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ASSETS Tables of Contents: 9496980002040506070809101112131415

Third Annual ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Assistive Technologies

Fullname:Third International ACM SIGCAPH Conference on Assistive Technologies
Location:Marina del Rey, California
Dates:1998-Apr-15 to 1998-Apr-17
Standard No:ACM ISBN 1-58113-020-1 ACM Order number 444980; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: ASSETS98
Smart Rooms, Desks, and Clothes BIBAKPDFTXT 1-2
  Alexander Pentland
We are working to develop smart networked environments thatcan help people in their homes, offices, cars, and when walking about. Our research is aimed at giving rooms, desks, and clothes the perceptual and cognitive intelligence needed to become active helpers.
Keywords: Wearable computers, Perceptual environments, Multimodal interfaces, Adaptive environments
Comparing Effects of Navigational Interface Modalities on Speaker Prosodics BIBAKHTMLPDFTXT 3-10
  Julie Baca
Displayless interface technology must address issues similar to those of GUI access technology for users with visual impairments. Both must address the issue of providing nonvisual access to spatial data. This research examined the hypothesis that strictly verbal access to spatial data places a cognitive burden on the user, which in turn impacts the prosodics, i.e., nonverbal aspects, of the user's speech. The hypothesis was tested through experiments in which subjects used speech-based, displayless interface followed by a multimodal interface to perform a series of navigational tasks. Their speech was recorded during the experiments and post-processed for prosodic content. Statistical analysis of the post-processed data showed significant differences in subjects' prosodics when using the displayless versus the multimodal interface.
Keywords: GUI access, Displayless interfaces, Prosodics
Computer-Based Cognitive Prosthetics: Assistive Technology for the Treatment of Cognitive Disabilities BIBAKHTMLPDFTXT 11-18
  Elliot Cole; Parto Dehdashti
Traumatic brain injury and stroke leave many individuals with cognitive disabilities even after much therapy. For over a decade, our multidisciplinary group has been conducting a research and clinical program. The focus of our efforts has been restoration of individual's functioning through technology enabling them to perform some of their priority everyday activities. Our approach has been three-fold: 1) the application of theory and methods from computer science; 2) the design of one-of-a-kind prosthetic systems to bridge deficits, and 3) therapy integrated tightly with prosthetic technology. Research incorporated the single-subject case study approach -- widely used in brain injury rehabilitation -- with studies being partial replicates for grouping data. Results have been significant and substantial, with an increase of function being the rule rather than the exception. An important finding is that our evaluation techniques of patient abilities tends to show greater abilities than show in clinical testing. These abilities can be used in participatory design to greatly enhance the clinical outcome. Also, the impact of small deficits on behavior seems to be significantly greater than one would expect. Resolving or bridging small deficits can have considerable behavioral impact.
Keywords: Cognitive disabilities, Cognitive prosthetics, Usability, Testing, User interfaces, User studies, Personal productivity tools, Learning disabilities, Health care applications
Toward the Use of Speech and Natural Language Technology in Intervention for a Language-Disordered Population BIBAPDFTXT 19-26
  Jill Fain Lehman
We describe the design of Simone Says an interactive software
   environment for language remediation that brings together research
   in speech recognition, natural language processing and
   computer-aided instruction. The underlying technology for the
   implementation and the system's eventual evaluation are also
Lessons from Developing Audio HTML Interfaces BIBAKHTMLPDFTXT 27-34
  Frankie James
In this paper, we discuss the choice of specific sounds to use in an audio HTML interface, based on our previous research into developing principles for sound choice, called the AHA framework. AHA can be used along with the consideration of issues related to the target audience such as user tasks, goals, and interests to choose specific sounds for an interface. We describe two scenarios of potential users and interfaces that would seem to be appropriate for them.
Keywords: Audio interfaces, WWW, Blind, Human-computer interaction, HTML
The Use of Gestures in Multimodal Input BIBAKPDFTXT 35-42
  Simeon Keates; Peter Robinson
For users with motion impairments, the standard keyboard and mouse arrangement for computer access often presents problems. Other approaches have to be adopted to overcome this.
