Blind dogs need guides too: towards technological support for blind dog caregiving

Morgan, Alexandra and van der Linden, Dirk (2022) Blind dogs need guides too: towards technological support for blind dog caregiving. In: Ninth International Conference on Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI'22): December 5–8, 2022, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom. ACM, New York. ISBN 9781450398305 (In Press)

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Blind or visually impaired pet dogs have additional challenges to overcome in their daily life in environments typically built for sighted humans, as do their caregivers in supporting them. From simple activities like finding their food in a hopefully stable home environment, to more complex activities like navigating an ever changing outdoor environment safely. While some support exists for blind and visually impaired dogs, frequently in the form of physical safety products and veterinary guidelines for care giving, little interactive technology yet exists to inform and complement caregivers' abilities. In this paper, we present the results of an interview-based study with caregivers of blind and visually impaired dogs, using thematic analysis to construct core themes of support needed, and translated these into a prototype app. Our findings show that, while caregivers can adapt quickly to coping with a blind or visually impaired pet dog in their own environment, a gap exists in coping with (ever changing) outdoor environments, in particular identifying safe and suitable outdoor walking routes. We show an initial design of a mobile app for this purpose, and discuss to what extent software for informed caregiving of visually impaired pet dogs could benefit from further work.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: G400 Computer Science
G500 Information Systems
G600 Software Engineering
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Computer and Information Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2022 14:15
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 14:15

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