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ICCHP Tables of Contents: 940204060810-110-212-112-214-114-2

ICCHP'04: International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs

Fullname:ICCHP'04: Computers Helping People with Special Needs: 9th International Conference
Editors:Klaus Miesenberger; Joachim Klaus; Wolfgang L. Zagler; Dominique Burger
Location:Paris, France
Dates:2004-Jul-07 to 2004-Jul-09
Publisher:Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Series:Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3118
Standard No:DOI: 10.1007/b98426; ISBN: 978-3-540-22334-4 (print), 978-3-540-27817-7 (online); hcibib: ICCHP04
Links:Conference Website | Online Proceedings
  1. Keynote
  2. From the Human Interface to the Humane Interface
  3. Design for All: Awareness, Guidelines and Policy
  4. Design for All in IST -- Co-operation in Europe
  5. Personalization of Interactive Systems
  6. e-Learning and Accessibility
  7. Making Music Accessible
  8. Accessible Games and Entertainment
  9. Accessible Tourism
  10. Accessibility and the Next Generation of Web Development Tools
  11. Elderly and Disabled People: Therapy and Care
  12. Blind and Visually Impaired People: Orientation and Mobility
  13. Blind People: Braille Interfaces
  14. Blind and Visually Impaired People: Access to Documents and Information
  15. Blind and Visually Impaired People: Education and Training
  16. Blind People: Access to Mathematics
  17. Blind People: Access to Graphics and Haptic Interfaces
  18. Mobility Impaired People: HCI
  19. Mobility Impaired People: Rehabilitaiton and Health Care
  20. Smart Environments for All
  21. People with Cognitive, Speech and Learning Impairment: Autism
  22. People with Cognitive, Speech and Learning Impairment: Software Accessibility
  23. People with Cognitive, Speech and Learning Impairment: Education and Training
  24. Deaf People: Sign Language and Digital Media
  25. Deaf and Hearing Impaired People: ICT and AT


We Are All Blind: Cognetics and the Designing of Interfaces for Accessibility BIBAFull-Text 1-5
  Jef Raskin
Today's GUIs and their familiar methods are far from optimal for typical users, wasting time, causing unnecessary errors, exacerbating repetitive stress injuries, and inducing frustration and annoyance. These problems are often amplified when standard interface methods are used in systems for less-abled users. We must not be distracted from good interface design by the straitjackets of present paradigms. To this end we employ insight, ingenuity, and testing -- but they are not enough. Cognetic tools, which are quantitative and objective instead of being based on heuristics and subjective judgment, can play an important role in increasing accessibility, even where we use existing hardware.

From the Human Interface to the Humane Interface

The Design Question of Development of Multimedia Educational Software for Aphasia Patients BIBAFull-Text 6-13
  Cecília Sik Lányi; Erzsébet Bacsa; Rita Mátrai; Zsolt Kosztyán; Ilona Pataky
Aphasia is an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write. Most common cause of aphasia is -- about 23-40% of stroke survivors -- acquired aphasia. The rehabilitation of aphasia is a medical, special treatment (speech therapy), which is the task of a psychologist. It needs long and intensive therapy. More detailed information about therapy can be found in [2,6]. In this paper we present our implementation or realization of interactive multimedia educational software to develop readiness of speech for helping the therapy within the frame of youth scientific and MSc thesis works. The first program was developed in Flash, the second in Macromedia Director. The goal of our software is to teach the most important everyday words. The software will be a useful device in the education of children with heavy mental deficiencies. Reading the program you can learn how it works and what current results we have achieved.
Multimedia Programs for Children with Hearing Difficulties BIBAFull-Text 14-21
  Cecília Sik Lányi; Ágnes Váry; András Sik; András Nemetz; Zoltán Geiszt
Two multimodal speech teaching and training programs have been developed for 6-10 years old hearing handicapped children. The first program is "Now I know already what its name is". The main menu has eight topics. For example school, Christmas, Eastern, garden, summer, in the hospital and so on. In the sub menu of a topic there are two other sub menus. The painting and the talking sub menus. Every talking submenu has a cartoon like presentation. The second program has been developed during the last school year and has been prepared to increase the vocabulary of the school children. The main menu has five sub-menus: vocabulary, one item that is not in place, a fairy-tale, painting, and a short description for the teacher how to use the program. The task of both multimedia software is to teach the everyday words.
Multimedia and Virtual Reality in the Rehabilitation of Autistic Children BIBAFull-Text 22-28
  Cecília Sik Lányi; Ádám Tilinger
At present autism is beyond recovery, thus the only way that autistic children can adapt themselves to grown-up life is rehabilitation. As the application of computers becomes more and more general in teaching healthy children so does it in teaching children with learning disabilities. Thence a multimedia and virtual reality software package was designed for the rehabilitation of autistic children. This paper presents the developed programs and the results of their usability test.
Mobile Phone Based User Interface Concept for Health Data Acquisition at Home BIBAFull-Text 29-36
  Günter Schreier; Alexander Kollmann; Martin Kramer; Jürgen Messmer; Andreas Hochgatterer; Peter Kastner
The availability of mobile information and communication technologies is increasing rapidly and provides huge opportunities for home monitoring applications. This paper presents a new human-computer interface concept which is based on digital camera enabled mobile phones. Only two keystrokes are necessary to take a photo of a medical measurement device, for example a blood pressure meter, and to send the photo to a remote monitoring centre where specifically designed algorithms extract the numeric values from the photo and store them to a database for further processing. The results of a feasibility study indicates the potential of this new method to give people access to mobile phone based, autonomous recording and documentation of health parameters at home.
Multi-parameter Data Acquisition on Interface Devices for the Development of Adaptive Input Systems BIBAFull-Text 37-44
  Stefan Mina; Andreas Hochgatterer; Barbara Prazak; Sten Hanke; Günter Schreier
Since the amount of special input devices on the assistive technology market is growing the selection of the right device for an individual user becomes more and more difficult. Once a device is selected and seems to be suitable it may be possible that it cannot be operated any more after a certain time due to changing user needs as result of a progressive disease. A system for the assessment of the user interaction with input devices under certain conditions and the possible usage of the resulting data for further evaluation and for the development and simulation of adaptive input systems will be described by the authors.

Design for All: Awareness, Guidelines and Policy

How Governments Can Use Technology to Promote Employment of People with Disabilities BIBAFull-Text 45-51
  Dinah F. B. Cohen; Ilene R. Zeitzer
The increasing use of technology in workplaces all over the world has resulted in unprecedented opportunities for people with disabilities to remain in, or enter the work force. Technology can be the key that levels the playing field for individuals with disabilities if their needs are met through the proper assistive or adaptive accommodations. Governments are in a unique position to harness this prospect and promote the increased employment of people with disabilities. This employment promotion can be achieved through a number of policies, programs and strategies that are both overt and subtle. Governments can develop various policies and initiatives to impact their own hiring, retention and promotion of individuals with disabilities. Governments can also use their purchasing power to influence the private sector to do more to hire and retain workers with disabilities. This paper explores how governments can use technology to improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.
Influence of Accessibility Related Activities on the Usability of Business Software BIBAFull-Text 52-59
  Rakesh Jani; Martin Schrepp
To make business software accessible to users with disabilities is often seen by software developers as an additional burden, which is only beneficial for a small group of users. We will argue in this paper that this perception is not correct. Our experience from several projects shows that often the general usability of an application improves significantly when it is made accessible for disabled users. Especially expert users of the application profit often directly from the enhancements made for accessibility. This results from the fact that their special needs are in many aspects identical to the special needs of disabled users. We will discuss and explain this observation from a theoretical point of view. In addition we will demonstrate several examples, which show that following the existing guidelines for accessibility will also generate a benefit for non-disabled users of a software product.
Data Entry in Application-Independent Voice Interfaces BIBAFull-Text 60-68
  Frankie James; Jeff Roelands; Rama Gurram
Complex graphical portals present multiple applications to users in a single display. However, portal interfaces are heavily mouse and keyboard intensive, making them inaccessible to users with physical disabilities. We are investigating the design of application-independent voice interfaces to add accessibility for physically disabled users to pre-existing applications. This paper describes a user study comparing voice data entry to keyboard and mouse, to assess efficiency and user satisfaction. Feedback and results show voice data entry to be useful, although some performance issues still remain.
Designing User Interfaces Tailored to the Current User's Requirements in Real Time BIBAFull-Text 69-75
  Martín González Rodríguez; J. Ramón Pérez Pérez; M. Puerto Paule Ruíz
Traditional design of user interfaces is based on a perfect knowledge of the user's interaction requirements for the target audience. This approach leads to user interfaces designed for a generic ideal user who doesn't exist at all. As a result, every user or the interface has to adapt his/her own user's interaction requirements to those of this ideal user. In a ideal scenario, there should be as many versions of the user interface as final users. Each of those versions would be designed to satisfy the user's interaction requirements of a single user. Under this approach, we have designed GADEA, a user interface management system able to design different versions of a user interface, on the fly, depending on the cognitive, perceptive and motive skills of each user of the application. This system observes the users as they perform common tasks, analyzing their behavior in order to determine their interaction requirements.
Evaluating Accessibility of Public Information Kiosks BIBAFull-Text 76-79
  Seongil Lee; Joo Eun Cho
An accessibility assessment model was developed for calculating an accessibility index for public information kiosks. The model consists of eight terms to be considered in kiosk design and its operation. Taking into account the level of importance among the terms included in the model and the possibility of realization with current levels of technology for the terms, an index was organized to quantitatively assess the accessibility of public kiosks. It is expected that through this study, the current level of accessibility of public information kiosks can be objectively assessed and enhanced in the future.

Design for All in IST -- Co-operation in Europe

European Co-operation Activities Promoting Design for All in Information Society Technologies BIBAFull-Text 80-87
  Christian Bühler; Constantine Stephanidis
Design for All (DfA), sometimes addressed as Universal Design, Barrier Free Design, Inclusive Design is seen as an important complement to Assistive Technology. The basic idea is to produce products and services in a way that as many people as possible can use it directly or with the help of Assistive Technology. This concept is of particular importance in a quickly changing world, in order to keep pace with innovation. A concept to adapt all products and services for those who cannot operate it is costly, time consuming and may lead to discrimination. It is further a more economic strategy to design and produce for as many as possible. Information Society Technologies (IST) are an important and interesting field in Design for All that have the potential to ensure access to products and services for all citizens and can help overcome traditional barriers that a number of population groups in the use of technology in their everyday life.
A Special Design Approach for Special People BIBAFull-Text 88-95
  Mary Zajicek
Those designing software for older adults and disabled people often have little knowledge of their interactional needs. Additionally the usual method of ensuring optimal interaction, User Centred Design, is particularly difficult to employ with these users. This paper proposes the use of interface design patterns, which enable researchers to present design knowledge gained through experimentation with our special users and pass on instances of successful design to inexperienced mainstream IT applications builders.
Accessibility from Scratch: How an Open Focus Contributes to Inclusive Design BIBAFull-Text 96-103
  David Crombie; Roger Lenoir; Neil McKenzie
When attempting to solve the riddle of the planets, Pythagoras the mathematician applied his 'philosophy of numbers' to the available information on the dynamics of the solar system. Having also studied music as science, he called the unity he found the Harmony of the Spheres, believing that the divine could hear a hum created by the perfect harmonies in the oscillations caused by celestial bodies. This paper concerns the provision of music for people who are blind or otherwise print impaired. Our experience has shown that by considering accessibility from scratch we can establish some fundamental harmonies which can be achieved by taking a more 'openfocus' to inclusive design. No divine hum perhaps, but we can help people to whistle a good tune.
Design for All: Experience-Based Strategies for User Involvement in IST Research Projects BIBAFull-Text 104-109
  Tony Verelst
Ever since 1998, ISdAC International Association has been actively promoting a Design for All approach with regard to IST applications, as well as supporting several initiatives in this regard. It is ISdAC's belief that Design for All starts with active user involvement in the earliest stage of the product development process. Therefore, part of our activities focused on gathering information on disabled people's experiences with existing products, as well as on creating an inventory of the difficulties encountered when becoming active online. We have been able to put together a group of disabled experts online, who can act as a user test bed for several research projects in this regard. Recently we have been involved in three IST research projects. This paper will present in detail the user requirements capture strategies and experiences, mainly in the scope of the IPCA project. Furthermore I will formulate some conclusions and recommendations in the field of an IST DfA approach based on our experiences.
IDCnet: Inclusive Design Curriculum Network -- First Results BIBAFull-Text 110-116
  Carlos A. Velasco; Jan Engelen; Christophe Strobbe; Jenny Darzentas; Päivi Tahkokallio; Colette Nicolle; Rafael Romero
This paper presents the preliminary results of the IDCnet Thematic Network in regard to the development of curriculum recommendations for Higher Education institutions in the area of ICT that include Design for All. These recommendations are based upon discussion with relevant actors in industry and academia to identify core knowledge sets and skills.

Personalization of Interactive Systems

Personalization of Interactive Systems BIBAFull-Text 117-120
  Helen Petrie; Gerhard Weber
User interfaces and specially those based on internet technologies must met high expectations for usability. The evaluation of usability features competes with approaches to algorithmically measure accessibility. In this session on personalisation of interactive systems we demonstrate how customisation of interactive systems supports accessibility but is still dependent on the usability of assistive devices. Limitations of customisations exist for transforming browsing techniques and for time-dependent media.
Learning from Internet Requirements of People with Communication Needs BIBAFull-Text 121-128
  Colette Nicolle; Zaheer Osman; Katharine Black; Andrew Lysley
A supportive Web browser, developed by the EU WWAAC project, aims to make the Internet easier to use by people with complex communication needs who use graphic symbol-based augmentative and alternative communication. Further user consultations with older users, people with aphasia and people with learning disabilities, specifically with dyslexia, have demonstrated that the ability to personalise Internet software (for example, through the provision of simple summaries of content and the ability to configure the interface to suit individual needs) can potentially provide more accessible and usable interfaces for other user groups.
IPCA: Adaptive Interfaces Based upon Biofeedback Sensors BIBAFull-Text 129-134
  Carlos A. Velasco; Yehya Mohamad; Dirk Stegemann; Henrike Gappa; Gaby Nordbrock; Erwin Hartsuiker; Javier Sáanchez-Lacuesta; Juan M. Belda
This paper presents some preliminary results of the IPCA project, targeted to the development adaptive interfaces for people with severe motor and speech impairments based upon biofeedback sensors. We will introduce the results of the user requirements capture and their influence in the project prototype being developed at the moment.
Adaptation of Multimedia Browsing Techniques BIBAFull-Text 135-142
  Kurt Weimann; Ine Langer; Gerhard Weber
Documents become more accessible if they are enriched with alternative media. The paradigm of "one document for all" is challenged by the needs of heterogeneous reader groups when reading multimedia documents. The user interface to allow browsing is to be adapted through assistive devices such as screen readers, but in time-dependant presentations adaptation is required to suit each user group. Some criteria and approaches implemented in the MultiReader system are being discussed.
Adapting Presentation and Interaction with XML Documents to User Preferences BIBAFull-Text 143-150
  Benoît Encelle; Nadine Baptiste-Jessel
In this paper, we introduce the concept of "user policies". The objective of policies is to specify user preferences in terms of presentation and interaction with information. Using this concept, the presentation/interaction with information will be adapted to user's needs, making information more accessible. We define several kinds of policies (navigation, exploration, presentation, etc.). The concepts of "presentation policies" and "navigation policies" are studied in this article. As XML is the standard for encoding electronic information, we will apply the concept of policies to the browsing of XML Documents.