   In this paper, we will describe the development of a prototype multimodal input system based on two gestural input channels. Results from extensive user trials of this system are presented. These trials showed that the physical and cognitive loads on the user can quickly become excessive and detrimental to the interaction. Designers of multimodal input systems need to be aware of this and perform regular user trials to minimize the problem.
Keywords: Gesture recognition, Multimodal input, User trials
VRML-Based Representations of ASL Fingerspelling on the World-Wide Web BIBAKHTMLPDFTXT 43-45
  S. Augustine Su; Richard K. Furuta
Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) is an effective tool to document sign language on the World-Wide Web. In this paper, we present techniques to enlarge the vocabulary of encoded ASL signs in VRML 2.0 for educational purposes. In order to prove the concept of gesture making, a Web site is presented that demonstrates application of the hand model to fingerspell the ASL manual alphabet and numbers.
Keywords: American Sign Language, Virtual Reality Modeling Language, World Wide Web, Hand gestures
Programming for Usability in Nonvisual User Interfaces BIBAKHTMLPDFTXT 46-48
  Gerhard Weber
Standard software engineering methods are not directly applicable to nonvisual user interfaces due to the mismatch of user interfaces of developers and users. We have developed tools to visualize the nonvisual presentation and the nonvisual interaction. This requires to apply software technologies as used by screen readers.
Keywords: Software engineering, Evaluation, Nonvisual user interfaces
Expanded Interactions: Broadening Human-Centered Computing BIBAKPDFTXT 49-50
  Richard A. Foulds; Arthur W., III Joyce
In this paper, we describe the preliminary results of an NSF sponsored invitational workshop entitled Expanded Interaction: Broadening Human-Centered Computing. The workshop brought together members of academia, industry and government, as well as individuals with disabilities to examine the commonalities and expansion of human-computer interaction and universal design. The underlying theme was to encourage a scientific understanding of the diversity of human performance.
Keywords: Multimodal, Universal access, Human-centered computing, Telecommunications, Intermedia, Disabilities
Conversational Gestures for Direct Manipulation on the Audio Desktop BIBAWeb PagePDFTXT 51-58
  T. V. Raman
We describe the speech-enabling approach to building auditory interfaces that treat speech as a first-class modality. The process of designing effective auditory interfaces is decomposed into identifying the atomic actions that make up the user interaction and the conversational gestures that enable these actions. The auditory interface is then synthesized by mapping these conversational gestures to appropriate primitives in the auditory environment.
   We illustrate this process with a concrete example by developing an auditory interface to the visually intensive task of playing tetris. Playing Tetris is a fun activity that has many of the same demands as day-to-day activities on the electronic desktop. Speech-enabling Tetris thus not only provides a fun way to exercise ones geometric reasoning abilities -- it provides useful lessons in speech-enabling common-place computing tasks.
Automatic Babble Recognition for Early Detection of Speech Related Disorders BIBAKHTMLPDFTXT 59-66
  Harriet J. Fell; Joel MacAuslan; Karen Chenausky; Linda J. Ferrier
We have developed a program, the Early Vocalization Analyzer (EVA), that automatically analyzes digitized recordings of infant vocalizations. The purpose of such a system is to automatically and reliably screen infants who may be at risk for later communication problems. Applying the landmark detection theory of Stevens et al., for the recognition of features in adult speech, EVA detects syllables in vocalizations produced by typically developing six to thirteen month old infants. We discuss the differences between adult-specific code and code written to analyze infant vocalizations and present the results of validity-testing.
Keywords: Infants, Pre-speech vocalization, Acoustic analysis, Early intervention
A Tool for Creating Eye-Aware Applications that Adapt to Changes in User Behavior BIBAKHTMLPDFTXT 67-74
  Greg Edwards
A development tool is described that can be used to create eye-aware software applications that adapt in real-time to changes in a user's natural eye-movement behaviors and intentions. The research involved in developing this tool focuses on identifying patterns of eye-movement that describe three behaviors: Knowledgeable Movement, Searching, and Prolonged Searching. In the process of doing the research, two important features of eye-movement patterns were discovered -- Revisits and Significant Fixations. Revisits and Significant Fixations complement the recognition of saccades, fixations, and blinks, and make easier the recognition of high-level patterns in users' natural eye-movements.
