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ASSETS Tables of Contents: 9496980002040506070809101112131415

Fourth Annual ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Assistive Technologies

Fullname:Fourth International ACM SIGCAPH Conference on Assistive Technologies
Location:Arlington, Virginia, USA
Dates:2000-Nov-13 to 2000-Nov-15
Standard No:ACM ISBN 1-58113-314-8 ACM Order number 444000; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: ASSETS00
Low Vision: The Role of Visual Acuity in the Efficiency of Cursor Movement BIBAKPDF 1-8
  Julie A. Jacko; Armando B. Barreto; Gottlieb J. Marmet; Josey Y. M. Chu; Holly S. Bautsch; Ingrid U. Scott; Robert H. Rosa
Graphical user interfaces are one of the more prevalent interface types which exist today. The popularity of this interface type has caused problems for users with poor vision. Because usage strategies of low vision users differ from blind users, existing research focusing on blind users is not sufficient in describing the techniques employed by low vision users.
   The research presented here characterizes the interaction strategies of a particular set of low vision users, those with Age-related Macular Degeneration, using an analysis of cursor movement. The low vision users have been grouped according to the severity of their vision loss and then compared to fully sighted individuals, with respect to cursor movement efficiency.
   Results revealed that as the size of the icons on the computer screen increased, so did the performance of the fully sighted participants as well as the participants with AMD.
Keywords: Low vision, Cursor movement, Icon size, Age-related macular degeneration, Search strategy, Graphical user interface, GUI
A Framework of Assistive Pointers for Low Vision Users BIBAKPDF 9-16
  Julie Fraser; Carl Gutwin
Manipulating a mouse pointer is often difficult for the low vision computer user. Working with such a small, mobile screen object is very visually demanding. Although several techniques have been used to address this problem, the design space of assistive pointers has not been fully explored by the current state of the art. This paper proposes a four dimensional framework to fully articulate the design space of assistive pointers for low vision users. The dimensions of the framework describe the key attributes of assistance offered to users by any pointing solution: the perceptual channel that carries the assistance, the stage of targeting supported by the assistance, the relationship between the assistance and the interface, and the degree of availability associated with the assistance.
Keywords: Low vision, Partial vision, Visual impairment, Adaptive technology, Mouse pointer, Graphical interface
Constructing Sonified Haptic Line Graphs for the Blind Student: First Steps BIBAKPDF 17-25
  Rameshsharma Ramloll; Wai Yu; Stephen Brewster; Beate Riedel; Mike Burton; Gisela Dimigen
Line graphs stand as an established information visualisation and analysis technique taught at various levels of difficulty according to standard Mathematics curricula. It has been argued that blind individuals cannot use line graphs as a visualisation and analytic tool because they currently primarily exist in the visual medium. The research described in this paper aims at making line graphs accessible to blind students through auditory and haptic media. We describe (1) our design space for representing line graphs, (2) the technology we use to develop our prototypes and (3) the insights from our preliminary work.
Keywords: Force feedback, Haptic display, Line graphs, Spatial sound, Visual impairment
Tactile Imaging Using Watershed-Based Image Segmentation BIBAKPDF 26-33
  Sergio E. Hernandez; Kenneth E. Barner
A new image segmentation method is proposed for the automatic conversion of images from visual to tactile form. The proposed method utilizes a watershed-based algorithm for obtaining the initial segmentation. A new joint region merging criterion is developed to reduce the number of initial regions in a more appropriate way. The joint criterion combines, in a weighted fashion, criteria based on region homogeneity and edge integrity, which have each been applied marginally with some relative success. However, each criteria has shown some significant drawbacks when applied independently. The new criterion takes joint advantage of these two methods, giving a final segmentation that is more visually appropriate. Experimental results are presented showing the advantages of the new merging criterion. Also, the proposed method is compared with multiresolution (MR) edge detection techniques for tactile imaging applications. Additional results are included showing the advantages of the segmentation procedure over MR edge detection techniques.
Keywords: Tactile imaging, Image segmentation, Blind and non-visual interfaces
A Study of Blind Drawing Practice: Creating Graphical Information Without the Visual Channel BIBAKPDF 34-41
  Hesham M. Kamel; James A. Landay
Existing drawing tools for blind users give inadequate contextual feedback on the state of the drawing, leaving blind users unable to comprehend and successfully produce graphical information. We have investigated a tactile method of drawing used by blind users that mimics drawing with a pencil and a paper. Our study revealed a set of properties that must be incorporated into drawing tools for blind users, including giving feedback for relocating important points, determining angles, and communicating the overall structure of the drawing. We describe a grid-based model that provides these properties in a primitive-based 2D graphics environment, and we introduce its use in drawing and other graphical interactions.
