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CUU Tables of Contents: 20002003

Proceedings of the 2000 ACM Conference on Universal Usability

Fullname:CUU 2000 ACM Conference on Universal Usability
Editors:Jean Scholtz; John C. Thomas
Location:Arlington, Virginia, USA
Dates:2000-Nov-16 to 2000-Nov-17
Publisher:ACM
Standard No:ISBN 1-58113-314-6; ACM Order Number 608009; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: CUU2000
Papers:36
Pages:165
Links:Conference Home
  1. Opening Speech
  2. Panels
  3. Architecture and Experience
  4. The Design Process
  5. Panels
  6. Age before Beauty
  7. Reaching Diverse Communities
  8. Easy Access and The Web
  9. Posters
  10. Keynote
Welcome to the ACM Conference on Universal Usability BIBHTML viii
  Ben Shneiderman

Opening Speech

Creating Digital Opportunity BIBAHTML --
  Tom Kalil
Thomas Kalil will address efforts by the Clinton-Gore Administration to bridge the digital divide and create "digital opportunity." His remarks will cover key Administration initiatives such as the President's recent event focused on making IT more usable for people with disabilities, and the creation of the Digital Opportunity Taskforce to address the digital divide between developed and developing countries. He will also discuss Administration efforts to substantially increase federal support for long-term IT research, including Human-Computer Interaction.

Panels

Report from the CUU Fellow Workshop BIBPPT --
  Joelle Coutaz

Architecture and Experience

The FirstSearch User Interface Architecture: Universal Access for any User, in many Languages, on any Platform BIBAKPDFPDFPowerPoint Presentation 1-8
  Gary Perlman
The OCLC FirstSearch service allows users to search for bibliographic and full text records in over 80 online databases. Web-based, FirstSearch was designed to adapt to unexpected user needs, platform considerations, languages, and changing requirements. The many unknowns during development necessitated an architecture that would allow many types of contributors to modify the interface easily and frequently. For example, marketing, documentation, and user interface designers edited the strings used in the interface, including translation; and user interface and graphic designers edited the screen layout. Structured initialization files with a simple convention for adapting to specific users, platforms, languages, etc., allowed continual broadening of the accessibility of the system without complicating the overall architecture.
   The paper begins with a discussion of the general requirements for FirstSearch (multi-platform, multilingual, levels of users, low-end hardware, accessible) and the need for better coordination of contributions from the FirstSearch team. The architecture is then described, which partitions the specification of the interface into platform-specific, language-specific, and language/platform independent functional components. The user interface, in the form of Web pages, is then generated dynamically (although it would also be possible to generate static pages). The paper ends with a discussion of experiences with the changes to the interface and a cost-benefit analysis of the architecture, with the overall conclusion that addressing many accessibility issues in the architecture facilitated individual accessibility issues.
Keywords: Specification; Disabilities; Diversity; Globaiization; Group and individual differences; Handicapped; il8n; Impairment; Intercultural; Internationalization; Multilingual; Software localization; Special needs; Translation; Universal access
Configuration Agents, Control and Privacy BIBAKPDF 9-16
  Shari Trewin
When a truly diverse community of users is considered, it is clear that a single interface, no matter how well designed, cannot accommodate everyone. Configuring an interface to match a particular user's requirements can be a demanding task. This paper focuses on the potential utility of configuration agents to support users with low initial levels of control, or low levels of knowledge about configuration. The relationship between configuration of systems by agents, user control, and user privacy is discussed. It is argued that privacy issues are of primary importance, and suggestions are made for ways to apply agent technologies to the configuration problem without compromising user control and privacy. Work in progress to inform and further develop these issues is described.
Keywords: Interface agents, configuration, user interface design, privacy, users with disabilities, universal usability
Reducing the Gap Between What Users Know and What They Need to Know BIBAKPDF 17-23
  Ron Baecker; Kellogg Booth; Sasha Jovicic; Joanna McGrenere; Gale Moore
Universal usability [17] is currently impeded by system complexity and poorly-crafted interfaces which lead to confusion, frustration, and failure. One of the key challenges is the gap between what users know and what they need to know [17, p.86]. This paper describes and presents early results from three related research projects designed to identify and close this gap and to examine how users might learn what they need to know.
Keywords: Usability, human-centered design, bloat, user study, survey, email, mail system, visualization, multimedia.