e-Learning and Accessibility

Living, Teaching and Learning at Any Time and at Any Place. e-Learning -- Opportunities and Barriers for Visually Impaired Students BIBAFull-Text 151-156
  Joachim Klaus
e-Learning as a new integrative and ubiquitous environment in academic teaching and learning opens new opportunities for students with disabilities. At the same time there are new barriers just overcome in electronic communication and interaction. The Notebook University -- a model project at the Universitaet Karlsruhe (TH) experiences the different parts of a comprehensive wireless teaching and learning surrounding. The Study Center for Blind and Partially Sighted Students -- as a micro project in between -- focuses on the special opportunities and barriers for visually impaired students. Personal experiences, case studies and tests of assistive technology result in documentations, final recommendations and an open cooperative homepage.
Accessibility for e-Learning Environments BIBAFull-Text 157-163
  Mari Luz Guenaga; Dominique Burger; Javier Oliver
All entities involved in creating, managing and using e-Learning content and tools have a great challenge making it accessible for students and instructors with disabilities. Current accessibility guidelines have to be concreted and adapted to this context, so they can find the way to make learning process accessible and usable without too much additional work. There are complex elements, concepts and structures in e-Learning, difficult to transmit to people with disabilities and that are out of the scope of current guidelines.
ECDL-PD: International Co-operation to Keep the Syllabus and MQTB Open for Everybody BIBAFull-Text 164-170
  Klaus Miesenberger; Martin Morandell; Andrea Petz; Denise Leahy
The ECDL, a world wide accepted standard certificate on the basic skills in using computers, offers opportunities for people with disabilities to support their vocational integration. By focusing on the accessibility of the certificate for four target groups of people with disability, the ECDL-PD project will create a forum for all involved in ECDL to understand the needs, issues and solutions in order to accommodate people with disabilities to achieve the certification without changing the standard.
Essential Competencies of Special Educator in Integrating Assistive Technology into the Curriculum BIBAFull-Text 171-177
  Ming-Chung Chen; Ting-Fang Wu; Chi-Nung Chu
This study addresses the essential competencies of special educator in integrating assistive technology (AT) into the curriculum. Researchers identified ten categories of skills required to integrate assistive technology, after viewing deliberate literature. Fourteen professionals in special education, rehabilitation and assistive technology formed as a web-based Delphi panel and reviewed the importance of the competencies. Following three rounds of a web-based Delphi survey, 51 statements were determined to be important or very important to AT integration.
Web Adaptation of Learning Objects for Special Access WALOSA BIBAFull-Text 178-182
  Carole Salis; Cristian Lai; Claude Moulin
Diversity in learning style represents an obstacle teachers have to deal with. In the case of pupils with visual perception troubles, teachers cannot propose to students with difficult vision the same online material they propose to peers. Currently we are attempting to diminish the major obstacles this problem arises with the development within CRS4 of a system prototype that introduces two main characteristics: the teacher's pedagogical support with the search of didactic resources over the Internet adapted to objects which have been predefined for others and the adaptation of these resources to the personal characteristics of end user, in this case both students with and without trouble of visual perception.
Postgraduate Course on Accessible Web Design BIBAFull-Text 183-186
  Daniela Ortner; Mario Batušic; Klaus Miesenberger
Due to the successful endeavour of raising awareness towards accessibility in the last years, there is a high and increasing demand towards knowledge in this field. The path from theory towards practice should be supported by an easy access to knowledge in this field. This short paper reports on the work in a project which will try to close the gap between theory and practice in a specific field of accessibility: accessible web design. The organisational framework, the modularised curriculum, the planned content as well as the e-Learning system that will be adapted to fit the project's requirements will be presented. As an open platform the project invites to benefit from the content as well as it invites for contributions.
Cognitive Training with Animated Pedagogical Agents (TAPA) in Children with Learning Disabilities BIBAFull-Text 187-193
  Yehya Mohamad; Carlos A. Velasco; Sylvia Damm; Holger Tebarth
Adaptive User Interfaces are seen as a critical success factor in the development of training and learning systems. Adaptive interfaces have been based on an approach consisting of user and device profiles. Recently, personality and mental states have been added and are used in research projects to expand the reliability and context awareness of such systems. This approach enhances adaptive usage of training and therapeutic systems. The developed system effectively combines biofeedback sensors and a set of software algorithms to estimate the current motivation/frustration level of the user. Based on this concept, it will be possible to develop narrative training and therapeutic systems, which could adapt to the motivation level of the user and focus her attention on the fulfilment of the current task.
A Concept Map-Based Adaptive Tutoring System Supporting Learning Diagnosis for Students with Learning Disability BIBAFull-Text 194-201
  Sook-Young Choi
One of the effective instruction methods for students with learning ability is to check precedent knowledge of students before learning and to supplement it when want of precedent knowledge is found. In this paper, we propose an adaptive tutoring system, which analyzes learning characteristics of students with leaning disability, diagnoses learning problems of them, and then provides proper advice accordingly. The system uses concept map to represent relationships among learning concepts and to diagnose the learning problems of students.
Tutor Informatico: Increasing the Self-teaching in Down Syndrome People BIBAFull-Text 202-205
  Eduardo Campos; Ana Granados; Sergio Jiménez; Javier Garrido
The Tutor Informatico System provides a new tool based on the new mobile technologies to Down syndrome people. This system is not intended to be a solution to the Down syndrome handicap, but a useful support that helps users to overcome the obstacles this handicap implies and to advance in this process towards self-sufficiency. For this purpose web technologies, data transmission technologies like GPRS and location technologies like GPS will be combined to offer a small terminal that works like a tutor, reminding and showing the user the daily tasks that he must accomplish. In addition a global positioning system provides the user with a certain degree of mobility.
The Effect of Assistive Technology on Educational Costs: Two Case Studies BIBAFull-Text 206-213
  Amy Gips; Philip A. DiMattia; James Gips
Until recently children with very profound disabilities-children who cannot speak and can move only their eyes or head-could be made comfortable, but by and large could not be educated. Assistive technologies now enable them to communicate and to be educated alongside their non-disabled peers. This is a wonderful development. But what is the financial cost? In this paper we look in detail at the costs associated with the education of two children who have used assistive technologies developed at our university and compare them with the educational costs had they not started using the assistive technologies. For these two children the costs of the technologies and special teachers hired are offset by savings from the tuition and transportation of sending them to special schools.

Making Music Accessible

Making Music Accessible BIBAFull-Text 214-217
  David Crombie; Roger Lenoir; Neil McKenzie; Ben Challis
Musical material is a very rich corpus of data. Data with all kinds of features, entities, relations and a potentially endless number of abstraction levels on all these perspectives. It is therefore important to establish which set of elements we are going to use for the preservation, processing and provision of music; which features are redundant; which building blocks are mandatory; and how many can be shared amongst all of them. These considerations hold especially true for the community that is dependent on the accessibility of music.
   The area of music encoding is moving towards greater unification and co-ordination of effort and it is important that accessibility requirements are built into design processes. This also requires organisations working in this area to make their requirements clear and to participate in emerging standards.
The Design of Spoken Music Web Browser for Teaching Learning-Disabled Children: A Chevé System Approach to Music Notation BIBAFull-Text 218-223
  Chi-Nung Chu; Yu Ting Huang
Reading music notation is a specialized skill and a key to get into the music. Traditionally, the very complexity of music notation is taught in abstract way. It is hard for the learning-disabled children to comprehend and memorize the abstract concepts. We have developed a Spoken Music Web Browser which incorporates Chevé system, a system of musical notation with the idea of indicating notes by numbers, to bridge the gap between the cognition of learning-disabled children and music notation. In addition to providing functions of melody and solmization for the Chevé system, this design of Spoken Music web browser could also analyze each note of Chevé system on the web page and automatically provide corresponding stave notation and vocal descriptions about its clef, pitch name, meter and beat as needed. This new interactive Spoken Music web browser would supply an opportunity for the learning-disabled children to learning music through the Internet.
DaCapo, a Project on Transforming Ink Printed to Braille Notes Semi-automatically BIBAFull-Text 224-227
  Thomas Kahlisch; Matthias Leopold; Christian Waldvogel
DaCapo is a working group as well as a project of the German Central Library for the Blind (DZB). The project is financed by the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Security (BMGS) and started in the summer of 2003. The project's members are translating ink printed notes to Braille notes by order.
Using SVG and a Force Feedback Mouse to Enable Blind People to Access "Graphical" Web Based Documents BIBAFull-Text 228-235
  Nadine Baptiste-Jessel; Bertrand Tornil; Benoit Encelle
We present a system that enables a blind user to access 2D WEB based "graphical" documents. After introducing the SVG format and the Force Feedback Mouse, we present how, in a WEB browser application, we associate force, voice and sound feedback.
   Our approach is applied with two kinds of graphical information: geographical and musical information. In both application, after a training phase of the mouse handling, the user can make his own mental construction of displayed data. When the user knows the relative position of different elements, he can move the mouse pointer towards the region he wants.
Modified Stave Notation -- An Approach to Making Stave Notation More Accessible to Users Who Are Partially Sighted BIBAFull-Text 236-239
  Sally-Anne Zimmermann
Stave notation is a complex code with more variety in symbol appearance and usage than alphabetical language. To parallel work on making information accessible, the Royal National Institute of the Blind is compiling benchmarks for producing Modified Stave Notation. Modifications are quickly executed using music score-writing packages. By reducing the extremes of symbol size, removing redundant space, placing symbols in consistent positions and providing verbal description to support the musical text, the notation is clearer than mere photo-enlargement. Two examples of this process are discussed, based on small-scale surveys of musicians who are partially sighted.

Accessible Games and Entertainment

Entertaining Software for Young Persons with Disabilities BIBAFull-Text 240-247
  Morten Tollefsen; Magne Lunde
Leisure time activities that are exciting, fun and entertaining are important for everyone, also disabled people. Computer games have become part of everyday life for many people. There are however few entertaining computer games which are accessible for disabled users. Research and development in the field of IT and the disabled has focused on education rather than leisure. The aim of the UPS project is therefore untraditional: "to make entertaining software accessible". The setting up of guidelines for development of new products is important both for standard software and products designed especially for disabled users. Young people with disabilities wish to use the popular computer games used by friends and family. The complexity and speed of standard computer games and the input requirements often prevent this. The project is focusing on standard products. However the variation in the level and type of disability means that not all can use standard products, and one activity is to develop new software. The project will also establish a web site for disabled users, parents, teachers and assistants.
The TiM Project: Overview of Results BIBAFull-Text 248-256
  Dominique Archambault
The TiM project, funded by the European commission intended to develop and to adapt computer games for blind children and for partially sighted children who need specific graphical display settings that fit to their visual possibilities. A game engine has been developed that allows to design modality-adaptable multimedia games. These games can be played using various modalities according to the specific devices needed by the player. A set of such adapted games was developed and used to study the adaptation of game interaction situations and the potential of such games with respect to Education, Learning and Therapy, and to demonstrate the possibilities of the game engine. Additionally a new relief deposit method was created, a Braille device programming library was developed, and a juridical study about adaptation of existing contents was carried out. This paper summarises the results of the project.
3D Shooting Games, Multimodal Games, Sound Games and More Working Examples of the Future of Games for the Blind BIBAFull-Text 257-263
  Eric Velleman; Richard van Tol; Sander Huiberts; Hugo Verwey
Blind people shooting virtual monsters on a real football field. Is that possible? The European Media Master of Arts-program of the Utrecht School of the Arts (Arts, Media & Technology) and the Bartiméus Accessibility Foundation in Zeist have developed a curriculum for accessible game and program development together. Within this curriculum already many spectacular games have been developed like Drive, The Curb Game, Hall of Sound, Powerchords, Wow, Demor and others. The games include the use of user panels and extensive user testing and present the future possibilities of gaming.
Choosing Methods for Prototype Testing of Inclusive Computer Games BIBAFull-Text 264-271
  Lieselotte van Leeuwen; Aoife Power; Phil Ellis
A range of methods used in the development of computer games for young blind and visually impaired children demonstrates how depending on the stage and focus of a design process different ways of working with children allow to identify relevant information. It is also shown how methods help to create mutual understanding between special needs children and a design team.

Accessible Tourism

It's Time to Make eTourism Accessible BIBAFull-Text 272-279
  Franz Pühretmair
"Nearly half of all handicapped people would travel more frequently, if there were more barrier-free offers. And about 40 percent have already renounced a travel because adequate offers were missing" (Max Stich, ADAC vice-president for tourism, 2003). So far the tourism industry still has hardly recognized the potential and the value of barrier-free tourism. As long as the tourism industry will not identify that barrier-free tourism is an indicator for quality, a trademark and a competitive advantage they will not attract its considerable market-share. Often the lack of not supporting barrier-free tourism is a combination of missing offers and inadequate or missing information presentation.
Tourism Information Systems Promoting Barrier-Free Tourism for People with Disabilities BIBAKFull-Text 280-286
  Hildegard Rumetshofer; Wolfram Wöß
Providing comprehensive accessibility is the major challenge for tourism service providers to address people with disabilities (and older people) as growing consumer groups. Information about accessibility of tourism objects (accommodation, sights, streets, parks, etc.) is equally important as barrier-free tourism information systems to support the booking and decision making process.
   Consequently, this paper introduces the extension of tourism information systems in a twofold way. First, each tourism object is provided with information about its accessibility realized by additional meta data information. Second, based on user profiles content presentation and user interface navigation are dynamically adapted to the user's individual needs in order to support appropriate search as well as presentation features.
Keywords: Tourism information systems (TIS); accessibility; people with disabilities; barrier-free tourism; eTourism
AccesSights -- A Multimodal Location-Aware Mobile Tourist Information System BIBAFull-Text 287-294
  Palle Klante; Jens Krösche; Susanne Boll
Through recent developments in the segment of mobile devices like personal digital assistants (PDA) the usage of mobile applications in different areas of our normal life increases. New applications support mobile users with location-aware information. But today's systems are not usable for all: there still exist various barriers for blind and visually impaired people. This user group does not receives the same information as normally sighted users. AccesSights overcomes these barriers by supporting both user groups with the same information. Meeting the different user requirements we designed a multimodal user interface to support different user groups -- each in their suitable fashion. The introduced AccesSights system is based on our highly flexible and modular Niccimon platform.