Keywords: Eyetracking, Eye-aware, Eye interpretation engine, User intent, Visual search, Fixations, Fixation duration, User-centered approach, Human-computer interaction
Designing Interfaces for an Overlooked User Group: Considering the Visual Profiles of Partially Sighted Users BIBAKPDFTXT 75-77
  Julie A. Jacko; Andrew Sears
In this position paper we argue the importance of research focusing on the issues involved in designing computer systems for partially sighted computer users. Currently, there is a lack of data that explores how combinations of impaired visual processes affect preferences for, and performance with, graphical user interfaces. This lack of fundamental information about how an individual's visual profile determines the strategies and behaviors exhibited while using computers limits our ability to design effective user interfaces for partially sighted computer users. The objective of this position paper is to motivate research that addresses this deficiency in our knowledge base so that researchers can design enabling technologies in a systematic fashion for this unique user group as has been done for fully sighted users and blind users.
Keywords: Partial vision, Visually impaired, Human-computer interaction, Enabling technologies
Modeling and Generating Sign Language as Animated Line Drawings BIBAHTMLPDFTXT 78-84
  Frank Godenschweger; Thomas Strothotte
This paper introduces an application for creating words and sentences of sign language as animated gesture sequences. A gesture is composed of the left and right hand sign, a body movement and a facial expression.
   We propose a technique for generating gestures as line drawings. Using line drawings allows us to run the application with simple 3D models without loss of essential information while achieving images which can be transferred very quickly over a network. Furthermore, the images resemble those used in printed teaching materials for sign language.
TGuide: A Guidance System for Tactile Image Exploration BIBAKPDFTXT 85-91
  Martin Kurze
We present a guidance system for blind people
   exploring tactile graphics. The system is composed
   of a new device using 8 vibrating elements to output directional information and a guidance software
   controlling the device. The evaluation of the system
   is also described.
Keywords: Tactile output device, Blind people, Graphics, Guidance, Evaluation
Haptic Virtual Reality for Blind Computer Users BIBAKHTMLPDFTXT 92-99
  Chetz Colwell; Helen Petrie; Diana Kornbrot; Andrew Hardwick; Stephen Furner
This paper describes a series of studies involving a haptic device which can display virtual textures and 3-D objects. The device has potential for simulating real world objects and assisting in the navigation of virtual environments. Three experiments investigated: (a) whether previous results from experiments using real textures could be replicated using virtual textures; (b) whether participants perceived virtual objects to have the intended size and angle; and (c) whether simulated real objects could be recognised. In all the experiments differences in perception by blind and sighted people were also explored. The results have implications for the future design of VEs in that it cannot be assumed that virtual textures and objects will feel to the user as the designer intends. However, they do show that a haptic interface has considerable potential for blind computer users.
Keywords: Haptic device, Virtual environments, Perception of virtual textures and objects, Blind users, World Wide Web
Auditory Navigation in Hyperspace: Design and Evaluation of a Non-Visual Hypermedia System for Blind Users BIBAKHTMLPDFTXT 100-107
  Sarah Morley; Anne-Marie O'Neill Helen Petrie; Peter McNally
This paper presents the design and evaluation of a hypermedia system for blind users, making use of a non-visual interface, non-speech sounds, three input devices, and a 37-node hypermedia module. The important components of an effective auditory interface are discussed, together with the design of the auditory interface to hypermedia material. The evaluation is described, which was conducted over several weeks, and used a range of complementary objective and subjective measures to assess usability, performance and user preferences. The findings from evaluations with 9 visually impaired student participants are presented. The results from this research can be applied to the design and evaluation of other non-visual hypermedia systems, such as auditory WWW browsers and digital talking books.