Keywords: Non-visual drawing tools, GUIs for blind users, Contextual inquiry, Feedback, Grid models of the world
New Technology Enables Many-Fold Reduction in the Cost of Refreshable Braille Displays BIBAKPDF 42-49
  John Roberts; Oliver Slattery; David Kardos; Brett Swope
By analysis of the primary cost factors for existing refreshable Braille displays, a team at NIST has pioneered a new technology that can reduce the cost of the electromechanical portions of a Braille display by an extremely large factor, and the overall cost of a Braille display by as much as a factor of ten. A massive cost reduction in displays creates a new model for the purchase and use of Braille displays by individuals, by employers, and by educators. Readability and user control issues are addressed. It is hoped that this technology will open a significant new market for low cost, high performance refreshable Braille displays.
Keywords: Refreshable Braille, Passive pin retention, Wheel
A Storytelling Robot for Pediatric Rehabilitation BIBAKPDF 50-55
  Catherine Plaisant; Allison Druin; Corinna Lathan; Kapil Dakhane; Kris Edwards; Jack Maxwell Vice; Jaime Montemayor
We are developing a prototype storytelling robot for use with children in rehabilitation. Children can remotely control a large furry robot by using a variety of body sensors adapted to their disability or rehabilitation goal. In doing so, they can teach the robot to act out series of movements or "emotions" and then write stories -- using a storytelling software -- including those movements in the story. The story can then be "played" by the remote controlled robot, which acts out the story. We believe that this robot can motivate the children and help them reach their therapy goals through therapeutic play, either by exercising muscles or joints (e.g. for physically challenges children) or by reflecting on the stories (e.g. for children with developmental disabilities). We use an innovative design methodology involving children as design partners.
Keywords: Therapeutic play, Robot, Children, User interface, Design process, Rehabilitation
A Virtual Reality-Based Exercise Program for Stroke Rehabilitation BIBAKPDF 56-63
  David Jack; Rares Boian; Alma Merians; Sergei V. Adamovich; Marilyn Tremaine; Michael Recce; Grigore C. Burdea; Howard Poizner
A PC based desktop Virtual Reality system was developed for rehabilitating hand function in stroke patients. The system uses two hand input devices, a CyberGlove and a RMII force feedback glove, to allow the user to interact with one of four rehabilitation exercises. Each of which is designed to exercise one specific parameter of hand movement, namely range, speed, fractionation or strength. The therapy program is semi-automated and personalized to each user through the use of performance-based target levels. These are adapted between sessions in order to induce the user to improve. Feedback is provided to each user throughout the exercise sessions. To further motivate the user to continue the exercise program, screen displays are designed as interactive games. The system is described and sample data is presented from preliminary studies performed on control subjects.
Keywords: Virtual reality, Rehabilitation, Stroke, Haptic glove, CyberGlove, Rutgers Master II
Fast Web by Using Updated Content Extraction and a Bookmark Facility BIBAKPDF 64-71
  Tsuyoshi Ebina; Seiji Igi; Teruhisa Miyake
This paper describes improved methods of web access for the visually impaired. Some A few web access systems for the visually impaired have already been developed and are widely used. The improvements described in this paper are in two areas. The first is a fastest mean of jumping from the current sentence position into desired sentence position within web pages. The second is a facility for searching for sentences that have been updated since a previous viewing. User testing was carried out, and the two facilities were found to reduce not only the web page access time but also the user's mental workload.
Keywords: Web access, Visually impaired, Bookmark, Updated-sentence search facility
A Comparison of Voice Controlled and Mouse Controlled Web Browsing BIBAKPDF 72-79
  Kevin Christian; Bill Kules; Ben Shneiderman; Adel Youssef
Voice controlled web browsers allow users to navigate by speaking the text of a link or an associated number instead of clicking with a mouse. One such browser is Conversa, by Conversational Computing. This within subjects study with 18 subjects compared voice browsing with traditional mouse-based browsing. It attempted to identify which of three common hypertext forms (linear slide show, grid/tiled map, and hierarchical menu) are well suited to voice navigation, and whether voice navigation is helped by numbering links. The study shows that voice control adds approximately 50% to the performance time for certain types of tasks. Subjective satisfaction measures indicate that for voice browsing, textual links are preferable to numbered links.
