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ICCHP Tables of Contents: 940204060810-110-212-112-214-114-2

ICCHP'08: International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs

Fullname:ICCHP'08: Computers Helping People with Special Needs: 11th International Conference
Editors:Klaus Miesenberger; Joachim Klaus; Wolfgang Zagler; Arthur Karshmer
Location:Linz, Austria
Dates:2008-Jul-09 to 2008-Jul-11
Publisher:Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Series:Lecture Notes in Computer Science 5105
Standard No:DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-70540-6; ISBN: 978-3-540-70539-0 (print), 978-3-540-70540-6 (online); hcibib: ICCHP08
Links:Conference Website | Online Proceedings
  1. Keynote
  2. Human-Computer Interaction and Usability for Elderly (HCI4AGING)
  3. Design for All: From Idea to Practice
  4. (Users Need Standards)² -- Users Need Standards Need Users
  5. Accessibility: Education for Web Design and eLearning
  6. ACP -- Accessible Content Processing
  7. Web Accessibility -- Automatic/Manual Evaluation and Authoring Tools
  8. Web Accessibility -- Quality Control and Best Practice
  9. People with Disabilities: Software Accessibility
  10. Entertainment Software Accessibility
  11. Hearing Impaired, Deaf and DeafBlind People: HCI and Communication
  12. People with Specific Learning Difficulties -- Easy to Read and HCI
  13. Blind and Visually Impaired People: Human-Computer Interaction and Access to Graphics
  14. Access to Mathematics and Science
  15. Accessible Tourism
  16. Smart Environments
  17. Portable and Mobile Systems in Assistive Technology
  18. Skills vs. Abilities: Alternative Input and Communication Systems
  19. People with Disabilities: Speech Therapy and Sound Applications
  20. People with Disabilities: Mobility and Care
  21. People with Disabilities: Service Provision


Understanding User Centred Design (UCD) for People with Special Needs BIBAFull-Text 1-17
  Harold Thimbleby
"User centred design" (UCD) has become a central, largely unquestioned, tenet of good practice for the design of interactive systems. With the increasing recognition of the importance of special needs in influencing design, UCD needs to be re-examined, in particular to be clear about the difference between using its methods, which may not suit special needs, and achieving its objectives. This paper introduces a simple two-category classification of special needs, to which UCD applies very differently and which are heavily affected by developments in technology; in other words, the role of UCD, particularly with respect to special needs, will continue to change and demand close scrutiny.

Human-Computer Interaction and Usability for Elderly (HCI4AGING)

Introduction to the Special Thematic Session: Human-Computer Interaction and Usability for Elderly (HCI4AGING) BIBAKFull-Text 18-21
  Andreas Holzinger; Kizito Ssamula Mukasa; Alexander K. Nischelwitzer
Industrialized countries are faced with severe demographical and social changes. Consequently, areas including Ambient Assisted Living are of increasing importance. The vision is to provide technologies for supporting (elderly) people in their daily lives, allowing them to stay longer within their own home aiming at living independent and self-determined. User Interfaces in such systems are mostly multimodal, because standard interfaces have limited accessibility. Multimodal user interfaces combine various input and output modalities (including seeing/vision, hearing/audition, haptic/tactile, taste/gustation, smell/olfaction etc) which are classical research areas in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Usability Engineering (UE). One of the advantages of multiple modalities is increased usability: the weaknesses of one modality are offset by the strengths of another. For example, on a mobile device with a small visual interface and keypad, a word may be quite difficult to read/type, however very easy to say/listen. Such interfaces, in combination with mobile technologies, can have tremendous implications for accessibility and can be a benefit for people. An important issue is that interfaces must be accessible, useful and usable. Traditionally, HCI bridges Psychology/Pedagogy and Informatics, while UE is anchored in software technology. Together, HCI&UE provide the emerging potential to assist the daily workflows in the realm of AAL. This special thematic session is devoted to promote a closer collaboration between Psychologists, Pedagogues and Computer Scientists.
Keywords: Human-Computer Interaction; Usability Engineering; User Interfaces; Older Adults
An Investigation on Acceptance of Ubiquitous Devices for the Elderly in a Geriatric Hospital Environment: Using the Example of Person Tracking BIBAKFull-Text 22-29
  Andreas Holzinger; Klaus Schaupp; Walter Eder-Halbedl
In this study, we investigate the acceptance of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology for localizing elderly people, suffering from dementia. We discuss how, and to what extend, we can balance economic and humanistic interests versus patient privacy and other libertarian concerns. We used specifically developed questionnaires and guided interviews and investigated the opinions, attitudes and beliefs of both medical professionals and patients. For this purpose, one of the most modern equipped geriatric clinics has been examined: the Albert Schweitzer clinic of the Geriatric Center Graz. The findings showed that RFID technology provides enormous economic benefits for both medical professionals and patients, whilst at the same time; these invasive surveillance technologies threaten our patients' privacy. Most astonishing was that almost all of the people involved, were unaware of both opportunities and problems of such ubiquitous devices. Similar to many new and emerging technologies, it has the potential to both benefit and harm society.
Keywords: Human-Computer Interaction; Usability; Acceptance; Ubiquitous Computing; Hospital; Older Adults; Person localization
Adaptive Interfaces for Supportive Ambient Intelligence Environments BIBAKFull-Text 30-37
  Julio Abascal; Isabel Fernández de Castro; Alberto Lafuente; Jesus Maria Cia
The Ambient Intelligence paradigm offers an excellent way to define Ambient Assisted Living systems for all kind of users. In addition, people with physical, sensory or cognitive restrictions are expected to particularly benefit from the support of intelligent environments. Nevertheless, the huge diversity of users' characteristics makes very difficult to develop interfaces that are adequate for all of them in order to successfully interact with the environment. Even if a "Design for All" approach is assumed and adaptive interfaces are adopted, it is almost impossible to fulfill the diverse, and frequently contradictory, requirements of the different users. This paper presents an experience of designing adaptive interfaces oriented to the needs of the elderly people living in an intelligent environment. These interfaces are integrated in an architecture destined to build complex Ambient Intelligent environments that share resources -- mainly hardware and heterogeneous networks -- and knowledge.
Keywords: Adaptive Human-Environment Interfaces for Elderly People; Ambient Intelligence; Ambient Assisted Living
Natural Interaction between Avatars and Persons with Alzheimer's Disease BIBAKFull-Text 38-45
  Eduardo Carrasco; Gorka Epelde; Aitor Moreno; Amalia Ortiz; Igor Garcia; Cristina Buiza; et al
In this paper a natural human computer interaction paradigm is proposed for persons with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer's Disease. The paradigm consists of using a realistic virtual character, rendered on a common television set, to play the role of a virtual personal assistant that shows reminders, notifications and performs short dialogues with the user. In this paradigm, the television remote control is used as a return channel to capture the user's responses. To test this concept, a functional prototype was built and then validated by a group of 21 persons with Alzheimer's Disease ranging from mild to moderate. For this validation two simple dialogues were developed that consisted of simple Yes/No type questions. The test results showed that with both dialogues all users engaged naturally with the avatar. All of the users understood the information conveyed by the avatar and answered successfully by means of the TV remote control.
Keywords: Natural Human-Computer Interaction; Interactive TV; Conversational Avatars; Alzheimer's Disease; Assistive Aids for the Elderly and the Cognitively Impaired
Exploring the Role of Time and Errors in Real-Life Usability for Older People and ICT BIBAKFull-Text 46-53
  Sergio Sayago; Josep Blat
We explore herein the role of time and errors as usability measures in real-life usability for older people and ICT, drawing on observation and conversational data collected over a 3-year ethnographic study of the usability and accessibility of ICT for older people. The results show that time has little or no practical value in real-life usability, except for expected complains about slower PCs and Internet connections, unlike making the least number of errors. This finding is independent of educational levels and previous experience with ICT, and grounded in three factors: (i) desire of independency, (ii) extra efforts to overcome mistakes; (iii) using computers as a hobby.
Keywords: Real-life usability; older people; ethnography
An Acoustic Framework for Detecting Fatigue in Speech Based Human-Computer-Interaction BIBAKFull-Text 54-61
  Jarek Krajewski; Rainer Wieland; Anton Batliner
This article describes a general framework for detecting accident-prone fatigue states based on prosody, articulation and speech quality related speech characteristics. The advantages of this real-time measurement approach are that obtaining speech data is non obtrusive, and free from sensor application and calibration efforts. The main part of the feature computation is the combination of frame level based speech features and high level contour descriptors resulting in over 8,500 features per speech sample. In general the measurement process follows the speech adapted steps of pattern recognition: (a) recording speech, (b) preprocessing (segmenting speech units of interest), (c) feature computation (using perceptual and signal processing related features, as e.g. fundamental frequency, intensity, pause patterns, formants, cepstral coefficients), (d) dimensionality reduction (filter and wrapper based feature subset selection, (un-)supervised feature transformation), (e) classification (e.g. SVM, K-NN classifier), and (f) evaluation (e.g. 10-fold cross validation). The validity of this approach is briefly discussed by summarizing the empirical results of a sleep deprivation study.
Keywords: Acoustic Features; Assistive Technologies; Pattern Recognition; Fatigue; Accident Prevention; Affective Computing
Visual and Auditory Interfaces of Advanced Driver Assistant Systems for Older Drivers BIBAKFull-Text 62-69
  Martina Ziefle; Preethy Pappachan; Eva-Maria Jakobs; Henning Wallentowitz
Advanced Driver Assistant Systems (ADAS) are assumed to support drivers in critical traffic situations. This is especially important for older drivers and also drivers with disabilities, whose physical and cognitive resources are limited. An electronic intersection assistant was developed and implemented in a driving simulation setting. Independent variables were users' age and output modality. The utility of visual and auditory interfaces was examined and compared to a control group which was not assisted. Dependent variables were speed control, accuracy of lane tracking and users' acceptance. Older adults drove significantly slower, but equally accurate than younger drivers. When no assistance was present, driving performance was superior than in both assistance conditions. The visual interface had a lower detrimental effect than the auditory ADAS which had the strongest distracting effect. In contrast to performance outcomes, the auditory interface was rated as more helpful by older drivers compared to the visual interface.
Keywords: Advanced-Driver-Assistance; intersection assistant; cognitive load; driving performance; older drivers
Eye Tracking Impact on Quality-of-Life of ALS Patients BIBAKFull-Text 70-77
  Andrea Calvo; Adriano Chiò; Emiliano Castellina; Fulvio Corno; Laura Farinetti; et al
Chronic neurological disorders in their advanced phase are characterized by a progressive loss of mobility (use of upper and lower limbs), speech and social life. Some of these pathologies, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis, are paradigmatic of these deficits. High technology communication instruments, such as eye tracking, can be an extremely important possibility to reintroduce these patients in their family and social life, in particular when they suffer severe disability.
   This paper reports and describes the results of an ongoing experimentation about Eye Tracking impact on the quality of life of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients. The aim of the experimentation is to evaluate if and when eye tracking technologies have a positive impact on patients' lives.
Keywords: Eye tracking; Experimentation; Quality of Life; ALS patients
Participative Approaches for "Technology and Autonomous Living" BIBAKFull-Text 78-81
  Ulrike Bechtold; Mahshid Sotoudeh
This contribution aims to identify which conditions are to be met in accordance with social needs and users' perspectives on technical solutions facilitating autonomous living. In the following, different participative approaches will be proposed for improving the user friendliness of assistive technologies. To achieve this it is important to know what areas of life are affected by Assistive Technologies (AT) and who should be involved at what stage of the research and (product) development process. Consequently, this paper investigates ways of shaping the information and knowledge transfer between technology users as people with special needs and technology developers.
Keywords: Ambient Assistive technologies; Ageing; Participation; Perspective-taking ability
From Cultural to Individual Adaptive End-User Interfaces: Helping People with Special Needs BIBAKFull-Text 82-89
  Rüdiger Heimgärtner; Andreas Holzinger; Ray Adams
Culture heavily influences human-computer interaction (HCI) since the end-user is always within a cultural context. Cultural and informational factors correlate to jointly influence the look and feel of interactive systems, e.g. widget position or information density. Every single individual also develops a specific culture (eating style, walking style etc.), i.e. characteristics and behavior as well as attitudes and values. Consequently, individual adaptability can be essential to cover individual needs of the culturally but uniquely imprinted end-users with special needs e.g. reducing the workload by recognizing and knowing the individual expectances of the end-user. This improves usability and leads to shorter training and improves universal access.
Keywords: Intercultural Human-Computer Interaction; Cultural Adaptive Information Systems; Special Needs; Individual Adaptability
Effects of Icon Concreteness and Complexity on Semantic Transparency: Younger vs. Older Users BIBAKFull-Text 90-97
  Sabine Schröder; Martina Ziefle
The semantic transparency of icons in mobile devices was investigated using 48 icons for 12 mobile phone functions. Icons included original ones as well as icons specifically designed for experimental purposes. In order to determine the impact of age, each 10 younger and 10 older adults were examined. Having been acquainted with a reference function, participants had to decide for each of four icons shown on a display as fast as possible whether they represented the respective function. Speed and accuracy of responses were used as dependent variables. Though older adults generally responded slower than younger ones, the very same effects of icon concreteness and complexity showed up in both age groups. Real phone icons did not yield a better performance indicating a suboptimal design. Overall, use of icons in mobile devices in principle can be recommended for users within a wide range of age, if icon design obeys ergonomic rules.
Keywords: Icon recognition; mobile devices; ageing; concreteness; complexity
Investigating Usability Metrics for the Design and Development of Applications for the Elderly BIBAKFull-Text 98-105
  Andreas Holzinger; Gig Searle; Thomas Kleinberger; Ahmed Seffah; Homa Javahery
Metrics-based benchmarks are crucial for measuring usability, particularly for special end user groups such as older adults. So far, usability metrics that are accessible and useful for software developers are still missing. Although usability standards are continually being developed and adapted to the rapid change in both software and computing hardware, the increasing diversity of elderly populations, both culturally and educationally, requires the development of a specific set of criteria. This paper studies two different aspects of usability for the elderly; passive and active interaction. It explores the limitations of active interaction, its potential causes and results. The long term goal is the development of new methods to counteract potential negative bias with regard to passive interaction. More specifically, we are investigating achievable metrics for the evaluation of passive technology trustworthiness and usability while categorizing them according to applicability for usability testing.
Keywords: Human-Computer Interaction; Usability Engineering; Metrics; User Interfaces; Older Adults

Design for All: From Idea to Practice

Design for All -- from Idea to Practise BIBAKFull-Text 106-113
  Christian Bühler
Design for all (DfA) is on the agenda of research for more than 10 years. It is to be seen as a complement to concepts like assistive technology and barrier free accessibility in a continuum of solutions. After several national policy actions around the globe, recently on international policy level, in the "UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities", reference has been given to Universal Design, a concept closely related to DfA. However, the level of take up of DfA in the design processes of industries and services stays behind the expectations. The idea has obviously been welcomed as a good one, but the implementation shows slow progress. The current development consists of threats and challenges towards a successful implementation of DfA and the market opportunities connected. "What are the key elements, what are the actions needed, which could be the next steps" are the kind of questions to be answered in order to conclude with a DfA roadmap and reflected in this paper.
Keywords: Design for all; Universal Design; Inclusive Design; Design-for-all-process; European 3-strategies approach; variety of user requirements; continuum of solutions
User Modelling in Ambient Intelligence for Elderly and Disabled People BIBAKFull-Text 114-122
  Roberto Casas; Rubén Blasco Marín; Alexia Robinet; Armando Roy Delgado; et al
Combining ongoing Ambient Intelligence (AmI) technological developments (e.g. pervasive computing, wearable devices, sensor networks etc.) with user-centred design methods greatly increases the acceptance of the intelligent system and makes it more capable of providing a better quality of life in a non-intrusive way. Elderly people could clearly benefit from this concept. Thanks to smart environments, they can experience considerable enhancements, giving them an opportunity to live more independently and for longer in their home rather than in a health-care centre. However, to implement such a system, it is essential to know for whom we are designing. In this paper, we present an intelligent system with a monitoring infrastructure that will help mainly elderly users with impairments to overcome their handicap. The purpose of such a system is to create a safe and intuitive environment that will facilitate the achievement of household tasks in order to preserve independence of elderly residents for a while longer. Pursuing this goal, we propose to use the persona concept to help us build a user model based on the personas' aptitudes. The practice of user modelling emphasizes the importance of user-centred techniques in any AmI system development and highlights the potential impacts of AmI for certain targeted groups -- in this case, the elderly and people with disabilities.
Keywords: User models; Ambient Intelligence; elderly people; assistive interfaces; impairments
Design for All in the Ambient Intelligence Environment BIBAKFull-Text 123-129
  P. L. Emiliani; M. Billi; L. Burzagli; F. Gabbanini
An Information Society described by the Ambient Intelligence (AmI) paradigm is emerging, due to the ongoing technological developments. The paper aims to show that a designed for all AmI environment can have a positive impact on people with activity limitations in the long term and that the technology made available for the implementation of the AmI concepts can offer new integration possibilities for them in the short/medium term, reintroducing innovation in Assistive Technology.
Keywords: Ambient Intelligence; Design for All; Assistive Technology
Creating Innovative Partnerships with Users in Developing Assistive Technology BIBAKFull-Text 130-137
  Norman Alm; Alan Newell
We have been exploring a number of new ways to improve requirements gathering for new developments is assistive technology. In this paper we report on using participant observation, insights from conversation analysis and the use of actors, in order to gain a better understanding of the needs and wants for technology of people with physical and cognitive impairments.
Keywords: Requirements gathering; assistive technology; augmentative and alternative communication; dementia; computers and older people
Public Signs Sight Assessment for Low Vision through Eye Tracking BIBAKFull-Text 138-141
  Hisayuki Tatsumi; Yasuyuki Murai; Iwao Sekita; Masahiro Miyakawa
Using eye tracking technique we examine experimentally ease of finding out public signs in the streets and indoor of public buildings by low vision people. We found that they are hardly noticing the public signs while walking around such places under clear weather condition. We suggest that eye tracking is helpful for the further visibility study of low vision.
Keywords: eye tracking; recognition; public sign; low vision
Visual Tools for Accessible Computer Supported Collaboration BIBAKFull-Text 142-149
  Antti Raike; Joanna Saad-Sulonen; Jürgen Scheible; Roman Suzi; Tarmo Toikkanen
This paper discusses device-agnostic technologies and the use of visual mashups in augmenting accessibility in computer supported collaboration. The principles of Design for All (DfA) could be easily taken into software development if participants are allowed to contribute with whatever devices they have at their disposal or are able to use. However, device-agnostic services should rely on open standards, agile development and accessibility guidelines to allow participation of diverse user communities. We present three cases for further considerations of DfA in software development. We aim to promote the learning dimension of the visual tools; the ability of peers to learn and let colleagues learn, collaborate and innovate.
Keywords: Accessibility; Agile Development; Co-Design; Collaboration; Design for All; Map mashup
Supporting Industry in the Development of Design for All Curriculum BIBAFull-Text 150-155
  Yehya Mohamad; Stefan Carmien; Carlos A. Velasco
There are very few sources of information about industry needs in regard to the required Design for All knowledge and skills for designers and engineers. A common finding of many studies, besides technical feasibility and commercial viability, is the lack of awareness among suppliers and users on DfA. In this paper, some of the results of a series of workshops organized by Fraunhofer FIT under the scope of some EU-financed projects will be presented. We claim the need to create common guidelines on teaching DfA, which should not be limited to curriculum at universities but also for training employees within the companies. The guidelines should contain topics like: what to teach, whom to teach, how to teach and where to teach.
European Developments in the Design and Implementation of Training for eInclusion BIBAKFull-Text 156-161
  Gill Whitney; Suzette Keith
Information and communication technologies offer an important opportunity for social, political and economic engagement of older and disabled people. The successful implementation of a policy on eInclusion is dependent on understanding the principles, practicalities and processes of a 'design for all' programme. The aim of this paper is to describe those activities of the European Sixth Framework Programme IST Coordination Action "Design for All @ eInclusion" which focus on training and education. The paper will focus on the need for students of ICT to learn more about the requirements of older and disabled users, the training needs with respect to higher and vocational education and the diverse ways in which those needs are being meet around Europe. The paper will describe a selection of case studies of best practice teaching in this area.
Keywords: Information and Communication Technologies (ICT); Design for All; Learning Outcomes; Training