Keywords: Auditory navigation of hypermedia, Blind and visually impaired users, Non-visual interface design, Non-speech sounds, Evaluation methodology
SUITEKeys: A Speech Understanding Interface for the Motor-Control Challenged BIBAKHTMLPDFTXT 108-115
  Bill Manaris; Alan Harkreader
This paper presents SUITEKeys, a continuous speech understanding interface for motor-control challenged computer users. This interface provides access to all available functionality of a computer by modeling interaction at the physical keyboard and mouse level. The paper briefly discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using speech at the user interface; it outlines the user-centered approach employed in developing the system; it introduces the formal model of the user interface in terms of its conceptual, semantic, syntactic, lexical and acoustic levels; it describes the SUITEKeys system architecture which consists of symbolic, statistical, and connectionist components; it presents a pilot study for assessing the effectiveness of speech as an alternate input modality for motor-control challenged users; and closes with directions for future research.
Keywords: Accessibility, Input devices, Intelligent user interfaces, Keyboard, Mouse, Motor-disabilities, Natural language, Selectable modalities, Speech recognition
Adaptation of a Cash Dispenser to the Needs of Blind and Visually Impaired People BIBAKPDFTXT 116-123
  Jens M. Manzke
An existing cash dispenser was implemented with speech output to give access to blind and visually impaired people. Additionally, the screen graphics and the function access were modified. The hardware was not changed. Blind and visually impaired subjects performed a usability-test, and experts in the field of human-computer-interaction evaluated the dispenser system's usability heuristically. The results showed that the modifications help blind and visually impaired people to access such machines, but adaptations of the hardware are necessary to maintain usability. The two evaluation methods did not produce consistent results.
Keywords: Automatic Teller Machine, ATM, Cash Dispenser, Blind and Visually impaired users, Application design, Usability-test, Heuristic evaluation
Some Thoughts on Assistive Technology for the Blind BIBAPDFTXT 124-125
  Abraham Nemeth
As a youngster, the principal assistive technology I had was Braille. Braille was, and still remains, the most important assistive technology for a blind person. It is the basis of literacy. A blind person must have much more information about computers than his sighted colleague to do the same job. Not only must he know how to run the application programs that he uses daily, but he must also know how to operate all the assistive equipment he uses to run those applications. His colleagues can help him with the application programs, but they know nothing about the assistive devices he must use. And such devices are proliferating in number and in complexity all the time.
   Not every assistive device needs to be high tech. Some skills of daily living unrelated to a computer can be very effective. Imagination, resourcefulness, and memory skills can be regarded as assistive techniques even if they do not qualify as technology. There is also the problem of putting useful devices into the hands of those who can benefit from them. Money is one obstacle; adequate training is another. Of course, all of the above themes will be elaborated when developing the text of the full presentation.
An Interactive Method for Accessing Tables in HTML BIBAKHTMLPDFTXT 126-128
  Toshiya Oogane; Chieko Asakawa
Although visually impaired people can access digital information by using computers, GUIs make it difficult for them to do so. One of the main obstacles preventing them from taking advantage of the almost unlimited information resources on the Web is the use of visual representations such as tables, image maps, and classified structures. This paper proposes a method for converting these visual representations into non-visual representations in HTML. After describing a system that we developed to evaluate our method, we will discuss an interactive method for accessing tables in HTML files.
Keywords: WWW, Blind, Visually disabled, Table, Conversion, HTML
Alliance for Technology Access: Making Assistive Technology Accessible to the Community BIBAPDFTXT 129
  Mary Ann Glicksman
The Alliance for Technology Access is a network of 40+ community-based consumer-driven centers whose mission is to redefine human potential by making assistive technology a part of the daily lives of people with disabilities.Disability access, Individual preferences, Choice
Dual Level Intraframe Coding for Increased Video Telecommunication Bandwidth BIBAKWeb PagePDFTXT 130-135
  David M. Saxe; Richard A. Foulds; Arthur W., III Joyce
While digital video transmission and video conferencing methods have improved significantly over the last few years, the transmission of sign language for individuals who are deaf via this medium still remains a problem. Desktop video teleconferencing systems accommodate the bandwidth limitations of both analog and digital (ISDN) telephone channels by reducing the frame rate, while preserving voice quality and only minimally degrading image quality. Sign language transmission requires fidelity to movement (consistent and high frame rate), and requires reasonable image quality only in the areas around the hands and face.
