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WUAUC Tables of Contents: 01

Proceedings of the 2001 EC/NSF Workshop on Universal Accessibility of Ubiquitous Computing

Fullname:Proceedings of the 2001 EC/NSF Workshop on Universal Accessibility of Ubiquitous Computing: Providing for the Elderly
Editors:Rachelle Heller
Location:Alcácer do Sal, Portugal
Dates:2001-May-22 to 2001-May-25
Standard No:ISBN 1-58113-424-X; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: WUAUC01
  1. Workshop report
  2. Institutional and web activities
  3. Tools and techniques for interaction
  4. Vision impairment and related assistive technologies
  5. Other impairments and rehabilitation technologies
  6. Legal, social, theoretical and fundamental aspects

Workshop report

EC/NSF workshop on universal accessibility of ubiquitous computing: providing for the elderly event report BIBAKFull-Text 1-10
  Rachelle Heller; Joaquim Jorge; Richard Guedj
The workshop took place on Alcácer do Sal, Portugal from May 22nd to May 25th, 2001 with the purpose to discuss approaches to universal usability for the elderly constituency. Elderly citizens are a growing age group within developed countries and their needs have been mostly ignored by Information Technology and Computing as a whole. The surge of mobile communications and universal access materialized in the push for UMTS in Europe provided a strong leitmotif for this meeting. For the better part of a week, a group joining twenty-six people from several different communities gathered to discuss strategic issues arising from the new context. The aim is to provide strategic inputs for major research programs in EU, USA and Japan. The present document contains a summary account of the proceedings.
Keywords: interface design, ubiquitous computing, universal accessibility, user interfaces for the elderly

Institutional and web activities

NSF funding for research on universal access BIBFull-Text 11-13
  Ephraim P. Glinert
Web access for elderly citizens BIBAKFull-Text 14-18
  Vicki L. Hanson
With elderly citizens becoming an increasingly large proportion of the population in many countries, social as well as economic considerations suggest that they must be considered in the development of current and future technologies. This paper addresses issues of Internet access, and discusses a research project designed to make the web more usable by elderly citizens. This project uses a proxy server to transcode web pages according to user-specified preferences and capabilities. Users access web pages as usual, with no specialized hardware required.
Keywords: aging, disabilities, internet, seniors, transcoding
The national initiative for people with special needs in the information society: the elderly, people with disabilities and long-term bed-ridden BIBAKFull-Text 19-23
  Helena Abecasis; Jorge Fernandes
This article describes the work that has been done in Portugal with regard to the Information Society and citizens with special needs (i.e. citizens with disabilities, the elderly and the long-term bed-ridden) as a result of legislation (government resolutions), Ministry of Science and Technology policies (creating a special unit), participation in international initiatives (on-line discussion forum on the eEurope document), and the implementation of a plan of action, the basic goals of which were to provide accessibility to the Information Society for these citizens: access to the Internet, adapting or creating accessibility to initiatives being implemented as part of the Information Society to make them as inclusive as possible, and providing these citizens with infrastructures, equipment and training in new technologies. It is essential to look to the future in terms of full use of all the potential of the new technologies, when it comes to both products and services.
Keywords: accessibility kits, assistive technologies, disabled, elderly, info-inclusion, internet posts for all, telematic networks, universal design, web accessibility
Involving all in design for all BIBAKFull-Text 24-25
  Leon van Noorden
This paper proposes to improve knowledge of user experience issues in the general population.
Keywords: human factors education, usability criteria, user experience