The Design Process

Usability and Public Administration: Experiences of a Difficult Marriage BIBAKPDF 24-31
  Tiziana Catarci; Giacinto Matarazzo; Gianluigi Raiss
Approximately one and half year ago, the Italian authority which controls the software diffusion in Public Administrations (Autorita per l'Informatica nella Pubblica Amministrazione -- AIPA) created a working group, the Usability Working Group, with the main purposes of assessing the extent to which both suppliers of computer technologies and the public administration pay attention to product usability and of surveying the level of comfort (or discomfort) the public administration users reach when interacting with new software systems. The group had also the duty of determining possible improvements and indicating how to obtain them in the short-medium term. Among the various activities of the group, two tests carded out for the public administration on two different development designs of interactive systems gave several hints. This paper reports about such tests and their outcomes. In particular, it concentrates on: 1) work methods of the design teams; 2) participation modes of the public administration in the design process; 3) users' evaluation of the system usability with respect to their implicit and explicit needs. Finally, the lessons learned from this experience are discussed.
Keywords: Interactive Systems in Public Administration, Services to the Citizen, Software Usability and User-centered Design
Fundamental Principles and Priority Setting for Universal Usability BIBAKPDF 32-37
  Gregg Vanderheiden
There are a number of interrelating factors that must be considered and weighed against each other when deciding which features or capabilities should be added to a product to increase its flexibility and usability by a wider range of users. Not all strategies or approaches are created equal, and designers have limited resources in developing and improving products. It is, therefore, important that the different dimensions of usability be understood and that priorities be applied appropriately. This paper attempts to delineate some of the key dimensions of usability and to begin the process of providing a rationale for prioritization between possible changes to a product's interface. The paper discusses a multidimensional prioritization approach that is coupled to a vector-based usability evaluation procedure currently being developed.
Keywords: Universal Usability, Accessibility, Universal Design, Disability
"User Sensitive Inclusive Design" -- In Search of a New Paradigm BIBAKPDF 39-44
  Alan F. Newell; Peter Gregor
This paper considers appropriate research methodologies for the development of Universal Usability. It is written from the viewpoint of research which has the long term objective of developing technological systems for everyone, including people with disabilities. It considers whether new research paradigms are appropriate and how they are different from those used within traditional technological research. It suggests the development of a new paradigm of "User Sensitive Inclusive Design" which includes people with disabilities within a User Centred Design methodology, and recommends a collaborative approach to the development of such a methodology.
Keywords: User Centred Design, Usability, Universal Design
Towards a Practical Inclusive Design Approach BIBAKPDF 45-52
  Simeon Keates; P. John Clarkson; Lee-Anne Harrison; Peter Robinson
It is known that many products are not accessible to large sections of the population. Designers instinctively design for able-bodied users and are either unaware of the needs of users with different capabilities, or do not know how to accommodate their needs into the design cycle.
   This aim of this paper is to present a methodological design approach for implementing inclusive design. A summary of the principal methods for designing for users with different capabilities is given along with a description of a model, the Inclusive Design Cube, that displays how the different approaches are complementary and can provide complete population coverage. A case study of the design of an information point for use in a post office, shall be used to highlight the use of the model.
Keywords: Case study, user-aware design, functional impairments
Participant Stakeholder Evaluation as a Design Process BIBAKPDF 53-60
  Richard Giordano; David Bell
This paper discusses participant stakeholder evaluation and its use in designing an evaluative protocol for inter-firm development and sharing of web-based learning modules. Participant stakeholder evaluation involves participants as researchers who design and evaluate evaluative protocols. It has a strong link with participatory action research and collaborative inquiry methods where the line is blurred between "the researcher" and "the researched."
   Participatory evaluation methods were used as a method in support of system design to help define features of learning modules, define content, and to enhance usability and effectiveness in work contexts. Preliminary results strongly suggest that these techniques are successful in uncovering usability issues during the process of design, were instrumental in helping define an architecture for learning modules, help to increase user acceptance, and inform company strategy.
Keywords: Evaluation, participatory design, action research, collaborative inquiry, distance learning design, learning module design, learning object design

