Distime is a tool to help improve the perception of time amongst peoplewith severe hearing or visual impairment, deaf-blindness and cognitivedisabilities. Appreciating abstract phenomena such as time can be a challenge for peoplewith deaf-blindness, particularly if this is accompanied by a cognitivedisability. Whilst other disability groups are able to use tools that present timeaudibly or visually – for example Timstock, Kvartur, talking clocks etc. – individualswith deaf-blindness require tactile information. And as well as telling the time, tools are most useful when they also indicateregular time-milestones or events, as well as provide more information as theusers sense of time develops. Distime is a mobile app that does this, and by doing so helps prepare theuser for important everyday events – such as eating, going to school, bedtimeand so on. And better anticipation, understanding and perception of time reducesstress and increases feelings of security. Distime works by communicating in different ways – visually(with lines, images and videos), auditory (using Morse, beeps and sound clips),and tactilely (through vibrations. Morse and Braille). And as the user develops their sense of time, Distime can provide moredetailed information. Whilst the assistant, parent or teacher can add activities in Distimeinitially, over time the user themselves can add events to the system.
Distime has been developed by researchers at Örebro University and at the Örebro University Hospital.