(Users Need Standards)² -- Users Need Standards Need Users

Users with Disabilities and Standards BIBAKFull-Text 162-165
  Christian Bühler
Industrial standards are accepted practice for ensuring safety, quality, compatibility and interconnectivity but also as frameworks for products and services and business opportunities. Very often they are only considered as a matter of pure technology and only for industry with little direct relevance to the users. However, in case of missing standards or bad standards the relevance to users becomes pretty obvious. Therefore, consumer organisations have started to recognise that they have a role in standardisation. Nevertheless, there seems a broad gap separating users from participation in standardisation. In principle, the standardisation process is open and transparent for participation. Reality is often different. This paper gives an introduction to this issue and deals with the relevance of standards to users with disabilities and the relevance of users with disabilities for the standardisation. It presents an approach for user participation in the standardisation process.
Keywords: Standardisation; user participation; user involvement; assistive technology; universal design
AT and DfA Standardisation: What Is Currently Going on? BIBAFull-Text 166-169
  Jan Engelen
At several occasions in the past details of ongoing standardisation activities in the field of Assistive Technology and Design for All have been reported at the ICCHP conference. In this contribution several recent important changes and additions are brought under the attention of this year's ICCHP delegates too.
Using Public Procurement to Ensure That Accessible ICT Products and Services Are Available for All European Citizens (ETSI HF STF 333) BIBAKFull-Text 170-177
  Richard Hodgkinson
Developments in the USA, Canada and Australia have proved the value of using the purchasing power of public procurement to influence the accessibility of ICT products and services for all citizens, not only those who work for government organisations, or use government services.
   In late 2005 the EC adopted Mandate M/376 and the main European standards organisations, ETSI and CEN/CENELEC were instructed to prepare for the work.
   Phase 1 of M/376 requires ETSI to review and report on current ICT accessibility legislation, policies, procurement requirements and standards, and CEN/CENELEC to review and report on conformity assessment for accessible ICT.
   This paper describes the work of the work carried out by ETSI in Human Factors Specialist Task Force (HF STF) 333 -- European Accessibility Requirements for Public Procurement of Products and Services in the ICT Domain - EC Standardisation Mandate M/376, Phase 1.
Keywords: Standards; accessibility; elderly; disabilities; public procurement; legislation; Europe; Mandate M/376; Section 508; ETSI; CEN; ISO; IEC; JTC 1; SWG-A

Accessibility: Education for Web Design and eLearning

Accessibility: Education for Web Design and E-Learning Introduction to the Special Thematic Session BIBAFull-Text 178-181
  Jenny Craven; Joachim Klaus
There is a clear role for accessibility assessment tools, standards and guidelines to help web designers, application developers and those who use and support web-based services. However, some aspects of web accessibility cannot be objectively tested by automated tools or by simple adherence to standards and guidelines. The application of expert judgment is required and thus accessibility needs to be addressed through more formal education and training. Programmes exist which advocate, and raise the profile of accessibility but most of these are only offered locally, with widely differing scope and complexity. There is a lack of a common European or even international curriculum in the vital area of education and training for web accessibility and design. Therefore, this Special Thematic Session will bring together stakeholders such as educators, e-Learning providers, and researchers to share their knowledge and expertise.
Joint Study Programme on Accessible Web Design BIBAFull-Text 182-189
  Barbara Hengstberger; Klaus Miesenberger; Mario Batusic; Noura Chelbat; et al
This paper presents an international study programme on accessible web design which is under development in the framework of an EU -- Erasmus Project. The paper will discuss the strong need for a Europe-wide academic training programme on accessible web design, the curriculum, the teaching and eLearning tools, the accreditation and the additional benefit of the programme.
Design of a 10 Credit Masters Level Assistive Technologies and Universal Design Module BIBAFull-Text 190-193
  Mike Wald
The paper reports on the design and evaluation of a 10 credit module that has been designed and taught for the first time to 35 full time Computer science and software engineering Masters students.
Experiential Coe-Tutoring: A Report on Taiwan's OpenStudy Project That Seeks Innovative Accessible E-Learning Methodologies BIBAKFull-Text 194-197
  Arrmien M. Chou; Yaoming Yeh; Shumei Keng; Chenchuan C. Chen; Tingyu Huang
This paper will report on the accessible OpenStudy e-learning project that aims to narrow the digital divide of people with disabilities in Taiwan. Not only does the project deploy accessible e-learning infrastructure and service, it also applies an innovative experiential coe-tutoring technique in order to fulfill the objectives and the challenges of multi-cultural and multi-scenario e-learning. We also describe the methodologies that we use, and some of the results.
Keywords: e-learning; e-tutor; coe-tutor. accessible; experiential; efly
Using a Computer Aided Test to Raise Awareness of Disability Issues amongst University Teaching Staff BIBAKFull-Text 198-206
  John Gray; Gill Harrison; Jakki Sheridan-Ross; Andrea Gorra
A computer-based test has been created as a training tool to raise awareness among university academic staff of some common experiences faced by people with visual, mobility, hearing and cognitive difficulties when using a computer. This test simulates experiences of disabled students who use computers and take computer-based tests, and provides advice and guidance to university teaching staff on how they may best cater for the needs of such students. The paper discusses the reasons for creating such a tool in such a format, its structure and content, and the outcome of its presentation to several groups of participants. Feedback from students with disabilities is to be used in the future development of the test.
Keywords: Disability; staff training; Computer aided test
The Impact of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) on Diverse Students and Teachers at Second Level BIBAKFull-Text 207-214
  Cara Nicole Greene
This paper investigates the use of existing Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) by Irish secondary school teachers and students. Secondary Schools in Ireland are inclusive with a mix of students with diverse abilities in the classroom, including special needs students with learning and literacy difficulties, such as dyslexia. This papers looks at the use of three types of ICTs in particular: general-purpose ICTs such as word processors, focused special needs ICT tools like text-to-speech systems and online ICT curriculum-focused materials. Mainstream teachers and students and learning support teachers and students were surveyed on their use of ICT. They then undertook to use chosen tools for three months to complement their curricula and carry out software/tool reviews and evaluations. They then completed survey questionnaires on their usefulness and their impact on teaching and learning methods.
Keywords: ICTs; Questionnaires; Software Reviews; Post-primary school; Learning support
Round Peg, Square Hole: Supporting Via the Web Staff and Learners Who Do Not Fit into Traditional Learner-Teacher-Institution Scenarios BIBAKFull-Text 215-218
  Simon Ball; Alistair McNaught
Increasingly learners are acquiring their learning in settings that do not feature a traditional learner-teacher-institution scenario. It is important if we are to meet our obligations of inclusive practice and education opportunities for all that we cater effectively for these learners. This may involve modifying the way we offer learning, or offering something completely new. This paper describes some of the key considerations in adapting learning or learning techniques to better suit those learners.
Keywords: accessibility; online learning; e-learning; inclusion; support
Distance Learning of Graphically Intensive Material for Visually Impaired Students BIBAKFull-Text 219-225
  Donal Fitzpatrick; Declan McMullen
Historically the conveying of graphical materials to visually impaired students has been difficult to achieve. Various methods have evolved that aim to solve the problem, ranging from those based on technology to the construction of models which the learner, relying on tactile representations, can employ. The various methods used to depict graphically intensive data assume the presence of a teacher, or the inclusion of Braille labels. If a learner is operating in a distance-learning environment, or cannot read Braille there is little to no access to graphical material.
   This paper highlights the various methods used to convey diagrams to blind people. It outlines the perceived problems with applying these techniques to a distance-learning environment, and describes solutions which have been devised as part of the EU-sponsored project AHVITED (Audio Haptics for Visually Impaired Training and Education at a Distance) [1].
Keywords: distance education; blind students; tactile diagrams
M-Learning Accessibility Design: A Case Study BIBAKFull-Text 226-233
  Marco Arrigo; Gaspare Novara; Giovanni Ciprì
In the last few years the number of colleges and universities which provide courses and degree programs via distance education has been growing dramatically. People with special needs will benefit from these online opportunities as long as the information and activities posted to internet sites are appropriately accessible with adaptive technology. This paper presents some research regarding the accessibility design for a mobile learning experience carried out at the Italian National Research Council -- Institute for Educational Technologies. In particular, we introduce some considerations about the methodology and the design steps used to build some educational tools on mobile devices which are fully accessible for students with special needs using a compact screen reader (on a Smartphone). Briefly, we outline the common problems of accessing an online learning management system through a Smartphone (services and information), then we introduce the test phase of the designed tools for visually impaired users.
Keywords: mobile learning; accessibility; design for all; inclusion; ubiquitous learning; multimodal interface

ACP -- Accessible Content Processing

Accessible Content Processing Introduction to the Special Thematic Session BIBAFull-Text 234-237
  David Crombie; Jan Engelen
The Special Thematic Session (STS) on Accessible Content Processing (ACP) is intended to provide a focus for different but related activities that can be described as having an emphasis on process rather than product. The European Accessible Information Network (EUAIN) was established to bring together the different stakeholders in the accessible content processing chain and to build on common concerns. The parallel PRO-ACCESS project seeks to build on this work and provide ISO 9001 industry-faced guidelines. The papers in this STS address many of the issues addressed by these initiatives and the breadth of interest demonstrates the need for further applied research in this area.
Automated Drug Information System for Aged and Visually Impaired Persons BIBAKFull-Text 238-241
  Géza Németh; Gábor Olaszy; Mátyás Bartalis; Géza Kiss; Csaba Zainkó; Péter Mihajlik; et al
Aged and visually impaired persons belong to those groups of people, who can get information about drugs not so easily, as others. Although in Hungary lately Braille prints (containing the name of the medicament) are placed on the boxes of the drugs, but getting detailed information about the drug, i.e. to access the content of the written Patient Information Leaflets (PIL), is complicated. The Medicine Line (MLN) service may help in solving this problem. This automatic telephone information system was developed and put into operation in Hungary in December 2006. The computer system speaks and understands Hungarian, so the aged and visually impaired can get the information about the drug by voice. Adaptation to other languages is also possible. As we know, no such system is available in the European Union.
Keywords: Speech based automatic drug information; Medicine Line; speech recognition for drug names; TTS for pharmaceutical texts
A Semi-automatic Support to Adapt E-Documents in an Accessible and Usable Format for Vision Impaired Users BIBAKFull-Text 242-249
  Elia Contini; Barbara Leporini; Fabio Paternò
Electronic material (e-documents, e-books, on line resources, etc.) represents an essential tool for continuous learning for print-impaired people, provided it is well-structured. To obtain accessible and usable e-content, specific requirements should be applied from the early beginning or used when adapting existing electronic formats. In this paper we present a method, and a first associated prototype, for making e-documents in a format, which is accessible and usable for vision impaired users. The resulting environment is composed of various transformations, with different degree of automation, and applies a number of guidelines that have been defined for this purpose.
Keywords: accessible publishing; e-books; accessibility; tool
Accessibility for Blind Users: An Innovative Framework BIBAKFull-Text 250-257
  Elisa Rubegni; Paolo Paolini; Alberto Terragni; Stefano Vaghi
Accessibility, i.e. the possibility for users with specific disabilities to access Web resources, has received specific attention by the W3C consortium that has produced guidelines for web developers. These guidelines are, mostly, technical recommendations and a few very generic tips about how to design for accessibility. The main thesis of this paper, which focuses on blind users, is that technical recommendations (as those of the W3C) are not sufficient to guarantee actual accessibility, that we define as the possibility for the users of "reading" the website and "navigating through it" in an effective manner. A consequence of our approach is the emphasis on design, as a way to achieve actual accessibility, and on usability (by blind users,) as the main evaluation criterion. The paper presents a framework, "AURA", which encompasses issues from design, to architecture, and proposes a solution for blind users based on reading strategies, i.e. a planned way of "listening to" web pages.
Keywords: usability; accessibility; blind users; reading strategy; oral application
User Testing: How to Involve Users in Technical Web Development Cycles as a Natural Evolution in the Creation of Inclusive Technologies and Accessible Content BIBAKFull-Text 258-263
  Joshue O. Connor
The web is constantly evolving and as it does web designers and developers need a way of being able to interact with people with disabilities and users of AT and observe them interacting with their web interfaces. User testing is an excellent bridge between developers and users of AT but this paper asks if user testing is currently an elitist exercise undertaken by developers who are already well disposed towards best practice and how this can be changed.
Keywords: (e)Accessibility and Usability; Assistive Technology; Design for All; eGovernment and eServices; eInclusion and Policies
Accessibility Standards Are Not Always Enough: The Development of the Accessibility Passport BIBAKFull-Text 264-267
  Simon Ball; John Sewell
The Accessibility Passport has been developed to enable a dialogue between the specifier, developer, tester (including teacher/tutor) and user (student) of software or learning objects in development. By stating the original brief, the specifier can express what accessibility requirements were, or were not, expected to be included. The developer can outline any accessibility features built in and any user testing undertaken. Crucially users of the software or learning object (teachers and learners) can communicate their experiences back into the development process for future modifications or adaptations.
Keywords: accessibility; passport; software; learning objects; feedback
DAISY -- Universally Designed? Prototyping an Approach to Measuring Universal Design BIBAKFull-Text 268-275
  Miriam Eileen Nes; Kirsten Ribu; Morten Tollefsen
The DAISY system is currently used as the alternative reading format for print-disabled students in Norway. DAISY is denoted by many as universally designed. This is an important claim, ensuring suited learning opportunities for all students. Thus, to be able to determine this aspect of DAISY is important -- as is the case for many information systems. However, methods for evaluating whether a software product is universally designed are lacking. This text builds on previous work investigating the use of DAISY in Norwegian primary- and secondary education, now looking into strategies to evaluate whether DAISY is universally designed. We argue that the term universally designed needs to be more strictly defined in order to become applicable to systems development. Further, we propose two related methods that measure to what degree DAISY is universally designed, using feature analysis methodology.
Keywords: DAISY; universal design; evaluation; feature analysis
A System for Dynamic Adaptation of Web Interfaces Based on User Interaction Requirements BIBAKFull-Text 276-283
  Javier Gonzalez-Pisano; Maria Rodriguez-Fernandez; Martin Gonzalez-Rodriguez; et al
This article makes the proposal for a software architecture that allows dynamic adaptation of Web interfaces depending on user interaction requirements, giving special attention to individuals who have any kind of disability. This task is achieved through several transformations on visual aspects of the Web pages such as changes on the sizes of objects, colors, relative position of the elements or navigation device used.
   The system separates the functionality of a Web site and its interface at runtime to customize later some of the elements of the interface according to the characteristics of the individual, taking advantage of the widespread use of Web standards such as CSS so that it is not necessary to use any additional platform for the specification of the interface. User information will be updated continuously through the use of interface autonomous agents that store data about navigation process, performing corrective actions to allow dynamic adaptation to the changing conditions of the user.
Keywords: Web accessibility; interface adaptability; customization
Modern Digital Libraries, the Case of the Audio-Book Boom BIBAFull-Text 284-290
  Jan Engelen
This contribution focuses on the relatively new phenomenon of the purely commercial availability of audiobooks, sometimes also called "spoken books", "talking books" or "narrated books". Having the text of a book read aloud and recorded has been for a very long time the favourite solution to make books and other texts accessible for persons with a serious reading impairment such as blindness or low vision. Specialised production centres do exist in most countries of the world for producing these talking books. But now a growing number of commercial groups have found out that there is a booming market for these products as people slowly get used to leisure listening to books instead of reading them. Some companies claim already having over 40.000 titles in spoken format in their catalogue. Major differences and possible synergies between the two worlds are discussed.
Xerte -- A User-Friendly Tool for Creating Accessible Learning Objects BIBAKFull-Text 291-294
  Simon Ball; Julian Tenney
In order to meet our obligations to provide an accessible learning experience for all students, including those with impairments, it may sometimes be appropriate to create accessible learning objects. This can be readily achieved with Xerte, a freely available tool developed by the University of Nottingham, designed to prompt creators of learning objects about issues such as alternative text, and creating learning objects that are keyboard navigable and with a font/background colour/size change facility. The JISC TechDis template for Xerte brings some of the key aspects of Xerte to a non-technical user interface to enable any teacher or tutor to easily create Accessible Learning Objects.
Keywords: accessibility; learning objects; template; user-friendly; inclusion
GATE to Accessibility of Computer Graphics BIBAFull-Text 295-302
  Ivan Kopecek; Radek Ošlejšek
This paper presents a framework for integrating current information technologies into a platform enabling the blind and visually impaired people to access computer graphics based on the annotated SVG format. We also present a technique enabling the conversion of any graphical object to the annotated SVG format and easy annotation supported by OWL based ontology. This approach is not limited to vector graphics only, but enables also the flexible annotation and application of raster graphics (e.g. photographs). We briefly describe the architecture of the GATE (Graphics Accessible To Everyone) project, which contains the corresponding implemented modules. As an illustration, we provide an example showing how the blind can access the annotated graphics.
CONTRAPUNCTUS Project: A New Computer Solution for Braille Music Fruition BIBAKFull-Text 303-309
  Giuseppe Nicotra; Antonio Quatraro
Braille music syntax is very complex and even "anti-musical" in some aspects. CONTRAPUNCTUS wants to help students approach the world of Braille music syntax gradually, with the help of computer aids.
Keywords: Music; Braille; didactics; blind
BMML: A Mark-Up Language for Braille Music BIBAKFull-Text 310-317
  Enrico Bortolazzi; Nadine Baptiste-Jessel; Giovanni Bertoni
The need of an interchange format for music notation led to several XML encoding initiatives and among them to MusicXML, a de facto standard format supported by market leaders. The result is that music scores can be shared between applications and between users, delivered through the web and/or archived independently by the application that generated them. Braille music is a specific music notation for blind users, written in linear format, character by character. Traditionally Braille scores in electronic format are archived or shared as text files, with only character information dependent on some translation table. The available XML formats for music notation are not suitable to cover this specific notation. We present our approach to the problem and the key design concepts behind Braille Music Mark-up Language, developed as an open format by the EU funded CONTRAPUNCTUS[1] project.
Keywords: Braille music; music notation; XML; BMML
Automated Book Reader Design for Persons with Blindness BIBAFull-Text 318-325
  Lu Wang; Malek Adjouadi
This research introduces a novel automated book reader as an assistive technology tool for persons with blindness in the reading of books and other bound volumes. This design responds to the main concerns of (a) providing a method of image acquisition that maintains the integrity of the source, (b) overcoming optical character recognition errors created by inherent imaging issues such as curvature effects and lens distortion, and (c) determining a suitable method for accurate recognition of characters that yields an interface with the ability to read from any open book with a high reading accuracy nearing 98%. The theoretical perspective of this research relates to the mathematical developments to resolve both the inherent distortions due to the properties of the camera lens and the anticipated distortions of the changing page curvature as one leafs through the book.
Making Conference CDs Accessible: A Practical Example BIBAKFull-Text 326-333
  Marion Hersh; Barbara Leporini
The PDF document format is increasingly being used, including for conference CDs. This paper discusses the process of producing an accessible CD based on PDF documents for a small assistive technology conference, CVHI 07. It also analyses the accessibility features of the resulting PDF documents and the results of a survey of the conference authors on their experiences of (trying to) produce accessible PDF documents. The paper is introduced by brief discussions of PDF accessibility and of the results of surveys of the experiences of blind and visually impaired people of using PDF documents and the accessibility of PDF documents produced by UK universities. It concludes with a number of recommendations for conference organisers producing accessible CDs, as well as suggestions for future work.
Keywords: PDF; accessibility guidelines; conference CD; survey