Keywords: Human-computer interaction, User interfaces, Voice browsers, Voice recognition, Web browsing
Evaluating Web Resources for Disability Access BIBAKPDF 80-84
  Murray Rowan; Peter Gregor; David Sloan; Paul Booth
A majority of Web based information, facilities and services is unnecessarily inaccessible to people with certain disabilities, largely due to a lack of awareness of accessibility issues on the part of developers. This paper argues that currently available accessibility evaluation methods are unsatisfactory in the scope and presentation of their results. Consequently, there is a need for a meta-method which utilises the strengths of current methods, but which also bridges their weaknesses. The paper discusses a comprehensive, yet usable methodology for evaluating web sites for accessibility. Using this methodology, a semi-automatic accessibility evaluation tool is proposed, which will guide evaluators through the auditing process and produce a set of tailored recommendations for making the subject site accessible.
Keywords: Accessibility, Usability, Disability, Evaluation, Web resources
An Empirical Investigation of Ways in which Some of the Problems Encountered by Some Dyslexics May be Alleviated Using Computer Techniques BIBAKPDF 85-91
  Peter Gregor; Alan F. Newell
This research describes the development of a highly configurable word processing environment to alleviate some of the difficulties encountered by dyslexics when producing and reading text. It also describes a pragmatic, empirical methodology, closely involving dyslexic users, which has proved highly effective.
   All dyslexic subjects tested were able to use the software to identify and store a configuration of background and foreground colour, text typeface and font, and spacing between characters, words and lines which they found easier to read than the default settings. Successful tests were also carried out to investigate the use of different appearances (font, colour etc.) to alleviate character recognition and reversal problems.
Keywords: Dyslexia, User-centred design, Configuration, Word processing
An Intelligent Tutoring System for Deaf Learners of Written English BIBAKPDF 92-100
  Lisa N. Michaud; Kathleen F. McCoy; Christopher A. Pennington
This paper describes progress toward a prototype implementation of a tool which aims to improve literacy in deaf high school and college students who are native (or near native) signers of American Sign Language (ASL). We envision a system that will take a piece of text written by a deaf student, analyze that text for grammatical errors, and engage that student in a tutorial dialogue, enabling the student to generate appropriate corrections to the text. A strong focus of this work is to develop a system which adapts this process to the knowledge level and learning strengths of the user and which has the flexibility to engage in multi-modal, multi-lingual tutorial instruction utilizing both English and the native language of the user.
Keywords: Intelligent tutoring systems, User modeling, English literacy, Second language acquisition, American Sign Language
The Development of Language Processing Support for the ViSiCAST Project BIBAKPDF 101-108
  R. Elliott; J. R. W. Glauert; J. R. Kennaway; I. Marshall
ViSiCAST is a major new project funded by the European Union, aiming to provide improved access to services and facilities for deaf citizens through sign language presented by a virtual human, or avatar. We give here an outline of the project, and describe early work in the area of linguistics and language processing. This work covers two distinct but related areas: First, the development of an XML-compliant notation for deaf sign language gestures, which can be used to drive the signing avatar; and, second, the development of a framework supporting the translation of natural language text into this gesture-orientated notation.
Keywords: Sign language, Virtual signing, Language processing
The LF-ASD Brain Computer Interface: On-Line Identification of Imagined Finger Flexions in Subjects with Spinal Cord Injuries BIBAKPDF 109-113
  Steven G. Mason; Ziba Bozorgzadeh; Gary E. Birch
Our research has focused on developing a brain-controlled switch that is suitable for asynchronous control applications. We have developed a switch, the Low Frequency Asynchronous Switch Design (LF-ASD) that users can activate by imagining movement. On-line implementations of the LF-ASD has shown promising results in respond to actual index finger flexions and imagined finger flexions within able-bodied subjects. This work reports the results of our first test with subjects with high-level spinal-cord injuries. In this study, two subjects with high-level spinal-cord injuries were able to control the LF-ASD with imagined voluntary movements with hit (true positive) rates from 45-48% and false positive rates below 1%.