Accessibility and the Next Generation of Web Development Tools

Accessibility and the Next Generation of Web Development Tools BIBAFull-Text 295
  Carlos A. Velasco
This session introduces a series of papers that present new perspectives to support the industry in its quest to support a wider variety of users. Through them, we will learn how different research groups are approaching the topic, and will try to understand whether the research arena is tackling in a supportive way the needs of the industry.
Preferences of People with Disabilities to Improve Information Presentation and Information Retrieval Inside Internet Services -- Results of a User Study BIBAFull-Text 296-301
  Henrike Gappa; Gabriele Nordbrock; Yehya Mohamad; Carlos A. Velasco
A part of a larger user study conducted within the scope of the EU project IRIS was to investigate the preferences of people with disabilities in regard to interface design of Web applications. User requirements of online help and search engines were also in the focus of this study, since the target user group depends heavily upon powerful tools to support them in the process of seeking information. The results showed that user preferences for information presentation vary a great deal, which could be solved by comprehensive user profiling. However, the functionalities of online help and search functions, as presented in the Internet today, need to be enhanced so they can be used more flexibly and be adjusted to the users' mental representation of problems and information needs to help them fulfill their tasks.
Web Accessibility through Adaptation BIBAFull-Text 302-309
  Chrisoula Alexandraki; Alexandros Paramythis; Napoleon Maou; Constantine Stephanidis
This paper presents the eAccessibilityEngine tool, which employs adaptation techniques to automatically render web pages accessible by users with different types of disabilities. Specifically, the eAccessibilityEngine is capable of automatically transforming web pages to attain AAA-level conformance to the W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and to "Section 508" of the US Rehabilitation Act. The proposed tool is intended for use as a web-based service and can be applied to any existing web site.
imergo: Supporting Accessibility and Web Standards to Meet the Needs of the Industry via Process-Oriented Software Tools BIBAFull-Text 310-316
  Yehya Mohamad; Dirk Stegemann; Johannes Koch; Carlos A. Velasco
Although the legal requirements for Web accessibility are spreading world-wide, and mobile devices are common-place nowadays, support to standards and accessibility by the mainstream industry is still sloppy. This paper analyzes the limitations of existing evaluation and repair tools and presents a new tool developed by the authors to overcome existing limitations and support the industry by the implementation of quality assurance processes that include accessibility.
Evaluation Methodology and Quality Mark for Web Accessibility BIBAFull-Text 317-322
  Eric Velleman
How can you be sure that your website complies with the W3C guidelines. Research shows that many websites use the W3C Accessibility logo's on their site. Research has also shown that most of the sites that use the logo's do not comply with the guidelines at all. Because there is no control over the quality of the logo except by the public and the evaluation and interpretation of the checkpoints leave space for discussion, the Netherlands government together with stakeholder organisation and companies have set up a transparent evaluation scheme and a controlled conformance logo. This paper describes the project and the results of the feasability study.
A Cost-Benefit Approach for Accessible Web Presence BIBAFull-Text 323-330
  Valeska Heerdt; Christine Strauss
Providing an accessible Web presence is often regarded as an ethical or social obligation. Profit-oriented enterprises in particular tend to interpret the implementation of "barrier-free" access to their websites as a cost-intensive technological gimmick rather than as a business opportunity. This paper provides systematic insight into the cost and benefit drivers that might determine a purely rational management decision on Web presence that takes accessibility into consideration. The relative price for one percentage point of audience increase ("reach") combines cost-benefit aspects, and provides the basis for a quantitative, scenario-based, general approach that reveals possible savings for enterprises of various sizes under differing cost assumptions and provides a viable, easy-to-use framework for individual use cases.
The Use of Current Content Management Systems for Accessibility BIBAFull-Text 331-338
  Laura Burzagli; Marco Billi; Francesco Gabbanini; Paolo Graziani; Enrico Palchetti
Accessibility tries to avoid introducing in web pages any kind of barriers that might prevent their being understood by disabled users. Content Management Systems are a widespread class of products that enable the creation, archiving and publishing of information on web. This paper discusses how to relate accessibility with CMS, starting from some key functions of this family of products. This requires analysing some aspects which are sometimes very remote from a technological perspective, but closer and more related to the environment in which they are used. Many of them are suggested by experience, and need to be correctly reformulated in order to be included in the life cycle of a CMS.
Accessing Documents via Audio: An Extensible Transcoder for HTML to VoiceXML Conversion BIBAFull-Text 339-346
  Narayan Annamalai; Gopal Gupta; B. Prabhakaran
Increasing proliferation of hand-held devices as well as the need for delivering information to visually impaired persons have caused the need for transcoding web information into documents that can be delivered as audio. Web information is typically represented as HTML (Hyper Text Mark-up Language) documents. Audio delivery of web documents is done using VoiceXML. Due to this difference in mark-up notation, much of the web is inaccessible via audio. One way to solve this accessibility problem is to automatically transcode HTML documents to VoiceXML. In this paper, we describe such an automatic transcoder that converts HTML into VoiceXML. The transcoder is compositional and is realized in two phases: The parsing phase where the input HTML file is converted to HTML node tree, and the semantic mapping phase where each node in the HTML tree is compositionally mapped to its equivalent VoiceXML node. Our transcoder is extensible in the sense that: (i) it can be upgraded easily by users to accommodate modifications to and extensions of HTML; (ii) it provides means for the user to modify the translation logic while dealing with certain HTML tags. The translator is being publicly distributed.
Listener-Controlled Dynamic Navigation of VoiceXML Documents BIBAFull-Text 347-354
  Hemambaradara Reddy; Narayan Annamalai; Gopal Gupta
The next frontier for research on the Web is to make it universally accessible, primarily via audio. Work in this direction includes the development of voice browsers and the design of VoiceXML, an XML-based standard for marking-up documents to be played on voice browsers. VoiceXML is interactive and allows voice input to be received and processed by a voice browser (i.e., VoiceXML documents can be aurally navigated). Unfortunately, this interaction is completely controlled by the author of the VoiceXML document. Coupled with the sequential nature of audio output, this results in a navigation process that is tedious and not under the listener's control. It also inhibits the development of more advanced applications that require aural navigation. In this paper we develop techniques that put aural navigation under the listener's control. We propose voice anchors that allow listeners to aurally tag specific points in the audio document for access via spoken commands later. We discuss a spectrum of techniques for realizing anchors and their implementation. We also introduce voice-commanded scripting languages for orally programming aural navigation strategies.
Toward User-Centered, Scenario-Based Planning and Evaluation Tools BIBAFull-Text 355-360
  Paul Bohman; Shane Anderson
Existing Web accessibility evaluation tools are only capable of providing feedback within the context of individual Web pages. This short-sighted approach produces a fractured and fragmentary assessment of the accessibility of the Web site as a whole. A more effective, holistic alternative is to focus on scenarios of user interactions across Web pages, taking into account user characteristics, and focusing on models and patterns.
Discovering Structure of Web Pages for Non-visual Navigation: Binding Text to Forms BIBAFull-Text 361-368
  E. Pontelli; R. Reddy
In recent years we have witnessed an increased effort towards the development of tools and methodologies based on information technology aimed at reducing the communication divide between sighted and blind individuals. In particular, considerable effort has been invested in tackling the complex issue of automatically or semi-automatically providing alternative access modalities to the Web to fit the needs of users with different backgrounds, learning styles, abilities and disabilities. In particular, our focus is on providing access modalities to the Web that are more effective for individuals with severe visual impairment. The existing literature [2,1] has identified accessibility of tables and use of on-line forms as two of the most challenging problems in this context -- since the understanding of tables and forms is directly dependent on knowledge of the spatial layout of the components of the structure, which in turn is an inherently "visual" feature.

Elderly and Disabled People: Therapy and Care

Virtual Reality Based Therapy Application for Developmental Disordered Children BIBAFull-Text 369-376
  Yoshiyuki Takahashi; Yuko Ito; Takeshi Yamashita; Takafumi Terada; Kaoru Inoue; Yumi Ikeda; Keisuke Suzuki; Hokyoo Lee; Takashi Komeda
We have developed a pen tablet based VR therapy tool for children with develop-mental disabilities. It aims to stimulate visual, audio and haptic sensation. It could be help for sensor integration and cognition treatment. The therapist could edit the task as her/his planed and record the stylus trajectory. It could be help for quantitative therapy and evaluation. The experiment was carried out with normal healthy subjects and confirmed the basic functions of our developed tool.
Real-Time Health-Monitoring Network for Disabled and Elderly People BIBAFull-Text 377-384
  Yung Bok Kim; Jong Yong Kim
The wired Internet has influenced many areas in human society, especially the speed of knowledge and information exchange; the mobile Internet is affecting much more in pervasive computing environment and will introduce many special applications like health-care based on the wireless health-monitoring network. We considered the mobile Internet for the real-time health-monitoring network for the disabled and elderly people as inexpensive and effective system, especially with health-monitoring mobile devices. We studied the Web-based health information network, and discuss the empirical results about performance with emulated model considering the implementation with the real-time information Web server for the disabled and elderly people.
A Computer-Based Self-health Monitoring System for the Elderly Living in a Low Income Housing Environment BIBAFull-Text 385-391
  Judith F. Karshmer; Arthur I. Karshmer
The aging communities in the United States, and elsewhere, are presenting serious problems for the health delivery systems in many countries. Add to this the problems associated with being poor and having limited access to the health delivery, and the problem becomes one of even greater urgency. One solution to this problem is the distribution of health monitoring equipment to the patient rather than having the patient travel to the equipment. In some cases, this might mean the installation of the health monitoring equipment in the patient's home, while in others it could mean the development of a centralized facility in a housing project that would be easily accessible by the residents. In the current work, the second model was built and tested in a low-income housing environment, the JL Young Center for Elderhealth Primary Care in Tampa.
Investigations to Develop a Fully Adjustable Intelligent Toilet for Supporting Old People and Persons with Disabilities -- The Friendly Rest Room (FRR) Project BIBAFull-Text 392-399
  Paul Panek; Georg Edelmayer; Charlotte Magnusson; Peter Mayer; Johan F. M. Molenbroek; Håkan Neveryd; Robert Schlathau; Wolfgang L. Zagler
The FRR (Friendly Rest Room) project creates and evaluates prototypes of a more user friendly intelligent toilet for old persons and for persons with disabilities. Additionally, applicable knowledge regarding needs and wishes of old and/or disabled persons and their care persons are documented. In this paper the user driven research approach, ethical aspects and the iterative user centred design process are outlined. First results from user tests of lighting, human computer interface and preferred seating heights are described.
Tele-surveillance System for Patient at Home: The MEDIVILLE System BIBAFull-Text 400-407
  Jean-Louis Baldinger; Jérôme Boudy; Bernadette Dorizzi; Jean-Pierre Levrey; Rodrigo Andreao; Christian Perpère; François Delavault; François Rocaries; Christophe Dietrich; Alain Lacombe
This work is concerned with the design and realization of a complete telecare application for remote monitoring of patients at home, including a wireless monitoring portable device held by the patient and a remote central server application located in a surveillance center. Agitation, position and cardiac rate data are used for alarm decision and can be exploited by the central server application. Originality resides in the actimetry and heart rate data combination for alarm decision and in the central server design aiming at offering flexible assistance services for both the surveillance medical team and the practitioner in charge of the patient.
Classification of Infant Crying to Identify Pathologies in Recently Born Babies with ANFIS BIBAFull-Text 408-415
  Orion F. Reyes-Galaviz; Emilio Arch Tirado; Carlos Alberto Reyes-Garcia
In this work we present the design of an Automatic Infant Cry Recognizer hybrid system, that classifies different kinds of cries, with the objective of identifying some pathologies in recently born babies. These cries are recordings of normal, deaf and asphyxiating infants, of ages from 1 day up to one year old. For its acoustic processing we used a free software tool called Praat [1]. Additionally, we used Matlab to implement the system, based on ANFIS [2], to classify the infant's crying. In the model here presented, we classify the input vectors in three corresponding classes, normal cry, hypo acoustic (deaf) and asphyxiating cries. We have obtained scores up to 96% in precision on the classification.
Improving Quality of Life and Well-Being for Children and the Elderly through Vibroacoustic Sound Therapy BIBAFull-Text 416-422
  Phil Ellis
A particular use of technology in 'open-ended' contexts lies at the heart of the development of Vibroacoustic Sound Therapy, which has been developed in schools for profound and multiply handicapped children and in homes for the long-term care of the elderly and elderly mentally infirm. The therapy uses examples of digital music technology to improve communication skills, motor control and well-being. Three case studies exemplify the effects of this therapy with the client groups.
Multimodal Control Centre for Handicapped People BIBAFull-Text 423-429
  Ana Granados; Víctor Tomico; Eduardo Campos; Javier Tejedor; Javier Garrido
This system tries to help handicapped people, although it can be used by anybody. It is designed to be used on a PDA, and it provides the following services: have a phone book, make outgoing calls, receive incoming calls, generate manual alarms, generate mobility alarms, locate user, and follow user's condition. The user-friendly interface makes easier the use of these services, and consists of a Macromedia Flash Movie. The system is being proved now by real users and has very good approval in most cases. Now we are thinking of some improvements of the services developed.

Blind and Visually Impaired People: Orientation and Mobility

proXimity: Ad-Hoc Networks for Enhanced Mobility BIBAFull-Text 430-437
  Simon Harper; Stephen Pettitt; Carole Goble
David tries not to use unfamiliar trains and buses, he doesn't travel to places he doesn't know, and he doesn't travel in unusual environments without a companion. David is visually impaired and in such cases he becomes disoriented from a lack of preview, knowledge of the environment, and orientation information and is consequently without the foundations on which to base mobility decisions. While his experiences are not always true for all visually impaired travellers they do represent the majority experience of David's peer user group. proXimity is our attempt to address David's travel problems and is based on our previous work in Hypermedia and Real-World Mobility. By using combined Hypertext and mobility paradigms we move toward a system that will assist David in his travels. The primary goal of proXimity is to augment David's reality by giving hypertext a physical presence in the real world. We analogise the real and virtual, and so aim to provide Nodes (link targets), Links, and Anchors in the real world. Therefore, hypertext information that describes a physical location also has a physical presence and 'local' physical artifacts can be augmented by 'remote' hypertext and semantic information.
A Context-Aware Locomotion Assistance Device for the Blind BIBAFull-Text 438-445
  Christophe Jacquet; Yacine Bellik; Yolaine Bourda
In this paper, we present a study which aims at designing a locomotion assistance device that can deliver semantic information about its surrounding environment at any time. As a first step towards this goal, we introduce an original model suited for the description of building structure, and we present an algorithm that exploits these descriptions. Then, we explain how it is possible to link semantics to structure. Finally, we expose some research directions for user positioning and human-computer interface design.
Navigator -- A Talking GPS Receiver for the Blind BIBAFull-Text 446-449
  Ryszard Kowalik; Stanislaw Kwasniewski
This paper discusses an new navigation support device based on talking GPS information.
Dynamic Lighting Sign System for Way-Finding by People with Low Vision BIBAFull-Text 450-453
  Junichi Akita; Kiyohide Ito; Ikuko Gyobu; Ken-ichi Kimura; Ayumi Mihara; Ryo Mizuno; Jun-ichi Nakakoji; Keisuke Yanagihara
We developed and proposed a dynamic lighting sign (DLS for short) system for people with poor vision to use to find their way. The DLS system uses a chain of lighting units with LED to indicate the way and is controlled by means of a PC. We implemented the DLS system for helping people to find their way and evaluated it in terms of light-flashing time, spatial interval and colour. We also carried out an experiment to evaluate its effectiveness in helping people find their way.
Visual System to Help Blind People to Cross the Street BIBAFull-Text 454-461
  Joan Aranda; Pere Mares
A system to improve mobility of blind people based on computer vision is presented. It consists of a portable PC endowed with a digital camera and a pair of auriculars. The system is able to detect and to track green and red traffic lights used by the pedestrians without this disability. Colour histogram analysis whereas structural data have been used to recognize these traffic symbols. In order to handle with illumination changes a simple adaptation scheme is proposed. By means of the auriculars, the system inform to the user about semaphore state and also about its pan position in real time.
CyARM -- Interactive Device for Environment Recognition Using a Non-visual Modality BIBAFull-Text 462-467
  Makoto Okamoto; Junichi Akita; Kiyohide Ito; Tetsuo Ono; Tomohito Takagi
The purpose of this research is to develop an interactive device for environment recognition, which uses senses other than vision. At present there is no interactive device with which a person who is visually handicapped can gain an intuitive impression of the external world. Our device, which we have named CyARM, has a mechanism that controls the motion of a visually impaired person's arm according to information about distance gathered by an ultrasonic sensor. We refined the features of CyARM through experimentation. The user can identify not only the existence of an object, but also its form.
Walking Support Using Compact Terminals with Infrared Audio Communication BIBAFull-Text 468-475
  Shinya Oyama; Ikuko Eguchi Yairi; Seiji Igi; Takuichi Nishimura
We developed a voice guidance system that increases-mobility for visually impaired people. We use infrared communication technology called Compact Battery-less Information Terminals. The user-friendly information terminal of this system provides guidance as well as instructions for the system, which can be installed at various locations. We also developed a bone conduction headphone for the system's information terminal, which helps visually impaired users hear other sounds in the users' surroundings without disturbance by audio information generated by the system. To evaluate the usability of this system, we conducted an experiment in which visually impaired people used the system to be guided to a destination.
The Development of Virtual 3D Acoustic Environment for Training 'Perception of Crossability' BIBAFull-Text 476-483
  Takayuki Shiose; Kiyohide Ito; Kazuhiko Mamada
This study attempted to reveal the role of auditory information in the accurate "perception of crossability" for people with severe visual impairment ('the blind'). We created a 'virtual 3D acoustic environment' in which listeners feel a car passing in front of them to help them cross the street safely. An idea of this acoustic system originated from a previous research that showed that the blind make good use of reflected sounds or reverberations in identifying sources and in specifying distances from objects. The system is useful not only for analyzing critical cues of perception of 'crossability' but also for training the blind how to cross a street. Such auditory information can provide the blind with a safe training system for acquiring such auditory information.

