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UAIS Tables of Contents: 01020304050607080910111213

Universal Access in the Information Society 2

Editors:Constantine Stephanidis
Publisher:Springer Verlag
Standard No:ISSN 1615-5289 (print); 1615-5297 (electronic)
Links:Table of Contents
  1. UAIS 2002 Volume 2 Issue 1
  2. UAIS 2003 Volume 2 Issue 2
  3. UAIS 2003 Volume 2 Issue 3
  4. UAIS 2003 Volume 2 Issue 4

UAIS 2002 Volume 2 Issue 1

Universal Access and Inclusion in Design BIBFull-Text 1-2
  Julie A. Jacko; Vicki L. Hanson
Design for older and disabled people - where do we go from here? BIBAKFull-Text 3-7
  A. F. Newell; P. Gregor
The significant changes in the social, legal, demographic, and economic landscape over the past 10-15 years present enormous opportunities for the human-computer interface design community. These changes will have a significant impact on the design and development of systems for older and disabled people. This paper brings together a number of proposals to improve both specialist and mainstream design methods in the field as a contribution to the debate about design for older and disabled people and the concept of universal usability.
Keywords: Gerontechnology - User centered design - Universal design - Older and disabled people - Design methodologies
A multimedia social interaction service for inclusive community living: Initial user trials BIBAKFull-Text 8-17
  N. Hine; J. L. Arnott
The move from institution to community care has resulted in many people receiving care at home. For some, disability or frailty restricts their involvement in social activities outside the home, resulting in unacceptable social isolation. This problem is compounded if the person has a speech or language impairment. In this paper, we will describe a communication service designed to provide nonspeaking people with a means to interact socially when living independently, based on the sharing of stories using pictures and other media. Initial exploration on the usability of the system by a pair of representative users will be described.
Keywords: Assistive communication - Social isolation - Videoconferencing - Internet
The use of cursor measures for motion-impaired computer users BIBAKFull-Text 18-29
  S. Keates; F. Hwang; P. Langdon; P. J. Clarkson; P. Robinson
"Point and click" interactions remain one of the key features of graphical user interfaces (GUIs). People with motion-impairments, however, can often have difficulty with accurate control of standard pointing devices. This paper discusses work that aims to reveal the nature of these difficulties through analyses that consider the cursor's path of movement. A range of cursor measures was applied, and a number of them were found to be significant in capturing the differences between able-bodied users and motion-impaired users, as well as the differences between a haptic force feedback condition and a control condition. The cursor measures found in the literature, however, do not make up a comprehensive list, but provide a starting point for analysing cursor movements more completely. Six new cursor characteristics for motion-impaired users are introduced to capture aspects of cursor movement different from those already proposed.
Keywords: Cursor studies - Motion-impaired users - Force feedback
Speech-based cursor control: understanding the effects of target size, cursor speed, and command selection BIBAKFull-Text 30-43
  A. Sears; M. Lin; A. S. Karimullah
Speech recognition can be a powerful tool when physical disabilities, environmental factors, or the tasks in which an individual is engaged hinders the individual's ability to use traditional input devices. While state-of-the-art speech-recognition systems typically provide mechanisms for both data entry and cursor control, speech-based interactions continue to be slow when compared to similar keyboard- or mouse-based interactions. Although numerous researchers continue to investigate methods of improving speech-based interactions, most of these efforts focus on the underlying technologies or dictation-oriented applications. As a result, the efficacy of speech-based cursor control has received little attention. In this article, we describe two experiments that provide insight into the issues involved when using speech-based cursor control. The first compares two variations of a common speech-based cursor-control mechanism. One employs the standard mouse cursor while the second provides a predictive cursor designed to help users compensate for the delays often associated with speech recognition. As expected, larger targets and shorter distances resulted in shorter target selection times, while larger targets also resulted in fewer errors. Interestingly, there were no differences between the standard and predictive cursors. The second experiment investigates the delays associated with spoken input, explains why the original predictive-cursor implementation failed to provide the expected benefits, and provides insight that guided the design of a new predictive cursor.