Panels

Dimensions of Diversity in Design of Telerehabilitation Systems for Universal Usability BIBAKPDF 61-62
  M. Rosen; D. Brennan; C. Trepagnier; B. Tran; D. Lauderdale; C. Lathan
Telerehabilitation is defined as the application of multimedia technologies to deliver rehabilitation services to consumers at a distance -- and to support independent living for individuals with disabilities. The panelists are members of the r&d team of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Telerehabilitation, the center on this topic funded in October, 1998 by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). They address the challenges to universal usability posed by the diversity of consumers and professionals in telerehab, illustrating their comments with their own projects. They also take part in a real-time design-for-usability exercise and engage the audience in their deliberations.
Keywords: Telerehabilitation, telehealth, diversity, design, disability
From Equal Access to Differential Invitation: Creating Collaborative Cultures that Provide Equal Access and Encourage Equal Participation BIBAKPDF 63-64
  Lynn Henderson; Neil G. Scott; Isabelle Gingras; Richard Adler; Victoria Plaut; Vanessa Fleming; Charles Merritt
We will address the challenge of including a diversity of users, and of facilitating their relationship to technology as a tool. When characteristics of individuals are considered different, stigmatized, or negatively stereotyped, they make individuals less likely to explore and to participate in activities that promote learning and successful adaptation. We will pose the question, "what makes some groups "shy" about using technology?"
Keywords: Diversity, stereotypes, shyness, participation

Age before Beauty

Increasing the Opportunities for Aging in Place BIBAKPDF 65-71
  Elizabeth D. Mynatt; Irfan Essa; Wendy Rogers
A growing social problem in the U.S. and elsewhere is supporting older adults who want to continue living independently as opposed to moving to an institutional care setting. The "Aging in Place" project strives to delay taking that first step away from the family home. Through the careful placement of technological support we believe older adults can continue living in their own homes longer.
   The goal of our research is to take a three-pronged approach to understanding the potential of such environmental supports. The research team combines expertise in human-computer-interaction, computational perception, and cognitive aging. Together the team is assessing the feasibility of designing environments that aid older individuals in maintaining their independence. Based on our initial research, we are dividing this work into three parts: recognizing and adverting crisis, assisting daily routines, and supporting peace of mind for adult children.
Keywords: Aging, Awareness, Cognitive aging, Home, Computational perception, Ubiquitous computing
The ELDeR Project: Social, Emotional, and Environmental Factors in the Design of Eldercare Technologies BIBAKPDF 72-79
  Tad Hirsch; Jodi Forlizzi; Elaine Hyder; Jennifer Goetz; Jacey Stroback; Chris Kurtz
The ELDER (Enhanced Living through Design Research) Project, comprised of a team of designers and behavioral scientists, conducted a four-month study at a seniors community near Pittsburgh, PA. The purpose of the project was to understand the experiences of elders and their caregivers in order to: 1) study the eldercare experience from the perspective of primary stakeholders; 2) to assess the importance of psychological and social factors in the eldercare experience; and 3) to identify implications for product, interface, and interaction design and opportunities for new products and technologies. Our findings show that social, emotional, and environmental factors play a key role in the eldercare experience and the adoption and use of new products. We argue that designing eldercare technologies to address all of these factors lowers social and economic barriers to universal usability.
Keywords: Universal usability, design ethnography, eldercare, assistive technology, aesthetics
Designing for Context: Usability in a Ubiquitous Environment BIBAKPDF 80-84
  Jenna Burrell; Paul Treadwell; Geri K. Gay
Freeing users from the desktop is now a practical reality in many environments. The implications for mobility are both far-reaching and under-realized in many of the current scenarios we have seen. Our work has focused on the integration of user input into the iterative design process used to develop a contextually aware application for use in an educational environment. We discuss the design and development of Semaphore, a contextually aware tool for use in wireless networked environments, and the unique opportunities an iterative design process presents for our work.
Keywords: Context-aware computing, mobile computing, social navigation.
The Beauty of Simplicity BIBAKPDF 85-90
  Kristiina Karvonen
In this paper we show how discussion about design quality or even usability is often discussion about aesthetics. First, we introduce some definitions of beauty in aesthetics. Then, we introduce how the beauty of the Web design affects the feeling of online trust, and bring forth observations about this design quality as an aesthetic notion. As a result, we present how simplicity and beauty affect the user's experience and interpretation of the design, and contemplate on how this perception may vary according to cultural background, age, and the amount of user experience. We will also envision some future trends for the aesthetics of user interfaces.
Keywords: Aesthetics, beautiful, design quality, pleasure, trust, Web usability, user interface design, cross-cultural HCI