Blind People: Braille Interfaces

Six-In -- Braille Input from a QWERTY Keyboard BIBAFull-Text 484-489
  Paul Blenkhorn; Gareth Evans
This paper presents the architecture and operation of a PC-based software program (Six-In) that allows a standard QWERTY keyboard to be used as a Braille keyboard translating the (contracted) Braille to text. It is aimed at people learning Braille and users who prefer to use a Braille rather than a QWERTY keyboard. The system is multilingual (if appropriate Braille-to-text translation tables are constructed for a language). The system works on most PCs, but fails on machines that do not support multiple key rollover.
A Pair of Wireless Braille-Based Chording Gloves BIBAFull-Text 490-497
  Sang Sup An; Jae Wook Jeon; Seongil Lee; Hyuckyeol Choi; Hoo-Gon Choi
Since input devices for desktop computers are inconvenient to use in a mobile working environment, other small input devices have been proposed. Few of them, however, are for visually impaired people. This paper proposes a pair of wireless Braille-based chording gloves as an input device to use in a mobile working environment for visually impaired people. Its keys are mounted on the fingers and its chording method is similar to that of a Braille keyboard. Since Braille has been efficiently devised to represent many language characters, numbers, and symbols including mathematical and musical notations, the proposed chording gloves will be also used for visually non-impaired people. IrDA (Infrared Data Association) and RF (Radio Frequency) wireless modules are designed and implemented to make the proposed chording gloves wireless.
OBOE: Oboe-Like Braille Interface for Outdoor Environment BIBAFull-Text 498-505
  Tomohiro Amemiya; Koichi Hirota; Michitaka Hirose
In this paper, we propose a wearable interface for textual input designed on the basis of the Braille input method. The device, named OBOE, is shaped like an oboe, which is good for outdoor use, since it can be used while walking. The results of an experiment of learning effect revealed that users who had no experience of Braille input could type Japanese phrases at 35.4 Braille codes per minute, and those who had experience at 112.4 Braille codes per minute. Thus, beginners can master the proposed device and experts can input text very fast using OBOE.
Java-Powered Braille Slate Talker BIBAFull-Text 506-513
  A. Arato; Z. Juhasz; P. Blenkhorn; G. Evans; G. Evreinov
A new device, the Braille Slate Talker, is introduced. An ordinary hand held device (a PDA) is used with a fixed layout plastic guide placed over the touch screen to allow Braille input. Contracted Braille is converted to text by a table-driven state machine. Programs are written in Java language to provide full hardware and software platform independence. Future network applications will use Sun's Jini technology.

Blind and Visually Impaired People: Access to Documents and Information

Towards an Integrated Publishing Chain for Accessible Multimodal Documents BIBAFull-Text 514-521
  Benoît Guillon; Jean-Louis Monteiro; Cédric Checoury; Dominique Archambault; Dominique Burger
Digital techniques have created new and stimulating conditions to provide visually impaired people with a better access to written information. The Helene Server project, started in 2000 by BrailleNet, aims at creating technical solutions to help transcribers to rationalize adapted documents production in France. The first action performed was to create a national repository of adapted documents available to transcription centers. In two years, this repository has gathered more than 1.500 books provided by publishers or transcribers. But the great variety of digital formats used by transcribers now raises the problem of resources normalization. This article presents a production chain of accessible documents based on the dtbook XML format.
Presenting UML Software Engineering Diagrams to Blind People BIBAFull-Text 522-529
  Alasdair King; Paul Blenkhorn; David Crombie; Sijo Dijkstra; Gareth Evans; John Wood
The TeDUB system promises to deliver a UML diagram tool accessible to blind software engineers. The system uses a number of different interfaces and representation techniques to overcome the challenges of making diagrams created with the Unified Modeling Language usable for blind people. The system is entirely automated and does not require special preparation of UML diagrams by a sighted user. The results of evaluation of the system with thirty-six users were positive. The system was well-received and the participants were able to complete set UML tasks.
Linear Searching in a Non-linear Environment: The Information Seeking Behaviour of Visually Impaired People on the World Wide Web BIBAFull-Text 530-537
  Jenny Craven
The information seeking behaviour of visually impaired people was explored in the Non-visual Access to the Digital Library (NoVA) (1) project, undertaken by the Centre for Research in Library and Information Management (CERLIM). The aim of the study was to develop further understanding of user behaviour, with particular reference to people who needed to use assistive technology in order to 'read' or interact with web sites. The findings of the two-year study revealed potential barriers to access, identified from observations of how assistive technologies such as screen readers can force users to search or navigate in a way that is not necessarily reflected in the design of the web page. Recommendations have been made regarding the provision of practical usability guidelines, access to technology, training in the use of assistive technologies, and the importance of universal design.
Text Comprehension by Blind People Using Speech Synthesis Systems BIBAFull-Text 538-544
  Luis González García
This study found that, unlike what happens with reading speed, Braille readers and ink print readers present similar levels of text comprehension. An evolutionary pattern is noted by which reading comprehension evolves slowly in the early years of education, but takes off with Baccalaureate grade, whether the access to the information be by Braille or by a text presented using speech synthesis systems.
Access to Information at Your Own Choice by the Aid of Digital Talking Books BIBAFull-Text 545-551
  Thomas Kjellberg Christensen
In this paper I shall address the concept and fundamental ideas of the talking book in a digital perspective. There will be a presentation of a possible way to structure a digital production and distribution flow, and I shall discuss how this certain structure influences the end user's access to information. In this connection I shall demonstrate: 'Costumised end user product', 'Book search and generator maschine', and finally 'Server based interactive talking web sites'.
Talking Linux for the Blind -- A CD Distribution with Speech BIBAFull-Text 552-559
  Danko Butorac
Talking Linux for the Blind is a stand-alone, speech enabled Linux CD-distribution. It contains all essential hardware auto detection mechanisms and set of applications designed specifically with blind user in mind. TLB gets user input through single keystrokes or text input fields, while presenting information through high quality MBROLA driven speech synthesis. Upon boot users can browse through menus and work with text editor, e-mail, web-browser, file browser, calculator and dictionary. TLB has proven to be most useful for novice users, especially poor and elderly blind users.
Accessing Web Based Documents through a Tree Structural Interface BIBAFull-Text 560-563
  Esmond Walshe; Barry McMullin
In addition to the intrinsic accessibility difficulties posed by a graphical user interface for blind web users, specific usability penalties arise from the serial nature of blind adapted interfaces (speech, braille). We propose an approach to the design of a browser tailored for blind users which may mitigate some of these difficulties. We suggest this may be achieved through maximal exploitation of structural HTML mark-up to support highly dynamic and interactive user control of content rendering.
Multimedia Medicine Consultant for Visually Impaired People BIBAFull-Text 564-570
  Javier Tejedor; Daniel Bolaños; Nicolás Morales; Ana Granados; José Colás; Santiago Aguilera
In this article we present two different ways to use a certain service which is very important as we can see later. The service is based on getting a piece of information about any medicine which exists now using two different ways. With the first way the user sends a SMS and on an outgoing call made by a voice platform, with which the user can access the information he wants. The second one is based on the voice and the user makes an incoming call to get the information that he wants. These two ways have been proved successfully by a lot of laboratories in Madrid (Spain) and by a lot of people and they are very happy with both ways. Now we are working in a solution based on vocal navigation with which a user can get the piece of information of a medicine using the voice in a web page.

Blind and Visually Impaired People: Education and Training

Computer for Persons with Visually Impairment: A Door to Education, Information and Employment BIBAFull-Text 571-574
  A. H. M. Noman Khan; Sadaf Noori Chowdhury
There is a general social stigma attached to blindness, which is virtually inescapable. This stereotype affects education and employment opportunities for the visually impaired. As such, employers tend to rely more on sighted employees than visually impaired ones. Contrary to popular belief, it is found that a visually impaired person can perform just as well as a sighted person in the classroom and in the workplace. Simply, they have not been afforded the opportunity to prove so. One way to remedy this nationwide problem is through the utilization of Information Communication Technology (ICT). Using specific computer software, hardware, accessories, and other tools, visually impaired people can advance in both education and employment. Access to such computer technology is essential in promoting positive growth for visually impaired people. The paper reflects the problems encountered, and the future course of action for creating access of visually impaired persons to computer technologies.
Usability of Educational Software for Visual Impairment: A Question of Viewpoint BIBAFull-Text 575-582
  Silvia Dini; Lucia Ferlino; Cristina Martinoli
The Italian National Research Council's Institute for Educational Technology and the David Chiossone Institute for the Blind have carried out a joint study that seeks to define criteria for evaluating the suitability of educational software in meeting the needs of the visually impaired. This study devotes due consideration to the particular educational context and to the needs of individual students, seen in a positive light as potentialities rather than limits. As a result, we have been able to define a series of characteristics related to analysis and method.
Use of Bar Code and RFID for the Visually Impaired in Educational Environment BIBAFull-Text 583-588
  Hisayuki Tatsumi; Yasuyuki Murai; Masahiro Miyakawa; Shinji Tokumasu
Getting information from a bar code or from RFID tags attached to equipments or surroundings is a promising step for building an information ensured area for the visually impaired. For example one can obtain an operation manual (voice version) from the tag attached to some electronic equipment. The purpose of the project we report here is the construction of such information ensured environment in the college life. We present two concrete examples: getting voice access to announcement on the bulletin board by using bar code, and messaging system between students and teacher by using RFID. We show that data-carrier technologies are effective for information ensuring for the visually impaired.
Virtual Disability: Simulations as an Aid to Lecturers' Understanding of Disability BIBAFull-Text 589-596
  Simon Ball; John Rousell
Many organisations and institutions in the education sector are now producing simulations of various disabilities in order to give academic staff an insight into some of the barriers disabled people can face in their education. This short paper will highlight some of the simulations designed by John Rousell of Sheffield College for use in accessibility training of academic staff. The paper shows stills of the original animations which can be found on the internet.
Multimedia Software Training Tool (MSTT) for Persons with Visual and Mobile Impairments in Four Languages BIBAFull-Text 597-600
  A. Mousadakou; M. Gemou; E. Bekiaris
This paper presents an innovative, user-friendly multimedia software tool for the training of persons with visual and mobile impairments, to be developed within the TELL-IT European research program. This multimedia software training tool (MSTT) refers to all those persons who are visually and mobility disabled and wish to be trained in order to be employed as help-desk services providers. The MSTT will provide them all the necessary knowledge and training to prepare them for their sufficient tasks performance. The MSTT is a modular training tool, which will be developed in two modes: one for distant, self-learning and another for on-the-job guided training. Both will be translated in four (4) languages (English, French, Greek, Spanish). For both modes, two types of software packages will be developed, one for training and one for testing. It will interface the necessary software and hardware aids, in order to be usable by people with mobility and/or visual impairments.
Designing New Technology Based Services to Support Visually Impaired Computer Workers (VICWs) BIBAFull-Text 601-608
  J. Joyce Beumer; M. Wiethoff; J. Attema
Audio Supported Application Sharing (ASAS) tool based services design can be used to overcome problems of Visually Impaired Computer Workers (VICWs). ASAS tool services are expected to increase performance of both individuals and organizations. First, the individual performance will be positively influenced because trainers and VICWs will perform tasks in a more efficient way with help of ASAS tools in comparison to the old way of task performance. Second, the organizational performance will be positively influenced because due to the ASAS tool technology the organization can perform their activities in a more efficient way. ASAS tools will contribute significantly to travel time reduction, comfort and reduction of costs on the overall level. Life-long support will increase the VICW contribution to the working society. Support with ASAS tools will not lead to changes in task time. This paper will describe ASAS tool service design and how the service changes performance.
Design and Use of Pseudo-electronic Whiteboard for Low-Vision Education BIBAFull-Text 609-612
  Yasuyuki Murai; Hisayuki Tatsumi; Masahiro Miyakawa; Shinji Tokumasu
We have built a pseudo-electronic whiteboard system (prototype) for low-vision education incorporating a commercial capturing system which mimic drawing on a plain whiteboard onto a monitor window (server-window). Moreover the capturing is such that the server window turns into a "super" pseudo-electronic whiteboard (projecting the captured whiteboard onto the whiteboard is essential). We implemented the distribution of the server-window to the class for low-vision education. We have added processing for increasing readability. Additionally the class shares separate window-area for questions and answers. The pseudo-electronic whiteboard system we made makes teacher and low-vision students share classroom education, which had been completely ignored so far.