Keywords: Speech recognition - Navigation - Mouse - Cursor control - Predictive cursor
Extending keyboard adaptability: An investigation BIBAKFull-Text 44-55
  S. Trewin
One common typing error is the overlap error, in which two keys are pressed at once. The existing keyboard accessibility filters do not directly address overlap errors. Several techniques for automatic correction of overlap errors are compared in an offline analysis. Leveraging keystroke timing characteristics is shown to achieve a 50% to 75% reduction in errors for study participants with relatively high error rates. A simple heuristic for estimating the accuracy improvement for an individual using this filter is presented and considerations for live implementation and further work are discussed.
Keywords: Keyboard - Accessibility - Typing errors - Motor disabilities
Intelligent non-visual navigation of complex HTML structures BIBAKFull-Text 56-69
  E. Pontelli; D. Gillan; G. Gupta; A. Karshmer; E. Saad; W. Xiong
This paper provides an overview of a project aimed at using knowledge-based technology to improve accessibility of the Web for visually impaired users. The focus is on the multi-dimensional components of Web pages (tables and frames); our cognitive studies demonstrate that spatial information is essential in comprehending tabular data, and this aspect has been largely overlooked in the existing literature. Our approach addresses these issues by using explicit representations of the navigational semantics of the documents and using a domain-specific language to query the semantic representation and derive navigation strategies. Navigational knowledge is explicitly generated and associated to the tabular and multi-dimensional HTML structures of documents. This semantic representation provides to the blind user an abstract representation of the layout of the document; the user is then allowed to issue commands from the domain-specific language to access and traverse the document according to its abstract layout.
Keywords: Non-visual Web - Universal accessibility - Domain-specific languages
Distributed accessibility control points help deliver a directly accessible Web BIBAKFull-Text 70-75
  Peter G. Fairweather; John T. Richards; Vicki L. Hanson
This paper describes a set of interfaces and mechanisms to enhance access to the World Wide Web for persons with sensory, cognitive, or motor limitations. Paradoxically, although complex Web architectures are often accused of impeding accessibility, their layers expand the range of points where interventions can be staged to improve it. This paper identifies some of these access control points and evaluates the particular strengths and weaknesses of each. In particular, it describes an approach to enhance access that is distributed across multiple control points and implemented as an aggregation of services.
Keywords: World Wide Web - Adaptive interfaces - Accessibility - Seniors - Architecture
Foundation for improved interaction by individuals with visual impairments through multimodal feedback BIBAKFull-Text 76-87
  H. S. Vitense; J. A. Jacko; V. K. Emery
Through an investigation of how the performance of people who have normal visual capabilities is affected by unimodal, bimodal, and trimodal feedback, this research establishes a foundation for presenting effective feedback to enhance the performance of individuals who have visual impairments. Interfaces that employ multiple feedback modalities, such as auditory, haptic, and visual, can enhance user performance for individuals with barriers limiting one or more channels of perception, such as a visual impairment. Results obtained demonstrate the effects of different feedback combinations on mental workload, accuracy, and performance time. Future, similar studies focused on participants with visual impairments will be grounded in this work.
Keywords: Multimodal - Visual impairment - Feedback - Auditory - Visual - Haptic

