing industry has made some big strides in developing software to assist the sight-impaired, there is still a lack of products on the market, particularly when it comes to computer-assisted drawing. There is also a common misconception that blind people simply cannot handle visual tasks. Such erroneous beliefs provided another major motivation for Hesham's efforts. He found that people would ask him why blind people would even need to draw something that they could not see. "There are many people out there who can't understand that blind people have imagination, just as sighted people do," he asserts.

In addition, Hesham was frustrated by the short-sightedness of the computer industry. Although the trend in technology is generally towards smaller, faster and cheaper products, Hesham found quite the reverse to be true when it came to products for the sightless. "The devices we need to use with computers - such as a 50-pound Braille printer - are large, expensive or both," he notes. Thus, one of his primary goals in devising the IC2D software was that it be both portable and compatible with any computer screen reader for the blind. "More than anything, I want to change the way people think when they develop technology for the visually-impaired," he explains.

IC2D uses a familiar schematic - the common telephone keypad - in order to create a system that is user-friendly. The computer screen is divided into a three-by-three grid numbered like a telephone keypad. As the user moves the cursor between each square, audio feedback alerts them to the location point. Each of the nine cells on the grid can be repeatedly divided to form a total of 729 cells, meaning that the user can create images that are as complex, or as basic, as they like.

Since pull-down menus are obviously impractical for blind users, the commands, shapes, colors and lines are all controlled by way of the keypad arrangement. According to Hesham, the use of the keypad as a basis for the interface speeds navigation and thus creates a superior experience for the user. "To help users see what I draw, I developed a technique to give the components of the picture a meaningful label." For example, an audio marker for a rear car wheel may also include subsequent sound signifiers for the wheels hubcap and black rubber threads.

Obviously, vision-impaired people have no way to `find' their way back to a previously selected point on a computer screen. By establishing locators that can be referenced by sound feedback, users can bypass this fundamental obstacle. Moreover, hearing the labels referenced by the grid helps them to conceptualize the entire image.

Recently, Hesham has been busy taking his invention round the conference circuit in both America and Europe. With IC2D, users would be able to create elaborate drawings for work and pleasure.

     
  1. From paragraph 1,
    (a) when did Hesham become blind ?
    (b) how did he become blind ?
    (c) what hindrance did he face in his research ?
     
  2. From paragraph 2, it was stated that ' ... he decided to take matters into his own hands.'. Explain the phrase above in your own words.
     
  3. From paragraph 3, what is a common misconception about the blind ?
     
  4. From paragraph 4,
    (a) what did Hesham find frustrating about the computer industry ?
    (b) what did Hesham want for the blind ?
     
  5. From paragraph 8, what two things are made possible by Hesham's invention ?
     
Sponsored Links
 
     
    Answers
     
  1. (a) Hesham became bind seventeen years ago.
    (b) He became blind through a surgeon's mistake.
    (c) He needed help to produce graphical elements.
     
  2. He decided to deal with the problem himself.
     
  3. The misconception is that blind people simply cannot handle visual tasks.
     
  4. (a) The computer industry developed smaller, faster and cheaper technology for the sighted but not for the blind.
    (b) * He wanted computer devices and softwares that were portable and compatible with any computer screen reader for the blind.  * He wanted to change th way people think when they design anything for the blind.
     
  5. * Blind people will be able to created elaborate drawings.  * The blind will be able to hold jobs related to graphics.
     
 
 
 
 

001    002    003    004    005    006    007    008    009    010    011    012    013    014    015    016    017    018    019    020    021    022    023    024    025    026    027    028    029    030    031    032    033    034    035    036    037    038    039    040    041    042    043    044    045    046    047    048    049    050    051    052    053    054    055    056    057    058    059    060    061    062    063    064    065    066    067    068    069    070    071    072    073    074    075    076    077    078    079    080    081    082    083    084    085    086    087    088    089    090    091    092    093    094    095    096    097    098    099    100    101    102    103    104    105    106    107    108    109    110    111    112    113    114    115    116    117    118    119    120    121    122    123    124    125    126    127    128    129    130    131    132    133    134    135    136    137    138    139    140    141    142    143    144    145    146    147    148    149    150    151    152    153    154    155    156    157    158    159    160    161    162    163    164    165    166    167    168    169    170    171    172    173    174    175    176    177    178    179    180    181    182    183    184    185    186    187    188    189    190    191    192    193    194    195    196    197    198    199    200    201    202    203    204

 

Sponsored Links

 

 
 
American Slang
English Proverbs
English Exercises
Common English mistakes
Ancient Chinese stories
Junior English essays
High School English essays
Lower Secondary English essays