Tools and techniques for interaction

Challenges for multimodal interfaces towards anyone anywhere accessibility: a position paper BIBAKFull-Text 26-27
  Pedro Branco
The relatively recent research field of multimodal interaction addresses the integration of the different communication channels between human and computer with the goal of providing a more accessible and less encumbering interface. Through this position paper, it is the author's intention to emphasize the use of and challenges for multimodal interaction technology as a mean to achieve universal accessibility -- Anyone, Anywhere.
Keywords: collaborative applications, human-computer interaction, multimodal interfaces, universal accessibility
Use of the multimedia taxonomy for a research direction into design and evaluation of materials for the elderly BIBAKFull-Text 28-30
  Rachelle S. Heller
This paper describes the use of a multimedia taxonomy in developing and in evaluating interactive multimedia products. The taxonomy identifies three axis, one describing the various formats of media: text, sound, image and motion; one describing the form of the media: elaboration, representation and abstract; and a third describing the context for the product: quality, interactivity, discipline area, audience, usability and aesthetics. Designers can use the taxonomy to brainstorm presentation and combination of media. Evaluators can use the taxonomy to insure that all paths and concerns are reviewed, using any review guidelines familiar to the evaluator.
Keywords: computer human interaction, design, evaluation, multimedia
A neuroscience-based design of intelligent tools for the elderly and disabled BIBAKFull-Text 31-36
  Tohru Ifukube
The author has developed one basic research approach for universal accessibility over a period of 28 years. As reviewed in this paper, he and his co-researchers have designed several intelligent tools for universal accessibility as well as obtained many basic findings concerning neuroscience of human information processing. Some of the tools have been manufactured in Japan and the technologies as well as the basic findings have been applied to construct human-centered computer interfaces such as virtual reality, automatic speech recognition and speech syntheses. Moreover, these newly developed computer interface technologies have led to the improvement in the design of models for developing universal accessibility devices. Lastly, the author has emphasized that a neuroscience-based design of intelligent tools for the elderly and disabled may open a large market.
Keywords: artificial larynx, digital hearing aid, information technology, screen reader, speech recognition, tactile communication, the disabled, the elderly, universal accessibility, virtual reality
Ubiquitous computing and AI towards an inclusive society BIBAKFull-Text 37-40
  Daniel Jorge Viegas Gonçalves
Elder citizens are faced with a large number of problems on their everyday lives. Loss of motor, sensorial and cognitive skills results in a growing difficulty to live and interact in today's society. Ubiquitous computing can help alleviate these problems, by allowing elders to have a normal life despite their shortcomings. Medical monitoring, communication and memory aids are already being developed. However, the large amount of data produced by those devices is of little use if not subject to some kind of analysis. Some Artificial Intelligence areas such as Knowledge Representation, Learning and Automated Planning can be used with success to improve what can be learned from the data. This will open the door for a wide range of applications that will adapt to the needs of each user and greatly improve the quality of life of elders.
Keywords: artificial intelligence, automated planning, elders, integration, knowledge representation, ubiquitous computing
EMBASSI: multimodal assistance for universal access to infotainment and service infrastructures BIBAKFull-Text 41-50
  Thomas Kirste; Thorsten Herfet; Michael Schnaider
EMBASSI is a joint research project with 19 partners from industry and academia. Its focus is the development new paradigms and architectures for the intuitive interaction with technical infrastructures of the everyday life, such as home entertainment and control, public terminals, and car infotainment systems. As a so-called focus project, EMBASSI is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and addresses innovative methods of man-machine interaction, where "machine" explicitly refers to technical systems consisting of a variety of distributed, networked devices.
   EMBASSI aims at enhancing the interaction with these infrastructures by providing intelligent assistance, multimodal interaction, and anthropomorphic user interfaces within a unified framework. Technical development in EMBASSI is based on a user centered approach, with accompanying psychological and ergonomics research.
   A primary objective of the project is to establish an "EMBASSI layer" that extends recently developed networking standards like HAVi, UPnP, or Konnex towards user-centered, goal-based interaction by merging experiences from knowledge based AI systems with those coming from device oriented command and control architectures. This layer will enable the unification of interaction paradigms and will assist the user by enabling "natural" or "intuitive" commands instead of forcing the user to think in terms of device functions.
Keywords: assistance, man-machine interaction, multi (poly-)modal interaction, multi-media, semantic protocol
Delivering instructions for inherently-3D construction tasks: lessons and questions for universal accessibility BIBAKFull-Text 51-55
  Laura Leventhal
The notion that usability follows from the three dimensions, user, system and task, is not new. Clearly any model of effective user-centered design includes some focus on task; our work is an attempt to refine this notion. In this paper, I discuss a class of problems that we have dubbed inherently-3D construction tasks. These tasks should lend themselves to dual presentations, particularly those that include user-controlled 3D models or realistic videos. The results of several studies are described; the results indicate that dual presentations are effective at presenting instructions for inherently-3D construction tasks. When embedded in dual presentations, 3D models may be effective in presenting instructions for these types of tasks as well, so long as users make use of the models. A number of discussion questions are posited as to how this work would transfer to a wider population of users than was included in the studies that are reported.
Keywords: dual presentations, inherently-3D construction tasks, multiple representations, user-centered design, user-controlled 3D models, virtual reality
Broadband access technologies BIBAFull-Text 56-59
  J. Velez; A. Lourenço; C. Pechirra; L. Almeida
In the last two decades, we witnessed a revolution beyond our wildest predictions: the computer shrank in size and current demand, got immense processing capabilities, and left the Banking and Military premises to enter virtually in everyone's home. Till some years ago, the telecommunication infrastructures didn't make the same way along, but this scenario changed dramatically meanwhile.
   It's that evolution we'll try to explain in this document.