Web Accessibility -- Automatic/Manual Evaluation and Authoring Tools

Web Accessibility -- Automatic/Manual Evaluation and Authoring Tools BIBAKFull-Text 334-337
  Helen Petrie; Christopher Power; Gerhard Weber
This paper provides an introduction to automatic and manual evaluation methods for analysis of web accessibility. The first topic examines the recent results in advances in authoring, including modifications to existing CMS systems and new development toolkits. Next, the session explores the accessibility of specialized content such as graphics and interface components. The last topic in the session covers the results of the Web Accessibility Benchmarking Cluster of European Union supported projects (WAB-Cluster). Authors discuss technologies needed for automatic as well as manual evaluation.
Keywords: web accessibility; automatic and manual evaluation; authoring tools
A Software Solution for Accessible E-Government Portals BIBAKFull-Text 338-345
  Dietmar Nedbal; Gerald Petz
The importance of e-Government web sites being accessible to people with disabilities is rising within the European Nations. Several European programs and state-laws are calling on governments and local government authorities to build accessible web sites. The paper deals with the development of a web content management system (CMS) that is already widely used by municipalities in Central Europe in accordance with the guidelines of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). The project methodology is presented, followed by a discussion on the design of the database, the separation of layout and content and the implementation of the web site with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
Keywords: e-Government; accessible CMS; accessible software; WAI; triple-a
A Development Toolkit for Unified Web-Based User Interfaces BIBAKFull-Text 346-353
  C. Doulgeraki; N. Partarakis; A. Mourouzis; C. Stephanidis
EAGER is a prototype development toolkit that allows embedding accessibility and ease of use for all potential users into Web-based artefacts. Web-based user interfaces developed by means of the EAGER toolkit incarnate the concept of Unified User Interfaces and exhibit adaptation behaviour with respect to diverse user abilities, requirements and preferences. Ultimately, the process of employing EAGER is significantly less demanding in terms of time, experience and skills required from the developer, than the typical process of developing for the "average" user.
Keywords: Unified User Interfaces; Adaptation; Design for All; User profiling
Automatic Creation of User Profiles for Achieving Personal Web Accessibility BIBAFull-Text 354-361
  Markel Vigo; Amaia Aizpurua; Myriam Arrue; Julio Abascal
Automatic capture of the user's interaction environment for user-adapted interaction and evaluation purposes is an unexplored area in the Web Accessibility research field. This paper presents an application that collects user data regarding assistive technologies (be either software or hardware) in an unobtrusive way. As a result, CC/PP based profiles are created so that interoperability between components such as evaluation engines or server-side content adaptors can be attained. The implications that versioning issues and the potential user group of a given assistive technology have on the guidelines to apply are also remarked. The major benefit of this approach is that users can perform their tasks avoiding distractions while interacting with the World Wide Web.
Accessible Flash Is No Oxymoron: A Case Study in E-Learning for Blind and Sighted Users BIBAKFull-Text 362-369
  Maria Krüger
Flash applications are widespread on the Internet, whether used for streaming audio and video or for interactive games. Its critical perception regarding accessibility is partly unjustified, as judging accessible Flash an oxymoron has become obsolete. In fact, it is possible to enable people with special needs to profit from interactive Flash applications. This paper demonstrates the creation of such an accessible Flash application for both blind and sighted users.
Keywords: Accessible Flash; accessibility; blind; multimedia
Building Accessible Flash Applications: An XML-Based Toolkit BIBAKFull-Text 370-377
  Paloma Cantón; Ángel L. González; Gonzalo Mariscal; Carlos Ruiz
The use of Flash as a web-based multimedia development tool has spread lately. Although a big effort has gone into improving its accessibility, there are still accessibility gaps requiring programming or purchase from another supplier. This makes building an accessible Flash application an ad hoc, complex and time-consuming task. With the aim of lightening the accessibility-related workload, we have implemented a toolkit that helps to create accessible multimedia Flash resources. This toolkit specifies the accessibility features as XML configuration files. It includes a library that works like a wrapper abstracting the logic layer of the different events and iterations from the physical layer. This way, new functionalities can easily be added. Additionally, it has been successfully used to build teaching and teaching support systems.
Keywords: E-learning; web accessibility; flash accessibility; education
Accessible Graphics in Web Applications: Dynamic Generation, Analysis and Verification BIBAFull-Text 378-385
  Kerstin Altmanninger; Wolfram Wöß
Accessibility for graphics in web applications is still not only a shortcoming for visually impaired people but may also be a request of people with other special needs. In the Access2Graphics project SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) is used to dynamically generate graphics that are adapted to the user's individual requirements in order to make them accessible for each user. Beside the users also the graphics designer (provider) need support to be able to offer accessible graphics. The focus of this paper therefore mainly is on introducing the analysis as well as the verification component of Access2Graphics. Both, reuse of existing graphics and verification with respect to defined guidelines should make the generation process of graphics more efficient regarding the development time and quality.
Analysing the 2D, 3D and Web User Interface Navigation Structures of Normal Users and Users with Mild Intellectual Disabilities BIBAFull-Text 386-393
  Rita Mátrai; Zsolt T. Kosztyán; Cecília Sik-Lányi
Design questions of home pages are examined by numerous visual search experiments as well. However, in the majority of experiments only one target object has to be searched. On web pages and on 2D and 3D scenes often more objects, more information have to be discovered. Spatial placement of objects has influential role on reaction times, how soon an object will be found. In our work more objects had to be found on home pages and on skill-improving game programs by normal users and users with mild intellectual disabilities. We investigated the time and the sequence of finding targets in function of their location on the screen and their properties (e.g. size). We worked out a method for analysing navigation routes and discovering differences between the target groups, which can be used in further investigations as well.
The Unified Web Evaluation Methodology (UWEM) 1.2 for WCAG 1.0 BIBAFull-Text 394-401
  Annika Nietzio; Christophe Strobbe; Eric Velleman
Checking of web accessibility can be carried out in several ways along the same international standards. The evaluation methodologies used by evaluation and certification organizations in several European countries (such as AccessiWeb in France, Technosite in Spain and AnySurfer in Belgium) are different in subtle but meaningful ways, even though they are usually based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG 1.0). The Unified Web Evaluation Methodology (UWEM) is developed by European expert organisations and offers test descriptions to evaluate WCAG 1.0 conformance covering level AA, a clear sampling scheme, several reporting options, including score cards and other instruments to help communicate the results of evaluations. The aim is to establish the UWEM as the basis for web accessibility evaluation, policy support and possible certification in Europe.
The BenToWeb Test Case Suites for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 BIBAKFull-Text 402-409
  Christophe Strobbe; Johannes Koch; Evangelos Vlachogiannis; Reinhard Ruemer; et al
This paper presents work carried out under the umbrella of the EU-funded project BenToWeb to develop XHTML test case suites for three drafts of WCAG 2.0 (June 2005, April 2006, May 2007). These suites of test cases demonstrate pass and failure examples for WCAG 2.0 and its accompanying Techniques document. The test cases were validated during the BenToWeb project and are currently being migrated to the WAI Test Sample Development Task Force, where the work will be continued.
Keywords: web accessibility; test case; test suite; Web Content Accessibility Guidelines; WCAG; BenToWeb
Monitoring Accessibility of Governmental Web Sites in Europe BIBAFull-Text 410-417
  Christian Bühler; Helmut Heck; Annika Nietzio; Morten Goodwin Olsen; Mikael Snaprud
Web accessibility is an important goal of the European i2010 strategy. Several one-off surveys of eAccessibility have been conducted in the past few years. In this paper, we describe an approach to supplement the results of such surveys with automated assessments, that can easily be repeated at regular intervals. The software basis is provided by the European Internet Accessibility Observatory (EIAO). We analyse how the data collected by EIAO can be compared to other surveys.

Web Accessibility -- Quality Control and Best Practice

Proposal for a Structure Mark-Up Supporting Accessibility for the Next Generation (X)HTML-Standards BIBAFull-Text 418-425
  Gerhard Nussbaum; Mario Batusic; Claudia Fahrengruber; Klaus Miesenberger
The layout of most web pages consists of several logical blocks or page areas which reflect the global structure of the page content. The recommended and published standards HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.0 do not support an adequate global structuring in the mark-up which leads to accessibility and usability problems. The upcoming new standards HTML 5 and XHTML 2 introduce some structure mark-up. It is feared that this new mark-up does not improve the accessibility significantly due to the flexibility in applying it. This paper will critically examine this new structure mark-up regarding accessibility. Furthermore it proposes an alternative mark-up definition for the global page structure which should help to improve accessibility significantly.
Improving Web Form Accessibility Using Semantic XForms for People with Cognitive Impairments BIBAKFull-Text 426-429
  Amin Anjomshoaa; Muhammad Shuaib Karim; A. Min Tjoa
The Internet as the widest medium for business and communication can be effectively adapted to the requirements of differently-abled people. Large portion of Internet advances owes the human-computer interaction and data exchange via web forms. The current complex Internet applications are not easy to use for people with cognitive impairments and they usually use the Internet as a publication platform. To change this state, the web forms, as the basic block of Internet applications, should be made accessible for people with varying levels of cognitive abilities, especially for severely challenged users in this category. New technologies such as the Semantic Web and XForms can be combined to make the Web applications more accessible for these people. In this short paper, the possible application of XForms in combination with the Semantic Web technology is explored and a solution model for providing accessibility for people with cognitive impairments is presented.
Keywords: Accessibility; Cognitive impairments; Semantic Web; Ontology; XForms; Web Applications
Improving the Accessibility of Wikis BIBAKFull-Text 430-437
  C. Taras; O. Siemoneit; N. Weißer; M. Rotard; T. Ertl
During the last years wikis have become important information portals. Nevertheless, research in wiki accessibility is an often neglected topic. This paper takes a basic analytical and systematic step inside this new and complex area, explores the peculiarities, possibilities and limitations of wiki accessibility. Wikis give rise to certain accessibility limitations but also do offer new ways and concepts to improve accessibility. We present basic concepts and extensions to the wiki markup that are to our minds inevitable for improving the accessibility of wikis. It is pointed out, that wiki accessibility is not something totally new but mostly a complex conjunction of yet separated classical discussions. However there are also wiki specific accessibility aspects.
Keywords: Accessibility; Wiki editing; Wiki viewing; Wiki markup
Requirements of Users with Disabilities for E-government Services in Greece BIBAKFull-Text 438-445
  George Margetis; Stavroula Ntoa; Constantine Stephanidis
E-government services are a main concern for bringing administrations closer to citizens and businesses. Accessibility to people with disabilities is one of the main characteristics of such services which is necessary in order to achieve wide public acceptance. This paper discusses a requirements elicitation survey for the development of accessible e-government services carried out in Greece in the context of a national project co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Hellenic Ministry of Interior. The main survey results are presented and discussed.
Keywords: e-government; requirements elicitation; accessibility
Tools for Deaf Accessibility to an eGOV Environment BIBAKFull-Text 446-453
  Stavroula-Evita Fotinea; Eleni Efthimiou
This paper focuses on design and implementation of deaf accessibility tools currently integrated in a portal environment intended to serve communication of disabled citizens with the Hellenic State. Deaf accessibility is supported by a sign language terminology glossary, while interaction with the portal is supported by the use of a virtual finger-spelling and digit keyboard. In order to facilitate overall interaction of users with the portal environment, a manual-like facility has been developed in the form of fully accessible courses, which direct the unfamiliar user and cover all aspects of the portal's services and use of accessibility tools.
Keywords: Sign Language; Deaf communication; HCI; Web accessibility
Using Web Content Management Systems for Accessibility: The Experience of a Research Institute Portal BIBAKFull-Text 454-461
  Laura Burzagli; Francesco Gabbanini; Marco Natalini; Enrico Palchetti; et al
A vast number of guidelines have been set up to regulate accessibility and conformance to standards of web pages. However, it is a fact that the percentage of fully accessible web sites is still low. When designing accessible web portals, knowledge of technologies and a good familiarity with interpreting guidelines are certainly required, but other factors have to be considered. This paper describes the process of implementation of the web site of the e-Inclusion Lab research group, using an Open Source Web Content Management System, and hopefully offers an overview and constitutes an example of good practice in how accessibility can be made mainstream in a research portal. The experience revealed that key factors for mainstreaming accessibility also include the acceptance of the overall solution by content authors and the system administrators.
Keywords: accessibility e-Inclusion web WCMS
Accessible Online Shops for the Older Generation and People with Disabilities BIBAKFull-Text 462-465
  Michael Stenitzer; Maria Putzhuber; Sascha Nemecek; Fabian Büchler
Because of their limited mobility elderly and disabled people can benefit from online shopping to a great extent. At the same time they suffer from poorly built online shops that are focused on internet affine users. User testing helped to identify major barriers and to deduce design guidelines for accessible web shops.
Keywords: Accessibility; older adults; disabilities; web shops; e-commerce; usability
WebGen System -- Visually Impaired Users Create Web Pages BIBAKFull-Text 466-473
  Ludek Bártek; Jaromír Plhák
The aim of the WebGen system is to allow visually impaired users to create web presentations in a simple and natural way by means of dialogue. This paper describes the basic methods and principles used in the system Web-Gen, especially the system structure and the dialogue interface. An illustrative example of a dialogue is included as well as the resulting web page.
Keywords: web creation; dialogue; accessibility
An Accessible Media Player as a User Agent for the Web BIBAKFull-Text 474-481
  A. Mourouzis; N. Partarakis; C. Doulgeraki; C. Galanakis; C. Stephanidis
This paper presents webLection,a tool that aims at increasing the uptake of the Web by a variety of potential users. With WebLection Web content is locally rendered into standard audio formats, and, ultimately, manipulated just like music employing the playing list behaviour as an intuitive interaction metaphor. Although webLection originates from research for blind Web users, significant benefits emerge for other types users too, including Web developers, since it can be used, on the one hand, to easily transform and make Web content available through its audio equivalent, and on the other hand to inspect the accessibility and usability of Web pages for users of screen readers.
Keywords: Web accessibility; mobility; usability; non-visual interaction
Usability and Accessibility on the Internet: Effects of Accessible Web Design on Usability BIBAKFull-Text 482-489
  Wolfram Huber; Peter Vitouch
Despite the overlapping scope and aims of web-usability and web-accessibility (such as problems in using the web and the barriers in accessing the web) there are only few studies which analyse the connections between the two areas. The present study investigates the relationship between web-accessibility and web-usability. To analyse this relationship we have designed an online test environment. We developed three complete internet presences (testportals), each one with a different level of accessibility. 131 test users were recruited viewed these three testportals and rated their usability. The instrument to evaluate usability was an especially modified and reduced version of the Web Usability Index (WUI) which was made available online in the form of a questionnaire. The central question this study sought to answer was: is there a difference in the usability ratings between websites with different levels of accessibility? The findings resulting from the central question were clear. The mean values show a significant difference in the usability ratings of the three portals. Other question our study sought to answer were the influences of the disability and the age factors. These influences are partly significant.
Keywords: Human Computer-Interaction; Usability; Accessibility; Age; Disabilities
Exploratory Case Study Research on Web Accessibility BIBAKFull-Text 490-497
  Marie-Luise Leitner; Christine Strauss
Various technical studies have been conducted on web accessibility evaluation; research on its business and managerial benefits has been covered sparsely so far due to reservations regarding its business pay-off. This paper aims at resolving these reservations and suggests a research design for an exploratory, business-oriented analysis of web accessibility and presents a conceptual framework for the execution of case study research in four major industry sectors. The reapplication of this methodology to any real world case results in a case study collection that can be extended continuously and therefore represents an important basis for further quantitative and qualitative research.
Keywords: web accessibility; case study research; business approach; research design; economic web issues
Web Accessible and Mobile: The Relationship between Mobile Web Best Practices and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines BIBAFull-Text 498-501
  Alan Chuter
Online services are increasingly important in everyday life and services are increasingly delivered using mobile devices. Accessibility for people with disabilities is a priority and often an obligation. Mobile access is a business priority and sometimes mandatory. While much effort has been dedicated to accessibility, many providers must now also provide inclusive access from mobile devices. This can dramatically increase development, deployment and maintenance costs. This paper introduces recent work in the W3C's Mobile Web Initiative and Web Accessibility Initiative on the overlap and synergies between these aspects.

