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D. Yun, D. C. Gotto, L. Merabet, J. F. Rizzo; Boston Retinal Implant Project: An Accessible Web-Based Educational Resource. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):2558.
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To provide an accessible Internet platform for the Boston Retinal Implant Project (BRIP) at (www.bostonretinalimplant.org) establishing a multi-disciplinary approach toward developing new bioengineering therapies, and enhancing the ability of visually impaired (VI) patients to discover information online and communicate with the project team.
Organizational Structure - The BRIP represents a joint effort principally aimed at developing a retinal prosthetic device to restore functional vision in certain forms of blindness. Website Architecture - The website is technically built with universal accessibility for the scientific and VI communities. The site validates to level AAA of the W3C Accessibility Guidelines. It complies with Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act utilizing XHTML and Cascading Style Sheets. A PHP framework provides control of font-sizes and hi-contrast viewing. A database-driven Content Management System allows members to securely self-edit and update site content. Factual information, interactive simulations and educational multimedia are used to facilitate communication among the team, and research and VI communities. Prospective testing of the site by team members, focus groups and VI is in progress to assess information capture.
A revised BRIP web platform helps manage the project online, increases exposure and documents research and progress. Web statistics software analysis suggests improvement in the site's overall design, and information accessibility.
Interactive education is provided to move research into retinal implants forward improving restorative vision. Website design is driven by team members to facilitate the exchange of current information, and develop innovative means to make information accessible. Thus, VI patients can seek empowerment through emerging information and rehabilitation strategies to become possible candidates for implantation. Ultimately, the goal is to improve the delivery of ophthalmic care and enhance the quality of life for VI patients.
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