Blind People: Access to Mathematics

Mathematics for Blind People BIBAFull-Text 613
  Arthur I. Karshmer
The ability of a blind student to pursue careers in mathematics, engineering, science or technology are severely limited by the students ability to manipulate complex mathematical equations. While there are exceptions to the rule, it has been difficult or impossible for blind members of our society to enter these career domains. The current STS deals with this problem from a broad perspective focusing on what are the best and worst practices in the area of presenting equations to blind math students.
The Architecture of a Comprehensive Equation Browser for the Print Impaired BIBAFull-Text 614-619
  Arthur I. Karshmer; Chris Bledsoe; Paul Stanley
Over the past two decades, there have been numerous efforts to design an equation reading system to make the learning of mathematics simpler for the print impaired student. Projects led by MathsPlus Toolbix (Sahyun and Gardner), Aster (Raman), Math Genie (Karshmer) and Maths (Edwards) have all been successful to various degrees in achieving this goal. While each provides some level of support in this endeavor, none of them have been able to deliver a comprehensive tool. Further, none of these tools have been designed to be part of a more general system of delivering math skills and communications to a broad range of visual impairments and users in different countries.
Translating between Formats for Mathematics: Current Approach and an Agenda for Future Developments BIBAFull-Text 620-625
  E. Pontelli; B. Palmer
This paper describes the current directions followed in the UMA project to interoperate between different formats for mathematics. We highlight the state-of-the-art along with directions for future development of the project.
Utilizing Scalable Vector Graphics in the Instruction of Mathematics to the Print Impaired Student BIBAFull-Text 626-629
  Paul B. Stanley; Chris Bledsoe; Arthur I. Karshmer
The XML based Scalable Vector Graphics imaging language provides another tool for enhancing the accessibility of mathematics for both the visually impaired and the dyslexic student. SVG possesses two attributes applicable to our purpose. As its name implies an SVG image is scalable, it can be enlarged to fill the viewing area of a computer monitor, then zoomed for further magnification, and do so without sacrificing clarity, thus aiding the visually impaired. An SVG image can also be manipulated in real time. For example, one or more text characters may be highlighted in response to a keyboard or program event. This attribute has potential for the dyslexic student.
Cognitive Analysis of Equation Reading: Application to the Development of the Math Genie BIBAFull-Text 630-637
  Douglas J. Gillan; Paula Barraza; Arthur I. Karshmer; Skye Pazuchanics
Can information about the perceptual and cognitive processes involved in equation reading be applied in the creation of assistive technology for blind equation readers? The present research used four cognitive/perceptual studies to examine several hypotheses about equation reading: people (1) read equations from left to right, one element at a time, (2) back scan when reading equations, (3) substitute the outcome of a parenthetical expression for the initial elements, and (4) scan the entire equation before element by element reading to create a schematic structure. The process tracing study provided evidence for all of the hypotheses, with three experiments supporting the first three hypotheses, but not the fourth. These results have been implemented in assistive software for visually-impaired users, the Math Genie -- an auditory browser.
Automatic Conversions of Mathematical Braille: A Survey of Main Difficulties in Different Languages BIBAFull-Text 638-643
  Victor Moço; Dominique Archambault
This article is a general discussion on the automatic mathematical Braille translations. There exist several Braille notations. Each of these Braille notations has particular / specific rules which make the difference between the other notations. Using simple mathematical formulas, we show some particular rules but not all the specific rules. These rules which facilitate the blind reading increase the difficulty of the translation on the side Braille to mainstream notation.
Multi-modal Mathematics: Conveying Math Using Synthetic Speech and Speech Recognition BIBAFull-Text 644-647
  D. Fitzpatrick; A. I. Karshmer
Over the past decade, the notion of multi-modal access to technology has moved from the realms of science fiction to reality. It is not now unthinkable to communicate with a machine using voice recognition software, and to have the computers' response spoken in a voice comparable in quality to a human.
   This paper outlines methodologies for the verbal presentation of mathematical material to a user using prosodically enhanced synthetic speech. We will describe methodologies for generating a prosodic model of the "equation space".
An Integrated OCR Software for Mathematical Documents and Its Output with Accessibility BIBAFull-Text 648-655
  Masakazu Suzuki; Toshihiro Kanahori; Nobuyuki Ohtake; Katsuhito Yamaguchi
This paper describes shortly a practical integrated system for scientific documents including mathematical formulae, named 'Infty'. The system consists of three components of applications: an OCR system named 'InftyReader', an editor named 'InftyEditor' and converting tools into various formats. Those applications are linked each other via XML files.
   InftyReader recognizes scanned images of clearly printed mathematical documents and outputs the recognition results in a XML format. It recognizes complex mathematical formulae used in various research papers of mathematics including matrices. InftyEditor provides a very efficient interface to correct the recognition results using keyboard. Another feature of InftyEditor is its handwriting interface to input mathematical formulae for users with vision and speech interface for visually impaired uses.
   The XML files output by InftyReader/Editor can be converted into various formats: LATEX, MathML, HTML and Braille Codes; in UBC (Unified Braille Codes) for English texts and in Japanese Braille Codes for Japanese texts.
Mathematical Working Environment for the Blind Motivation and Basic Ideas BIBAFull-Text 656-663
  Bernhard Stöger; Klaus Miesenberger; Mario Batušic
The past three decades saw considerable progress in access to information for the group of blind and visually impaired people: Thanks to modern information technology in the mainstream and to very specialized adaptive and assistive technologies, blind and visually impaired people are now able to deal independently and efficiently with almost every piece of information that is composed of pure text. Despite current strong trends towards graphical presentation, text still covers the majority of relevant contents for private and professional life, such that information access for the target group is currently accomplished to a very large extent. Despite intensive research efforts carried out over the last years, blind and visually impaired people are still excluded from an efficient usage and handling of graphical contents. Since Mathematics is presented in a highly graphical way most of the time, this exclusion implies considerable restrictions in access to Mathematics, too. Although "accessibility" is put in place, "usability" and especially support functionalities in "doing" mathematics are very low. This paper analyses the major issues, outlines the existing approaches to a possible solution and describes the current activities at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, institute "integriert studieren" (Austria) towards a comprehensive software answer to this problem.
Towards a Universal Maths Conversion Library BIBAFull-Text 664-669
  Dominique Archambault; Donal Fitzpatrick; Gopal Gupta; Arthur I. Karshmer; Klaus Miesenberger; Enrico Pontelli
The study of Mathematics and Sciences have always been a difficult problem for blind students especially because of the complexity of Braille mathematical notations. Various projects developed converters allowing people to translate a formula from mainstream notations (like LATEX or MathML) to Braille notations and vice versa. Today a new generation of tools aims at facilitating the understanding of the formulas by blind users, and the communication between sighted and Braille users. The project of Universal Maths Conversion Library is born from the decision of 6 organisations both American and European to join their efforts in that field.
math2braille: Opening Access to Mathematics BIBAFull-Text 670-677
  David Crombie; Roger Lenoir; Neil McKenzie; Alison Barker
It is clear that Braille has many problems when representing the complex information associated with mathematics. The reliance on linear representation removes much of the structure which aids the sighted user to quickly navigate an equation. A further problem with many accessible education tools is that the teacher must understand the accessible format and this can be both time-consuming and costly. There is little or no real competitor to MathML and the increased development of structural functionalities in the MathML 2.0 specification provides an excellent representation to parse into other formats. In order to improve facilities available in creating accessible solutions, the math2braille Module will soon be made available as an open source module which other developers can incorporate in their own systems.
Enhancing the Accessibility of Mathematics for Blind People: The AudioMath Project BIBAFull-Text 678-685
  Helder Ferreira; Diamantino Freitas
"How can a blind person surpass the difficulty in reading an on-line document's mathematical expressions? Why wasn't this completely solved yet? Is it not necessary? Is not easy?" -- These questions are only the top of the iceberg of a big problem with accessibility in the Internet. This concerns technical, scientific or even simple documents presented on-line that involve mathematical expressions. Addressing these issues the authors developed the AudioMath [1] project at LSS. It can be connected to a text-to-speech engine (TTS), providing speech rendering of the W3C's MathML [2, 3] coded mathematical expressions. The paper intends to present the project methodology as well as the results already obtained. With AudioMath we intend to increase the accessibility of, not only, e-learning websites that use MathML, but also general websites. Therefore, AudioMath is an accessibility tool that can bring great benefits for visual impaired persons, but not only.
Handwriting Input System of Graphs for Barrier-Free Mathematical Communications BIBAFull-Text 686-689
  Ryoji Fukuda; Masanori Yo; Taichi Kawahara
In this report, we will explain our handwriting input system for mathematical graphs on the xy-plane. One can input graphs by hand, and can store them as XML documents. These documents will be available not only for ordinary people but also for people with visual impairment.

Blind People: Access to Graphics and Haptic Interfaces

Three Dimensionally Perceived Planar Tactile Illusion Device and Method BIBAFull-Text 690-696
  Gilbert R. Gonzales
Described is a method of three dimensional perception of a two dimensional sweeping planar array of sequentially firing vibro-mechanical stimulators vibrating against the skin or other tactile sensitive areas of the body. The vibro-mechanical stimulators are arranged in a substantially two dimensional array over the skin and are triggered in parallel, three or more stimulators at a time, sequentially. A line of three or more parallel stimulators can produce a sense of depth, elevation and contour on the skin by adding or subtracting stimulators. The wearer cognitively perceives the tactual stimulation as a sweeping and moving continuous wave of tactual stimulation that, as it progresses across the skin, produces a non-veridical perception of variable areas of depth, height and contour. This method of three dimensional cutaneous perception using two dimensional arrays could be used, for example, to represent the flat topographical contour of maps to sight impaired persons.
Touching Geometry for Blind Pupils BIBAFull-Text 697-704
  Sophie Rouzier; Bernard Hennion; Tomás Pérez Segovia; Denis Chêne
This paper describes a system based on haptics and sound, to assist teaching planar geometry to blind pupils, and then provides more details on experiments carried out in a school for visually impaired. This system allows to haptically read, measure and construct geometrical figures. Moreover it can help blind pupils to shape a mental representation of geometrical and topological concepts.
An Indicating, Leading Manipulator as a Good Hand at Teaching Strokes: A Mental-Image-Creation Support System BIBAFull-Text 705-712
  Yoshihiko Nomura; Haruki Kakehashi; Tokuhiro Sugiura; Hirokazu Matsui; Norihiko Kato
A mental image creation support system was developed. The mechanical device of the system is a 3-DOF manipulator that is composed of a 2-DOF quadrilateral parallel-link manipulator and an arm-end actuator. A couple of servomotors drive a couple of upper links of the 2-DOF manipulator, and they control the arm-end position. The arm-end actuator is attached to the 2-DOF manipulator's arm-end: a servomotor controls the orientation of a knob attached to the servomotor axis. The person is assumed to pinch the knob by his/her fingertips. The position of the knob axis traces the strokes of the presented figures sequentially, and the orientation of the knob is controlled to indicate the orientation of the currently tracing point on the stroke. A couple of preeminent functions are embedded to the process: one is the indicating function, and the other is the leading function. That is, the knob indicates to the person with its orientation to which direction the arm end moves: the direction reflects the orientation of the ongoing stroke. And the translation of the knob leads the person along the strokes. The indicating/leading functions play complementary role. Thus, the person is able to perceive the position and the orientation of the strokes of presented images via somatic sensations of his/her fingertip. It is expected to be a good hand at teaching strokes and to be a visual alternative of the blind persons and a visual aid of lazy eye persons at creating mental images.
The Bigger Picture: Automated Production Tools for Tactile Graphics BIBAFull-Text 713-720
  David Crombie; Roger Lenoir; Neil McKenzie; George Ioannidis
The Graphics to Tactile project (G2T) aimed to provide a semi-automatic image processing tool to enhance the creation of tactile graphics. In attempting to convert graphical and visual information into accessible formats, it is important that the information used for input is sufficiently well defined. Print diagrams and graphics contain information (such as perspective, overlapping lines, and colour) that cannot be represented in a Braille reader. People who are blind therefore cannot access complex formatted text, pictures, graphics or maps. The G2T system makes use of advanced image processing technologies partially to automate the tactile graphic production process and can be used in conjunction with existing drawing tools.
Two Dimension Interactive Voice Browser for the Visually Impaired BIBAFull-Text 721-724
  Chi-Nung Chu
Access to the World Wide Web is one of the major problems visually impaired people are confronted with. It is a good way to integrate voice functions into web browser for them to retrieve information on the web aurally. For the time being, most of the voice-driven navigation tools adopt linear strategy to translate each web page contents. That is too time-consuming for the visually impaired to get what they want. To promote the aural retrieving, this paper reports a Two Dimension Interactive Voice Browser design, which simulates the two dimensional reading of web page as sighted people do in a speech output / voice input interactive way. This interactive web browser with voice would supply a new opportunity for the visually impaired to access information through the Internet.
Exploring Scalable Vector Graphics for Visually Impaired Users BIBAFull-Text 725-730
  Martin Rotard; Kerstin Otte; Thomas Ertl
Graphical information is very important in common information publishing. For visually impaired users this information is usually not accessible. Scalable Vector Graphics, a recommendation of the World Wide Web Consortium, describes graphical information in an XML document. We propose a transformation scheme into a tactile representation for this kind of graphics. Navigation modes, filters, and the output of meta information support the exploration of the graphics. Furthermore our software environment can simulate this transformation for all sizes of tactile devices.
Communication System for the Blind Using Tactile Displays and Ultrasonic Pens -- MIMIZU BIBAFull-Text 731-738
  Makoto Kobayashi; Tetsuya Watanabe
A new Communication system for the blind has been developed. The system, named MIMIZU, is composed of a pair of terminals equipped with refreshable tactile graphic display and ultrasonic pen device. Using the terminal, a blind user can make drawings directly as he likes on the tactile surface with ultrasonic pen. The other blind user can recognize the tactile image appeared on the other terminal by touching it. In this way, the system can support communication between blind users by means of tactile graphics. We describe results of simple experiments in which a subject tried to transmit simple drawings to the other subject. The results show difficulty of transmitting a shape of circle without preliminary information because resolution of the display was not enough. However, it is useful to transmit shapes composed of straight lines. And even if the shape is a circle, the user can recognize it when he has information in advance.
Directly Accessible Mainstream Graphical Information BIBAFull-Text 739-744
  John A. Gardner; Vladimir Bulatov
Plain text in well-authored electronic documents of nearly any format is accessible to a blind person who knows how to use a computer and screen reader. A great deal of common information is generally not presented as plain text however. Charts, diagrams, and graphs are common in business, scientific, and most professional literature. Maps and geographically-oriented data such as weather maps and complex census information would be virtually impossible to present in words. Until recently it has not been possible for authors of mainstream literature to present graphical information of these kinds in a format that could be accessed directly by blind people. In this paper, a new technology is described that does permit blind people to have direct access to most object-oriented graphical information. This new technology is possible because of two recent developments. One is the emergence of the mainstream SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) language. The second is the Tiger technology for embossing tactile graphics.
Simple Pattern Creation Using a Pen Input Guide and Sound Localization for the Visually Impaired BIBAFull-Text 745-752
  Masahiko Sugimoto; Kazunori Itoh; Michio Shimizu
In this report, we examine whether or not a visually impaired person can make a formal basic figure by himself. The patterns that we treat in this report are restricted to a collection of lines. In order to make formal patterns, we prepared an acrylic pen input guide and put it on a tablet. This guide has a 9 by 9 lattice of holes which correspond to 9 by 9 localized sounds on a 2-dimensional virtual sound screen. Using this guide and a stylus pen, the visually impaired can make a pattern. The input pattern is checked and corrected by hearing the localized sound. Experiments show that the subjects can input simple patterns correctly.
An Approach for Direct Manipulation by Tactile Modality for Blind Computer Users: Principle and Practice of Detecting Information Generated by Touch Action BIBAFull-Text 753-760
  Makoto Shimojo; Masami Shinohara; Michiyo Tanii; Yutaka Shimizu
A basic device combining a tactile display function and a touch position/force direction sensing function is proposed. The trial device consists of two major components, a tactile graphic display and a 6-axis force/torque sensor. The force sensor measures six dynamic values generated by touch action on the display surface and a PC estimates the point based on the data and a simple dynamic principle. Preliminary investigation indicated the validity of this device and its promising capability for HC using tactile modality.