People with Disabilities: Software Accessibility

Making Business Software Usable for Handicapped Employees BIBAKFull-Text 502-509
  Annett Hardt; Martin Schrepp
The accessibility of business software is a prerequisite for the successful integration of disabled persons into the labor market. But because of the dynamic and complex nature of business applications it is often difficult to reach a satisfying level of accessibility and usability for disabled users. A special problem for business software is that it is not sufficient to make all functions of the product accessible to disabled users. It must also be guaranteed that disabled users can work efficiently with the product. We demonstrate these problems on the example of a CRM business web application.
Keywords: Accessibility; Business Web Applications; Efficiency; Usability for disabled users
Quality Processes and Milestones for the Development and Monitoring of Business Software in the Area of Accessibility BIBAFull-Text 510-517
  Dewi Gani; Urte Thölke
Once a company has defined and documented all requirements in a standard for accessibility, what is the best way of making sure that development teams observe them as intended? Which factors can require revisions to be made to the Accessibility Standard? What are the key milestones for the planning of all development activities around the standard? What areas have to be tested to have a quality assurance and how can the result be given to the customer to serve legal and individual requirements? In this presentation you will get an overview about quality processes and milestones for the development and monitoring of business software in the area of accessibility at SAP.
Accessibility of Educational Software: From Evaluation to Design Guidelines BIBAKFull-Text 518-525
  Serenella Besio; Elena Laudanna; Francesca Potenza; Lucia Ferlino; Federico Occhionero
Although researches, guidelines and laws have been elaborated during the last years about the accessibility of software, many educational products on the Italian market are still difficult or impossible to be used by students with disabilities. An evaluation grid, designed from the end-user's point of view, has been used with 70 educational software to test the real usability of these products with AT devices. Results show how the problem of accessibility is not yet understood by developers and producers. The purpose of this study was also to rise awareness in teachers about the accessibility topic it should be deleted, so that they increase the request of accessible software that can be used by students with different types of disability. This information is also related to disability issues, to AT devices and to the actual Italian Law.
Keywords: Software accessibility; evaluation grid; methodology
How Can Java Be Made Blind-Friendly BIBAKFull-Text 526-533
  Norbert Markus; Zoltan Juhasz; Gabor Bognar; Andras Arato
The widely used and highly popular Java programming language is proved to be a great tool for developing platform independent applications. Everyday users mostly encounter them when using portable devices (mobile phones, PDAs, etc). However, the ordinary Java applications are inaccessible for the blind in general. Even the most used screen readers can only be enabled to handle GUI elements of a Java application by an additional adaptation package (e.g. access bridge for Jaws). Even with this, only a portion of existing Java programs that use swing classes may be made partially accessible for the blind. The solution offered eliminates the need of any screen reader.
Keywords: Accessibility for the Blind; Java programming; Education
Requirements for a Method of Software Accessibility Conformity Assessment BIBAKFull-Text 534-541
  Fernando Alonso; José L. Fuertes; Ángel L. González; Loïc Martínez
Given the current trend of public procurement of accessible products and services, including software, there is a need for the suppliers to demonstrate that a software product conforms to accessibility requirements. This is called software accessibility conformity assessment. Today, the evaluation process, and the techniques and tools required to do this, is not as well defined as it is in other contexts, such as web accessibility. Based on our experience in evaluating accessibility, this paper outlines a set of requirements for a method of software accessibility conformity assessment. These requirements will apply across the four conformity assessment functions: selection, determination, review and attestation, and, finally, surveillance.
Keywords: Software accessibility; conformity assessment; accessibility evaluation

Entertainment Software Accessibility

Towards Generalised Accessibility of Computer Games Introduction to the Special Thematic Session BIBAFull-Text 542-544
  Dominique Archambault; Roland Ossmann; Klaus Miesenberger
This is the fourth time that a Special Thematic Session on accessible entertainment has been organised at ICCHP and we are beginning to see progress in the field. A decade ago most work focused on how to play computer games with alternative devices; today we are starting to talk about the accessibility of mainstream games.
   People with disabilities probably make up the single group benefiting the most from Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Not only does ICT improve their ability to do things which could be done another way, but it makes a real difference to independent living: with the support of Assistive Technology (AT) they are actually able to do things they had no chance of achieving before and this in an independent way. This positively affects many situations in their daily lives, at school as well as at work or home and concerns mobility and other issues.
Profiling Robot-Mediated Play for Children with Disabilities through ICF-CY: The Example of the European Project IROMEC BIBAKFull-Text 545-552
  Serenella Besio; Francesca Caprino; Elena Laudanna
This paper, from the description of the research activities of the ongoing European project IROMEC, discusses the potential role of the brand new version Children and Youth of ICF (International Classification of Functioning and Disability) as an useful resource in the design development and outcomes evaluation of robotic toys used as play mediators in educational and therapy settings with children with physical and/or cognitive impairments. ICF-CY has been used as a methodological framework in users' needs assessment, in building appropriate task analysis of play activities, in robot requirements definition and in outcomes analysis will be examined. Further and deeper researches are needed to better understand strengths and weaknesses of such an approach.
Keywords: ICF-CY; robotic toys; play mediators; play scenarios
MP3 Players and Audio Games: An Alternative to Portable Video Games Console for Visually Impaired Players BIBAFull-Text 553-560
  Alexis Sepchat; Simon Descarpentries; Nicolas Monmarché; Mohamed Slimane
Both the evolutions of technologies and the increase of the Web download market have led to a democratisation of digital audio players throughout the world. Smaller and lighter, this media has become the best companion to listen his (her) favorite music everywhere. Indeed, thanks to the improvement of their performances, currently, they can be used to watch videos, to store data, etc. Among these new applications, it is imaginable to use them as a portable audio games console. Audio games are still the main solution for visually impaired players to play computer games. This paper introduces our contribution to elaborate an audio games console, accessible for visually impaired players, based on digital audio players.
Non-visual Gameplay: Making Board Games Easy and Fun BIBAKFull-Text 561-568
  Tatiana V. Evreinova; Grigori Evreinov; Roope Raisamo
In this paper we report the results of a study on an evaluation of a game and techniques which allow playing board games in the total absence of visual feedback. We have demonstrated that a camera mouse can be used for blind navigation within a game field. Snapping a position of the virtual pointer to the regions of interest as well as audio-haptic complementary mapping significantly reduce the cognitive load and facilitate mental matching and integration of overview sound sequences.
Keywords: board game; tabular data; non-visual game; overview cues; audio-haptic mapping; camera mouse
An Accessible Viewer for Digital Comic Books BIBAKFull-Text 569-577
  Christophe Ponsard; Vincent Fries
In many countries, "comic books" are very popular and are sometimes are referred to as the ninth art. The most common form of access to comics still remains the paper form. Despite its reading comfort, this media does not fit the use the navigational needs of a number of people with special needs, for example: motor-impaired people, low-sighted people and mobile users.
   In this paper, we explore how an electronic version of comics can be accessed optimally using a computer based interface. Among the reading modes supported, an automated mode provides a segmentation-based detection of panel boundaries and their display in the right reading order. This enables accessibility with minimal user interaction and maximal image size. Validation was carried out in a number of operational contexts such as a PC controlled through voice, a TV controlled through a remote and a mobile device.
Keywords: comics; accessible; motor-impaired; low-sighted; mobile users; image processing
Flexible and Simple User Interfaces in Entertaining Software BIBAFull-Text 578-584
  Morten Tollefsen; Are Flyen
The first version of the electronic picture book application was designed in 1998. The target group was visually impaired adults with sighted children. It was soon clear that the application had a much broader target group than was originally thought: visually impaired children, persons with motor disabilities, children with mental disabilities and even those without disabilities. With this in mind work was initiated in 2006 to improve the universal design of the application and the electronic book structure. The result is a user interface which is still simple and with flexibility not typically found in entertaining software.
A Computer Game Designed for All BIBAKFull-Text 585-592
  Roland Ossmann; Klaus Miesenberger; Dominique Archambault
Computer games are one of the most challenging applications concerning accessibility and usability for people with disabilities. There are only a few games available, which are accessible and most of the time only for a special group of people with specific needs, e.g. games for blind people. Due to this designing games for all and implementing accessibility in mainstream games is a rather new challenge. This paper presents a game designed for all and will discuss the benefits of different accessibility features to several groups of people with disabilities.
Keywords: Games Accessibility; Design for all; Mainstream Games Accessibility
Artificial Ants and Dynamical Adaptation of Accessible Games Level BIBAFull-Text 593-600
  Alexis Sepchat; Romain Clair; Nicolas Monmarché; Mohamed Slimane
Designing a relevant artificial intelligence engine for video games does not always consist in finding a best solution (best opponent, best path, etc.), it can sometimes consist in providing the player with the best gaming experience, and this can be a compromise between being strong enough to give an interesting challenge, and not being too strong so that the player can never win. This game tuning is particularly prominent in case of games for impaired children: they need to be encouraged more than others, and their tiredness can occur quickly within a game that does not fit to their level. In this paper, we focus on self adaptation abilities of ant colonies in order to test if this kind of behavior can be an efficient way to deal with the game level adaptation problem.
Accessibility Issues in Game-Like Interfaces BIBAKFull-Text 601-604
  Roland Ossmann; Dominique Archambault; Klaus Miesenberger
This is a short position paper which invites to put game accessibility on the agenda of accessibility and assistive technology research. Games are important for social inclusion and concepts of game interfaces enter into standard HCI and web interfaces. This makes game accessibility subject to standard software and web accessibility and asks for according R&D activities. New tools and interfaces have to be developed to bring games accessibility into the mainstream games.
Keywords: Game-Like Interfaces; Mainstream Games Accessibility; Design for all

Hearing Impaired, Deaf and DeafBlind People: HCI and Communication

Human Computer Interaction and Communication Aids for Hearing-Impaired, Deaf and Deaf-Blind People: Introduction to the Special Thematic Session BIBAKFull-Text 605-608
  Hans-Heinrich Bothe
This paper gives an overview and extends the Special Thematic Session (STS) on research and development of technologies for hearing-impaired, deaf, and deaf-blind people. The topics of the session focus on special equipment or services to improve communication and human computer interaction. The papers are related to visual communication using captions, sign language, speech-reading, to vibro-tactile stimulation, or to general services for hearing-impaired persons.
Keywords: Captions; sign language; speech-reading; lip-reading; vibro-tactile communication; hearing-impaired; deaf; deaf-blind
EnACT: A Software Tool for Creating Animated Text Captions BIBAKFull-Text 609-616
  Quoc V. Vy; Jorge A. Mori; David W. Fourney; Deborah I. Fels
Music in captioning is often represented by only its title and/or a music note. This representation provides little to no information of the intended effect or emotion of the music. In this paper, we present a software tool that was created to enable users to mark emotions in a script or lyrics and then render those marks into animated text for display as captions. A pilot study was conducted to collect initial responses to, preferences and understanding of the animated lyrics of one song by a deaf and hard of hearing audience. Participants were able to identify the animated lyrics as belonging to a song and found that the animations helped them understand the portrayed emotions. They also identified the shaking style of animation portraying fear as least preferable.
Keywords: Music visualization; kinetic text; animation
Captioning Multiple Speakers Using Speech Recognition to Assist Disabled People BIBAFull-Text 617-623
  Mike Wald
Meetings and seminars involving many people speaking can be some of the hardest situations for deaf people to be able to follow what is being said and also for people with physical, visual or cognitive disabilities to take notes or remember key points. People may also be absent during important interactions or they may arrive late or leave early. Real time captioning using phonetic keyboards can provide an accurate live as well as archived transcription of what has been said but is often not available because of the cost and shortage of highly skilled and trained stenographers. This paper describes the development of applications that use speech recognition to provide automatic real time text transcriptions in situations when there can be many people speaking.
Extracting Pointing Object with Demonstrative Speech Phrase for Remote Transcription in Lecture BIBAFull-Text 624-631
  Yoshinori Takeuchi; Ken Saito; Ayaka Ito; Noboru Ohnishi; Shigeyoshi Iizuka; et al
In this research, we propose a system to extract the object which is pointed by the instructor with a demonstrative speech phrase. The system extracts audio features from a speech signals of the instructor and calculates the likelihood of the demonstrative speech phrase. The system also extracts video features from the video camera and calculates the likelihood of the pointing gesture. Then, the system combines the likelihood of audio and video features to decide whether the instructor points the object with demonstrative speech phrase. We conducted an experiment using a real lecture, which has shown the effectiveness of the proposed method.
A Study on Demonstrative Words Extraction in Instructor Utterance on Communication Support for Hearing Impaired Persons BIBAFull-Text 632-639
  Ayaka Ito; Ken Saito; Yoshinori Takeuchi; Noboru Ohnishi; Shigeyoshi Iizuka; et al
Remote transcription system is one of the communication support systems for hearing impaired students in a lecture. Because the remote transcription system requires several seconds from the utterance of the instructor to displaying the summarized text, hearing impaired students cannot associate the demonstrative word. In this paper, we analyze how demonstrative words appear in the utterance of instructor. About 75% of demonstrative words follow the pause and are uttered within 500ms after the pause. We propose a method for extracting demonstrative words based on acoustic features and conducted experiments. Experimental results show that the recall rate is more than 80% but the relevance rate is less than 20% in the cross validation test.
Development of a Web Type DVD Viewer Synchronized with Multilingual Captions for Existing DVDs BIBAKFull-Text 640-646
  Takaaki Okura; Yoko Hirose
We have developed the Web type DVD Viewer by which you can watch existing DVDs synchronized with additional captions. We have applied it to our released Japanese DVD about the supporting system in U.S.A. for the students with difficulties. The results of questionnaires shows 1) it is effective for watching a DVD which dose not have a subtitle of user's own language. 2) ease of using is improved by removing setup of security options.
Keywords: DVD; Caption; Web; Deaf and Hard of Hearing; e-Learning
Support Technique for Real-Time Captionist to Use Speech Recognition Software BIBAKFull-Text 647-650
  Shigeki Miyoshi; Hayato Kuroki; Sumihiro Kawano; Mayumi Shirasawa; Yasushi Ishihara; et al
Deaf or hard-of-hearing students who attend lessons at university acquire much less information than students with normal hearing. The captionist (transcriptionist) listens to the teacher and "re-speaks" (repeats exactly what is heard) what the teacher says. The clear and distinct speech that is repeated by the captionist is sent to the automatic speech recognition (ASR) software installed on a personal computer, which performs "speech-to-text conversion". However, it is not easy to "re-speak". The results of the research suggest that listening through headphones with superior sound-proofing features enables captionists to sustain re-speak ability compared with listening directly. These facts indicate that the recognition accuracy of existing ASR technologies could be maintained.
Keywords: deaf; hard-of-hearing; Real-Time captioning; Speech recognition
New Real-Time Closed-Captioning System for Japanese Broadcast News Programs BIBAKFull-Text 651-654
  Shinichi Homma; Akio Kobayashi; Takahiro Oku; Shoei Sato; Toru Imai; Tohru Takagi
A new real-time closed-captioning system for Japanese broadcast news programs is described. The system is based on a hybrid automatic speech recognition system that switches input speech between the original program sound and the rephrased speech by a "re-speaker". It minimises the number of correction operators, generally to one or two, depending on the difficulties of the speech recognition, although four correction operators were needed in our previous news system. Experiments show that the system could be used for captioning typical news programs at local stations, which have fewer staff and where simple operation is required.
Keywords: real-time closed captioning; speech recognition
eRehabilitation: A Portal Framework for Aural Rehabilitation BIBAFull-Text 655-662
  Dimitar Denev; Sion Morris; Carlos A. Velasco; Yehya Mohamad
This paper reports on the development of a prototype of an online rehabilitation support service ("eRehabilitation"). This service will provide long-term support to new users of hearing devices as they undergo the process of aural rehabilitation. The information service will be tailored to the situational and individual needs of patients. The development fits closely with the development of self-screening tests for hearing impairment that can be conducted over the Internet. Aural rehabilitation pathways can vary between European countries, not only in terms of language, but also in terms of procedures and regulations. This makes localization of such services a challenging task.
Multimedia Interfaces for BSL Using Lip Readers BIBAFull-Text 663-669
  Faramaz Eyasim Joumun; Paul Gnanayutham; Jennifer George
This paper deals with mainly the profoundly deaf people who are beginning to learn the British Sign Language (BSL) as their first language for communication. These beginners could be children, teenagers or even adults who have hearing problems. There are already quite a few BSL learning websites and Lip Reading software available on the market. However, there is no such software that associates the two associated problems although there might be BSL users who can benefit from Lip Reading. This could help them not only for communication but also enable them to interact more with people with a normal hearing range, who as a matter of fact, form a major part of the society we live in. The artifact aims to be run on most computers making it easier for people to access and use it without the need for any additional costly features.
A System to Make Signs Using Collaborative Approach BIBAKFull-Text 670-677
  Mohamed Jemni; Oussama Elghoul
The generation of gestures is essential for the creation and the development of applications dedicated to deaf persons, in particular the illiterates. In most cases, these application need to store gestures codification/description in data bases or dictionaries in order to process sign language, to translate text from or to sign language, to play sign in a 3D scene and so on. The system WebSign we have developed in our laboratory during the last years, is a translator from written text to sign language. It is based on a multi-community approach to respond to the needs of the locality of sign language. To do so, our system allows using specific dictionary for each community and a common dictionary shared by all communities. In this context it is fundamental to define an expressive language which allows describing signs. In order to facilitate the addition of new words without any programming skills, we have developed a web based human-software interface which allows the generation of words described by the defined language.
Keywords: Avatar animation; collaborative approach; 3D animation; sign language; dictionary of sign
Application System of the Universal Sign Code -- Development of the Portable Sign Presenter -- BIBAKFull-Text 678-681
  Tsutomu Kimura; Masanori Katoh; Atsushi Hayashi; Kazuyuki Kanda; Daisuke Hara; et al
We have developed an ubiquitous sign presentation system using the portable game machines and the mobile phones. An application for this system is supposed to be a guide at a shop or at a museum, and a movie dictionary for sign learning. The system reads the USC proposed by us through a bar-code reader or by a camera, and it indicates a signing movie corresponding. The movie is located in the memory in the system. If the corresponding movie does not exist in the memory of a mobile phone system, it is downloaded from the web server to play it.
Keywords: Universal Sign Code; Mobile Phone; Portable game; Sign Presenter
Body-Braille System for Disabled People BIBAKFull-Text 682-685
  Satoshi Ohtsuka; Nobuyuki Sasaki; Sadao Hasegawa; Tetsumi Harakawa
This paper introduces the Body-Braille system which has been developed as a new communication channel for deaf-blind people using 6 micro vibration motors to present a Braille character and describes the support system using the Japanese mobile communication system combined with Body-Braille. Body-Braille has several advantages compared to other Braille systems. The control device of Body-Braille is named "B-brll" and has several interfaces including RS-232C and DTMF. Some basic experiments to measure the speed of reading Braille were performed and the mean reading time for one Braille cell was 0.5-1.4 seconds, which is fast enough for some useful applications. Using Body-Braille, a Tele-support system was developed as an application and good results were obtained. Furthermore, a newly developed idea which presents Braille character using only 2 points instead of 6 points and new equipment corresponding to this idea which has significant possibility for a very practical products, are described.
Keywords: deaf-blind people; daily support; Braille; mobile phone
Dialog Support for Deafblind Persons by Conveying Backchannels through Vibration BIBAKFull-Text 686-689
  Misako Nambu; Akira Okamoto; Shigeki Miyoshi; Masatsugu Sakajiri
We conducted an experiment using vibration system, by which a deafblind participant, communicating through an interpreter, could directly receive back-channel feedback from a conversational partner. Statistical analysis of the interaction structure showed that the back-channel vibration increased his turn-taking and interactivity of communication. And, from a qualitative analysis of video data, we found that the experience of receiving back-channel feedback caused a change in his haptic behavior in usual communication. Our results indicate that low mental workload and learnability of this vibration system allow deaf-blind persons to improve their communication.
Keywords: Deafblind; Communication; Vibration Information; Back-channel; Mental Workload