UAIS 2003 Volume 2 Issue 2


Multimodality: a step towards universal access BIBFull-Text 89-90
  Noelle Carbonell

Special issue on multimodality: a step towards universal access

Flexible and robust multimodal interfaces for universal access BIBAKFull-Text 91-95
  S. Oviatt
Multimodal interfaces are inherently flexible, which is a key feature that makes them suitable for both universal access and next-generation mobile computing. Recent studies also have demonstrated that multimodal architectures can improve the performance stability and overall robustness of the recognition-based component technologies they incorporate (e.g., speech, vision, pen input). This paper reviews data from two recent studies in which a multimodal architecture suppressed errors and stabilized system performance for accented speakers and during mobile use. It concludes with a discussion of key issues in the design of future multimodal interfaces for diverse user groups.
Keywords: Multimodal interfaces - Robustness - Mutual disambiguation of recognition errors - Error suppression - Accented speakers
Universal multimedia information access BIBAKFull-Text 96-104
  Mark T. Maybury
Efficient, effective and intuitive access to multimedia information is essential for business, education, government and leisure. Unfortunately, interface design typically does not account for users with disabilities, estimated at 40 million in America alone. Given broad societal needs, our community has a social responsibility to provide universal designs that ensure efficient and effective access for all to heterogeneous and increasingly growing repositories of global information. This article describes information access functions, discusses associated grand challenges, and outlines potential benefits of technologies that promise to increase overall accessibility and success of interaction with multimedia. The article concludes by projecting the future of multimodal technology via a roadmap of multimodal resources, methods, and systems from 2003 through 2006.
Keywords: Multimodal information access - Disabilities - Multimedia retrieval - Information extraction - Summarization
Evaluation of multimodal graphs for blind people BIBAKFull-Text 105-124
  Wai Yu; Stephen Brewster
This paper introduces the development of a multimodal data visualisation system and its evaluations. This system is designed to improve blind and visually impaired peoples access to graphs and tables. Force feedback, synthesized speech and non-speech audio are utilised to present graphical data to blind people. Through the combination of haptic and audio representations, users can explore virtual graphs rendered by a computer. Various types of graphs and tables have been implemented, and a three-stage evaluation has been conducted. The experimental results have proven the usability of the system and the benefits of the multimodal approach. The paper presents the details of the development and experimental findings, as well as the changes of role of haptics in the evaluation.
Keywords: Haptics - Multimodal interaction - Assistive technology - Human computer interaction
Multimodality and interactional differences in older adults BIBAKFull-Text 125-133
  Mary Zajicek; Wesley Morrissey
Many age-associated impairments such as loss of memory and vision make computer use difficult for older adults. This paper is concerned with interface design in a voice Web browser, which compensates for age-associated impairments, particularly loss of memory and vision. It describes a special Voice Help facility talking to older adults through their browser interaction, and reports experiments to establish the mixes of output media (text and speech) that are most effective for information transfer. In particular, the paper demonstrates that older adults retention of spoken output is different to that of younger people. The paper provides information on absorption rates for different media for older adults, which supports the design of multimodal systems suited to older adults. This is important for the development of systems that enable older adults to absorb information easily.
Keywords: Older adults - Web access - Interface design - Output mode - Information absorption
Designing for pen and speech input in an object-action framework: the case of email BIBAKFull-Text 134-142
  David V. Keyson; Marc de Hoogh; Jans Aasman
This study presents a user interface that was intentionally designed to support multimodal interaction by compensating for the weaknesses of speech compared with pen input and vice versa. The test application was email using a web pad with pen and speech input. In the case of pen input, information was represented as visual objects, which were easily accessible. Graphical metaphors were used to enable faster and easier manipulation of data. Speech input was facilitated by displaying the system speech vocabulary to the user. All commands and accessible fields with text labels could be spoken in by name. Commands and objects that the user could access via speech input were shown on a dynamic basis in a window. Multimodal interaction was further enhanced by creating a flexible object-action order such that the user could utter or select a command with a pen followed by the object which was to be enacted upon, or the other way round (e.g., New Message or Message New). The flexible action-object interaction design combined with voice and pen input led to eight possible action-object-modality combinations. The complexity of the multimodal interface was further reduced by making generic commands such as New applicable across corresponding objects. Use of generic commands led to a simplification of menu structures by reducing the number of instances in which actions appeared. In this manner, more content information could be made visible and consistently accessible via pen and speech input. Results of a controlled experiment indicated that the shortest task completion times for the eight possible input conditions were when speech-only was used to refer to an object followed by the action to be performed. Speech-only input with action-object order was also relatively fast. In the case of pen input-only, the shortest task completion times were found when an object was selected first followed by the action to be performed. In multimodal trials in which both pen and speech were used, no significant effect was found for object-action order, suggesting benefits of providing users with a flexible action-object interaction style in multimodal or speech-only systems.
