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IU optometrist receives $1.9 million to assess street-crossing program
Date:9/19/2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- An Indiana University assistant professor and low-vision optometrist working to advance pedestrian safety has been awarded more than $1.9 million by the National Institutes of Health to evaluate street-crossing decision-making performance in pedestrians who are elderly, visually impaired or blind.

The work by Dr. Shirin E. Hassan from the Indiana University Bloomington School of Optometry is expected to lead to better mobility and an improved quality of life for people with impaired vision.

Specifically, Hassan will investigate the effectiveness of a current orientation and mobility street-crossing training program used by numerous orientation and mobility instructors across the country to teach safe street-crossing techniques to pedestrians who are elderly, visually impaired or blind. This groundbreaking research aims to improve the overall safety of high-risk pedestrian groups and represents the first time the training program has been assessed and measured.

"In today's aging population, there is increasing incidence of low vision," Hassan said. "To support older adults and help them cope with the changes of aging, in particular with visual impairments and blindness, there needs to be increased efforts to improve pedestrian safety that will maximize an individual's independence and quality of life.

"Having successfully secured funding, I can now determine whether or not a street-crossing training program provides an older adult with low vision with enough scope and skill to cross a street confidently and safely." In addition to assessing the orientation and mobility street-crossing training program, Hassan will, over the next five years, conduct a series of other street-crossing experiments in real, outdoor traffic environments.

Employing an innovative measuring technique that she developed in an earlier street-crossing study, Hassan will evaluate whether an individual's perception of their street-cros
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Contact: Steve Chaplin
stjchap@iu.edu
812-856-1896
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert  

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IU optometrist receives $1.9 million to assess street-crossing program
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