People with Specific Learning Difficulties -- Easy to Read and HCI

People with Specific Learning Difficulties: Easy to Read and HCI BIBAFull-Text 690-692
  Andrea Petz; Bror Tronbacke
Off the beaten tracks of technically focused accessibility and usability regulations lies a field of research -- almost undiscovered by mainstream accessibility and usability discussions that has the potential to serve people with Specific Learning Difficulties as well as other possible target groups best: How to provide information, tools, services and structures that is readable, understandable and usable for the biggest possible user group.
Using Expert System to Assist Mouse Proficiency Assessment BIBAKFull-Text 693-699
  Chih-Ching Yeh; Ming-Chung Chen; Yao-Ming Yeh; Hwa-Pey Wang; Chi-Nung Chu; et al
This paper described how to use expert system to assist conducting mouse proficiency assessment. The expert system was based on neural network approach. The current study shows the result of analyzing cursor measurement between able-bodied and cognitive disability users. The result of evaluation indicated that this expert system may be an available solution for clinical professional to propose the suggestion for selecting suitable device or adjusting user environment conditions. The authors also provided some suggestions for the future research.
Keywords: neural network; cursor movement; expert system
Naming Game -- An Automated Tool for Analyzing and Practicing Rapid Serial Naming on Dyslexic Persons BIBAKFull-Text 700-704
  Jyrki Rissanen
Most of the recent research on dyslexia agrees on that the speed of rapid serial naming (RSN) is an important correlate of reading acquisition. The reason for its importance lies in the fact that serial naming and reading depend partly on the same processes. Traditionally, rapid automatized naming (RAN) tests have been conducted manually without the help of computer programs. Because of the many limitations related to such method, we have developed a tool called Naming Game to automatize measurement and practicing of the rapid serial naming. Our aim is not only to create a versatile research tool for the researchers of RSN but also to offer an easy-to-use tool for health care professionals who need to carry out these kind of assessments.
Keywords: Dyslexia; Rapid Serial Naming; Serious Gaming
Cognitive Abilities of Functionally Illiterate Persons Relevant to ICT Use BIBAKFull-Text 705-712
  Sabine van Linden; Anita H. M. Cremers
The present study investigates the proficiency levels of functionally illiterate persons regarding a number of cognitive skills (language processing skills (reading, writing, listening), visual organizational and visual memory skills, mental spatial orientation, speed of cognitive processing, vigilance, divided attention and perceived self-efficacy), which are necessary when using ICT. The results provide insight into how specific (cognitive) limitations can potentially be relieved by specific user interface elements. The findings will serve as guidelines for the design of a new user interface for an Automated Teller Machine (ATM), which is better adapted to the abilities of illiterates.
Keywords: Automated teller machines; user interface; user centered design; cognitive abilities; illiterate persons
User-Centered Design with Illiterate Persons: The Case of the ATM User Interface BIBAKFull-Text 713-720
  Anita H. M. Cremers; Jacomien G. M. de Jong; Johan S. van Balken
One of the major challenges in current user interface research and development is the accommodation of diversity in users and contexts of use in order to improve the self-efficacy of citizens. A common banking service, which should be designed for diversity, is the Automated Teller Machine (ATM). This paper describes the various user-centered design techniques to involve the future users of an ATM for illiterate persons, and reports the results of applying the techniques to a group of six Dutch functional illiterate persons. First, it has resulted in a set of user requirements and promising redesign concepts for the current ATM, relating to hardware, functionality, order of actions, lay-out, interaction modalities, and the mental model of cash withdrawal. Second, it has provided insight into how user-centered design techniques should be applied to this specific, but heterogeneous, user group.
Keywords: Automated teller machines; user interface; icons; avatar; speech; user-centered design; participatory design; design method; functional illiteracy
Analysis and Adaptation of Workplaces for People with Cognitive Disabilities Using Software Tools BIBAFull-Text 721-728
  Alberto Ferreras; Alicia Piedrabuena; Juan Manuel Belda; Ricard Barberà; Alfonso Oltra; et al
This paper describes the results of a study in which software tools were used to analyse and adapt workplaces occupied by people with cognitive disabilities. To do this, the work and the workers were evaluated in order to identify the most relevant problems, using the ErgoDis/IBV method. This is a computer software intended for fitting workplaces to people with disabilities. Once evaluated the workplaces, some adaptations were proposed and implemented. One of the main measures adopted was the use of PDAs to help workers in performing their tasks. After the adaptation of the workplaces, an assessment process was carried out to evaluate the adequacy of the executed measures. The results of the study were implemented in a web page in order to provide information about real cases to professionals and users.
Tutor Project: An Intelligent Tutoring System to Improve Cognitive Disabled People Integration BIBAKFull-Text 729-732
  J. Rubio; C. Vaquero; J. M. López de Ipiña; E. Irigoyen; K. L. de Ipiña; N. Garay; et al
Nowadays, the integration of people with cognitive disabilities, especially in the work environment in a growing competitive market, is a difficult task. The TUTOR project is addressed to the development and testing of an Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS). The ITS runs on a handheld device and its aim is to increase the autonomy of people with cognitive disabilities in labour and daily life activities, therefore, improving the social and labour integration of this collective and its quality of live. This paper describes the objectives of this project, the methodology followed, some preliminary achieved results and the future planned activities of this research group.
Keywords: intelligent tutoring system; coaching; cognitive disabilities; autonomy improvement
Adaptive Spell Checker for Dyslexic Writers BIBAKFull-Text 733-741
  Tuomas Korhonen
Dyslexic writers make more spelling errors than non-dyslexic writers do. There is some disagreement as to whether they display distinct characteristics in their spelling errors or whether they make errors typical of a younger age group while trying to use vocabulary that is of a level similar to that of others their own age. We hypothesise that the spell checking needs of dyslexic writers differ from those of non-dyslexic writers and that those needs are not adequately met by existing spell checkers. We also hypothesise that spell checkers may be adapted to better meet these needs and that such adaptation would increase the ability of the spell checkers to both detect and correct the spelling errors of dyslexic writers. In this paper, we examine two spell checking methods, one, which can adapt to the writing style of the user and the other, which uses phonetic information to predict the intended word.
Keywords: dyslexia; spelling; spell-checking
Dyslexia: Study of Compensatory Software Which Aids the Mathematical Learning Process of Dyslexic Students at Secondary School and University BIBAKFull-Text 742-746
  Corinna Freda; Silvio Marcello Pagliara; Fiorentino Ferraro; Francesco Zanfardino; et al
The disadvantage dyslexic students suffer at school is not limited to reading and spelling, but it includes mathematical aspects too. The use of assistive technologies may be particularly beneficial to students with learning disabilities. However they do have application limits preventing them from being utilized to help the study of scientific subjects. This paper introduces a research idea in this field, which aims to realise a scientific editor which allows for reading and writing mathematics with the support of a speech synthesizer.
Keywords: Assistive technology; dyslexia; access to learn
The Effectiveness of TriAccess Reading System on Comprehending Nature Science Text for Students with Learning Disabilities BIBAKFull-Text 747-754
  Ming-Chung Chen; Chun-Han Chiang; Chien-Chuan Ko
The major purpose of this paper was to explore the effectiveness of an individualized reading system, TriAccess, for students with learning difficulties to comprehend the nature science text. Twenty 5th and 6th grade students with learning disabilities participated in the experiment. All the students read the articles presented with and without multiple representations on the TriAccees system. Six articles related to Endemic species in Taiwan served as experimental material. The results of the experiment indicated that the performance of reading comprehension was better when the participants read with multiple representations.
Keywords: students with learning disabilities; multiple representations; reading
Usable and Accessible Plain Language (Easy-to-Read) Network Service BIBAKFull-Text 755-758
  Sami Älli; Kimmo Kyyhkynen; Marianna Ohtonen
Plain language is language with simplified content, vocabulary and structures. These rules of plain language function quite well also in the web, even though the publication environment differs from that of printed media for which the principles of plain language were originally created.
   Besides the rules concerning typography and content, publishing plain language material on Internet pages presents major requirements to the visual and organizational structures of the documents. The navigation structure and other structural elements have to facilitate the processes in which plain language users move around and find information in the network service.
   Existing research data on a suitable visual and structural design of documents which would be best suited for users of plain language have to be integrated with corresponding information on designing documents for cognitively disabled users. Additional information is also needed especially on designing navigation structures for these user groups.
Keywords: plain language; easy-to-read; accessibility; cognitive disabilities
The Design of Talking Music Web Browser for Teaching Learning-Disabled Children: A Scaffolding Strategy to Aural Skills BIBAKFull-Text 759-762
  Yu-Ting Huang; Chi Nung Chu; Yao-Ming Yeh; Pei-Luen Tsai
The goal of this study is to find an efficient solution on the World Wide Web that would promote aural skills for the learning-disabled children through scaffolding strategy. For the abstract mental model building of pitch recognition and rhythm, there is a significance level for the learning effect from traditional class learning with Talking Music Web Browser. The design of Talking Music Web Browser with Vygotsky's concept of zone of proximal development is developed according to the scaffolds of Chevé system, music notation, solmization and melody to inspire the learning-disabled children to get aural skills. The Talking Music Web Browser can recover the learning-disabled children from a difficult position of no instruments to play or out of tune in learning music. They can acquire a lot of learning supports which comes in extremely handy.
Keywords: Talking Music Web Browser; Chevé system; Scaffolding
Information Center on Accessible Information BIBAFull-Text 763-766
  Kerstin Matausch; Birgit Peböck
Different legal bases such as the Federal Discrimination Act on People with Disabilities and the eGovernment law show the importance of web accessibility and it is well known that technical accessibility is not comprehensive without an adequate usability. Nevertheless, from the point of view regarding a comprehensive accessibility of information this will be too little especially with regard to people with learning disabilities. Little organizations currently are used to the realization of easy-to-read. This affects the production of print materials but also the offer of easy-to-read on the internet. Following this, it is meaningful to build up an information center giving support on these specific aspects.

Blind and Visually Impaired People: Human-Computer Interaction and Access to Graphics

Blind and Visually Impaired People: Human-Computer Interaction and Access to Graphics BIBAFull-Text 767-769
  Ilvio Bruder; Gerhard Jaworek
Graphical interfaces for modern information and communication systems are state of the art in computer interaction. Graphical interfaces stand for fast, comprehensive, and flexible usage of computer in working as well as in private environments. Impaired people, especially visually impaired, have major problems using the graphical interface. These people can not use contemporary computer programs. That is one reason for comprehensive less number of visually impaired employees. Helping these people is a necessary, but difficult challenge. The introduced special thematic session "Blind and Visually Impaired People: Human-Computer Interaction and Access to Graphics" represents current research towards solutions for visually impaired and brings together researchers and practitioners. The STS represents topics from hard- and software user interfaces, screen reader, accessibility of specific applications, and e-learning and communication strategies.
Making the I-Maestro Music Learning Framework Accessible BIBAKFull-Text 770-776
  Neil McKenzie; Benjie Marwick-Johnstone
In a climate where we are increasingly looking to technology to support our learning processes, it important to make sure that technological advancement isn't chosen over maximum inclusion. The two have to go hand in hand. This paper presents the I-Maestro project and demonstrates how it attempts to bridge the gap between music pedagogy and technology while keeping the learning experiences accessible for the visually impaired.
Keywords: Music; eLearning; Pedagogy; Braille; Accessibility
Voice Browser for Groupware Systems: VoBG -- A Simple Groupware Client for Visually Impaired Students BIBAKFull-Text 777-780
  Makoto Kobayashi
A dedicated browser application named Voice Browser for Groupware systems (VoBG) was developed. The target users are visually impaired persons who are computer novices. This browser is a client application for a specified groupware system named Garoon 2, which is one of the most popular groupware system packages in Japan. The groupware is Web-based system and basically accessible for the visually impaired users. However, the structure of each Web page generated by the groupware server is too complicated to get information exactly for beginners with visual impairment. To solve this problem, VoBG reduces information of these pages using information of HTML tags, and reconstructs each page to understandable format for the target users.
Keywords: voice browser; groupware system; visually impaired person; computer novice
Making ProTools Accessible for Visually Impaired BIBAKFull-Text 781-788
  Tomáš Zahradnický; Róbert Lórencz; Pavel Musil
ProTools, an industry standard audio edit and mix software, is not accessible for visually impaired. Precisely, it was not accessible and this paper presents how was ProTools access enabled with the help of ProAccess application. ProAccess was created for this purpose and uses mach code injection techniques to load an access enabling bundle into ProTools and applies the method that was published 2 years ago. The paper also describes the relationships in between ProTools, ProAccess, and VoiceOver technology and what results we have obtained together with ProTools, timing of its learning process for a visually impaired person.
Keywords: Accessibility; ProTools; Visual impairment; VoiceOver
User-Interface Modelling for Blind Users BIBAKFull-Text 789-796
  Fernando Alonso; José L. Fuertes; Ángel L. González; Loïc Martínez
The design of a user interface usable by blind people sets specific usability requirements that are unnecessary for sighted users. These requirements focus on task adequacy, dimensional trade-off, behaviour equivalence, semantic loss avoidance and device-independency. Consequently, the development of human-computer interfaces (HCI) that are based on task, domain, dialog, presentation, platform and user models has to be modified to take into account these requirements. This paper presents a user interface model for blind people, which incorporates these usability requirements into the above HCI models. A framework implementing the model has been developed and implemented in an electronic speaking bilingual software environment for blind or visually impaired people and in an educational system for children with special educational needs.
Keywords: human-computer interfaces; blind user interface model; accessible user interfaces
Towards an Open Source Screen Reader: Screenreader Usability Extensions (SUE) BIBAKFull-Text 797-800
  Andrea Gaal; Gerhard Jaworek; Joachim Klaus; Martina Weicht; Frank Zenker; Ilvio Bruder; et al
More and more educational institutions, authorities, and companies adopt open source software, especially Linux. Unfortunately, at the moment, no Linux based screen reader provides adequate and sufficient functionality as the ones of Windows. This means that visually impaired people are disadvantaged in the labour market. The focus of the project is the development of a screen reader for the graphical interface using Linux. The screen reader will allow the visually impaired to work with Linux for typical office tasks and the desktop (GNOME) itself. A special training course will instruct teachers and pupils at institutions for the blind and the partially sighted in using the screen reader. The content of the programme is based on the 7 modules of the ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence).
Keywords: SUE; Screenreader Usability Extensions; structural analysis; task models; training programme; ECDL; blind; accessibility; open source; GNOME; Linux
ZoomLinux: A Research Result Providing a Tangible Response to the Needs of Low Vision Students BIBAKFull-Text 801-808
  Giovanni Paolo Caruso; Silvia Dini; Lucia Ferlino
This paper addresses the needs of low-vision students by examining the development of ZoomLinux, a DVD containing specially selected open source educational software products. The DVD was created in 2008 by a group of researchers and professionals who have gained extensive experience in visual impairment through studies conducted over many years. ZoomLinux differs from similar products devoted to people with special needs by being "especially normal": the software applications and the platform itself are readily usable by each and every student in the classroom, thus satisfying the most important requirement of e-inclusion. This approach offers new opportunities for educational and methodological settings: the teacher can customize system and software options in order to meet different special needs. For each educational software, the DVD provides detailed informations about strengths, weaknesses regarding use with low vision students, accessibility analysis and notes explaining how teachers can customize the interface.
Keywords: E-inclusion; Education; Low vision; Accessibility; Usability; Assistive Technology; Opensource; DVD Live; Linux
An Analysis of Human-to-Human Dialogs and Its Application to Assist Visually-Impaired People BIBAKFull-Text 809-812
  Takuya Nishimoto; Takayuki Watanabe
A prototype lunch delivery web system for visually impaired was developed based on the analysis of human (a visually impaired who wants to order a lunch) to human (a sighted person who helps the visually impaired to decide lunch by reading aloud lunch menu) dialog. Based on the analysis, a prototype system was developed, which consists of three steps: 1) rough selection, 2) selection of favorites, and 3) final selection. The evaluation of the prototype system is performed by the visually impaired only with synthesized speech and key-board. The results showed that our system is effective and easy to use.
Keywords: exploratory search; web application; dialog system; screen reader
Learning Support System Based on Note-Taking Method for People with Acquired Visual Disabilities BIBAKFull-Text 813-820
  Kazuyuki Itou; Baku Kato; Masaru Taniguchi; Toshio Otogawa; Kazuyuki Itoh; et al
This study is intended to produce a learning support system for middle-aged people and elderly people with acquired visual disabilities. Our investigation results related to tools of study show that the use of Braille and PCs has decreased in the classes. The first reason is that the number of elderly students has increased. Secondly, finger-reading is difficult for people with diabetic neuropathy. Thirdly, the Japanese kanji transfer system makes the keyboard operation of a PC difficult. We are developing new note-taking systems. One is Braille-type system; the other is a pen-based system. We produced prototypes. Our students used and evaluated them. We are planning to establish a learning support system using these devices.
Keywords: acquired visual disabilities; learning support system; note taking method
Dot Detection of Optical Braille Images for Braille Cells Recognition BIBAKFull-Text 821-826
  Amany Al-Saleh; Ali El-Zaart; AbdulMalik AlSalman
Braille is a tactile format of written communication for people with low vision and blindness worldwide. Optical Braille Recognition (OBR) offers many benefits to Braille users and people who work with them. This paper presents a new algorithm for detecting dots composing Braille characters in an image of embossed Braille material obtained by an optical scanner. We assume that a mixture of Beta distributions can model the histogram of a scanned Braille document. The core of the proposed method is the use of stability of thresholding with Beta distribution to initiate the process of thresholds estimation. Segmented Braille image is then used to form a grid that contains recto dots and another one that contains verso dots. Using segmented image, Braille dots composing characters on both single-sided and double-sided documents are automatically identified from those grids with excellent accuracy.
Keywords: Optical Braille Images; Dot Detection; Thresholding; Beta Distribution; OBR
Developing Multimedia-Game Software to Improve Space and Depth Perception BIBAFull-Text 827-834
  Cecília Sik Lányi; László Galyas
Space perception is not a congenital faculty of human beings, but it evolves during the first few years of life. Experts are of the opinion that depth perception can be improved during the first 15-16 years of life. It is very important to help our up coming generation acquire good space perception as this is essential to be able to perform in a high number of occupations. We have developed a multimedia program with animations that were used by nursery school children to examine space perception. We developed test multimedia games with anaglyph technique to investigate the little children. If the kindergarten teacher realizes the child is not able to solve the task in the multimedia games she/he can send the child to the ophthalmologist just in time for complete examination. In this case eventually other problems will come to light in time.
Tactile Graphics Revised: The Novel BrailleDis 9000 Pin-Matrix Device with Multitouch Input BIBAKFull-Text 835-842
  Thorsten Völkel; Gerhard Weber; Ulrich Baumann
We describe the novel BrailleDis 9000 pin-matrix device. The refreshable device allows to present tactile graphics on a matrix of 60 times 120 pins. The pin-matrix device is made up of a newly developed type of vertical Braille module allowing for a compact assembly of all necessary components. Additionally, the pin-matrix device is touch sensitive and capable of detecting multiple points of contact. Using multitouch features, novel multimodal interaction cycles can be realized with the Braille display, such as a bi-manual sweep.
Keywords: Tactile graphics; visually impaired; assistive technology; pin-matrix device
Sensitive Braille Displays with ATC Technology (Active Tactile Control) as a Tool for Learning Braille BIBAFull-Text 843-850
  Siegfried Kipke
The Idea of a Sensitive Braille DisplayAccess to computers for blind users can be provided with speech and/or Braille output. A Braille display providing Braille output can interact with the computer. In order to be able to use a Braille display as an effective control unit for the computer is was the goal to create a sensitive Braille display which can detect the tactile reading position of the blind user. The research of how to detect the tactile reading position on a Braille display has lead to the invention of ATC (Active Tactile Control). New tools based on ATC for can be created for interactive learning, monitoring the learning process as well as assistance functions.
Dual Mode Fingertip Guiding Manipulator for Blind Persons Enabling Passive/Active Line-Drawing Explorations BIBAKFull-Text 851-858
  Syed Muammar Najib Syed Yusoh; Yoshihiko Nomura; Naomi Kokubo; Tokuhiro Sugiura; et al
A fingertip guiding manipulator was developed as a haptic graphic display to help the visually impaired create mental images of line drawings. The latest model to be presented in this study equips dual mode fingertip-guiding function allowing either passive or active exploration. When using this manipulator, the person is assumed to pinch a knob by his/her fingertip: the knob is attached at the end of the manipulator. In the active mode, the fingertip guiding manipulator pulls his/her fingertip along line drawings. In the passive mode, it provides a kind of selective compliance, and allows the persons freely to move his/her fingertip in the only direction of the line drawings. For the sake of the dual mode function, it is expected that efficiency would be improved a lot comparing to the former model being equipped with the passive mode alone.
Keywords: Haptic Device; Visually Impaired; Blind Persons
Toward Touching a Landscape in a Picture: Investigation of Groping Strategy about Tactile Images and Image Simplification Method BIBAKFull-Text 859-864
  Takayuki Shiose; Yasuhiro Kagiyama; Kiyohide Ito; Kazuhiko Mamada; Hiroshi Kawakami; et al
In this paper, we propose a method for "touching a landscape in a photograph." In concrete terms, it is an image processing to simplify images and making images tactile by a stereo copying machine. How much we simplify images depends on subject's groping strategy. Experiments are carried about three images which they are different in their complexity of texture. The results show that frequency of large hand movements correlate with complexity of image texture.
Keywords: tactile image; image processing; the blind; assistive technology
An Off-Screen Model for Tactile Graphical User Interfaces BIBAKFull-Text 865-872
  Michael Kraus; Thorsten Völkel; Gerhard Weber
Screen readers enable visually impaired people to access information provided by computer systems. They gather data from operation system and applications, govern the data in an internal data structure (off-screen model), and provide the information in an appropriate format to output devices. However, current approaches for the construction of off-screen models are not appropriate for tactile graphical displays. Within this paper we therefore describe the composition of an alternative off-screen model appropriate for storing and administrating information necessary for tactile graphical displays.
Keywords: Assistive technology; off-screen model; screen reader