Reaching Diverse Communities

Intelligent Speech for Information Systems: Toward Bilteracy and Trilingualism BIBAKPDF 91-95
  Helen M. Meng
This paper reports on our research and development effort in human-computer spoken language interfaces, capable of processing English and Chinese, including two dialects for Chinese (Cantonese and Putonghua). This is the language environment in Hong Kong, and in order to develop human-computer spoken language interfaces that can be used by almost anybody in the region, we strive to develop speech and language technologies capable of handling biliteraey and trilingualism. The context of use is in accessing real-time information in the financial domain.
Keywords: Speech interfaces, spoken language systems, multilingual
Accessible Accessibility BIBAKPDF 96-101
  David Sloan; Peter Gregor; Murray Rowan; Paul Booth
This paper discusses the need for an all-encompassing methodology for determining the level of accessibility of web resources, and the requirement that the results of such a procedure are as meaningful as possible to developers. It is argued that current accessibility evaluation methods are unsatisfactory in the scope and presentation of their results. An alternative meta-method of accessibility assessment is then described.
Keywords: Accessibility, Usability, Web Resource
Usability Testing with Screen Reading Technology in a Windows Environment BIBAKPDF 102-109
  Kitch Barnicle
Ever since applications with graphical user interfaces were introduced, individuals who are blind have experienced great difficulty accessing these applications. The quality of access provided through a combination of screen reading software and speech synthesizer is greatly dependent on the design of the mainstream application interface. In attempt to better understand the access strategies employed by users of screen readers, this study was designed to (a) examine the interaction between users of screen reading technology and graphical user interface (GUI) elements and (b) to identify the type and significance of obstacles encountered during these interactions. Fifty-eight unique obstacles encountered by participants were identified. These obstacles were encountered by the thirteen participants a total 534 times. Although many obstacles lead to minor delays, the cumulative effect of these obstacles was to significantly delay, and in many cases, prevent task completion.
Keywords: Screen reader, GUI, disability, blindness
Mixing Oil and Water: Transcending Method Boundaries in Assistive Technology for Traumatic Brain Injury BIBAKPDF 110-117
  Eamon Doherty; Gilbert Cockton; Chris Bloor; Dennis Benigno
A prototype assistive technology for traumatic brain injury has been developed using a combination of formative experiments and contextual design. Both approaches have proved to be essential to the development of a simple communication program using a brain-body interface device. We describe the combination of these methods and their separate and joint contributions to the evolution and evaluation of an assistive technology. Our experience suggests that failure to use either research method in assistive technology development would result in critical oversights in design and evaluation.
Keywords: Assistive technology, brain-body interface, HCI design and evaluation techniques, contextual inquiry and design.

