Making Bridge Accessible To The Visually Impaired



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Bridge is an entertaining card game enjoyed by many, particularly senior citizens. In addition to being enjoyable, playing bridge involves a large amount of strategy and challenges the player's memory. Studies have shown that such mentally engaging games can help prevent the onset of dementia. Unfortunately, bridge is almost totally inaccessible to those with significant visual impairment. I am working with Professor Barbara Lerner to develop a bridge game accessible to the visually impaired. My bridge game makes use of RFID, or radio-frequency identification, technology. When a playing card with an embedded RFID tag is passed over an antenna, it transmits a unique identification number to the antenna. The antenna transfers this information to a computer running a Java program, which then speaks the name of the card. By listening to the computer's audio output through an earbud, the visually impaired player can hear the cards as they are dealt and played. Meanwhile, the visually impaired player can also query the game about its state by pressing buttons on a standard numeric keypad



assistive technology, bridge, radio-frequency identification, java, rfid