Focus: Visual Impairments

  • This site focuses on the technological tools and operational techniques used by professional audio engineers with disabilities. The particular focus is on engineers who have a visual impairment or complete blindness.

    In the course a typical recording session, an engineer must perform countless tasks, such as adjusting a microphone, changing a gain setting on a mic preamp, riding the level of a fader, or editing a selection of audio. At the same time, they must access innumerous sources of information, such as meters, fader levels, and audio waveform displays.

    Audio engineers with visual impairments have utilized various assistive technologies, adapted existing technologies, and developed workflow techniques that enable them to perform their duties efficiently. This site explores these tools and techniques, as well as some of the research behind them.

    In addition, the current and historical accessibility of Pro Tools (the industry standard digital audio workstation) is examined in detail.

  • The graphic organizer above groups the technology that can assist audio engineers with visual impairments. Studio hardware includes recording consoles, outboard equipment and the input chain, which primarily consists of the microphone and mic preamplifier. Audio engineers deal with many categories of software, most notably digital audio workstations (DAWs). Within the workstation, plug-ins and MIDI sequencers are special areas of interest. To interact with computers and this software, engineers use standard accessibility technology and adapt the use of hardware control surfaces. Metering, the ability to examine the level of a signal, is another important component of an engineer's toolbox.
  • Technical Requirements

    Note: Portions of this site require additional software, available here: Adobe Reader (opens new window), QuickTime (opens new window), and Flash Player (opens new window).


    Product images were obtain from the product websites and are property of the respective companies. No copyright infringement is intended.