Vision impairment and related assistive technologies

Interface design for older adults BIBAKFull-Text 60-65
  Mary Zajicek
As computers become available in more places and situations, particularly with increased use of the Web to disseminate information, it becomes increasingly necessary for older adults, and by this I mean people over 70, to gain access.
   This paper investigates the factors that seem to inhibit Web use by older adults, and explores aspects of human-computer interface design, which accommodate older users with age-associated disabilities. These disabilities typically include memory impairment, and cognitive and visual impairment, all of which vary from day to day and over longer time periods within an individual. Memory and good sight are crucial for using today's Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) with small buttons, multitasking windows and the requirement to build strategies at the interface in order to complete tasks.
   This paper draws upon the author's experience in designing a Web browser for visually impaired user's called BrookesTalk, which was subsequently customised for older adults with memory loss. It also shows the need for Design for Dynamic Diversity (DDD), an interface design approach, which accommodates design issues which come about as a result of changing user requirements related to older users' changing abilities.
Keywords: design for dynamic diversity, interface design, memory impairment, older adults, speech output, visual impairment, web access
Adaptive tools for the elderly: new devices to cope with age-induced cognitive disabilities BIBAKFull-Text 66-70
  Joaquim A. Jorge
We look at the issues and methodologies needed to develop, deploy, and evaluate situation-aware mobile computing devices that adapt to the needs of elder users based on observed or predicted user behavior and needs. This paper discusses how pervasive computing can help the aging population live independently for as long as possible. We believe that successfully applying technology to this problem will require careful studies of how the target population actually lives and what their actual needs are. We propose a combination of traditional laboratory studies and surveys, as well as the use of instrumented spaces and personal monitoring devices to measure how people behave, normally and while using proposed assistive devices. A key requirement is the development of ways to simultaneously monitor signals from the body, activities, and social interactions to provide a more complete view of individuals and their lives. Some of the core research issues are machine learning to design devices learn from and adapt to user behavior, user-computer interaction to build devices and systems that support users in their tasks, mobile computing to support user and device mobility, mobility and data management to represent, access, update, and protect information, sensing devices that monitor human activity and finally rapid prototyping of services in a sensor-rich environment, in a scalable and secure manner.
Keywords: HCI, age-induced cognitive disabilities, mobile assistants, ubiquitous computing

