Volunteers Needed for Research Study at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute



The Computer Vision Lab at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, in San Francisco, is looking for volunteers to participate in research experiments under the direction of Dr. James Coughlan.

The goal of these experiments is to investigate the use of computer vision and other sensor-based methods of extracting visual and other information from indoor or outdoor scenes, or from existing images, and of conveying this information using audio, visual and/or tactile output to be useful to blind and low vision individuals. Example of specific applications of this research include: finding and reading aloud printed signs, visual displays, and product barcodes; detecting traffic intersection crosswalk patterns to provide useful guidance to a blind or visually impaired pedestrian who wishes to cross the intersection; and identifying the nature of an image presented in a computer document or website.

This research is supported by grants from federal agencies including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).

Each volunteer will participate in one or more sessions, each lasting approximately 1-2 hours, to be conducted within the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute building at 2318 Fillmore St., or at locations within walking distance of the Institute.

If you volunteer, you will receive compensation for participating in the experiment at the rate of $30 per hour. Transportation expenses to and from Smith-Kettlewell will be reimbursed with appropriate receipts.

You can participate in these experiments if you are 14 years or older and are:

  • Blind or low vision
  • Able to walk safely and independently (using a long cane or a dog guide)
  • Located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

If you are between 14-17 years of age, you will need your permission from your parent or guardian to participate in the experiment; your parent/guardian is welcome to accompany you during all experiments, but is requested to refrain from interfering with the experiments in any way to avoid biasing their outcome.

If you meet these requirements and are interested in contributing to this important research by participating in experiments, or would like to hear more detailed information about the experiments, please contact Mr. David Vásquez (who is assisting Dr. Coughlan with recruitment and experiments) by phone at 415-345-2116 or by email at david@ski.org.

One thought on “Volunteers Needed for Research Study at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute”

  1. There was research done on my visual acuity in the forms of graphene synaesthesia. I have questions as to the color scheme in that a prism of colors in three letters shown when concentrating on a particular subject matter.

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