Easy Access and The Web

The Development of a Simple, Low Cost Set of Universal Access Features for Electronic Devices BIBAKPDF 118-123
  Chris Law; Gregg Vanderheiden
A simple set of universal access features has been developed, which can be applied to almost any public or personal electronic device, providing access for people with a wide variety of sensory and physical disabilities, and a wide variety of functional limitations imposed by circumstance. Implementing the features require adding one to three buttons to the device (or using existing buttons on a device if appropriate), adding speech output and enhancing the programming of the device to utilize the techniques. In our experience, thus far, adding these features can be done for approximately 1% or less of the retail value of the device. This paper introduces the access features (collectively called EZ Access TM, pronounced "easy access"), and discusses some of the key underlying principles which make the features easy to learn and use. Other issues concerning industrial transfer or the techniques are also discussed.
Keywords: Accessibility, Disability, EZ Access, Interface Design, Speech Interface
Aurora: A Conceptual Model for Web-Content Adaptation to Support the Universal Usability of Web-Based Services BIBAKPDF 124-131
  Anita W. Huang; Neel Sunderson
Users of the World Wide Web (Web) have a diverse set of needs, abilities, and goals. To achieve universal usability, the Web today calls for the development of new systems that enable the same content to be adapted for display according to these various needs. This paper presents Aurora, an extensible transcoding system that targets and adapts content in existing Web pages to help the broadest population of users, particularly in the disabled community, to obtain various Web-based services, such as auction, search engine, travel, etc. The system adapts Web content based on semantic rather than syntactic constructs -- facilitating navigation by streamlining the Web interface according abstract user goals. In addition, it provides the capability to adapt this content to meet the specific needs of any number of user groups. This paper puts forth a conceptual abstraction, called the transaction model, for conceptually classifying Web data to meet these goals. It discusses how Aurora uses this model, through an XML-based framework, to semantically transcode existing Web content. The result is an alternative, adaptable Web interface that better supports universal usability.
Keywords: Adaptability, disabled users, Web intermediaries, Web accessibility, XML transcoding.
Extending User Understanding of Federal Statistics in Tables BIBAKPDF 132-138
  Gary Marchionini; Carol Hert; Liz Liddy; Ben Shneiderman
This paper describes progress toward improving user interfaces for US Federal government statistics that are presented in tables. Based on studies of user behaviors and needs related to statistical tables, we describe interfaces to assist diverse users with a range of statistical literacy to explore, find, understand, and use US Federal government statistics.
Keywords: Statistics, dynamic queries, tabular data, data exploration, user interfaces
Barriers to Use: Usability and Content Accessibility on the Web's Most Popular Sites BIBAKPDF 139-144
  Terry Sullivan; Rebecca Matson
Content accessibility is a key feature in highly usable Web sites, but reports in the popular press typically report that 95% or more of all Web sites are inaccessible to users with disabilities. The present study is a content accessibility compliance audit of 50 of the Web's most popular sites, undertaken to determine if content accessibility can be conceived and reported in continuous, rather than dichotomous, terms. Preliminary results suggest that a meaningful ordinal ranking of content accessibility is not only possible, but also correlates significantly with the results of independent automated usability assessment procedures.
Keywords: Web usability, content accessibility, universal design