Other impairments and rehabilitation technologies

Designing robust multimodal systems for universal access BIBAFull-Text 71-74
  Sharon Oviatt
Multimodal interfaces are being developed that permit our highly skilled and coordinated communicative behavior to control system interactions in a more transparent and flexible interface experience than ever before. As applications become more complex, a single modality alone does not permit varied users to interact effectively across different tasks and usage environments [11]. However, a flexible multimodal interface offers people the choice to use a combination of modalities, or to switch to a better-suited modality, depending on the specifics of their abilities, the task, and the usage conditions.
   This paper will begin by summarizing some of the primary advantages of multimodal interfaces. In particular, it will discuss the inherent flexibility of multimodal interfaces, which is a key feature that makes them suitable for universal access and mobile computing. It also will discuss the role of multimodal architectures in improving the robustness and performance stability of recognition-based systems. Data will be reviewed from two recent studies in which a multimodal architecture suppressed errors and stabilized system performance for accented nonnative speakers and during mobile use. The paper will conclude by discussing the implications of this research for designing multimodal interfaces for the elderly, as well as the need for future work in this area.
Electromyography based human-computer-interface to induce movement in elderly persons with movement impairments BIBAKFull-Text 75-79
  Krista Coleman
An electromyography (EMG) based Human-Computer-Interface (HCI) has been developed and tested with persons who are predominantly older and who have movement impairments. The core requirements for the HCI are: 1) easy and intuitive to use by both a rehabilitation therapist and the patient 2) applicable for any part of the patient's body and 3) supportive of therapeutic rehabilitation goals.
Keywords: EMG, HCI, rehabilitation, technology induced movement(TIM)
Development of a new robotic interface for telerehabilitation BIBAKFull-Text 80-83
  Corinna E. Lathan; Sharon Malley
A system was developed to use gestural interface technology and interactive robotics to facilitate motor development, functional mobility, and speech and language development of children with a wide range of disabilities. The prototype Gestural Interface and Robotic Technology system is an interactive robotic rehabilitation tool, disguised as a toy, which can be controlled via almost any part of the body, through voice-activation, or through a Web-enabled computer interface. Children with disabilities will be able to increase abilities using a playful, therapeutic toy, for various applications that can be programmed by parents, teachers, and therapists.
Keywords: HCI, pediatrics, rehabilitation, robotics, telemedicine
Open syntax: improving access for all users BIBAKFull-Text 84-89
  Robert J. K. Jacob
Trends in new multi-modal user interfaces and pervasive mobile computing are raising technical problems for building flexible interfaces that can adapt to different communication modes. I hope to show how some aspects of the technical solutions that will be needed for these problems will also help to solve problems of access for elderly users.
Keywords: dialogue independence, multi-modal interaction, semantics, syntax, universal access, user interface management system
Designing for dynamic diversity: making accessible interfaces for older people BIBAKFull-Text 90-92
  Peter Gregor; Alan F. Newell
In this paper, we describe why designers need to look beyond the twin aims of designing for the 'typical' user and designing "prostheses." Making accessible interfaces for older people is a unique but many faceted challenge. Effective applications and interface design needs to address the dynamic diversity of the human species. We introduce a new design paradigm, Design for Dynamic Diversity, and a methodology to assist its achievement, User Sensitive Inclusive Design.
Keywords: HCI, design for all, design for dynamic diversity, universal accessibility, usability engineering, user sensitive inclusive design
Universal access to mobile telephony as a way to enhance the autonomy of elderly people BIBAKFull-Text 93-99
  Julio Abascal; Antón Civit
The rise of mobile telephony has opened a vast diversity of new opportunities for older people with different levels of physical restrictions due to ageing. Mobile technology allows not only ubiquitous communications but also anytime access to some services that are vital for elderly people's security and autonomy. Nevertheless, with the numerous advantages, remote services can also introduce important social and ethical risks for this group of users. This paper tries to analyse the novelties that mobile technology may introduce into the lives of older users, points out some dangers and challenges arising from the use of these technologies and revises some future applications of the present mobile technologies.
Keywords: assistive technology, mobile communications, ubiquitous computing, universal design