Mobility Impaired People: HCI

Remote Eye Gaze Tracking System as a Computer Interface for Persons with Severe Motor Disability BIBAFull-Text 761-769
  Malek Adjouadi; Anaelis Sesin; Melvin Ayala; Mercedes Cabrerizo
State of the Art human computer interfaces (HCI) for assisting individuals with severe motor disabilities employ remote eye-gaze tracking (EGT) systems which obtain eye coordinates and convert them into mouse-pointer coordinates. The performance of those systems is traditionally affected by mouse-pointer jitter and miscalibration due to head movement. This study addresses this problem and proposes an interface to minimize those errors. The interface allows inspecting and quantifying those errors and collecting the necessary information which is used in real time for training an artificial neural network which improves the coordinate conversion mechanism. The novelty of this study resides in the integration of several procedures, such as: (a) error inspection at system startup, (b) real time improvement of the eye-to-mouse-pointer coordinate conversion mechanism, (c) determination of a practical solution to the mouse click operations, and (d) development of effective means to monitor and evaluate the system performance.
Controlling a PC by Eye Movements: The MEMREC Project BIBAFull-Text 770-773
  Marcela Fejtová; Jan Fejt; Lenka Lhotská
In this paper we would like to introduce design of a system for controlling a PC by eye movements. During last ten years the computers have become common tools of work -- it is nearly impossible to exist without them in everyday life. We are witnessing the time of revolutionary introduction of computers and information technologies into daily practice. Healthy people use keyboard, mouse, trackball, or touchpad for controlling the PC. However these peripheries are usually not suitable for disabled people. They may have problems using these standard peripheries, for example when they suffer from myopathy, or cannot make moves with hands after an injury. Therefore we are coming with a proposal how to ease the disabled people to control the PC.
HeadControl+: A Multi-modal Input Device BIBAFull-Text 774-781
  Mario Mühlehner; Klaus Miesenberger
Different groups of people with disabilities, especially those with motor disabilities, have problems in handling the conventional computer mouse and in consequence, as the mouse is a standard component of almost any Human-Computer Interface (HCI), with different systems and applications leading to problems in their educational, vocational and daily life. This paper presents research on a prototype of a laser based, head controlled input device, capable of multiple modes, each representing a different input device emulation. Thus the HeadControl+ system is intended to implement an alternative mouse as well as an alternative keyboard, making use only of off-the-shelve hardware leading to an inexpensive system for different application scenarios.
Accessibility through Standard Low Cost Pointing Devices BIBAFull-Text 782-787
  Barbara Prazak; Stefan Mina; Gernot Kronreif
Alternative pointing devices for handling the computer are often needed by people with disabilities. These pointing devices are in most cases not compatible with other aids, which are stand alone devices. This paper points out the development of a converter hardware which allows the use of alternative pointing devices with each aid like talkers, computers etc. In Addition different practical usages with this developed converter hardware are shown.
Optimisation of the Selection Set Features for Scanning Text Input BIBAFull-Text 788-795
  Julio Abascal; Luis Gardeazabal; Nestor Garay
Scanning is one of the most popular text input methods for people with severe movement restrictions due to diverse kinds of disabilities. It is frequently used to input messages into communication systems, such as text-to-voice translators in order to maintain conversations. Nevertheless, the rate of text production usually obtained is very slow. For this reason, every effort to save time and optimize communication speed is welcome. In this way, this paper presents a study on the influence on the character input rate of diverse parameters related to the matrix that contains the selection set, such as shape, size, number of dimensions and layout of the selectable items. Its purpose is to extract a set of guidelines to design efficient input systems well adapted to the user, based on the scanning of items and its selection by means of one switch or push-button.
FastScanner: An Accessibility Tool for Motor Impaired Users BIBAFull-Text 796-803
  Stavroula Ntoa; Anthony Savidis; Constantine Stephanidis
People with motor impairments often face difficulties in accessing interactive applications and services. This paper presents a tool, named FastScanner that enables motor-impaired users to work with any application running in Microsoft Windows, without the need of a posteriori modification, through the use of binary switches as an alternative to traditional input devices. Evaluation of the tool has shown that it facilitates effective and efficient interaction.
A Real-Time Voice Controlled Human Computer Interface to Help Persons with Motor Disability BIBAFull-Text 804-812
  Malek Adjouadi; Dalila Landestoy; Melvin Ayala; Walter Tischer
Current speech recognition (SR) systems have evolved technologically to begin having an impact in human computer interface (HCI) designs that can be used by persons with motor disabilities. This study presents a real-time user-friendly programming HCI able to convert voice commands into computer actions. To this end, an interface was developed for facilitating the communication between a Microsoft speech (MS) recognition engine and MS Windows such that the dictated commands are executed as if they were triggered by mouse or keyboard operations. Experiments were conducted with the mouse functionality commands to statistically establish a confusion matrix to assess the recognition accuracy of the system. Validation results from 15 subjects yielded a performance of 84% of accuracy in command recognition. Unexpected high confusion degrees between unrelated voice commands were experienced and were reported to the developers of this software tool for additional information and for investigating this potential design problem.
First User Test Results with the Predictive Typing System FASTY BIBAFull-Text 813-819
  C. Beck; G. Seisenbacher; G. Edelmayer; W. L. Zagler
This paper gives a brief overview about the partially EU funded project IST-2000-25420 FASTY in the IST program. The objective of FASTY was the creation of a system for increasing the text generation rate of disabled persons by Predictive Typing and dedicated advanced input devices. The system was developed for the Dutch, French, German, and Swedish language, the concept, however, is useable for most European languages. Some results from the user tests with the first prototype during the year 2003 are shown herein and were used to build the second and last prototype. A commercial version of the FASTY software is expected to be available in the second half of 2004.

Mobility Impaired People: Rehabilitaiton and Health Care

Movement Variability and Speed of Performance Using a Head-Operated Device and Expanded Membrane Cursor Keys BIBAFull-Text 820-826
  Gilson J. Capilouto
The performance of computer pointing devices is traditionally measured in terms of speed and accuracy. Such measures are important when comparing input devices for specific users. Although speed and accuracy data verify that performance differences exist, researchers are frequently left to speculate as to the cause. This study explores the value of including data on movement variability in investigations comparing performance of computer input devices for persons with disabilities. Movement variability represents the degree to which recorded sample points vary from the straight-line path between a home location and a target. Analysis of movement variability data provides rehabilitation specialists with clinically valuable information beyond what can be ascertained from measures of speed and accuracy alone.
An Examination about Walking Posture on Gait Training System for Computer-Aided Rehabilitation BIBAFull-Text 827-835
  Hidetaka Ikeuchi; Fumitaka Kamifukumoto; Satoshi Arakane; Kengo Ohnishi; Keiji Imado; Hiroomi Miyagawa; Yukio Saito
Our Gait Training System is a training device that aims to obtain the effect of the walk training in the warm water swimming pool. A trainee is supported by the slinging system while walking on the force plate. Slinging power is controlled on the basis of information instrumented from the force plates. The training effects are evaluated on the basis of the data that obtained from the force plate etc. This system is tested by handicapped person to inspect the function and efficacy. A major problem of deficient body alignment of the walking posture is found from the test. We propose mounting a monitor and the result of improvement is shown. The effect on the walking posture using the Gait Training System is experimented on normal persons. The difference of the posture in normal gait and device-supported gait is shown.
Optimizing Menu Selection Process for Single-Switch Manipulation BIBAFull-Text 836-844
  Grigori Evreinov; Roope Raisamo
Single-switch manipulation is considered as a model for optimizing a menu selection task for physically challenged users. We have applied a short-cyclic hierarchical structure with three levels and three alternatives as a basic layout for symbol input and imaging. A user can make use of the triple-stroke or the long-stroke technique when the button is held down for extended period. It allows to jump over one of menu levels or to cut the cycle. We designed algorithm for adaptive scan interval and have applied it for text entry. Long-stroke technique significantly reduces the number of strokes and increases typing speed. The preliminary tests with able-bodied participants showed an average typing speed of more than 20 signs per minute after one-hour training. Adaptive scan interval could be useful for applications that require periodic time correction depending on user performance. Algorithm for adaptive scan interval and the coupled issues are considered in detail.
Designing an Evaluation Method for Computer Accessibility for People with Severe Disabilities BIBAFull-Text 845-848
  R. Kadouche; B. Abdulrazak; M. Mokhtari
This paper presents our research work on the accessibility of assistive technologies dedicated to peoples having severe disabilities. The objective is to provide quantitative and qualitative evaluations methodologies on human-machine interaction while getting access to a computer. We aim to design compensation strategies developed by people having sever motor disabilities in order to use physical input devices to control a computer. The study developed in this paper is based on a quantitative evaluation method when using pointing devices such as mouse, Trackballs, Joysticks, etc. The preliminary results presented corresponds to one month of evaluation with 8 patients mainly having spinal cord injuries and muscular dystrophies from the rehabilitation hospital of Garches and from French Muscular dystrophies Association (AFM).
Computerized Assessment Tool for Mouse Operating Proficiency BIBAFull-Text 849-856
  Ming-Chung Chen; Ling-Fu Meng; Cheng-Feng Hsieh; Ting-Fang Wu; Chi-Nung Chu; Tien-Yu Li
This paper substantiates the process of developing a computerized mouse proficiency assessment tool (CAT-MP), which could be used to measure proficiency of clients in mouse operating skills. Moreover, CAT-MP also helps evaluator to diagnose specific difficulties and provide individual remedies for the persons with limitations to access computer. Based on the results of task analysis of mouse operating, clinical experiences and related literature review, CAT-MP was designed containing four modules responsible for communicating interfaces and databases, organizing test tasks, collecting data and analyzing data respectively. Beside the contents of these modules, the tasks of four subtests, the procedure of measurement, and the results of reliability and validity of CAT-MP will be addressed in detail in this paper.
Applications of Computer Access Approach to Persons with Quadriplegics BIBAFull-Text 857-864
  Ling-Fu Meng; Tieng-Yu Li; Chi-Nung Chu; Ming-Chung Chen; Sophie Chien-Huey Chang; Arr-Mien Chou; Tony Yang; Chih Chen Hui; Ku Ai Chiao; Yun Lung Lin; Pei-ting Weng; Yu-chen Shih; Tsung-ying Lu; Nai-hsien Yeh
This paper substantiates the process of helping the clients with motor disabilities to operate computer. A team with multiple professionals from different disciplines served eight persons with quadriplegics diagnosed as Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Athetoid Cerebral Palsy, Cervical Spinal Cord Injury and Muscular Dystrophy respectively. Based on the computer access approach (CAA), the limitations and strengths of motor control, the difficulties of operating computer and the context to support accessibility were evaluated. Furthermore, the evaluation results guided the configuration of computer system to be modified, possibly combined with changing anatomical control site. Finally better accessibility for each person was achieved. It can be concluded that CAA processed by an integrated team can greatly help in solving accessibility problems for quadriplegic.
Computer Access for Persons with Spinal Cord Injury BIBAFull-Text 865-872
  Ting-Fang Wu; Hwa-Pey Wang; Ming Chung-Chen; Wu-Tien Wu
This study investigated the effectiveness of computer input devices on clients with spinal cord injury. Single-subject multiple probe design was used to compare the accuracy and speed of inputs of baseline and intervention phases. Three persons with spinal cord injury participated this study. The participants' levels of the lesion were cervical 3-4, cervical 4-5 and cervical 5-6. In the baseline phase, participants used the regular mouse to move the cursor and click the target. In the intervention phase, the researchers provided participants the computer input devices based on the results of individual assessment. Experimental results indicated that persons with spinal cord injury indeed improved the accuracy and the speed of computer inputs after the assistive equipment provided. Through appropriate input devices, clients with spinal cord injury are able to operate computer effectively.
An Assessment into Touch Screen Input Devices for Cervical Spinal Injured Computer Users BIBAFull-Text 873-879
  Robert C. C. Chen; Dilys T. Tsai; Li-Chen Chang; Nick Higgett
This study began with interview and contextual observation survey of computer users among SCI including higher-level cervical spinal injured (CSI) subjects for their limitation of human body motion and function during working. Following the findings of the initial surveys, the usability assessments were developed and undertaken in order to understand the limitations and difficulties of SCI and CSI subjects in the use of the research team's input prototype for future design improvement recommendations especially on size/dimensions factors, which can lead to the differences in users' skill performance, productivity, mobility, and cost. A touch screen input device of an appropriate dimension is therefore proposed with the aim of providing a better alternative for people with physical disabilities who are unsuited to the traditional computer keyboard.
Home-Use Upper Limb Rehabilitation Device for Cervical Spinal Cord Injured Patients BIBAFull-Text 880-888
  Kengo Ohnishi; Eri Goto; Fumitake Sugiki; Keiji Imado; Hidetaka Ikeuchi; Nobuhiro Kito; Hiroomi Miyagawa; Yukio Saito
This paper presents mechatronics device system to assess and assist the rehabilitation of the palsy arm. The device is developed for assisting the physical and occupational treatment of the patient with cervical spinal cord injury. The system consists of a PC and a joystick-type controller. The controller contains a triaxial load cell to measure the force exerted. With this system, we propose isometric training with biofeedback of visual effects as in video games. The subject is to adjust the force while tracking the target along the trajectory displayed on the screen. For evaluating the performance, accuracy is computed from the recorded training results. Pilot test is carried out on cervical spinal cord injured patients and compared with the senior able-bodied. Results of the pilot test showed that the system is capable of assessing the difference of the individuals.