Keywords: Multimodal interaction - generic actions - objects - email - pen input - speech input - navigation - Webpad - user interface design
Towards the design of usable multimodal interaction languages BIBAKFull-Text 143-159
  Noelle Carbonell
This paper presents novel recommendations for the design of usable multimodal command or query languages. These recommendations have been inferred from the results of three empirical studies focused on the use of spontaneous speech (first study) and the synergic use of spontaneous versus controlled speech and gestures for interacting with current application software (second and third studies). In particular, we propose a method for designing multimodal languages that can be considered as an appropriate substitute for direct manipulation in all contexts precluding the use of mouse and keyboard, and for all standard categories of users, especially the general public.
Keywords: Speech user interfaces - Gesture human-computer interaction - Multimodal human-computer interaction - Usability studies - Ergonomic design recommendations
How do colors influence the haptic perception of textured surfaces? BIBAKFull-Text 160-172
  Zhaowu Luo; Atsumi Imamiya
Multimodality is considered a promising approach for universal access, and haptic interaction has the potential to constitute an added dimension to multimodal interfaces. This paper describes the influence of colors on the haptic perception of textured surfaces, based on 8 experiments. Our results show that (1) colors do have an influence on haptic perception, but they do not make the perception error rate higher than when no color is used; (2) up to 6 different types of colors can be used in haptic interfaces without worsening the haptic perception; (3) yellow has an error rate that is statistically significantly lower than that of 3 other color conditions, and can be used without worsening the haptic perception; (4) our finding of two special orders for haptic perception demonstrates that human haptic perception is very sensitive to continuously increasing or decreasing changes of roughness, but has difficulty discerning randomly changed roughness.
Keywords: Haptics - Texture perception - Color perception - Multimodal interfaces - Human computer interaction
Loosely-coupled approach towards multi-modal browsing BIBAKFull-Text 173-188
  Jan Kleindienst; Ladislav Seredi; Pekka Kapanen; Janne Bergman
Contemplating the concept of universal-access multi-modal browsing comes as one of the emerging killer technologies that promises broader and more flexible access to information, faster task completion, and advanced user experience. Inheriting the best from GUI and speech, based on the circumstances, hardware capabilities, and environment, multi-modality's great advantage is to provide application developers with a scalable blend of input and output channels that may accommodate any user, device, and platform. This article describes a flexible multi-modal browser architecture, named Ferda the Ant, which reuses uni-modal browser technologies available for VoiceXML, WML, and HTML browsing. A central component, the Virtual Proxy, acts as a synchronization coordinator. This browser architecture can be implemented in either a single client configuration, or by distributing the browser components across the network. We have defined and implemented a synchronization protocol to communicate the changes occurring in the context of a component browser to the other browsers participating in the multi-modal browser framework. Browser wrappers implement the required synchronization protocol functionality at each of the component browsers. The component browsers comply with existing content authoring standards, and we have designed a set of markup-level authoring conventions that facilitate maintaining the browser synchronization.
Keywords: Multi-modal - Browser - VoiceXML - HTML - WML - MM, multi-modal - DOM, Document Object Model - VP, Virtual Proxy - GUI, Graphical User Interface - NLU, Natural Language Understanding - WML,Wireless Markup Language - HTML, HyperText Markup Language - WWW, World-Wide Web - WAP, Wireless Application Protocol - W3C, World-Wide Web Consortium - VoiceXML, Voice eXtensible Markup Language - COM, Component Object Model - HTTP, HyperText Transfer Protocol - API, Application Programming Interface - UI, User Interface - FIA, Form Interpretation Algorithm
Accessing information through multimodal 3D environments: towards universal access BIBAKFull-Text 189-204
  Fabio Pittarello
3D environments represent a great opportunity for universal access to information, as they offer an intuitive interaction paradigm, similar to what is experienced by humans in their everyday lives. In spite of that, several 3D interfaces are characterized by poor structures and are hard to navigate. This paper presents the multimodal concept of the Interaction Locus (IL) as a means to give structure to 3D scenes, helping the user to interact with and access information inside them. The concept was initially developed with particular reference to desktop virtual reality (2.5 D virtual reality), but it is general enough to be extended to other contexts, such as real 3D scenes. The final part of this work shows how the IL concept addresses the need for a unified authoring methodology, capable of allowing access to different target user groups from a variety of different devices.
Keywords: 3D environments - Earcons - Interaction locus - Multimodality - Universal access