   This paper presents a dual-level compression approach which uses a newly developed technique to identify the hands and face from the remainder of each video frame. This allows for a very lossy, high compression of most of each frame, while retaining the visual quality necessary to identify hand shapes and read facial expressions. By taking advantage of this compression, additional bandwidth is recaptured to allow an acceptable frame rate that maintains the fidelity of human movement necessary to represent sign language.
Keywords: Disability access, Gesture, Hearing impairments, Sign language
Reading and Writing Mathematics: The MAVIS Project BIBAKPDFTXT 136-143
  A. I. Karshmer; G. Gupta; S. Geiiger; C. Weaver
One of the greatest challenges to the visually impaired student in science and mathematics disciplines is the reading and writing of complex mathematical equations or have convenient access to information based tools such as the world wide web. In research currently underway at New Mexico State University, tools are being built using logic programming to facilitate access to complex information in a variety of formats. On top of the logic based tools, new interfaces are being designed to permit more convenient access to information by our visually impaired students.
Keywords: Mathematics, Nemeth Code, LaTeX, Education
Making VRML Accessible for People with Disabilities BIBAKHTMLPDFTXT 144-148
  Sandy Ressler; Qiming Wang
This paper describes a set of techniques for improving access to Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) environments for people with disabilities. These range from simple textual additions to the VRML file to scripts which aid in the creation of more accessible worlds. We also propose an initial set of guidelines authors can use to improve VRML accessibility.
Keywords: VRML, Virtual environments, Navigational aids, Accessibility, audio feedback, Data access, Speech input, User interfaces
User Interface of a Home Page Reader BIBAKHTMLPDFTXT 149-156
  Chieko Asakawa; Atakashi Itoh
We first discuss the difficulties that blind people face in trying to live in society, because of the lack of accessible information resources, and then consider the potential of the Web as a new information resource for the blind. After describing how blind people in Japan currently access the Web, we give an overview of our system for nonvisual Web access. Our system has five special characteristics. One is the use of a numeric keypad for surfing the Net, with a key assignment designed for intuitive operation. The second is a fast-forward key for quick reading. The next two are that hyperlinks are read in a female voice and HTML tags are converted into voice data. The fifth is that the system can be synchronized with Netscape Navigator. After evaluating the system and offering some conclusions, we discuss our plans for future work.
Keywords: WWW, Blind, Visually disabled, GUI, Numeric keypad, Home page reader
Digital Talking Books on a PC: A Usability Evaluation of the Prototype DAISY Playback Software BIBAKHTMLPDFTXT 157-164
  Sarah Morley
This paper describes the design and evaluation of the first system to play digital talking books on a PC: the DAISY Playback Software. The features of the software for navigating through structured digital audio are described. A detailed usability evaluation of this prototype software was designed and conducted to assess its current usability, in which 13 blind/partially sighted participants completed a series of realistic tasks and answered detailed usability questions on the system. Recommendations for improvements are presented which might inform designers of similar systems, such as other digital talking book systems or WWW browsers.
Keywords: Digital talking books, Blind and visually impaired readers, Auditory navigation, Structured information access, Evaluation methodology
A Phoneme Probability Display for Individuals with Hearing Disabilities BIBAHTMLPDFTXT 165-168
  Deb Roy; Alex Pentland
We are building an aid for individuals with hearing impairments which converts continuous speech into an animated visual display. A speech analysis system continuously estimates phoneme probabilities from the input acoustic stream. Phoneme symbols are displayed graphically with brightness in proportion to estimated phoneme probabilities. We use an automated layout algorithm to design the display to group acoustically confusable phonemes together in the graphical display.