Smart Environments for All

Smart Environments for All BIBAFull-Text 889-890
  Gerhard Nussbaum
Smart Environments also called Smart Homes or Smart Houses are often topics of research projects. Some have been and some will be realised. People with disabilities in particular could benefit most from such environments as they offer basic assistive functionalities enabling an increased independence and personal freedom and hence the quality of their life improved. This paper provides a short introduction to the field of "Smart Environments" and to the Special Thematic Session "Smart Environments for All".
The Assistive Home -- More than Just Another Approach to Independent Living? BIBAFull-Text 891-897
  Gerhard Nussbaum; Klaus Miesenberger
The Assistive Home is a new approach to independent living. Other than in Smart Homes, in Smart Environments only important electrical items and appliances are linked together and it is based on market available standard components. The Assistive Home allows the integrated control via a centralized control center or via the electrical items focusing on accessibility and usability for people with disabilities. This paper points out the idea of the Assistive Home and introduces the residential building project "Dauphinestrasse" in Linz, Austria where the apartments will be realized as Assistive Homes. Furthermore the paper points out the advantages and challenges of the project.
Technology Usage for Dependant People: Towards the Right Balance between User Needs and Technology BIBAFull-Text 898-905
  C. Penaud; M. Mokhtari; B. Abdulrazak
While technology has revolutionised our working and private environment, there is still improvement to be made to allow people with disabilities and senior citizens to live an independent life and take an integral part in the society. The development of the smart home concept allows people with a severe disability to control their home devices using a customised user-interface. Beyond this, the creation of a central system controlling a wide range of daily equipment, unlocks opportunities for the creation of many value-added services or new Usage. In this article, we will present our analysis of the "usage" definition. We will also describe our approach in identifying new technology usages. Although our smart home concept development has followed a user-centred approach throughout the project, taking a step back to analyse its usage has allowed us to expand its potential application scope, and develop an extended investigation of user's needs.
Coupling Context Awareness and Multimodality in Smart Homes Concept BIBAFull-Text 906-913
  Mohamed Ali Feki; Stéphane Renouard; Bessam Abdulrazak; Gérard Chollet; Mounir Mokhtari
Development of smart home technologies dedicated to people with disabilities provides a challenge in determining accurate requirements and needs in dynamic situations. In this paper we describe the integration of context awareness and multimodal functionalities in a smart environment. We outline how to optimize user comfort and capabilities. Considering the wide range of user types and preferences and the dynamic system environment created by constant introduction of new product and new context. By taking the environmental information provided by the environment, user profile and preferences, context awareness promises easier interaction and new possibilities such as predictive tasks automatically and adapting new situations to user interface. Multimodality permits in one hand to facilitate accessibility to a wide range of users, and the other hand to offer innovative control method of complex systems. In this paper we present our approach for coupling context awareness and multimodality concepts.
On the Design of Ambient Intelligent Systems in the Context of Assistive Technologies BIBAFull-Text 914-921
  J. L. Sevillano; J. Falcó; J. Abascal; A. Civit-Balcells; G. Jiménez; S. Vicente; R. Casas
The design of Ambient Intelligent Systems (AISs) is discussed in the context of assistive technologies. The main issues include ubiquitous communications, context awareness, natural interactions and heterogeneity, which are analyzed using some examples. A layered architecture is proposed for heterogeneous sub-systems integration with three levels of interactions that may be used as a framework to design assistive AISs.
PACS: Communication and Environment Control System for Disabled BIBAFull-Text 922-925
  Vidas Lauruska
There are a lot of disabled people in the world. In many cases persons with severe disabilities who can't move or speak are isolated. These persons at least have one primitive way to communicate with others (it could be head movements, eye blink, voice intonations, mimics and others). The usage of electronics can help to transform it into understandable communication signs for others or into control signals for devices. Electronics means improve self-sufficiency of disabled people and enable communication with others. We have created communication and environment control system for physically disabled persons with speech and language impairments. A very important feature of this system is that it is controlled by one on/off type switch. Alternative input devices as head pointer, eye blink registrar, person's capacity registrar, suck-blow tube, etc, can be used instead of the similar switch.
Performance Analysis of User Interface for the Disabled in Real-Time Ubiquitous Information Network BIBAFull-Text 926-929
  Yung Bok Kim; Jong Yong Kim
Beyond the computer networking, the wired Internet and mobile Internet penetrate deeply in all kinds of information processing systems and applications. Web-based services with wired Internet and mobile Internet should be considered for convenient user interface for the disabled and elderly people without any gap of the Digital Divide. The Web server for knowledge and information should be unified as a center for real-time information network in the milieu of ubiquitous computing. We studied the performance analysis of user interface for the disabled in real-time ubiquitous information network based on wired and mobile Internet.
The HM2PH Project: A Database to Help Prescription of Assistive Technologies BIBAFull-Text 930-936
  Jérôme Leloup; Pierre Gaucher; Sybille Pellieux
The aim of the HM2PH (Habitat Modulaire et Mobile pour Personnes Handicapées) project is to specify the functionalities of a movable, opened and adapted living area, enabling a better autonomy by means of appropriate assistive technologies, home automation and electronic devices, linked by a home network. Moreover, it should be able to be inserted in a strongly medicalized facility, as well as in a familial area. To design the interior layout of this adapted living area in a minimal time, we propose a software tool that will allow making the layouts taking the constraints, needs and wills of the resident into account. After a short presentation of the software (see http://www.hant.li.univ-tours.fr/webhant/HM2PH for further details), this paper describes the databases used in our tool.
Networking and Communication in Smart Home for People with Disabilities BIBAFull-Text 937-944
  Mahmoud Ghorbel; Maria-Teresa Segarra; Jérome Kerdreux; Ronan Keryell; Andre Thepaut; Mounir Mokhtari
People with disabilities need several assistive technical aids to increase their autonomy and perform daily living tasks. This paper describes the role of networking and communication in the smart home concept which allows people with disabilities and elderly people to retain a certain level of independence within their daily environment, such as at home, work, school, outside and so on. The purpose of our research activity is to explore the difficulties by determining the most suitable approach to federate the different communication protocols available indoor and outdoor environments. In this paper we are presenting our main concept in the design of the smart home architecture. We also describe our approach to design an open software environment adapted to people with disabilities. This approach is based on the service discovery protocol UPnP (Universal Plan and Play) to discover devices in smart home. It is based also on wireless technologies and protocols (Wifi, Bluetooth, etc.) to enhance mobility and dependency. Some solutions are adapted to favor integration of new modules and devices, and to improve the communication between the different layers of our software architecture.
SmartX -- Enabling Traditional Environmental Control to Use Standard HCI BIBAFull-Text 945-952
  Gerhard Nussbaum; Klaus Miesenberger
Traditional Environmental Control (EC) systems mostly make use of remote control units. Due to that traditional Ecs
  • a). are often stand alone products which are inflexible and hardly extendible
  • b). can not use the flexibility and adaptability power of modern Human Computer
        Interfaces (HCI) what leads to accessibility and usability problems
  • c). can not easily integrate functionalities like communication, context
        awareness, pervasive computing... In the project SmartX the functionalities of a traditional EC have been ported to a standard HCI interface. The purpose of this approach is to build the system on a stable and well known working environment to increase acceptance, usability, flexibility and adaptability and to integrate new functionalities mentioned above.
       In this paper the SmartX prototype will be presented. Actual work and future steps to improve the application of EC by improving its usability, by integrating it into other features of standard devices will be discussed.
  • Indoors Pervasive Computing and Outdoors Mobile Computing for Cognitive Assistance and Telemonitoring BIBAFull-Text 953-960
      Sylvain Giroux; Hélène Pigot; André Mayers
    People suffering from cognitive deficits -- Alzheimer disease, schizophrenia, brain injuries -- are often obliged to live in medical institutions. Pervasive computing and mobile applications are key technology that may help them to stay at home. They can be at the root of information systems as cognitive assistance and telemonitoring. Inside a smart house, cognitive assistance could alleviate cognitive impairments by giving personalized environmental cues. Besides telemonitoring could inform relatives and medical staff of the disease evolution and could alert them in case of emergency. But cognitively impaired people must not be confined in their home. Cognitive assistance and telemonitoring must be available outdoors too. This paper sketches an infrastructure and prototypes making the most of indoor pervasive computing and outdoor mobile computing to achieve cognitive assistance and telemonitoring.

    People with Cognitive, Speech and Learning Impairment: Autism

    Computer Use for People with Learning Difficulties: Basic Needs BIBAFull-Text 961-968
      Paul Tréhin
    My main area of interest and competences is autism, and in that domain quite a few research programs have been proposed over these years. However many of the needs for educational programs that I will develop here are applicable to learning difficulties in general.
       The main idea being that such program development should start from the needs of the people with disabilities rather than from the available technology. The case of programs for people with autism will illustrate some of the specific needs that should be satisfied.
    Using 'Ambient Intelligence' for Compensating Intellectual Difficulties of People with Severe Learning Difficulties and/or Autistic Spectrum Disorders BIBAFull-Text 969-975
      Gerardo Herrera; Amparo Plasencia; Gabriel Labajo; Rita Jordan; Cristina de Pablo
    This paper describes a set of services and software created so that what is called 'ambient intelligence' would compensate for the 'intellectual difficulties' that people from this collective have. Existing concepts and standards of ambient intelligence are strongly reinforced through the use of the exact current user's position as a key factor to calculate how the 'digital home' or any 'digital environment' behaves at every moment. This will be obtained using both Wi-Fi personal locators (embedded in necklaces or bracelets) and Wi-Fi communication from the PDA. This mix, together with individual capabilities and preferences, makes the development of a wide range of services possible when combined with the multimedia capabilities of new technology devices.
    Assessing B.A.Bar Device as a Tool for Supporting Labour Integration of a Severely Affected Person with Autism Who Carries Out Classifying Tasks BIBAFull-Text 976-982
      Gerardo Herrera; Gabriel Labajo
    This paper describes the case research carried out to demonstrate the utility of a specific technical aid (adapted bar code reader) to train an adult with severe autism in the performance of a work task of classifying products in a shop. The individual with autism who participated in this research has a combination of difficulties (degree of 76 percent of disability and unable to learn to read and write) and abilities (being able to follow single verbal instructions). Positive results are expounded together with considerations about the desirable features of future products that would overcome the mere training process and also be useful for the final and real task in any working environment where bar codes are present. This paper also provides a preview of what work this group will face in the future in order to progress in the development of this more general and standard aid.

    People with Cognitive, Speech and Learning Impairment: Software Accessibility

    An Adaptive and Predictive Environment to Support Augmentative and Alternative Communication BIBAFull-Text 983-990
      Nicola Gatti; Matteo Matteucci; Licia Sbattella
    In this paper we describe Bliss2003, an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) aid for verbal impaired people supporting the use of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) languages. Bliss2003 allows to compose messages in Bliss and other AAC languages (i.e. PCS, PIC, etc.), to translate them in natural language, to send and receive them via email, or to vocally synthetize them. Bliss2003 is characterized by a predictive module that allows for a more efficient selection of graphical symbols and more natural sessions of communication by adapting a model of the user language behavior.
    Intelligent Model for Rating Cognitive Capability for Computer Access of People with Disabilities BIBAFull-Text 991-994
      Thomas A. Pushchak; Sreela Sasi
    People with cognitive disabilities often have difficulty in the cognitive dimensions of executive function, memory, orientation and attention, visual-spatial processing, sensory-motor processing, language, and emotions. They can gain independence in performing many daily living activities with the help of computer technology. However, a standard computer system does not provide them with the appropriate support they may need. A comprehensive person-centered evaluation is required to assess an individual's cognitive ability to determine the most appropriate combination of user interface hardware and software. This paper presents a novel architecture for a fuzzy rule-based expert system that can rate cognitive capability of an individual with a cognitive disability for computer access using the WAIS-III intelligence quotient test model.
    Automatic Modification of Text for People with Learning Disabilities Using Internet Services BIBAFull-Text 995-998
      Gabriele Nordbrock; Henrike Gappa; Yehya Mohamad; Carlos A. Velasco
    The paper presents the results of a user study that investigates the applicability of automatic text modifications to support learning disabled people in text comprehension while browsing the Internet. It presents some results that contradict traditional beliefs in regard to better support reading in this target group by providing them with screen readers.
    Soft Keyboard for the Disabled BIBAFull-Text 999-1002
      Paul Gnanayutham; Chris Bloor; Gilbert Cockton
    This paper discusses an investigation carried out in designing and evaluating a neurorehabiliatory communication interfaces for nonverbal Quadriplegic and other clinically brain injured persons. Research was conducted where brain-injured persons communicated using a brain-body interface and a computer program with simple text such as Yes, No, Thanks etc. This research was further developed into a soft keyboard, which gave a brain-injured person an interface to create simple sentences. The users used the soft keyboard with a brain body interface. This paper reports on the soft keyboard developed and the experimental results of this research.
    A Talking Word Processor and Web Browser BIBAFull-Text 1003-1008
      Gareth Evans; Miltos Kritikos; Alasdair King; Paul Blenkhorn
    This paper presents a talking word processor and a talking web browser aimed at cognitively impaired individuals. Both the word processor and the web browser can display information and text and/or symbols. EdWord provides the user with a simple word-processor in which all objects, including menu items and tool tips are spoken. Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA) is used to implement this level of speech access; a feature which is unusual in simple word-processors. EdWeb uses a web browser component that linearises a web page into a single linear document. This style of interface has proved successful with a range of novice web users. Both EdWord and EdWeb are freely available.
    Sibyl: AAC System Using NLP Techniques BIBAFull-Text 1009-1015
      Igor Schadle
    This paper presents Sibyl, a new AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) computer system, that aims at improving text typing for persons with sever speech and motor impairments. Typical AAC systems display virtual keyboard on screen which enables key selection via a few switches device. However, text typing is cumbersome. Sibyl aims at allowing faster typing by means of two predictive modules SibyLetter and SibyWord. SibyLetter facilitates key selection through a dynamic keyboard by predicting next letter. It takes advantage of a n-gram statistical model applied on letters. SibyWord allows keystroke saving by word completion. It predicts next word using natural language processing techniques. A robust chunk parsing (non-recursive constituent) is achieved and prediction is based on the last chunk heads occurrences. Best predictions are displayed in a word list. This paper presents the two predictive modules and the Sibyl software used in the Kerpape French rehabilitation center.

    People with Cognitive, Speech and Learning Impairment: Education and Training

    Mobile Devices Converted into a Speaking Communication Aid BIBAFull-Text 1016-1023
      Bálint Tóth; Géza Németh; Géza Kiss
    The goal of the present study is to introduce a speaking interface of mobile devices for speech impaired people. The latest devices (including PDAs with integrated telephone, Smartphones, Tablet PCs) possess numerous favorable features: small size, portability, considerably fast processor speed, increased storage size, telephony, large display and convenient development environment. The majority of vocally handicapped users are elderly people who are often not familiar with computers. Many of them have other disorder(s) (e.g. motor) and/or impaired vision. The paper reports the design and implementation aspects of converting standard devices into a mobile speaking aid for face-to-face and telephone conversations. The device can be controlled and text is input by touch-screen and the output is generated by a text-to-speech system. The interface is configurable (screen colors and text size, speaking options, etc.) according to the users' personal preferences.
    SOCRATES: Barrier Free Communities of Aphasics on the Internet BIBAFull-Text 1024-1031
      Marc Spaniol; Luise Springer; Ralf Klamma; Matthias Jarke
    The barrier free internet is one of the greatest challenges for computer science in the future. While in the last years the growth of the internet was exponential, still many potential user communities can not use internet technology for their communication needs because of inappropriate tools and narrowly designed communication processes. These problems become obvious when transferring applications to communities of people with special needs. Many people suffering from aphasia are not able to interact with current chat tools while need for money for therapists could be eased by such virtual self-help groups in a geographically distributed setting. This is because massive word finding problems can sum up typing a simple sentence up to several minutes. We have designed, implemented and preliminary evaluated a new chat tool for such groups. By using the tool aphasics can constantly monitor their communication behavior and in case of difficulties switch to a synchronous talk mode where up to four people can monitor typing letter by letter. Proposal for phrases can be generated by the community to help their member. Therapists and linguistic researchers can also monitor online and offline conversations from automatically generated transcripts.
    Evaluations of an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Training Programme for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities BIBAFull-Text 1032-1038
      Cecilia W. P. Li-Tsang; Chetwyn C. H. Chan; Chow Lam; Christina Hui-Chan; Siu-sze Yeung
    106 persons with intellectual disabilities were recruited for the evaluation of an information and communication technology (ICT) training programme (77 in the experimental and 29 in the control group). The main features of the programme were a specially designed training curriculum with software designed in appropriate language and appropriate levels for people with intellectual disabilities. In the training programme, participants were taught about the operations of mouse and keyboard and browsing the Internet using Internet Explorer (IE). Participants in the control group underwent equal number of hours of ICT training by the staff working in their centers. All participants were assessed on ICT competence at pre- and post-training and one month follow up using a skill-based checklist. Results from repeated measure ANOVA and t-tests showed that participants acquired a higher level of computer competence after training and retained skills within one-month follow-up period, [F (75) = 70.06, p=.000]. For the control group, there was no statistically significant difference in the score on sub-tasks of use of mouse and keyboard [t(28) = 1.51, p > .05], the sub-task of internet browsing [t(28) = 1.00, p > .05] and the overall score [t(28) = .90, p > .05]. Results indicated that persons with intellectual disabilities have the capacity to learn ICT skills in a structured group with appropriate learning assistance and appropriate training tools.
    Effect of Dynamic Features on Diagnostic Testing for Dyspraxia BIBAFull-Text 1039-1046
      M. A. Razian; M. C. Fairhurst; S. Hoque
    In the analysis of shape-based drawing assessment of neurological dysfunction or motor-perceptual functioning, there is a growing awareness of the need to simultaneously measure static and dynamic parameters for diagnosis and therapy-directed assessment of patients suffering or being at risk from such impairments. This is especially the case in evaluating and determining the degree of functional impairment in children exhibiting developmental irregularities such as dyspraxia. The aims of this paper are first, to describe the extraction and investigation of various dynamic features from the standard Visual Motor Integration (VMI) drawing test and determine the most effective features in clustering between three groups of children utilising feature ranking techniques. The second aim is to explore the possibility of reducing the number of geometrical shapes of the VMI test used by clinicians and occupational therapists in conventional evaluation, utilising the most effective dynamic features in diagnosing dyspraxic patients. The third aim is to analyse the effectiveness of static scoring in determining the mental age equivalent when dynamic features are considered by comparing patients of age equivalent similar to the biological age of control subjects.
    Feature Selection Optimisation in an Automated Diagnostic Cancellation Task BIBAFull-Text 1047-1053
      S. Chindaro; R. M. Guest; M. C. Fairhurst; M. A. Razian; J. M. Potter
    This paper describes an investigation into feature selection and classification in the automation of a standard target cancellation task for the diagnosis of visuo-spatial neglect. Alongside a conventional assessment based on the number of targets cancelled, a series of time-based dynamic features have been algorithmically defined which can be extracted by capturing the test subject's response on a graphics tablet connected to a computer. We identify the diagnostic capabilities of the individual features and show that dynamic data contains important indicators for neglect detection. Furthermore, employing standard pattern recognition techniques, we establish the optimum feature vector size and classifier for a multi-feature analysis of a test attempt and show that an improvement in diagnostic error rate is achievable over any single individual feature.
    Minus-Two: Multimedia, Sound Spatialization and 3D Representation for Cognitively Impaired Children BIBAFull-Text 1054-1061
      Thimoty Barbieri; Antonio Bianchi; Licia Sbattella
    Multimedia and Hypermedia technologies can be successfully used in education and rehabilitation for cognitively disabled persons. In particular, storytelling has always proved successfully in creating imaginary worlds that could both protect the child from the difficulties of the outer world and create the conditions to feed new stimuli without causing discomfort. However, traditional storytelling techniques (paper, pencil, the voice of the teacher) sometimes might be vastly improved by using multimedia and hypermedia technologies. The possibility to play different music, to explore spatialized sounds, to record sounds and voices, and the opportunity to play with 3D images within a 3D space using devices as simple as touch screens, may ensure an enhanced level of attention from the children and may give to the teacher new and powerful tools to convey his/her message through the common activity. In this paper we motivate the use of hypermedia educational techniques with cognitively impaired children, outlining the general requirements of an educational framework that might be provided to teachers. We then describe the functioning of a prototype we developed following these requirements, MINUS-TWO: a storytelling environment mainly characterized by a strict cooperation between the child and the teacher or the therapist, by multimodal interaction, sound spatialization and 3D representation. The paper also presents the results we obtained by using these techniques with more than twenty cognitively impaired children.
    Neuropsychological Function for Accessibility of Computer Program for People with Mental Retardation BIBAFull-Text 1062-1068
      Alex W. W. Wong; Chetwyn C. H. Chan; Cecilia W. P. Li-Tsang; Chow S. Lam
    The extent to which people with mental retardation are benefit from the modern information technology is not well explored. A better understanding on ways that the existing human-computer interface would challenge people with mental retardation would shed light on this issue. This study was investigated the neuropsychological functions which are important for enhancing the competence of people with mental retardation to operate on the Internet Explorer (IE) program. Sixty-two participants with mental retardation were invited to conduct a set of neuropsychological tests. Their computer performance was also evaluated. Resulted indicated that some specific neuropsychological functions including attention and visual scanning, psychomotor and language were predictive of their overall computer competence. The implication on ways to improve the design for computer programs for this population was discussed.