Access to Mathematics and Science

Access to Mathematics and Science BIBAFull-Text 873-874
  Arthur I. Karshmer
The task of entering into careers in math and science is one of difficulty for all students. For the visually impaired student, the task is even more daunting. In our STS, we will hear a number of excellent papers and see several exciting demonstrations concerning making math, and therefore science, accessible to the visually impaired.
Multimedia MathReader for Daisy Books BIBAFull-Text 875-878
  Piotr Brzoza
The Paper presents multimedia Daisy Books browser accessible for visually impaired people which allows interactive voice reading of structural information like math formulas, lists, tables. DaisyReader supports new MathML Modular Extensions (2007) of Daisy standard.
Writing Mathematics by Speech: A Case Study for Visually Impaired BIBAKFull-Text 879-882
  Cristian Bernareggi; Valeria Brigatti
Speech input has proven to be useful for entering text in electronic documents, and seems to be a promising technique also for writing mathematical expressions. Up to now, there is no evidence about the potential advantages of speech input on blind persons who need to edit scientific documents. This paper introduces a technique to enable blind persons to input mathematics by speech. A system prototype has been developed, based on the LAMBDA mathematical editor and the Dragon NaturallySpeaking™ software. An early assessment has been undertaken with a group of blind users. The results of this evaluation will be discussed in this paper and will be exploited to enhance the system prototype.
Keywords: Speech input; mathematics; blind; multimodal interfaces
Universal Authoring System for Braille Materials by Collaboration of UMCL and Infty BIBAFull-Text 883-887
  Toshihiro Kanahori; Dominique Archambault; Masakazu Suzuki
We are developing a universal authoring system for Braille materials by collaboration of UMCL and Infty. The UMCL provides conversion modules from MathML to various Braille notations. The Infty system is an integrated suite for scientific documents, which recognizes image or PDF files of a scientific document including mathematical expressions and provides easy interfaces to edit those documents. Combining these systems, we obtain the universal authoring system. Using the system, users can make mathematical materials in various Braille notations without any knowledge of those notations.
Assessing the Mathematics Related Communication Requirements of the Blind in Education and Career BIBAKFull-Text 888-891
  Paul Stanley
Educational and career opportunities for the blind would be greatly expanded if they could function in sighted environments. A sighted environment is defined as a dialog involving non-trivial mathematics; which employs visual renderings of the math discussed; and where no provision is made for blind participants. After itemizing the common visual media found in the typical classroom and workplace, this paper lists the minimum requirements necessary for the blind to function in a sighted environment. The foremost challenges will be 1) the conversion of all visual lines of math related communication into blind accessible formats; and 2) performing those conversions fast enough to provide synchronous communication between the blind user and his sighted peers.
Keywords: blind; visually impaired; mathematics; math; education; career; sighted environment
New Features in Math Accessibility with Infty Software BIBAFull-Text 892-899
  Katsuhito Yamaguchi; Toshihiko Komada; Fukashi Kawane; Masakazu Suzuki
The math OCR software, "InftyReader" can recognize properly printed math and scientific documents including many special symbols and technical notations such as math expressions. The recognition result can be converted to various accessible formats. The accessible math-document editor, "ChattyInfty" enables visually disabled people not only to read but also to author math documents with speech output. The current version of InftyReader can also recognize PDF files and achieves remarkable recognition rate for both of text and math parts. In the current version of ChattyInfty, user can customize various settings concerning speech output. A new function relevant to producing DAISY math books is also implemented.
Making Arithmetic Accessible BIBAFull-Text 900-906
  John A. Gardner; Carolyn K. Gardner; Blake Jones; Elizabeth Jones
The authors discuss a truly universal learning system that will allow all children including blind and deaf children to do arithmetic using standard algorithms. This system uses the three main learning modalities, sight, sound and touch, allowing students to simultaneously use multiple senses when learning. The product was designed with a flexible user-interface so that students can receive and enter information in a variety of ways. This product makes use of scalable vector graphics and uses XForms to create input fields within graphics.
Learning Math for Visually Impaired Users BIBAKFull-Text 907-914
  Thimoty Barbieri; Lorenzo Mosca; Licia Sbattella
Writing and reading formulas or perceiving the graph of a function stand in the way of a blind student for an efficient and complete study of Math. We propose an architecture made by different components that allows to a blind user to face the study of the mathematics in total autonomy. The system allows the formula editing, and the formula exploration. In case of the formula represents a 2D function, the system innovatively supports the haptic and audio exploration of the corresponding graph through a very cheap IO device. The article describes the system architecture and the test results.
Keywords: learning math; perception graphs; formulas; linearization; sonification; haptic feedback; aural feedback; visual impairments
Manipulatives in the History of Teaching: Fast Forward to AutOMathic Blocks for the Blind BIBAFull-Text 915-918
  Arthur I. Karshmer; Daryoush Farsi
The use of manipulative objects in the teaching of younger children has been a well know and accepted educational practice for over 200 years. The use of manipulative blocks have been valuable in the teaching of subjects such as the alphabet, linear and multidimensional measurements and early mathematics to name a few. In the current work, we present a brief overview of the traditional use of these tools as a basis for the discussion of the AutOMathic Blocks system -- a systems that integrates the physical manipulative object with a computer to deliver personal math instruction to young students with visual impairments.
Braille-Embedded Tactile Graphics Editor with Infty System BIBAFull-Text 919-925
  Toshihiro Kanahori; Masayuki Naka; Masakazu Suzuki
We are developing a graphics editor to easily draw Braille-embedded tactile graphics for scientific documents including mathematical expressions with Infty specialized system. Each graphics embedded in a document is cut out and characters on the graphics are recognized by InftyReader. The recognized graphics can be edited with this graphics editor, which is based on scalable vector graphics. Since, in the editor, ordinary texts and mathematical expressions on the recognized graphics are presented by InftyEditor, users can easily edit them with its input interface. After completing the edit process, all texts and mathematical expressions are automatically translated into Braille by our original Braille translator, InftyBraille. Then, the edited graphics is output as an EMF file. Embossing out the EMF file, users even who do not know Braille codes can get a Braille-embedded tactile graphics.
Access to Mathematics in Web Resources for People with a Visual Impairment BIBAFull-Text 926-933
  Martyn Cooper; Tim Lowe; Mary Taylor
This paper discusses issues in the representation of mathematics within web resources and how this affects access for people with a visual impairment. Firstly it outlines the distance and open learning context at the Open University and the needs of people with a visual impairment. The paper then describes and discusses different approaches to making maths online accessible to people with a visual impairment. Two key projects at the Open University are outlined and some reflections made on future directions for the work.
Multimodal Exploration and Manipulation of Graph Structures BIBAKFull-Text 934-937
  Cristian Bernareggi; Christian Comaschi; Giancarlo Dalto; Piero Mussio; et al
This paper introduces a multimodal interactive system which aims to enable blind and visually impaired persons to create, manipulate and explore graph structures in a 3D space. An audio-haptic interaction paradigm has been designed to ensure a non-visual experience of graph structures. Visual feedback makes possible communication about graphs between non-sighted and sighted users. The multimodal manipulation and exploration techniques are introduced together with the system prototype. Early evaluation results are illustrated.
Keywords: Haptic; graph; blind; visually impaired
The Development of a Universal Design Tactile Graphics Production System BPLOT2 BIBAKFull-Text 938-945
  Mamoru Fujiyoshi; Akio Fujiyoshi; Nobuyuki Ohtake; Katsuhito Yamaguchi; et al
We introduce a new universal design tactile graphics production system: BPLOT2. With BPLOT2, blind persons and sighted persons can share resources and cooperatively draw tactile graphics to be utilized in braille textbooks and teaching materials. Present tactile graphics design applications have only GUI (Graphical User Interface) with the need for mouse operations and thus are not usable by blind persons. Equally inconvenient, our self-supporting tactile graphics production system for the blind, BPLOT, has only CUI (Character User Interface), so BPLOT is not popular among the sighted. Therefore, we implemented GUI on BPLOT and realized universal design on BPLOT2.
Keywords: universal design; visually impaired; tactile graphics; GUI
Transnational Support to Visually Impaired in Scientific University Courses BIBAKFull-Text 946-952
  Cristian Bernareggi; Barbara Hengstberger; Valeria Brigatti
Blind and visually impaired students seldom choose to attend university technical or scientific courses. The major problems concern access to scientific documentation, to scientific software and getting advantage of attending lessons. Many solutions exist, but they are often available or known at national level. This paper introduces the @science thematic network, which aims at collecting and documenting practices and experiences at transnational level to facilitate blind and visually impaired students to go through scientific studies at university.
Keywords: Science; accessibility; blind; visual impaired; higher education
Chemical Workbench for Blind People -- Accessing the Structure of Chemical Formula BIBAKFull-Text 953-960
  Federsel Stephan; Klaus Miesenberger
This paper exposes some ideas how blind people can get better access to the structure of chemical formulas. The first chapters outline the problems of blind people, who work in chemical areas. A further part of this paper discusses the state of the art in access to chemistry. Starting form this level of information ideas on a new approach will be shown how a blind user can navigate through chemical formulas.
Keywords: blind people; chemistry; structure of chemical formula; navigate
E-Learning for Secondary School Teachers: Inclusive Science and Math Instruction for Students with Disabilities BIBAKFull-Text 961-968
  Robert L. Todd
The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) is conducting a research and development project to enhance the capacities of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers to educate students with disabilities. The project has conducted online surveys, focus groups and longitudinal studies to discover the training and knowledge needs of teachers. The ongoing research has identified significant gaps in teacher knowledge about students with disabilities and the accommodations that can help them succeed. In particular, there is a pervasive lack of understanding of the uses of assistive technology, along with discomfort in the use of this technology. Findings have been used in the creation of online training courses designed to meet teacher needs in the classroom and laboratory environments. Further research will investigate the use of project resources with teachers of students with focused disability issues.
Keywords: STEM; Science; Math; Education; Disability; Teacher Training

Accessible Tourism

Accessible Tourism Introduction to the Special Thematic Session BIBAFull-Text 969-972
  Franz Pühretmair; Dimitrios Buhalis
The Special Thematic Session is organized to provide a forum to discuss major issues related to Accessible Tourism, to identify existing barriers as well as technologies, strategies and approaches to promote Accessible Tourism. The more Information Communication Technologies and Assistive Technologies increase the potential to enable people with disabilities to take part in almost any area of life, the more eInclusion and eAccessibility become a common responsibility of the mainstream tourism industry. The European Commission appreciates this fact and therefore supports different activities to raise the awareness of the impact and the business opportunities that Accessible Tourism introduces. The forthcoming process of demographic ageing will lead to a growing number of tourists with needs for more accessibility and higher service quality also in tourism.
How to Inform People with Reduced Mobility about Public Transport BIBAKFull-Text 973-980
  Christian Bühler; Helmut Heck; Josef Becker
The German project BAIM supports the active and independent participation of people with reduced mobility in public transport. It focuses on the provision of accessible and adaptable information services with target group oriented information about suitable travelling options or potential barriers, before and during the journey. The information is provided via internet and via an interactive telephone service with speech-recognition. The system has been implemented and tested in two integrated public transport systems, Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund and Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Branden burg, covering a population of 11 Mio. people, with a strong emphasis on user participation in all project phases. Main parts of the system went public in January 2008.
Keywords: accessible public transport; people with reduced mobility; information service; barrier-free travelling
A Flexible Concept to Establish Accessibility Information in Tourism Web-Pages BIBAFull-Text 981-988
  Franz Pühretmair; Wolfram Wöß
Accessible tourism that comprises the market of people with disabilities and elderly travelers is far away from being a niche market. Nevertheless it is characterized by missing, insufficient or inaccurate accessibility information on tourism objects. The presented approach demonstrates how it is possible to overcome this deficits and how this growing but neglected market can be supported. The fundamental idea is to aggregate up-to-date, trustable and comparable accessibility information in a central accessibility database. A service-oriented architecture enables information providers to flexibly access and query accessibility information stored in the database by the use of Web services. Consequently, the accessibility information delivered can be integrated in information portals and homepages, thus enabling a wide spreading of accessibility information which is the main focus of this paper.
(e-)Accessibility Research from the Perspective of the Tourism, Sport and Leisure Industries -- Selected Project Results and Future Focus of the e-Motion Competence Centre BIBAKFull-Text 989-996
  Markus Lassnig; Mark Markus; Kerstin Matausch; Franz Pühretmair; Andreas Wagner
This paper presents selected research results of the project "Accessible Sport Regions" and outlines the future (e-)accessibility research initiatives within the e-Motion competence centre. Based on the empirical research, the project establishes a relation between the considerable accessibility market and the relatively small number of current tourists with disabilities in the region of Salzburg, indicating large unexploited potentials. According to experts, even moderate investments in accessible services and infrastructure could yield high returns. A disproportion between the provision of and demand for accessible infrastructure will be discussed. To provide an insight into the nature of measures for an tourism industry accessible to people with disabilities, the barriers from the perspective of tourists with disabilities across the tourism service-chain were analyzed.
Keywords: Accessible tourism market potential vs. state of the art; barriers across tourism service-chain; future accessibility research in the tourism and sports industries