UAIS 2003 Volume 2 Issue 3

Special issue on countering design exclusion

Guest editorial BIBFull-Text 205-206
  Simeon Keates; P. John Clarkson
A commercial perspective on universal access and assistive technology: towards implementation BIBAKFull-Text 207-214
  J. Coy
This paper presents one company's perspective on the implementation and provision of universal access (UA) and assistive technology in an industrial setting. The paper addresses the need to provide accessible work-places and also accessible customer services, from legal, commercial and ethical standpoints. The company in question, Royal Mail, is one of the UKs largest employers and service providers and so has been able to gather employee and customer data often unavailable to smaller organisations.
Keywords: Inclusive design - Assistive technology - Industrial perspective
Countering design exclusion: bridging the gap between usability and accessibility BIBAKFull-Text 215-225
  S. Keates; P. J. Clarkson
It is known that many people are being excluded unnecessarily from using products, services and environments that are essential for supporting independence and quality of life. Such exclusion often arises from designers taking inadequate account of the end users functional capabilities when making design decisions. This paper addresses how traditional usability techniques can be extended to include accessibility issues by considering the spread of user functional capabilities across the population. A series of measures for evaluating the level of design exclusion based on those capabilities is also presented.
Keywords: Inclusive design cube - Inclusive merit - Inclusive design knowledge loop
Issues surrounding the user-centred development of a new interactive memory aid BIBAKFull-Text 226-234
  E. A. Inglis; A. Szymkowiak; P. Gregor; A. F. Newell; N. Hine; P. Shah; B. A. Wilson; J. Evans
Memory problems are often associated with the ageing process and are one of the commonest effects of brain injury. Electronic memory aids have been successfully used as a compensatory approach to provide reminders to individuals with prospective memory problems. This paper describes the usability issues surrounding the development of a new memory aid rendered on a personal digital assistant (PDA); in addition, it discusses the importance of a user-centred design process for the development of the memory aid and preliminary qualitative findings from interviews and focus groups of disabled or elderly users.
Keywords: Elderly users - Brain-injury - Usability - Personal digital assistant - User-centred design
Designing assistive technologies for medication regimes in care settings BIBAKFull-Text 235-242
  K. Cheverst; K. Clarke; G. Dewsbury; T. Hemmings; S. Kember; T. Rodden; M. Rouncefield
This paper presents some early design work of the Care in the Digital Community research project begun under the EPSRC IRC Network project Equator. Gaining a comprehensive understanding of user requirements in care settings poses interesting methodological challenges. This paper details some methodological options for working in the domestic domain and documents the translation of research into design recommendations. We report on the importance of medication issues in a hostel for former psychiatric patients and present an early prototype of a medication manager designed to be sensitive to the particular requirements of the setting.
Keywords: Assistive technology - Universal design - Ubiquitous computing - Ethnography
Bridging the educational divide BIBAKFull-Text 243-254
  M. Pieper; H. Morasch; G. Piela
The sharpest visible divide in Internet utilisation, which has deepened in recent years, is an educational one. Especially with regard to the learning disabled, the educational digital divide requires the improvement of inclusive didactical measures to promote media competence. A major prerequisite, which as a basic architectural principle determines systems design, in this respect demands support of evolutionary learning by tutorial learning systems designed as guidance systems which accord closely with the individual pupils evolutionary process.