Keywords: Brain, Human, Computer, Machine, Interface, BCI, EEG, Spinal-cord injury, Switch
Human Factors Issues in the Neural Signals Direct Brain-Computer Interfaces BIBAKPDF 114-120
  Melody M. Moore; Philip R. Kennedy
Controlling a computer directly by brain signals has been made possible by the development of a neurotrophic electrode that is implanted in the human motor cortex. The success of this technology can be enhanced by researching and developing new human-computer interface paradigms for neural signal control. This paper summarizes progress to date on the software aspects of the Neural Signals brain-computer interface project and presents a vision and strategy for upcoming research.
Keywords: Neural signals, Brain-computer interfaces, Accessible software
Neck Range of Motion and Use of Computer Head Controls BIBAKPDF 121-128
  Edmund LoPresti; David M. Brienza; Jennifer Angelo; Lars Gilbertson; Jonathan Sakai
Computer head controls provide an alternative means of computer access for people with disabilities. However, a person's ability to use head controls may be reduced if his or her disability involves neck movement limitations. In this study, 15 subjects without disabilities and 10 subjects with disabilities received neck range of motion evaluations and performed computer exercises using head controls. Regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between neck range of motion and performance on computer exercises. Reduced neck range of motion was found to be correlated with reduced functional range for moving the cursor across the screen, and reduced accuracy and speed in icon selection. Fitts' Law-type models were fit to the data, indicating higher Fitts' law slopes for subjects with disabilities compared to subjects without disabilities. Results also indicate that vertical cursor movements are faster than horizontal or diagonal movements.
Keywords: Disability, Head controls, Head movement
Investigating the Applicability of User Models for Motion-Impaired Users BIBAKPDF 129-136
  Simeon Keates; John Clarkson; Peter Robinson
This paper considers the differences between users with motion-impairments and able-bodied users when they interact with computers and the implications for user models. Most interface design and usability assessment practices are based on explicit or implicit models of user behaviour. This paper studies the applicability of an existing interface design user model to motion-impaired users for the relatively straightforward task of button activation. A discussion of the empirical results is provided and the paper concludes that there are significant differences between the behaviour of motion-impaired users and the accepted modelling theory.
Keywords: Universal access, Motion-impaired users, User models
Evaluation of Scanning User Interfaces Using Real-Time-Data Usage Logs BIBAKPDF 137-141
  Peter O'Neill; Chris Roast; Mark Hawley
This research concerns the use of Human Computer Interaction models to assist in the provision of the Electronic Assistive Technologies (EAT) for people with severe disabilities. The novel feature of this work is that the evaluation is conducted through the model-based analysis of automatically generated usage logs. This analysis provides a source of feedback to clinicians, which has previously been unavailable from assistive technology users. The overall aim of the research is to provide a set of tools to assist with the prescription and configuration of assistive technologies.
Keywords: Electronic assistive technology, Integrated systems, Analysis, Modelling
A Java Programming Tool for Students with Visual Disabilities BIBAKPDF 142-148
  Ann C. Smith; Joan M. Francioni; Sam D. Matzek
This paper reports on a tool for assisting students with visual disabilities in learning how to program. The tool is meant to be used by computer science majors learning the programming language Java. As part of the developmental process of building this tool, we have implemented a rapid prototype to be used by people with disabilities in order to define appropriate requirements for the full version of the tool. This requires that the prototype is completely usable via a keyboard and speech interface, and it is easily adaptable for trying out different strategies. In this paper, we present the motivation and philosophy of the full tool, called JavaSpeak. We also present the details of a prototype implementation of JavaSpeak.
Keywords: Java, Programming tool, Students with visual disabilities, Learning to program
Programming by Voice, VocalProgramming BIBAKPDF 149-155
  Stephen C. Arnold; Leo Mark; John Goldthwaite
A system that enables a person to program without typing is needed because of the high incidents of repetitive stress injuries among people who program. This paper presents a design for a system that generates environments that enables people to program by voice and a method of determining if the system is successful. It also shows how this generator can be used to support entering data and writing XML documents.