Smart Environments

Smart Environments: Introduction to the Special Thematic Session BIBAFull-Text 997-1000
  Gerhard Nussbaum
Smart Homes and Environments have the capability to compensate some of the occupant's disabilities and can extend the time people can live in their preferred environment by increasing their autonomy. Therefore such environments are an important approach to independent living of people with disabilities and older persons. For this reason Smart Environments are also a main topic of the Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme. This special thematic session deals with Smart Environments and related developments and research. The topics reach from "A Living Lab for Ambient Assisted Living" over "EasyControl -- universal control system" to "A Smart Indoor Navigation Solution based on Building Information Model and Google Android".
All the Way to Living Independently: Reflections on a Design Case BIBAFull-Text 1001-1007
  Peter den Brok; Ingrid Mulder; Jan van den Berg
Even when assistive technologies do support people with special needs and enabling them to retain an independent lifestyle, unforeseen thresholds may pop up and hinder people to become fully independent. Aiming to contribute to best practices in the field of independent living, a co-design case of support for a specific person with serious speech and movement impairments is reported. We describe the human-centered design trajectory, the developed support, and reflect on our experiences striving to develop computer programs that really help people with special needs in order to maintain independent living.
A Living Lab for Ambient Assisted Living in the Municipality of Schwechat BIBAKFull-Text 1008-1015
  P. Panek; W. L. Zagler
This paper describes the Living Lab for Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) technologies and services in the city of Schwechat. Local authorities, social service providers, elderly persons, carers, research entities and companies have started to cooperate closely as full partners in this Living Lab in order to invent, discuss, explore, implement, and evaluate innovative technologies to support the independent living of senior citizens. This approach allows focusing on the actual needs of the future users by involving them right from the beginning. The paper gives an overview on the approach of the Living Lab, it describes some pilot projects currently being carried out and discusses the preliminary experiences gathered since 2006. The first findings in the Living Lab are promising, especially the feedback from the user community is very positive.
Keywords: user involvement; user participation; participative design; living lab; innovation; assisted living; AAL
ENABLE -- A View on User's Needs BIBAKFull-Text 1016-1023
  Stefan Parker; Gerhard Nussbaum; Helmut Sonntag; Franz Pühretmair; Veronika Williams; et al
The ENABLE project, which is partly funded by the European Commission, aims to assist elderly people to live well, independently and at ease. In this project a wrist unit with both integrated and external sensors, and with a radio frequency link to a mobile phone, will be developed. ENABLE will provide a number of services for elderly people, among them also a remote control service for the home environment. This paper briefly describes the project in general and then focuses on the initial user needs investigation which was carried out in early 2007 in six different European countries. The provisional findings are discussed and an outlook on the ongoing and future project work is given. A special focus of this paper is on the environmental control service.
Keywords: ageing population; disability; wearable computing; alarm systems; fall detection; guidance; environmental control; smart environment; ambient assisted living
EasyControl -- Universal Control System BIBAFull-Text 1024-1029
  Marcela Fejtová; Petr Novák; Olga Štepánková
Usually, people access and control technical devices through various peripheries, e.g. PC mouse, computer keyboard or other remote control devices with buttons. Construction of these peripheries assumes that the user can hold them in his/her hand and handle them. Our team has designed and developed several peripheries and helpful software programs, which are ready to provide assistance for people with some disabilities. Our peripheries are named e.g. I4Control®, BlinkSwitch, FingerSwitch and others. Universal control system named EasyControl was developed by our team to enable primary to control PC through several input devices. Using these input devices and system EasyControl user cannot control only our PC but also other devices in surrounding environment. Some applications and toys were developed to unable users to master some input devices.
Eye, Me and the Environment BIBAKFull-Text 1030-1033
  Fangmin Shi; Alastair Gale; Emilie Mollenbach
In order to broaden the applicability of an eye-tracking based assistive technology the available environmental control systems are reviewed. Their advantages and limitations are discussed with respect to their usage with eye tracking technology for aiding people with special needs. It is concluded that each system has its own distinct advantages for this task, linked also to their availability, ease of use and cost. Consequently a modular design approach is advocated for eye tracking control technologies in this domain to make them as generically applicable as possible.
Keywords: eye tracking; environmental control systems; assistive technology
Development of a Low Cost Base Station for Multimodal Home Monitoring BIBAFull-Text 1034-1041
  Klaus-Hendrik Wolf; Arne Lohse; Michael Marschollek; Reinhold Haux
Objectives: Enable the sustainable monitoring of health-related parameters by developing an easy-to-deploy and low-cost base station for home monitoring seamlessly integrated into trans-institutional health information systems utilizing established standards. Methods: A network attached storage device based on Linux is modified to perform as an easily expandable data logger for different modalities. Local data storage as well as the communication of gathered or analysed data to authorized systems uses established standards. First usability tests are performed in laboratory settings and in an elderly person's home. Results: The modalities implemented by now include different wireless and wired sensor systems. Data can be communicated to institutional health information systems. Conclusions: It is possible to deploy a very low cost and easy to use base station for home monitoring. The chosen device was able to perform the logging of data as well as simple analysis and forwarding of relevant information.
Distributed Accelerometers as a Main Component in Detecting Activities of Daily Living BIBAKFull-Text 1042-1049
  Josef Diermaier; Katharina Neyder; Franz Werner; Paul Panek; Wolfgang L. Zagler
In this paper we describe the use of accelerometers in a system aiming to detect Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) of elderly people in home environments. Our aim is to enable senior citizens to remain in their familiar home environments as long as possible by increasing their feeling for safety and autonomy in a minimally invasive way. Therefore we developed a ZigBee-based smart system which uses distributed accelerometers as main sensory component and does not need the resident to wear any artifact. In this way certain activity patterns could be recognized respecting the users' privacy. We gathered certain ADLs manually from the raw data and validated them in different ways. In this manner 151 out of 155 ADLs could be verified. In this paper an overview of the system together with the findings of the real life tests are presented.
Keywords: Accelerometer; AAL; Activities of Daily Living; Minimally Invasive; ZigBee; Activity Patterns
A Smart Indoor Navigation Solution Based on Building Information Model and Google Android BIBAKFull-Text 1050-1056
  Ferial Shayeganfar; Amin Anjomshoaa; A. Min Tjoa
There are many types of indoor and outdoor navigation tools and methodologies available. A majority of these solutions are based on Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and instant video and image processing. These approaches are ideal for open world environments where very few information about the target location is available, but for large scale building environments such as hospitals, governmental offices, etc the end-user will need more detailed information about the surrounding context which is especially important in case of people with special needs. This paper presents a smart indoor navigation solution that is based on Semantic Web technologies and Building Information Model (BIM). The proposed solution is also aligned with Google Android's concepts to enlighten the realization of results.
Keywords: IAI IFCXML; Building Information Model; Indoor Navigation; Semantic Web; Google Android; People with Special Needs
Developing a Sub Room Level Indoor Location System for Wide Scale Deployment in Assisted Living Systems BIBAKFull-Text 1057-1064
  Gerald Bauer; Paul Lukowicz
The work described in this paper is part of the MonAMI European project that aims to facilitate and demonstrate large scale real life deployment of AAL technologies. A major concern of the project is the ability to locate and track people within their homes with sensor setups that are cheap, easily installed into hundreds of homes, and can be operated for extended time periods with no or little maintenance. This paper describes such a system. It is based on a standard ceiling mounted camera, an on body accelerometer and simple yet robust image processing. We describe the system concept and the current implementation based on a commercial wide angle webcam and the motion sensor of the Apple iPhone/Nokia N95 mobile phone. We also report on initial results with operating the system in our lab.
Keywords: Human Monitoring System; Activity Recognition; ROI Localization; Home Care Appliances
Utilizing QR Code and Mobile Phones for Blinds and Visually Impaired People BIBAFull-Text 1065-1069
  Hend S. Al-Khalifa
In this paper a barcode-based system to help the visually impaired and blind people identify objects in the environment is introduced. The system is based on the idea of utilizing QR codes (two-dimensional barcode) affixed to an object and scanned using a camera phone equipped with QR reader software. The reader decodes the barcode to a URL and directs the phone's browser to fetch an audio file from the Web that contains a verbal description of the object. Our proposed system is expected to be useful in real-time interaction with different environments and to further illustrate the potential of our work, two scenarios are presented.
Exploiting RFIDs and Tilt-Based Interaction for Mobile Museum Guides Accessible to Vision-Impaired Users BIBAKFull-Text 1070-1077
  Giuseppe Ghiani; Barbara Leporini; Fabio Paternò; Carmen Santoro
In this paper, we present a study aiming to investigate how tilt-based interaction, along with RFIDs for localization, can be exploited to support blind users in interacting with mobile guides. We describe the design proposed and report on a first user study, which also compared two different ways to provide audio feedback (short sounds or vocal messages) for the tilt-based interaction.
Keywords: Mobile guides; Accessibility; Tilt-based interaction; Blind users; RFIDS

Portable and Mobile Systems in Assistive Technology

Portable and Mobile Systems in Assistive Technology BIBAFull-Text 1078-1080
  R. Manduchi; J. Coughlan
Computing power, communications and internet access are becoming increasingly untethered from the desktop and moving to the realm of portable, wireless technology. Devices such as mobile (cell) phones and PDAs (personal digital assistants) have become affordable and ubiquitous, and offer not only substantial computational power but also telephone and internet access, as well as a variety of sensors such as cameras, GPS and RFID readers. While the overwhelming majority of such devices are being marketed primarily to able-bodied users (primarily young, tech-savvy people without obvious disabilities), there is enormous potential to harness their capabilities for use in assistive technology. As of yet, however, this potential remains largely untapped, with very few commercially available systems of this type.
A Survey on the Use of Mobile Phones by Visually Impaired Persons in Japan BIBAFull-Text 1081-1084
  Tetsuya Watanabe; Manabi Miyagi; Kazunori Minatani; Hideji Nagaoka
The present state and future needs of visually impaired mobile phone users were surveyed. The results showed that many visually impaired users, even print enabled persons, were making use of speech output to e-mail and to access the Internet, and, accordingly, improvements of speech output were requested. Additionally, GPS navigation was on the high priority request list.
Mobility Impaired Pedestrians Are Not Cars: Requirements for the Annotation of Geographical Data BIBAKFull-Text 1085-1092
  Thorsten Völkel; Romina Kühn; Gerhard Weber
Mobility is one prerequisite for carrying out an autonomous and independent life. As mobility impaired pedestrians impose very heterogeneous requirements regarding the calculation of optimized routes and the provision of navigation instructions, currently available navigation systems do not offer sufficient support. The main drawback is due to inadequate map data which is mostly optimized for car navigation. To overcome these limitations, the technique of multimodal annotation of geographical data has been developed for which additional requirements have been gathered by conducting a survey including 88 visually impaired respondents. Within this paper, the results of the survey are presented. Requirements for multimodal annotation are derived and discussed.
Keywords: Mobility impaired; annotation; navigation systems
People Helping Computers Helping People: Navigation for People with Mobility Problems by Sharing Accessibility Annotations BIBAFull-Text 1093-1100
  Harald Holone; Gunnar Misund
Accessibility maps are valuable tools for people with mobility problems navigating in the urban landscape, in particular for first time visitors. However, the costs of establishing and maintaining such maps prohibit widespread use. Moreover, smartphones, GPS positioning and a growing number of open geospatial tools and technology are becoming commodities. Letting users create and augment geospatial data is opening up for a host of novel user generated geospatial services. Maps, or more precisely, the geospatial data they depict, might for instance be used for route planning. For pedestrians, not to say people with mobility problems, such tools are scarce. In this paper, we explore the combination of accessibility maps and route planning for people with mobility problems. To overcome the cost problems of accessibility surveys, we propose a novel concept, OurWay, which allows the users to annotate the accessibility of their surroundings. This user generated content provides a basis for computing satisfactory routes, from one location to another, matching the user's preferences and needs. We present findings from two experiments, which bear evidence of the validity of the concept, and discuss its potential as a tool for surveying and route planning.
Inclusion of Accessibility Requirements in the Design of Electronic Guides for Museums BIBAKFull-Text 1101-1108
  Lourdes Moreno; Ma Carmen Gálvez; Belén Ruiz; Paloma Martínez
Technology can be an integrative tool with which to facilitate universal access to museums and their works via virtual guides that accompany the user making the visit more inclusive and accessible. With this aim it is necessary to keep in mind accessibility requirements which guide the design and development process. Since there are no clear procedures for defining and including these requirements, this paper presents a proposal for requirements capture and definitions of accessibility mechanisms which assure their integration, following studies and standards in the area of accessibility.
Keywords: Universal design; accessibility; electronic guide; virtual guide; requirements; multimedia; caption; audio description; Sign Language; museums
ODILIA -- A Mobility Concept for the Visually Impaired BIBAFull-Text 1109-1116
  Bernhard Mayerhofer; Bettina Pressl; Manfred Wieser
A navigation system for visually impaired people has to take into account the special requirements of these users. Within this group, there is also need for a customizable man-machine interface tailored to the individual. It has to be suitable for people depending on orientation by the sense of hearing or on tactile orientation, always avoiding disturbance of the user's remaining senses. On the other side, the hardware for data input and on-trip control should not exceed a certain size and weight. To be accepted for daily use, the overall system must not be stigmatizing the user. Stigmatizing means, that visually impaired users often do not want to be apparently distinguishable from the average pedestrian by wearing noticeable equipment. Another point is reliability and accuracy of the system which are essential features, because a blind person can be reliant on the system when entering an unknown area. The navigation system developed in ODILIA should provide accuracy, reliability of routing and guidance and the possibility to give the user an impression of the surrounding area.
Cellphone Accessible Information Via Bluetooth Beaconing for the Visually Impaired BIBAFull-Text 1117-1121
  S. Bohonos; A. Lee; A. Malik; C. Thai; R. Manduchi
We describe a complete hardware/software system, dubbed Universal Real-Time Navigational Assistance (URNA), which enables communication of relevant location-aware information to a blind person carrying a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone. Although URNA can be used for a number of different applications (e.g., an information kiosk at a shopping mall or public transit information at a bus stop), we concentrate on the challenging case of an urban intersection. Information provided to the user as he or she approaches the intersection includes a description of the intersection topology and real-time notification of the state of the traffic lights.
Crosswatch: A Camera Phone System for Orienting Visually Impaired Pedestrians at Traffic Intersections BIBAFull-Text 1122-1128
  Volodymyr Ivanchenko; James Coughlan; Huiying Shen
Urban intersections are the most dangerous parts of a blind or visually impaired person's travel. To address this problem, this paper describes the novel "Crosswatch" system, which uses computer vision to provide information about the location and orientation of crosswalks to a blind or visually impaired pedestrian holding a camera cell phone. A prototype of the system runs on an off-the-shelf Nokia camera phone in real time, which automatically takes a few images per second, uses the cell phone's built-in computer to analyze each image in a fraction of a second and sounds an audio tone when it detects a crosswalk. Tests with blind subjects demonstrate the feasibility of the system and its ability to provide useful crosswalk alignment information under real-world conditions.
Personal Mobile Assistant for Air Passengers with Disabilities (PMA) BIBAKFull-Text 1129-1134
  Alireza Darvishy; Hans-Peter Hutter; Peter Früh; Alexander Horvath; Dominik Berner
This paper describes the PMA research project in progress, whose aim is to develop a concept for personalized mobile route guidance and information for air passengers with disabilities (PWDs), and to implement this concept step by step. The PMA guides PWDs along their route from home to the desired departure gate (or vice-versa: from landing to destination), and provides them with information -- as and when they need it -- on their current position and remaining travel route, together with the latest flight information (e.g. delays or gate changes). This project mainly focuses on in-house guidance within the airport for passengers with visual disabilities. The concept is based on normal commercial mobile devices (cell phones or PDAs) with cameras. Within this project, the implementation of the concept is also restricted to the airport area, but is easily extendable to other public transport facilities.
Keywords: visual impairment; accessible mobility; airport guidance; accessibility; mobile devices; auditory interfaces; accessible tourism
Search Strategies of Visually Impaired Persons Using a Camera Phone Wayfinding System BIBAFull-Text 1135-1140
  R. Manduchi; J. Coughlan; V. Ivanchenko
We report new experiments conducted using a camera phone wayfinding system, which is designed to guide a visually impaired user to machine-readable signs (such as barcodes) labeled with special color markers. These experiments specifically investigate search strategies of such users detecting, localizing and touching color markers that have been mounted in various ways in different environments: in a corridor (either flush with the wall or mounted perpendicular to it) or in a large room with obstacles between the user and the markers. The results show that visually impaired users are able to reliably find color markers in all the conditions that we tested, using search strategies that vary depending on the environment in which they are placed.
Design of a Haptic Direction Indicator for Visually Impaired People in Emergency Situations BIBAKFull-Text 1141-1144
  Tomohiro Amemiya; Hisashi Sugiyama
Some emergency situations, such as fires or earthquakes, require that evacuation to a safe area, often through an emergency exit. This is especially difficult for people with visual disability. Here, we propose a new device, a haptic direction indicator, which will help blind pedestrians intuitively and safely escape from dangerous area by means of haptic navigation.
Keywords: ungrounded force perception; kinesthetic illusion
A New Cell Phone Remote Control for People with Visual Impairment BIBAKFull-Text 1145-1152
  Ryo Yoshida; Michiaki Yasumura
As visual interfaces become prevalent on home appliances such as LCDs used on remote controllers (RCs), people with visual impairment experienced increased difficulty. Previously, we developed two types of RCs for people with visual impairment, one with voice recognition and the other with numeric keys. We combined these two RCs into a cellphone RC application and evaluated three conditions. The combined condition (using both buttons and voice) took the least task time, and also received the highest score in the evaluative ratings provided by participants.
Keywords: visual impairment; cell phone; home appliance; mobile; assistive technology