Posters

Animated Icons: Re-Inventing Visual Cues for the Visually Impaired Computer User BIBAKPDF 145-146
  Stephanie Ludi
Universal access to information is critical for universal participation in society. The Graphical User Interface is a mainstream means for accessing the computing resources needed to access information. These interfaces have become challenging to the visually impaired.
   Many partially sighted individuals posses residual vision. While the enlargement of screen content is important, enlargement alone will not address all of issues involving the utilization of GUIs. While icons are generally useful, animation increases the usefulness of the icons. The sizes of static and animated icons are compared in order to ascertain the impact of animation on icon size.
Keywords: Universal accessibility, icons, graphical user interface, visually impaired
Computer Head Control Software to Compensate for Neck Movement Limitations BIBAKPDF 147-148
  Edmund LoPresti; David M. Brienza; Jennifer Angelo
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. Software was developed which incorporates five methods of compensating for a user's neck movement limitation. This software will be used to evaluate and compare these methods, in order to determine their effectiveness in helping people operate a computer using head controls.
Keywords: Disability, head controls, gesture input, head movement
Development of an Information Kiosk with a Sign Language Recognition System BIBAKPDF 149-150
  Hirohiko Sagawa; Masaru Takeuchi
An information kiosk with a JSL (Japanese sign language) recognition system that allows hearing-impaired people to easily search for various kinds of information and services was tested in a government office. This kiosk system was favorably received by most users.
Keywords: Hearing impaired, sign language, recognition, information kiosk
An Empirical Study on the Usability of an Information Navigation Aid BIBAKPDF 151-152
  David Ribeiro Lamas; Jennifer Jerrams-Smith; David Heathcote; Feliz Ribeiro Gouveia
The Computer Aided Information Navigation (CAIN) project provides a method of adaptive navigation support that aims to increase the World Wide Web's value as a pedagogical tool. To examine whether the system's approach improves comprehension under specific conditions, an experiment compared CAIN with conventional web tools on three measures of performance: comprehension scores, task completion times and user satisfaction. Results revealed that comprehension scores were 30% greater with CAIN than with the conventional tools and indicated that task completion times can also be reduced without compromising user satisfaction.
Keywords: World Wide Web, adaptive systems, empirical study
An Inclusive Design of Remittance Services for the Blind Users' Operation of Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) BIBAKPDF 153-154
  Iwao Kobayashi; Akihiro Iwazaki; Katsuhiro Sasaki
In this paper we reported the inclusive design of Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) for blind users, especially their use of remittance services. We examined our design guideline of the remittance operation for the users, based on the operations by voice instruction and/or the feedback using a handset. Then we implemented the prototype system under the guideline and evaluated it by an experiment. Subjects were four blind men. The results showed that the system worked out effectively. However, the reduction in time for all operation required was indicated as a main problem.
Keywords: Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), The Blind, remittance, inclusive design
The IUSR Project and the Common Industry Reporting Format BIBAKPDF 155-156
  Emile L. Morse
For 3 years, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been leading the Industry USability Reporting (IUSR) project. The purpose of the project is to increase the visibility of software usability. Participants are from major software suppliers and customer organizations
   This poster presents an overview of the IUSR project. Major emphasis is placed on the Common Industry Format (CIF) for reporting the results of usability tests. The current focus of the group centers around Pilot Testing to validate the use of the CIF. Additional information about the IUSR project can be found at: iusr@nist.gov.
Keywords: Software usability, usability testing, Common Industry Format, procurement, CIF, IUSR
Mathematical Modeling of Age Differences in Hierarchical Navigation Systems BIBAKPDF 157-158
  Panayiotis Zaphiris; Darin Ellis
This poster presents a modification to an existing mathematical model for depth-breath tradeoff of menu-selection to account for age related differences.
Keywords: Menu-selection, navigation, aging, cognitive modeling
A Rule of Thumb of Icons' Visual Distinctiveness BIBAKPDF 159-160
  Sri Hastuti Kurniawan
Icon's distinctiveness could be divided into physical distinctiveness, which is related to recognition of the objects the icon is comprised of, and perceptual distinctiveness, which is related to the understanding of what the objects in the icon represent. An icon is usually designed in an environment that consists of a set of icons. In this setting, the icon has to be physically and perceptually distinguishable among the other icons in the set. Icons performing similar functions, however, should bear family resemblance to increase family distinctiveness.
Keywords: Icon, visual modality, human-computer interaction
A Tool to Evaluate Universal Web Accessibility BIBAKPDF 161-162
  Leonard R. Kasday
The Web Accessibility Visual Evaluator (WAVE) is a tool that, in addition to performing automated checks, helps users perform the human judgments essential for evaluating if a web page is universally accessible to people with and without disabilities. For example, the WAVE (a) inserts the information accessed by people who are blind (e.g. alternative text, structural markup, reading order) into the representation seen by people who are sighted; (b) flags audio content requiring equivalents for people who are deaf; and (c) flags objects requiring continuous motor control that require equivalent discrete access for people with motor disabilities; thus helping the user evaluate whether access by people with and without disabilities is functionally equivalent.
Keywords: Disabilities, World Wide Web, blind, deaf, accessibility

Keynote

Raising Awareness of the Economic Advantages of Universal Design BIBAHTMLPDF 163
  Michael Burks
As the work in the field of Universal Design advances, more and more practical solutions to a myriad problems are presenting themselves. The technology now exists to bring products to market at a reasonable price that can be used by a larger number of people than ever before. With the expansion of the Internet and wireless telecommunications networks, this is particularly true. Properly presented huge amounts of information can now be used by the most diverse audience in history. Much of this is due to the implementation of Universal Design Principles in building accessible web sites. But there is a persistent feeling amongst some that this is enormously expensive. What can be done to help everyone understand that implementation of these principles will not only increase the size of the user population for any one product, but is the most economically feasible method for producing goods and services?
Listening to the Future: A 22nd Century Retrospective BIBAPDF 164
  Paula Underwood
In many Native American traditions no decision is made without considering its impact on the Seventh Generation hence. This may be the earliest form of an Environmental Impact Statement, but such evaluations included educational and social impacts as well. Each decision we make in cyberspace changes the nature of who we become as a people. Will the Seventh Generation hence bless or blame what we do now? Equity of access is vital in a functional democracy, but who is considering how we are changing with each step taken?