Keywords: Digital divide - Learning disability - Assistive technology - Universal access - Tutorial systems for the learning disabled - Evolutionary learning
Design issues encountered in the development of a mobile multimedia augmentative communication service BIBAKFull-Text 255-264
  N. Hine; J. L. Arnott; D. Smith
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems can be mounted on a range of different hardware platforms, from custom-designed units to desktop or laptop personal computers and hand-held and palmtop systems. Palmtop devices such as personal data assistants (PDAs) offer great advantages of portability. The small display size and limited storage and processing capacity of a PDA compared to larger systems are likely to impose some limitations on the range of AAC applications which can be supported, however, particularly when multimedia-based applications are considered. This paper addresses issues involved in migrating a multimedia AAC application onto a palm-top PDA and discusses the user involvement in the re-engineering of the system for that environment. Outcomes from an initial practical trial with a person who uses AAC are reported.
Keywords: Augmentative and alternative communication - Conversation - Communication impairment - Story-telling - Mobile interaction
Online help for the general public: specific design issues and recommendations BIBAFull-Text 265-279
  A. Capobianco; N. Carbonell
This paper addresses the issue of how to design online help that will really prove effective, accessible, and usable for all categories of users in the coming Information Society and, most of all, that will actually be used by novice users. The paper demonstrates the intrinsic necessity of online help and the actual failure of approaches claiming that transparent user interfaces eliminate the need for online support chiefly on the grounds that they encourage exploration. Empirical results in the literature or stemming from analyses of data we collected are put forward in the discussion. Based on a brief survey of the relevant literature, the major specific design issues that designers of online help systems are confronted with are presented, existing design approaches that might contribute to solving these issues are discussed, and a realistic short-term approach for improving the accessibility, effectiveness, and usability of online help systems is recommended. Our recommendation is mainly based on the results of a recently performed experimental study. These results led us to advise, at least for the near future, the design of noncontextual help systems for improving the accessibility, effectiveness, and usability of online help, rather than the implementation of dynamic adaptation to the current users cognitive profile or the development of contextual help systems that generate the information content of help messages dynamically according to the users current intention and goal. We assume that it is possible, within the framework of universal design principles, to significantly enhance the effectiveness and usability of standard noncontextual help systems, mainly by making the most of the recent advances in research on multimodal interaction, especially on the integration of speech into input modalities.
Why are eye mice unpopular? A detailed comparison of head and eye controlled assistive technology pointing devices BIBAKFull-Text 280-290
  R. Bates; H. O. Istance
This paper examines and compares the usability problems associated with eye-based and head-based assistive technology pointing devices when used for direct manipulation on a standard graphical user interface. It discusses and examines the pros and cons of eye-based pointing in comparison to the established assistive technology technique of head-based pointing and illustrates the usability factors responsible for the apparent low usage or unpopularity of eye-based pointing. It shows that user experience and target size on the interface are the predominant factors affecting eye-based pointing and suggests that these could be overcome to enable eye-based pointing to be a viable and available direct manipulation interaction technique for the motor-disabled community.
Keywords: Eye tracking - Eye mouse - Head mouse - Assistive technology - Computer input devices