Skills vs. Abilities: Alternative Input and Communication Systems

Skills vs. Abilities BIBAFull-Text 1153-1156
  Grigori Evreinov
A spectrum of human abilities, which people use to communicate and socially interact with others, is narrow enough (Table 1). Moreover, even basic human abilities (sensory-motor or/and cognitive) can be lost due to an accident or an illness. Nevertheless, the key issue is not how many different tools are needed to solve a specific problem but whether a person desires to be socially included [1, 2, 4, 7, 12, 14]. Social inclusion aims to reduce inequality between the least advantaged groups and communities and the rest of society. Nevertheless, the inclusion cannot be achieved when a target group or an individual person has a lack of skills to meet social challenges and opportunities.
A Character Input System Using Tooth-Touch Sound for Disabled People BIBAKFull-Text 1157-1160
  Koichi Kuzume
This paper presents the realization of a character input system for disabled people using tooth-touch sound. The proposed system had several advantages, including low price, ease of handling, and reliability. First, we analyzed the characteristics of the tooth-touch sound, obtained using a bone conduction microphone. We utilized the tooth-touch sound as a control signal for the input device. For practical purposes, we developed a novel method for eliminating the voice signal and white noise. Finally, we designed a device using the FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) in practice and applied it to the character input system to confirm its usefulness.
Keywords: tooth-touch sound; user interface; ECS
An Eye Gaze Tracking System Using Customized User Profiles to Help Persons with Motor Challenges Access Computers BIBAKFull-Text 1161-1168
  Anaelis Sesin; Malek Adjouadi; Mercedes Cabrerizo; Melvin Ayala; Armando Barreto
The central aim of this study is to develop an adaptive real-time eye-gaze tracking (EGT) system that serves as an assistive tool for persons with motor challenges access computers with optimal practicality. The novelty of the proposed method is that it adapts to the different and changing jitter characteristics of each specific user, through the configuration and training of an artificial neural network (ANN). A profile, generated for each user by the ANN through a one-time short training session, comes to reinforce the stability of mouse-cursor movements. The user profile, which can be fine-tuned with additional training, and the methods for training are embedded in the proposed system. The results using 9 subjects show an average jitter reduction of 36% in test 1 which is to follow a moving target, and 53% for following the contour of a square, which resulted in eye-gaze displacements that are significantly smoother.
Keywords: Eye-gaze tracking system; artificial neural network; user profile; jitter
Applicability of No-Hands Computer Input Devices for the Certificates for Microsoft Office Software BIBAKFull-Text 1169-1176
  Wonsuk Choi; Dongwoo Lee; Jongwhoa Na
The workload-based evaluation is applied for the certificates of the Microsoft Office Specialist. The certificates may be one of the solutions for this conflicts cause by the misunderstanding between the employer and the employee. We analyzed the MOS Word test questions by using various types of input devices including the camera mouse and the no-hands mouse. The experimental result showed the no-hands input devices can be successfully utilized for the examination for the MOS certificates.
Keywords: benchmark; no-hands mouse; employment problem
Assisting an Adolescent with Cerebral Palsy to Entry Text by Using the Chorded Keyboard BIBAKFull-Text 1177-1183
  Yun-Lung Lin; Ming-Chung Chen; Chih-Ching Yeh; Yao-Ming Yeh; Hwa-Pey Wang
For people with severe motor disabilities, the utilization of a standard keyboard has been a challenge because of their motor limitations. This study aimed to design a chorded on-screen keyboard with a customized alternative input device to meet the needs of a client with cerebral palsy. A bilingual on-screen keyboard with Chinese and English input methods was designed especially for Chinese users. The intervention study revealed that the chorded on-screen keyboard with a customized alternative input device could significantly improve the text entry performance of the user and could efficiently be his communication tool. A deeper understanding on computer access through text entry was explored and better text entry training solutions were recommended for future researches.
Keywords: chorded keyboard; on-screen keyboard; cerebral palsy
Designing a Scanning On-Screen Keyboard for People with Severe Motor Disabilities BIBAKFull-Text 1184-1187
  Yun-Lung Lin; Ting-Fang Wu; Ming-Chung Chen; Yao-Ming Yeh; Hwa-Pey Wang
This study aims to explore the effectiveness of a scanning on-screen keyboard for persons with severe motor disabilities. In order to enhance the typing performance, the on-screen keyboard employs the group-row-column scanning and a frequency-of-use layout. Besides the international alphabetical layout, the on-screen keyboard also provides two Chinese selection layouts for Chinese users. The usability evaluation was carried out with simulations and experiments. The usability evaluation was conducted to compare the performance with that of the QWERTY layout of block scanning built in Microsoft Windows XP. The results demonstrated that the performance of using the scanning on-screen keyboard was better than that of using the Windows XP. No significant difference between the error rates of the two different keyboards was found.
Keywords: on-screen keyboard; accessibility; scanning selection
Evaluating the Hands-Free Mouse Control System: An Initial Case Study BIBAKFull-Text 1188-1195
  Torsten Felzer; Rainer Nordmann
An initial user study evaluating the HAnds-free Mouse COntrol System (HaMCoS) will be presented. The system allows its user to fully operate a Windows® PC without using the hands. It requires a special piezo-based input sensor in order to pick up the muscular activity of a single dedicated muscle of the user. The idea is to detect intentional contractions of the monitored muscle, and to use this information for emulating a two-button mouse device. In addition, the software framework renders any keyboard input unnecessary, so HaMCoS represents a comprehensive input method for persons who are unable to reliably employ the hands (e.g., tetraplegics). The paper will take a closer look at the specifics of the system followed by a discussion of the experiences gained by potential end users in a first case study.
Keywords: Human-computer interaction; bio-signal interfaces; scanning; hands-free control
GrooveWrite: A Multi-purpose Stylus-Based Text Entry Method BIBAKFull-Text 1196-1203
  Khaldoun Al Faraj; Mustapha Mojahid; Nadine Vigouroux
With the emergence of mobile computing devices such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), a new challenge to design methods of interacting with them for people with disabilities has been created. In this paper, we propose GrooveWrite as a novel text entry system for handheld devices equipped with touch screen and stylus, targeted at people with situational and motor impairments. Based on traditional seven-segment layout, GrooveWrite interface is designed and implemented. The characters are entered by moving the stylus inside physical side-grooves, which are used as a stabilizer for stylus motion, and crossing the subset of segments that forms intended character. Character recognition neither considers the path of movement, nor recognition pattern, but only the subset of seven segments that is crossed. We examine our system theoretically using CLC model. This study shows that GrooveWrite text entry speed will be 24.78 words per minute.
Keywords: Text entry; gestures; unistrokes; PDA; mobile devices; people with motor impairment; grooves; CLC model
Interaction between a Disabled Person and a Scanning Communication Aid: Towards an Automatic Adjustment of the Scanning Rate Adapted to the User BIBAKFull-Text 1204-1207
  Souhir Ghedira; Pierre Pino; Guy Bourhis
For many motor disabled persons, using scanning systems remains the only means of communication. The main disadvantage of this system is the slow pace of communication. A way to raise the pace for the selection of messages consists in optimizing the basic scrolling time. The purpose of this paper is to describe a method making it possible to adjust this time in an automatic and adaptive way.
Keywords: alternative communication; scanning system; Model Human Processor; adaptative scanning rate
Investigation of Calibration Techniques in Video Based Eye Tracking System BIBAKFull-Text 1208-1215
  Nerijus Ramanauskas; Gintautas Daunys; Donatas Dervinis
Exact calibration in real time is critical for gaze control systems. Five different calibration techniques were investigated: a standard calibration using linear and second order models (9 and 25 points); 2D mapping with interpolation; a mapping with developed model, describing eye image formation process. Results show that there is no significant difference between polynomial calibration method and a mapping with developed model. Calibration using model has an advantage, because there is no need to follow a whole calibration points each time. The point of gaze accuracy achieved during experiments is less than 1 degree.
Keywords: gaze based interaction; point of gaze; video based eye tracking
Text Entry System Based on a Minimal Scan Matrix for Severely Physically Handicapped People BIBAKFull-Text 1216-1219
  Julio Miró; Pablo A. Bernabeu
Improving augmentative communication systems is necessary for severely physically handicapped people because of the low rate of text entry that doesn't even permit them to communicate simultaneously with other people. This paper presents a reduced virtual keyboard based on scanning with only one switch. The scan matrix consists of only two cells, so ambiguity is present due to the assignment of 26 characters to both keys. In order to disambiguate, users enter each letter in two stages. An estimation of the text entry rate for an expert user is 10.1 words per minute using a scan rate of 0.5 seconds, although this value should be adapted for each individual, leading to different rates.
Keywords: Text entry; scanning; handicapped people; ambiguous keyboards; AAC

People with Disabilities: Speech Therapy and Sound Applications

Applications for Proximity Sensors in Music and Sound Performance BIBAFull-Text 1220-1227
  Ben P. Challis; Kate Challis
A low cost accessible sound and music control system is described (the Benemin). The interface employs an array of infrared distance measuring sensors that can be mapped to either MIDI pitches or MIDI control messages. When mapped to pitch, a user can interact with the system directly as a musical instrument. When mapped to controller messages, the system can be used as a multiparametric sound-controller. The Benemin has been designed to be inclusive such that it is aimed at users with or without specific needs. A model for testing is presented along with an indication of preliminary results.
EasyVoice: Breaking Barriers for People with Voice Disabilities BIBAKFull-Text 1228-1235
  Paulo A. Condado; Fernando G. Lobo
Text-to-speech technology has been broadly used to help people with voice disabilities to overcome their difficulties. With text-to-speech, a person types at a keyboard, the text is synthesized, and the sound comes out through the computer speakers.
   In recent years, Voice over IP (VoIP) applications have become very popular and have been used by people worldwide. These applications allow people to talk for free over the Internet and also to make traditional calls through the Public-Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) at a small fraction of the cost offered by traditional phone companies.
   This paper presents an application, called EasyVoice, that integrates different systems to allow a person with motor impairment and voice disabilities to talk with another person located anywhere in the world.
Keywords: Voice Disabilities; Virtual Keyboards; Text-to-Speech Synthesis; Skype; VoIP
An Experiment Using Personalised Multimedia Interfaces for Speech Therapy BIBAKFull-Text 1236-1243
  Jennifer George; Paul Gnanayutham
This paper discusses the experiments used in the design and development of assistive technology interfaces for children with phonological disorders and answering the research question should there be a group of interaction paradigms or one novel interaction paradigm that can be personalised, to enhance the performance of pronunciation skills for children with speech impairments? This research question is tested against an artifact designed and developed to address the need for an assistive device to rehabilitate children with phonological disorders.
Keywords: Speech Impairments; Phonology; Special Needs; Interfaces; Speech Therapy; Methods; Methodology; Articulation and Assistive Technology

People with Disabilities: Mobility and Care

MOVEMENT -- A Modular and Versatile Mobility Enhancement System BIBAKFull-Text 1244-1249
  Gernot Kronreif; Paul Panek; Alexander Hüntemann; Ger Cremers; Andreas Hochgatterer; et al
This paper describes a novel robotic system which aims on supporting the mobility of elderly citizens and persons with disabilities. The key innovation of this research project is the use of the concept of "Modular Mobility". According to this concept the system consists of a mobile (robotic) platform as core system and several dedicated "application modules". On demand the platform is being assigned to a particular task and automatically connects to an appropriate application module in order to accomplish the given task.
Keywords: assistive robotics; mobility aids; accessibility; independent living
BMI Based RHC Method for Wheelchair BIBAKFull-Text 1250-1260
  Tohru Kawabe
In this paper, a new BMI (Brain Machine Interface) based RHC (Receding Horizon Control) method is proposed. The method is designed intending to apply to control of the wheelchair, since the wheelchair is considered as one of a most significant man-machine system for handicapped persons in the contemporary society. The wheelchair system by using the proposed method is constructed with the RHC controller, the adaptive DA converter and the BMI based on the EEG (Electroencephalogram). A numerical example is also included to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.
Keywords: Man-machine systems; Brain machine interface; Receding horizon control; Adaptive DA converter
Modeling a Hands-Free Controlled Power Wheelchair BIBAKFull-Text 1261-1268
  Ludmila C. A. Silva; Torsten Felzer; Geraldo G. Delgado Neto; Rainer Nordmann; et al
This paper will present a study of the dynamics of the contact between the tire of a wheelchair and the ground. The model of the contact between road and tire has been implemented using a mathematical concept in a 2D multibody program, creating a laboratory. With this laboratory, it is possible to see the behavior of the wheelchair with different input sources. In this work the input is taken care of by a program called HaWCoS which allows the user to control a wheelchair without the need to use the hands. The results make it possible to develop new products for people with special needs and to develop better control systems by taking the dynamic behavior of wheelchairs into consideration.
Keywords: wheelchair; tire; dynamics; vehicle model; hands-free control
Brake Control Assist on a Four-Castered Walker for Old People BIBAKFull-Text 1269-1276
  Tetsuya Hirotomi; Yasutomo Hosomi; Hiroyuki Yano
Brake control assist for a four-castered walker for old people has been developed. The prototype system is equipped with a set of simple sensors, such as three-axis acceleration sensor and distance sensor. Our system estimates three walking states to control the application of the brake. Emergency strong brake can be predicted to prevent and/or forestall a fall. Individual characteristics related to brake control can be acquired within a short time and taken effect. In this paper, the implementation of brake control assist and its evaluations from performance and usability points of view are presented.
Keywords: Brake Control Assist; Four-Castered Walker; Adaptability; Old People; Gait Analysis; Assistive Technology
Development of a Sit-to-Stand Assistance System BIBAKFull-Text 1277-1284
  Yoshiyuki Takahashi; Osamu Nitta; Kosuke Tomuro; Takashi Komeda
A sit-to-stand assistance system with a moving handrail was developed, and experiments were conducted with individuals with Parkinson's disease. This is an outline of the sit-to-stand assistance system and the experiment. The system permits the user to stand up when, ordinarily, he would not be able to do so. The experiment was carried out with individuals who had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and could or could not stand up without aid. Comparisons were made using three handrail trajectories.
Keywords: Handrail; Sit-to-stand assistance; Parkinson's disease
OLDES: Designing a Low-Cost, Easy-to-Use e-Care System Together with the Stakeholders BIBAKFull-Text 1285-1292
  Christophe Ponsard; Mike Martin; Sarah Walsh; Susan Baines; Sébastien Rousseaux; et al
With the growing number of senior citizen, Europe is going to face major challenge to deliver care for them. The OLDES project funded by the Information Society Technology Programme of the European Union is exploring how ICT can help in the cost-effective scaling of the care delivery while also improving the well-being of elderly people. Designing a caring system is intrinsically complex because of the personal dimension and the many stakeholders involved across multiple organisations boundaries with different cultures.
   This paper describes the approach taken in OLDES to produce a design able to cope with the needs of the various stakeholders. Rather than following a traditional "requirements to design solution", a co-constructive approach was taken where the multiple actors, including patients, carers, social services, services managers were involved. A distributed animation tool was used to support this approach, enabling validation through various graphical representations of the system behavior. The resulting platform still, under development, will be tested in two major European towns: Bologna and Praha.
Keywords: eHealth; elderly; home care; call center; service oriented architecture; requirements validation
The Risk Factor in the Adaptation of Worksites in ICT-Related Jobs BIBAKFull-Text 1293-1300
  Renzo Andrich; Giacomo Liverani; Lucia Pigini
If working tasks are carried out in inadequate conditions, workers with functional limitations may, over time, risk developing further disabilities. While several validated risk assessment methods exist for able-bodied workers, few studies have been carried out for workers with disabilities. This paper, which reports the preliminary findings of a Study funded by the Italian Ministry of Labour, describes a general methodology for the technical and organizational re-design of a worksite, based on risk assessment and irrespective of any worker disability. To this end, two samples of disabled workers, composed of people with mild and severe motor disabilities, were recruited. By using a mix of risk assessment methods and the ICF taxonomy, an adapted worksite was designed for the individual workers in the study, and a prospective evaluation was carried out to check whether the new design would eliminate the risks. One case study is reported in detail -- a man with congenital malformations who works as a help-desk operator for technical assistance in the ICT department of a big organization.
Keywords: risk assessment; worksite accommodation; ICT-related jobs
Development of a Wearable Measurement System to Identify Characteristics in Human Gait -- eSHOE -- BIBAKFull-Text 1301-1304
  Harald Jagos; Johannes Oberzaucher
Measurement and interpretation of human ambulation offers great opportunities for several fields in AAL. In this paper CEIT RALTEC's ongoing development of a wearable measurement system, integrated in a conventional walking shoe, is presented. By combining different kinds of sensors in a sensor network, several characteristic parameters of the human ambulation can be measured. Extensive sensor data fusion and interpretation is used to extract significant features, which will be used for inference purposes. Beside the pure technical development a main goal during the design process is the deployment of an user centred approach. Whereas potential elderly users as well as medical experts and care takers are involved during the whole development process, with the goal of delivering a close-to-market prototype at the end of the project.
Keywords: Aging and Disability; Ambient and Assisted Living; Assistive Technology; eHealth -- Medicine and Care; Ambulation Measurement
Experiences Using Mobile Phones as Patient-Terminal for Telemedical Home Care and Therapy Monitoring of Patients Suffering from Chronic Diseases BIBAKFull-Text 1305-1312
  Matthias Pinsker; Karin Schindler; Jürgen Morak; Dieter Hayn; Peter Kastner; et al
Optimizing the treatment of chronic diseases requires continuous monitoring of the health status. With standard information and communication technology this challenge can be solved, with respect to special needs of patients, stated as marginal effort and simple handling. We present a therapy-management-system where patients acquired their health data using a Java-application running on mobile phones. The data were transferred to the health centre, which provided data visualization, individual feedback, reminders and surveillance of critical events. The system was evaluated in the course of two clinical trials with patients suffering from diabetes mellitus. Seven out of ten patients of the first trial returned questionnaires and reported feasibility of the concept for regular daily use. Patients of the second trial reported problems to a telephone-hotline, most were related to faulty data insertion. Based on their high user acceptance and ubiquitous availability mobile phones show the potential to be the patient-terminal of choice.
Keywords: eHealth; home care; telemedicine; mobile phone; patient-terminal; therapy management; disease monitoring; chronic disease; diabetes mellitus

People with Disabilities: Service Provision

Making an International Certificate Accessible BIBAKFull-Text 1313-1320
  Denise Leahy; Dudley Dolan
Digital Literacy is necessary for all in today's information society. Is it possible to measure this? And is it possible to include accessibility in that measurement? The European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) is accepted as a measure of digital literacy with over seven million participants worldwide. ECDL is running in over 146 countries. This paper examines the work to make this international certificate accessible while maintaining the quality of the standard. Two specific projects are examined: one an international collaboration and the other a project undertaken with a community of people with visual impairments in remote locations in Ireland.
Keywords: Digital literacy; accessibility
Effective Application of Paro: Seal Type Robots for Disabled People in According to Ideas of Occupational Therapists BIBAKFull-Text 1321-1324
  Kaoru Inoue; Kazuyoshi Wada; Yuko Ito
Paro is an autonomous seal type robot for those who cannot take care of real animals and those who live in places where pet-animals are forbidden. This paper describes effective application for disabled people of Paro in according to idea of Occupational Therapists. OTs thought that Paro is an effective tool on occupational therapy but OTs should consider clients' characters, situations. We think OTs should have skills to introduce activities to clients proficiently, to explain Paro's attractive points skillfully, to keep clients' interest for activities.
Keywords: Mental Commit Robot; Human-Robot Interaction; Robot Therapy; Seal type Robot; Occupational Therapy; disabled people
Which Technology Do We Want? Ethical Considerations about Technical Aids and Assisting Technology BIBAFull-Text 1325-1331
  Anne Venter; Gerlinde Renzelberg; Jürgen Homann; Lars Bruhn
1976 the Union of the Physically Impaired against Segregation (UPIAS) has published the "Fundamental Principles of Disability" (http://www.leeds.ac.uk/disability-studies/archiveuk/UPIAS/fundamental%20principles.pdf updated: 5.3.2008) In Great Britain these principles were pivotal for the emergence of the social model of disability, that clearly distinguishes between the terms of impairment and disability. The document describes the technical progress as a requirement for the establishment of Disability Studies (DS) (cf. Oliver 1996, 24). Looked at it that way DS supports and demands technological progress, because it breaks up barriers for disabled people to be able to participate in society and work towards self-determination. Probably the most up to date significance is the so called "Design for All" (as well known as Universal Design, Inclusive Design, Kyoyo-Hin and the like). Technological designs are developed in a way that all people will be able to use the aids, whether they are physically, sensorial or mentally impaired. This is a concept that reinforces the thought of the social model of disability. In so far the technology is orientated towards inclusion. Nevertheless technological development plays an ambivalent role for disabled people. This ambivalence is discussed thoroughly in the article below to deduce ethical claims for research and development (R+D) of technical aids.
Characteristics and Solutions of Digital Divide for People with Physical Impairments in Taiwan BIBAKFull-Text 1332-1339
  Yao-Ming Yeh; Ting-Fang Wu; Ling-Fu Meng; Ming-Chung Chen; Hwa-Pey Wang; Jung-Gen Wu; et al
The purpose of this study is to narrow down the digital gap between people with and those without physical impairments in Taiwan. To better understand the need of the digital learning for people with physical impairments, the authors have created the digital characteristic assessment scale, digital need assessment scale, and developed the mouse training system and on-screen keyboard assessment system. In order to comprehend the performance and practicability of the scales and systems, this integrated project have also applied these tools to evaluate and train the clients with muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy.
   To fulfill the need of training the clients and providing appropriate assistant facilities, the alternative input device and the adapted web platform have been developed. The result validates the feasibility of both software and hardware developed by our implementation.
Keywords: accessibility; digital divide; alternative input device; e-learning platform
Long-Time Effect from Deprived Communication, Information and Orientation/Mobility in Individuals with Acquired Dual Impairment and the Need for ICT-Aids BIBAFull-Text 1340-1343
  Michael Cyrus; Frank Lunde
Long-term deprivation in combination with aging, changes in civil state and development of diseases in addition to the actual dual impairment of communication and organization of information might lead to symptoms of cognitive impairment thus in the worst case leading to early institutionalization. In contrast to individuals with TBI, stroke sequels and similar structural damage, these symptoms generated by persons with dual sensory impairment, may be eased by supporting their cognitive potential and may bring back non-used or lost capabilities. ICT-based technical aids may provide access to communication, minimize distress and fear, as well as provide information to meet everyday life's challenges. The issue of ICT under the above mentioned conditions is little discussed. This paper may be an initiative to this discussion.