    Deaf People: Sign Language and Digital Media

    Accessible Digital Media and Sign Language BIBAFull-Text 1069-1070
      Deborah Fels
    Digital media and the World Wide Web (WWW) are providing unprecedented opportunities for global access to and distribution of information, products, business, and services such as education. In addition, these technologies are providing opportunities for individuals to form new communities, and create and transmit information themselves within a global context.
    Integration of Signage Information into the Web Environment BIBAFull-Text 1071-1078
      Rashad Aouf; Steve Hansen
    This paper outlines an ongoing initiative in broadening accessibility issues of the "deaf community" into the web environment. From a brief overview of the deaf culture this paper goes on to support the viewpoint of cultural interchange rather than "disability". In addition this paper puts forward that there are many aspects arising from signage parsing and display that have direct applications in generic multi-representational user interfaces, such as in multiple language or limited-language-skills interfaces. The paper outlines a current research initiative that is exploring the use of appropriate XML/SMIL-based "wrapping" methodologies to incorporate "intermediate" signage objects such as gesture, speech action, facial emotion (and others) along with other objects such as text, audio, video and "style".
    Progress in Automated Computer Recognition of Sign Language BIBAFull-Text 1079-1087
      Barbara L. Loeding; Sudeep Sarkar; Ayush Parashar; Arthur I. Karshmer
    This paper reviews the extensive state of the art in automated recognition of continuous signs, from different languages, based on the data sets used, features computed, technique used, and recognition rates achieved. We find that, in the past, most work has been done in finger-spelled words and isolated sign recognition, however recently, there has been significant progress in the recognition of signs embedded in short continuous sentences. We also find that researchers are starting to address the important problem of extracting and integrating non-manual information that is present in face and head movement. We present results from our own experiments integrating non-manual features.
    Creating Sign Language Web Pages BIBAFull-Text 1088-1095
      Daniel G. Lee; Jan Richards; Jim Hardman; Sima Soudain; Deborah Fels
    For many people the World Wide Web has become an indispensable tool for work and entertainment. However, for people using sign languages, which convey meaning by gestures moving in time and space, the primarily static and textual nature of the WWW medium has, until now, posed an important challenge. Signing linguistic communities should be able to develop their own signing Webs that include hyperlinks based on moving gestures and signs instead of using static images or text for links. We present a mechanism, signlinks, and a content authoring tool, SignEd., that can facilitate development of such Webs, without requiring any degree of bilingualism with a written language by the user. Preliminary evaluations indicate the users are able to understand and create signlinks for video content. Four major design modifications were made as a result of these evaluations and are presented in this paper.
    Sign Language Communication Support at the Class for Hearing Impaired Using a Control Camera BIBAFull-Text 1096-1098
      Hiroki Minagawa
    Sign language is a visual language, which is difficult to share the information without their view. In the class of Tsukuba College of Technology and the other school for the deaf, there are many efforts to share the sign language presented by a deaf student with other participants. So we attempted a new method to share the sign language by using a camera and a monitor screen. We got some results as "a lecturer and a student can be simultaneously put into a view", "there are few mental and physical loads". However, some problems were left such as the camera control and the way to take and show the sign language video.
    CD-ROM on Austrian Sign Language: Course OEGS 1, Lesson 1-6 BIBAFull-Text 1099-1106
      Marlene Hilzensauer
    Sign language is a visual language for deaf people, using hands, facial expressions and body movements. The Centre for Sign Language and Deaf Communication (ZGH) at the University of Klagenfurt produced a multimedia CD-ROM as a companion to the Beginners' Course in Austrian Sign Language (OEGS) for hearing students. This CD-ROM is the first available electronic course of Austrian Sign Language. It contains dialogues, exercises and games as well as explanations on sign language grammar and hints on Deaf culture, covering more than the first semester of sign language instruction. It is not intended for self-study, but should rather be used as a study tool in connection with a presence course. Special features are its flexible programming, which allows the reuse of the structure for other products, a small authoring tool called "Lesson Manager", and the variety of exercise types.
    Developing an e-Learning Platform for the Greek Sign Language BIBAFull-Text 1107-1113
      E. Efthimiou; G. Sapountzaki; K. Karpouzis; S-E. Fotinea
    In this paper we introduce the characteristics of the educational platform that is being developed within the SYNENNOESE project. The platform integrates avatar and animation technologies, exploiting electronic linguistic resources of the Greek Sign Language (GSL), in order to provide a Greek-to-GSL conversion tool that allows to construct, store and maintain educational material in GSL. Besides reference to tool development in the context of a specific application, emphasis is placed on the adaptability of the Greek-to-GSL converter as a tool in line with the requirement for Universal Access and the Design for All principles in the context of Information Society.
    Design of Computer Animation of Japanese Sign Language for Hearing-Impaired People in Stomach X-Ray Inspection BIBAFull-Text 1114-1120
      Kazunari Morimoto; Takao Kurokawa; Norifumi Isobe; Junichi Miyashita
    The aim of this paper is to examine the effects of JSL (Japanese Sign Language) animation for hearing-impaired people in stomach X-ray inspection, and to improve the system. Evaluation tests were carried out on JSL animation improved based upon referring to the movement of a signer. Results showed that the improved animation has obtained very high ratio in comprehensibility and some important factors for designing JSL animation were indicated to develop the sign animation.
    Basic Study of a Communication Device for the Deaf-Blind Using a Finger and a Palm -- Measurement of Finger Speed and Pressure BIBAFull-Text 1121-1128
      Chikamune Wada; Yasuhiro Wada
    We proposed a device which used palms and fingers as both a transmitter and a receiver of communication for the deaf-blind. Our device would be set on the palm of a deaf-blind person. The movement of the finger would then be detected by the device and sent to a computer. Next, the letters written on the palm would be displayed on a computer screen where non-disabled people could receive the message. For the opposite case, when the deaf-blind received messages from non-disabled people, the letters would be formed on their palms through the use of tactile stimulation. First of all, we attempted to determine which presentation condition most facilitated the correct recognition of Japanese letter. The results are summarized as follows. The optimal pressure could not be determined. Regarding speed, it was postulated that each subject's own speed was optimal, within the range of 4-11cm/s.
    A Tactile Display System in the Use of a PC for Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind BIBAFull-Text 1129-1136
      Masatsugu Sakajiri; Shinich Okada; Kazuyuki Ito; Atsushi Sadakane; Naoki Sugiyama; Hideo Tomita; Tohru Ifukube
    A purpose of this study is to develop a sensory aid system for totally deaf-blind persons who are not Braille users. We developed a tactile display system and also designed special font style for the display. In this paper, we evaluated the font style as well as the tactile display from a viewpoint of the character identification test. It is found that the percent correct answer was more than 90% when ninety-three characters were presented onto the display. This result suggests that it is enough to enable the deaf-blind to understand the presented characters using our tactile display system instead of the Braille display.

    Deaf and Hearing Impaired People: ICT and AT

    Approaches to Using a Wireless Mobile Terminal to Help Severely Hearing Impaired People BIBAFull-Text 1137-1143
      Sangman Moh
    In this paper, new technology-adaptive approaches to using a wireless mobile terminal are presented in order to help severely hearing impaired people, which are remote human translation, remote server translation, and mobile terminal translation. The three step-by-step approaches are to adapt the evolution and feasibility of advanced computer and communication technologies. The first approach can be easily implemented but requires the involvement of human interpreters. The second and third approaches require not only speaker-independent voice recognition but also hand-writing text and sign language recognition. In particular, for the mobile terminal translation scheme, a light-weight, low-power, high-performance, small-sized mobile terminal should be provided to process the computing-centric voice, hand-writing text and sign language recognition on real-time basis. Even though this work is currently at the startup phase, as technology evolves, it will be possible to provide severely hearing impaired people with the context-aware mobile terminals that interpret voice, hand-writing text and sign language on the real-time basis.
    A Preparatory Study for Designing Web-Based Educational Materials for the Hearing-Impaired BIBAFull-Text 1144-1151
      Miki Namatame; Muneo Kitajima; Tomoyuki Nishioka; Fumihiko Fukamauchi
    Our aim is to design web-based interactive educational materials for the hearing-impaired based on their interaction style. We describe the results of an eye-tracking experiment that demonstrates behavioral differences between hearing-impaired and hearing persons when using web-based materials. We found that the hearing-impaired exhibited a smaller strategic scan pattern, and shallower and more intuitive text processing. These findings suggest that the design of web-based educational materials, which currently only consider textual or image substitutes for auditory information, is insufficient for the hearing-impaired.
    FLIPPS: Fingertip Stimulation for Improved Speechreading BIBAFull-Text 1152-1159
      Hans-Heinrich Bothe; Ali F. Mohamad; Martin R. Jensen
    FLIPPS is a new hand-hold tactile stimulation device developed for the improvement of speechreading conversation with or amongst hearing-impaired persons. It makes additional speech information available through multiple fingertip stimulation using power-balanced frequency bands for the vibrator stimulation. FLIPPS is battery-powered, so that it may be used in daily life conversation. The small size allows for pocket use. First field tests indicate the applicability of the device. At the moment, a prototype hardware realization is at hand, which allows for parameter optimization and for further field tests.
    A New Mobile Text Telephony System Based on GPRS Communications BIBAFull-Text 1160-1166
      Santiago Aguilera; Sergio Jiménez; Daniel Bolaños; Mari-Satur Torre; José Colás
    Deaf people have had many difficulties to enjoy the advantages of modern telephone technology up to early days. Since Alexandre Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876, the first text telephones have needed almost a century to appear in the market and to allow deaf people to communicate with others at long distances. In the same way, the design and development of new text telephones using mobile telephony networks have needed time. Nevertheless, nowadays deaf people suffer from a great economical discrimination due to the telephone call cost in many countries. We must consider that a text conversation need much more time if it is compared with voice one and the service rates depended on connection time and not on transmitted data only.
       The system we present is based on GPRS (2.5 G) data mobile communications which considers only the transmitted information for billing and in the text conversations case, this amount of data is very limited and independent of telephone call duration. The terminals used are PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) with Pocket PC or Palm operative system. All the system has been designed using Internet technology (TCP/IP protocol), so it is possible to communicate with several terminals like mobile telephones with TCP/IP stack or PC. In the last case, a client text telephone program has been implemented. In the first case, a WAP text telephone client has been developed by the Spanish Vodafone Foundation which is able to communicate with the PDA text telephone client.
    Head Mounted Display as a Information Guarantee Device for Hearing Impaired Students BIBAFull-Text 1167-1171
      Tomoyuki Nishioka
    Augmented reality (AR), which extends human cognition, is also useful in providing equal accessibility for disabled. Recently, Head Mounted Displays, which is key device of AR technology, become consumer products and easy to obtain. In this paper, feasibility of these products for guaranteeing information for hearing impaired students at lecture in college is examined.
    Facial and Head Movements of a Sign Interpreter and Their Application to Japanese Sign Animation BIBAFull-Text 1172-1177
      Sumihiro Kawano; Takao Kurokawa
    In order to improve communication environments among the hearing impaired and the hearing people, the authors are developing a system translating Japanese into Japanese Sign Language (JSL) and vice versa. We represent the results of translation from Japanese by sign animations. Although JSL is multimodal, the roles of non-manual actions such as facial and head movements are not well known. We analyzed non-manual gestures spoken by a female sign interpreter, and we concluded that facial and head movements conveyed linguistic information on JSL. We carried out an experiment for evaluation of facial and head movements introduced into sign animations. The facial and head movements introduced into the animations had positive effects on recognition of JSL words.
    SYNFACE -- A Talking Head Telephone for the Hearing-Impaired BIBAFull-Text 1178-1185
      Jonas Beskow; Inger Karlsson; Jo Kewley; Giampiero Salvi
    SYNFACE is a telephone aid for hearing-impaired people that shows the lip movements of the speaker at the other telephone synchronised with the speech. The SYNFACE system consists of a speech recogniser that recognises the incoming speech and a synthetic talking head. The output from the recogniser is used to control the articulatory movements of the synthetic head. SYNFACE prototype systems exist for three languages: Dutch, English and Swedish and the first user trials have just started.