Legal, social, theoretical and fundamental aspects

Designing user interfaces for severely handicapped persons BIBAKFull-Text 100-106
  João Brisson Lopes
This paper addresses the many factors involved in the design of user interfaces for elderly persons and persons with severe disabilities. Interface design must take into consideration new user requirements on top of the requirements of normal users and consider the wider range of user model parameters that must be accommodated to provide adaptation to the user. The paper stresses the great diversity of user needs and questions how such user needs can be met.
   An example from the ongoing INTERCOMUNICANDO project is presented. A simple game interface was developed and tested to acquire parameters for an advanced user model of severely disabled persons. The results show the need for highly parameterised applications and the need for further research to design frameworks and tools to enable support of many different levels of users by applications.
Keywords: accessibility, disability, disabled persons, elderly persons, interface design, special user interfaces, user adaptation
Some reflections on IT BIBAKFull-Text 107-110
  J. Unji Yamaguchi
In this paper, we examine IT as a technology. We try to investigate negative implications of IT, both socially and morally so that we can eliminate or, at least, find remedies for, as many harmful elements as we can perceive before the damages are done. We ponder upon the ethics of capitalism fearing that the free market system will collapse if we act unethically. We believe IT will help accelerate the process. The question is how to integrate and enhance human values and fundamental rights through innovation. In the case of the elderly, difficulties arise with the memory; the elderly more or less suffer from decline of semantic memory. To overcome this loss of memory we propose a scheme: the multimedia triad reference system: this will not only help the elderly express themselves with ease and sophistication, but also assist them in learning interactive cross-references between multi-modal meanings.
   Examples are from the Japanese culture tradition for short poems of waka and haiku. The phenomenon indicates that the desire to express oneself not only enhances one's quality of life but also is closely connected to one's self esteem and dignity. Based upon this philosophy, the proposed thesaurus classifies some 10,000 kigo or season words, which play an important role in composing haiku, and carries as many words and phrases that are used in waka.
   In conclusion, UA (Universal Accessibility) will soon have to mean accessibility for people of the order of billion. We must learn from the past and mean to be multilingual and multicultural.
Keywords: learn from the past, multicultural-multilingual, multimedia triad reference system, sense of reality, universal accessibility
Law and regulation to include elderly in innovations stream BIBAKFull-Text 111-114
  Richard A. Guedj
In this paper we explore the issue of a systematic and seamless way to link future innovations in Information Technology and segments of the population that might -- for different reasons of deficiencies -- be left aside from advanced services coming with those innovations.
   The approach is to try to transpose and extend the current concepts of universal access and of universal service mission from the context of Telecommunications to the context of ubiquitous computing and the elderly. This approach owes much for the data and historical perspective to an essay by Robert M. Frieden (2000), [1] on universal service in telecommunications (in the USA).
   In this position paper, the notions of Technological Change and Technological Convergence are presented and their main characteristics described.
   The concepts of universal access and universal service mission are viewed in the historical context of the world of telecommunications.
   Several implications are drawn; in particular why the universal service in telecommunications is bound to evolve and new answers to shape legislative and regulatory policies must be found.
   The Telecommunications Act of 1996 -- which reflects the present legislative situation (in the USA) -- is briefly sketched with its implications on universal access to telecommunications services.
   A proposal of legislative action on two levels -- immediate and long term -- is made.
   In conclusion, taking the example of the Patent Act, a general spirit of balance of incentives and obligations is recommended for action on legislation towards ensuring enhanced services for segments of population with some deficiencies.
Keywords: elderly people, enhanced services, incentives and obligations, intellectual property rights, law, patent law, principles (to base universal service), regulation, technological innovations, ubiquitous computing, universal access, universal service
One content, three devices, the same need: access to information by people with special needs BIBAKFull-Text 115-119
  Jorge Fernandes
In our days the PC, the TV and the telephone, mainly the mobile phones, will be the privileged equipment to accede to the information. How the information can draw to serves the needs of each one of these equipment? It will be this possible? How to make compatible the necessities of each one, in a standard one that it serves at all? Will not have been always this the question when we spoke about citizens with special needs? Who is special? The citizens or the devices they use? How to obtain this Standardization? The hurry of industry to put products on the market will forget the standards need? And the users, what it is that they ask for?
   This paper it presents 3 documents: the first one arrests with an effort of implementation of the web accessibility guidelines (on the basis of the WAI) in the Portuguese Public Administration. The second guidelines is resulted of public consultation and international gauging of that the users need to use the digital television and the last document mentions the third generation of mobile phones.
   In a word, as the users can usufruct of a constitutional law: that is the right to access to information.
Keywords: DVB-T, MHP, PC, UMTS, access, design for all, digital video broadcast, disabled, elderly, guidelines, impairment, information, multimedia home platform, personal computer, total conversation, web
Assessment of metaphor efficacy in user interfaces for the elderly: a tentative model for enhancing accessibility BIBAKFull-Text 120-124
  Muna Khalil Yousef
This paper describes the challenges faced by designers in creating accessible systems for the elderly. CARSE, an assessment tool, which has been synthesized and empirically validated of the semantic efficacy of interface metaphor, is used to evaluate two systems that were designed for elderly use. In addition, the paper outlines a tentative model for the design of accessible systems for the elderly.
Keywords: accessibility, elderly, interface metaphors