UAIS 2003 Volume 2 Issue 4

Intelligent agents for the management of complexity in multimodal biometrics BIBAKFull-Text 293-304
  F. Deravi; M. C. Fairhurst; R. M. Guest; N. J. Mavity; A. M. D. Canuto
Current approaches to personal identity authentication using a single biometric technology are limited, principally because no single biometric is generally considered both sufficiently accurate and user-acceptable for universal application. Multimodal biometrics can provide a more adaptable solution to the security and convenience requirements of many applications. However, such an approach can also lead to additional complexity in the design and management of authentication systems. Additionally, complex hierarchies of security levels and interacting user/provider requirements demand that authentication systems are adaptive and flexible in configuration.
   In this paper we consider the integration of multimodal biometrics using intelligent agents to address issues of complexity management. The work reported here is part of a major project designated IAMBIC (Intelligent Agents for Multimodal Biometric Identification and Control), aimed at exploring the application of the intelligent agent metaphor to the field of biometric authentication. The paper provides an introduction to a first-level architecture for such a system, and demonstrates how this architecture can provide a framework for the effective control and management of access to data and systems where issues of privacy, confidentiality and trust are of primary concern. Novel approaches to software agent design and agent implementation strategies required for this architecture are also highlighted. The paper further shows how such a structure can define a fundamental paradigm to support the realisation of universal access in situations where data integrity and confidentiality must be robustly and reliably protected.
Keywords: Multimodal biometrics - Intelligent software agents - Universal access
Elderly Japanese computer users: assessing changes in usage, attitude, and skill transfer over a one-year period BIBAKFull-Text 305-314
  Hiroyuki Umemuro; Yoshiko Shirokane
Changes and interrelations among computer usage, computer attitude, and skill transfer of elderly Japanese computer users were investigated over a one-year period. Each participant, aged 60 to 76 years, was provided with one touchscreen-based computer specialized for e-mail handling for 12 months. Participants' usage of the computer, mouse and/or keyboard, and computer attitudes were investigated. The results showed that the Liking factor of the computer attitude scale was a possible predictor of computer usage. The results suggested the existence of four different types of users adaptation to computers, according to a combination of the Liking and Confidence dimensions of computer attitude.
Keywords: Elderly - Computer attitude - Computer anxiety - Self efficacy - Touchscreen
Social capital and access BIBAKFull-Text 315-330
  Mark Warschauer
Physical access to computers does not guarantee access to the information society. To help ensure that the first type of access translates into the second, it is necessary to pay attention to how computer and Internet use can enhance social capital. Drawing on examples from technology projects in India and other countries, this paper examines the concept of social capital and its relationship to information and communication technology, focusing on the role of both micro-level and macro-level social capital.
Keywords: Access - Social capital - Community informatics - Community development - Social development
Web accessibility in the Mid-Atlantic United States: a study of 50 homepages BIBAKFull-Text 331-341
  Jonathan Lazar; Patricia Beere; Kisha-Dawn Greenidge; Yogesh Nagappa
This paper reports on a study of 50 homepages in the Mid-Atlantic United States to determine what accessibility problems exist. The 50 homepages were evaluated using both the U.S. governments Section 508 guidelines as well as the Web Accessibility Initiatives (WAI) Priority Level 1 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). According to both sets of guidelines, 49 out of 50 sites were found to have accessibility problems, although some of the accessibility problems were minor and easy to fix. There are two troubling findings from this study. The Web sites that had the most accessibility problems were organizations in the Web development and information technology field, which ideally should be the leaders in making the Web more accessible. The Web accessibility software testing tools, which are available to assist people in making their Web sites more accessible, are flawed and inconsistent and require large numbers of manual checks, which many developers may not be able to do. More people need to become aware of the topic of Web accessibility, and the testing tools need to be improved so that once people are aware, it is easier for them to move their sites toward full accessibility.
Keywords: Web accessibility - Section 508 - Accessible sites - Usability - Automated tools
Using consensus methods to construct adaptive interfaces in multimodal web-based systems BIBAKFull-Text 342-358
  Ngoc Thanh Nguyen; Janusz Sobecki
This paper presents a concept of adaptive development of user interfaces in multimodal web-based systems. Today, it is crucial for general access web-based systems that the user interface is properly designed and adjusted to user needs and capabilities. It is believed that adaptive interfaces could offer a possible solution to this problem. Here, we introduce the notion of the user profile for classification, the interface profile for describing the system interface, and the compound usability measure for evaluation of the interface. Consensus-based methods are applied for constructing the interface profiles appropriate to classes of users.
Keywords: Web-based systems - Multimodal interaction - Consensus-based interface adaptation
Communication via eye blinks and eyebrow raises: video-based human-computer interfaces BIBAKFull-Text 359-373
  K. Grauman; M. Betke; J. Lombardi; J. Gips; G. R. Bradski
Two video-based human-computer interaction tools are introduced that can activate a binary switch and issue a selection command. BlinkLink, as the first tool is called, automatically detects a users eye blinks and accurately measures their durations. The system is intended to provide an alternate input modality to allow people with severe disabilities to access a computer. Voluntary long blinks trigger mouse clicks, while involuntary short blinks are ignored. The system enables communication using blink patterns: sequences of long and short blinks which are interpreted as semiotic messages. The second tool, EyebrowClicker, automatically detects when a user raises his or her eyebrows and then triggers a mouse click. Both systems can initialize themselves, track the eyes at frame rate, and recover in the event of errors. No special lighting is required. The systems have been tested with interactive games and a spelling program. Results demonstrate overall detection accuracy of 95.6% for BlinkLink and 89.0% for EyebrowClicker.
Keywords: Computer vision - Assistive technology - Camera-computer interface
How level and type of deafness affect user perception of multimedia video clips BIBAKFull-Text 374-386
  S. R. Gulliver; G. Ghinea
Our research investigates the impact that hearing has on the perception of multimedia, with and without captions, by discussing how hearing loss, captions and deafness type affect user quality of perception (QoP). QoP encompasses both the users level of satisfaction and their ability to assimilate informational content of multimedia.
   Experimental results show that hearing has a significant effect on participants ability to assimilate information, independent of video type or use of captions. It is shown that captioned video does not necessarily provide deaf users with a greater level of information but changes user QoP, providing a greater level of video contextualisation.
Keywords: Quality - Perception - Multimedia - Video - Deafness