Keywords: Computer programming, Voice recognition, XML
A Semantic Transcoding System to Adapt Web Services for Users with Disabilities BIBAKPDF 156-163
  Anita W. Huang; Neel Sundaresan
Among the most critical issues of the internet today is how to make Web content accessible to all users, especially to users with disabilities. To meet the diverse needs and abilities of this population, the Web today calls for the development of new systems and methods to enable the same content to be adapted for display according to specific, often conflicting needs. One way to achieve this goal is through Web content transcoding. This paper presents a system, called Aurora, that transcodes Web content based on semantic rather than syntactic constructs. The goal is to deliver Web-based services (such as auction, search engine, travel, etc.) to a diverse set of users according to their specific needs. Using a schema-driven framework, Aurora extracts and maps Web content into domain-specific XML data based on abstract user goals. In doing so, it separates the meaning Web content from its presentation. The system further enables an extensible set of interface adaptors to generate custom Web pages, on-the-fly, from this standardized XML data. Ultimately, it streamlines and customizes the Web interface to facilitate navigation. The mechanisms of this rule-based semantic transcoding system and its advantages and limitations as a strategy to make Web services more accessible are the subject of this paper.
Keywords: Adaptability, Adaptivity, Disabled users, Web intermediaries, Web accessibility, XML transcoding
Transcoding Proxy for Nonvisual Web Access BIBAKPDF 164-171
  Hironobu Takagi; Chieko Asakawa
These days, the web has been coming to play various types of roles, so each site has been designed in a complex way to integrate as many roles as possible. Web authors tend to cram various functions and many links into one page to improve usability for sighted users. This authoring trend makes nonvisual Web access harder. To solve this problem, we decided to develop a system to transcode already-existing Web pages to be accessible, which works as an intermediary (proxy) between a Web server and a user. Our transcoding proxy consists of 5 modules using 3 kinds of annotations. The user interface of the system is characterized by three transcoding modes: simplification, full-text and original page. In this paper, we will describe an overview of our transcoding proxy as well as the user interface of the system.
Keywords: Blind, Web accessibility, Transcoding, Annotations, Differential, Portal
Annotation-Based Transcoding for Nonvisual Web Access BIBAKPDF 172-179
  Chieko Asakawa; Hironobu Takagi
These days, Web authors try to describe as much information as possible in one page using various types of visual effects. This information is visually fragmented into groupings. Blind users read the Web contents in tag order, but visually fragmented groupings are not accessible using tag order reading. In addition, the Web contents are designed to be visually appealing using a lot of images. This style makes nonvisual Web access harder. Therefore we decided to develop an annotation-based transcoding system to convert already-existing Web pages to be accessible, which works between a Web server and a user. It consists of two components, one for structural annotations and one for commentary annotations. Structural annotations are used to recognize visually fragmented groupings as well as to show the importance and basic role of each group. Commentary annotations are used to give users a useful description of each grouping. In this paper, we will describe our transcoding method for nonvisual Web access based on the annotations.
Keywords: Nonvisual Web access, Transcoding system, Structural annotation, Commentary annotation, Blind
A Domain Specific Language Framework for Non-Visual Browsing of Complex HTML Structures BIBAKPDF 180-187
  E. Pontelli; W. Xiong; G. Gupta; A. I. Karshmer
We present a general framework for navigating complex structures -- specifically, tables, frames, and forms -- found in web-pages. Our framework is based on an (automatically or manually created) program written in a domain specific language that captures the semantic structure of the table/frame/form as well as specifies the strategy to be used for navigating it. We describe our general framework and the domain specific language we have designed.
Keywords: HTML, Web browsers, Domain specific languages
Constructive Exploration of Spatial Information by Blind Users BIBAKPDF 188-192
  Jochen Schneider; Thomas Strothotte
When blind people wish to walk through an area not fully known to them, they have to prepare themselves even more thoroughly than sighted pedestrians. We propose a new approach to support this preparation with the help of an interactive computer method, called constructive exploration. Using this method, the user is guided in physically constructing the spatial arrangement to be learned using building blocks. We describe two implementations of the concept, one with a graspable interface with object tracking and the other employing a force feedback device. We report on first tests of the implementations.
Keywords: Orientation aids, Blind users, Augmented reality, Force feedback devices
Wearable Interfaces for Orientation and Wayfinding BIBAKPDF 193-200
  David A. Ross; Bruce B. Blasch
People with severe visual impairment need a means of remaining oriented to their environment as they move through it. Three wearable orientation interfaces were developed and evaluated toward this purpose: a stereophonic sonic guide (sonic "carrot"), speech output, and shoulder-tapping system. Street crossing was used as a critical test setting in which to evaluate these interfaces. The shoulder-tapping system was found most universally usable. Considering the great variety of co-morbidities within this population, the authors concluded that a combined tapping/speech interface would provide usability and flexibility to the greatest number of people under the widest range of environmental conditions.
Keywords: Orientation aid, Blindness, Wayfinding, Street crossing