Augmenting Home and Office Environments BIBAKHTMLPDFTXT 169-172
  Elizabeth Mynatt; Douglas Blattner; Meera M. Blattner; Blair MacIntyre; Jennifer Mankoff
In this panel, we describe different techniques and applications of augmenting home and office environments. One application of augmented environments is to provide additional information associated with the environment via visual and / or auditory cues. Other applications assist users in controlling aspects of their environment. Commercial opportunities in home automation allow people to more easily operate complex systems for temperature control, security, and maintenance. There are numerous research issues in designing augmented environments such as how multimodal input and output can be used effectively. Many of these systems need to assume some knowledge of the user's intent and context. How to capture and interpret information about users in these environments is an open question. We will describe these issues during this panel as well as discuss with the ASSETS community how these efforts can be applied to the realm of assistive technology.
Keywords: Home automation, Augmented reality, Audio, Multimodal, Ubiquitous computing, See-through displays
A Model of Keyboard Configuration Requirements BIBAKHTMLPDFTXT 173-181
  Shari Trewin; Helen Pain
This paper presents a user model: a computer program which examines the behaviour of a real computer user. The model encompasses four aspects of keyboard use which can present difficulties for people with motor disabilities. Where relevant keyboard configuration options exist, the model chooses appropriate settings for these options. The model bases its recommendations on observation of users typing free English text. It is intended to form part of a dynamic configuration support tool. Empirical evaluation showed the model to be very accurate in identification of a given user's difficulties. Where recommended configuration options were tried by the participants, high levels of error reduction and user satisfaction were found.
Keywords: Keyboards, Motor disabilities, Empirical studies, User modelling, Keyboard configuration, Sticky keys, Repeat keys, Bounce keys
Head Pointing and Speech Control as a Hands-Free Interface to Desktop Computing BIBAPDFTXT 182-188
  Rainer Malkewitz
A significant number of users are not able to use today's WIMP-style (Windows, Icons, Menus, and Pointers) Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs). This may be for different reasons including hands-busy situations (e.g., a mechanic at work), paralysis, or bad neural control of body movements. To overcome these difficulties in the practical use of existing software applications, solutions have to consider both technical and commercial aspects. The system introduced by this work addresses both goals, i.e., develops and customises existing technical solutions and keeps an eye on the end-user's costs. Head gestures, Pointing device, Speech input, Disabled
Factors Leading to the Successful Use of Voice Recognition Technology BIBAKPDFTXT 189-196
  Tanya Goette
In this paper, results are presented from a field study of individuals with disabilities who used voice recognition technology (VRT). The perceived benefits of the VRT and the ability to use the VRT for a trial period were determined to be the major factors resulting in successful adoption of the technology.
Keywords: Disability access, Empirical studies, Input/output devices Motor disabilities, Speech & voice, User studies
Towards an EOG-Based Eye Tracker for Computer Control BIBAPDFTXT 197-203
  David W. Patmore; R. Benjamin Knapp
The authors are developing an eye tracking system for use with personal computers. The system is intended to provide a pointing device that could be useful to some people with physical disabilities. The basis for this system is the use of Bio-Electrical signals from the user's body. In particular the authors are investigating the use of the Electrooculogram and Visual Evoked Potentials. This paper describes an experiment to compare two algorithms for processing the signals and generate an effective output control. Electrooculogram, EOG, Visual evoked potentials, VEP, Eye tracking
A Web Navigation Tool for the Blind BIBAKHTMLPDFTXT 204-206
  Mary Zajicek; Chris Powell; Chris Reeves
The aim of our work is to make the wealth of information on the World Wide Web more readily available to blind people. They must be able to search efficiently for relevant information and make quick and effective decisions about the usefulness of pages they retrieve. We have built a prototype application called BrookesTalk which we believe addresses this need more fully than other Web browsers. Information retrieval techniques are used to provide a set of complementary options which summarise a Web page and enable rapid decisions about its usefulness.
Keywords: World Wide Web, Browser, Blind, Information retrieval, HTML