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

ICCHP'10: International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs

Fullname:ICCHP'10: Computers Helping People with Special Needs: 12th International Conference, Part II
Editors:Klaus Miesenberger; Joachim Klaus; Wolfgang Zagler; Arthur Karshmer
Location:Vinna, Austria
Dates:2010-Jul-14 to 2010-Jul-16
Publisher:Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Series:Lecture Notes in Computer Science 6180
Standard No:DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-14100-3; ISBN: 978-3-642-14099-0 (print), 978-3-642-14100-3 (online); hcibib: ICCHP10
Links:Conference Website | Online Proceedings
  1. ICCHP 2010-07-14 Volume 2
    1. People with Specific Learning and Cognitive Problems: ICT, AT and HCI
    2. People with Motor Disabilities: HCI and Rehabilitation
    3. People with Motor Disabilities: How to Improve Text Input
    4. Deaf and Hard of Hearing People: Accessible Information and Education
    5. Deaf People: AT for Sign Language
    6. Blind and Partially Sighted People: Mobility and Interaction without Sight
    7. Blind and Partially Sighted People: Rehabilitation and Social Skills
    8. Blind and Partially Sighted People: HCI
    9. Blind and Partially Sighted People: Access to Mathematics
    10. Blind and Partially Sighted People: Designing Haptic Interaction for a Collaborative World
    11. Blind and Partially Sighted People: Three-Dimensional Tactile Models for Blind People and Recognition of 3D Objects by Touch
    12. Ageing: HCI Usability (HCI4AGING)

ICCHP 2010-07-14 Volume 2

People with Specific Learning and Cognitive Problems: ICT, AT and HCI

Methodological Considerations for Involving SpLD Practitioners and Specialists in Designing Interactive Learning Systems BIBAKFull-Text 1-4
  Latifa Al-Abdulkarim; Areej Al-Wabil; Maha Al-Yahya; Abeer Al-Humaimeedy; et al
User involvement in designing learning environments to support individuals with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) is essential, particularly in inadequately examined languages such as Arabic. Three interactive systems to support students with SpLDs, two for students with dyslexia and one for students with dyscalculia were developed in a design-based research approach. In this paper, we describe a number of user involvement issues that emerged in the context of developing interactive learning systems for children with SpLDs in Arabic-speaking target populations. Findings indicate that language, context and culture emerge as challenges in creative and exploratory design approaches. Some of the ways these challenges have been approached are outlined.
Keywords: SpLD; Dyslexia; Arabic Software
Involving Users in the Design of ICT Aimed to Improve Education, Work, and Leisure for Users with Intellectual Disabilities BIBAKFull-Text 5-12
  Emanuela Mazzone; Emmanuelle Gutiérrez y Restrepo; Carmen Barrera; Cecile Finat; et al
In this paper we describe different research projects involving users with intellectual disabilities. All these projects aim to enhance daily life activities and make their social integration possible, as the use of interactive technologies plays a significant role in supporting their independence. The users' participation throughout the design process was essential for achieving a usable and accessible product. We conclude by underlying the importance of adopting a user centred design methodology for the specific user group and the potential of an adaptive system to improve their learning experience.
Keywords: Accessibility; Adaptability; Usability; e-learning; independent life
PDA Software Aimed at Improving Workplace Adaptation for People with Cognitive Disabilities BIBAKFull-Text 13-20
  Alberto Ferreras; Juan-Manuel Belda; Ricard Barberà; Rakel Poveda; Miguel Urra; et al
This article presents the objectives, methodology and results of a project aimed at improving personal autonomy and adaptation to the workplace of people with cognitive disabilities. These people may have difficulties to be independent in various areas of life, especially at the workplace. Many of these problems are related to issues such as time control, independence in performing tasks, work habits, interpersonal communication, etc. To promote autonomy in these areas, the tool GTT (Time and Task Manager) has been developed. This is a software application running on a mobile device (a mobile phone or PDA) aiming to ease the adaptation to the workplace of people with cognitive disabilities through tutoring tasks, major event management and strengthening of key aspects of work.
Keywords: Workplace adaptation; personal autonomy; software tool; cognitive disabilities; Personal Digital Assistant (PDA); mobile phone
EasyICT: A Framework for Measuring ICT-Skills of People with Cognitive Disabilities BIBAFull-Text 21-24
  Jan Dekelver; Tim Vannuffelen; Joan De Boeck
Over the last decade, the basic skills to operate a computer (ICT skills) are an essential requirement to participate in the current digital era. People not possessing these skills are likely to miss access to education, entertainment, business and social life. In particular for people with cognitive limitations, this is a real threat. In the EasyICT project, we aimed at the development of a training and assessment framework, supported by an on-line tool. Using this tool youngsters with mental disabilities can be systematically tested for their ICT skills. As a result, they receive a report and additional training material in order to improve their skills.
Towards an Interactive Screening Program for Developmental Dyslexia: Eye Movement Analysis in Reading Arabic Texts BIBAKFull-Text 25-32
  Areej Al-Wabil; Maha Al-Sheaha
In this paper, we describe how eyetracking has been used in exploratory experiments to inform the design of screening tests for dyslexic students by examining their eye gaze while reading Arabic texts. Findings reveal differences in the intensity of eye gaze and reading patterns between dyslexic readers and non-dyslexic controls. Dyslexics consistently exhibited longer fixation durations, shorter saccades, and more regressions. Moreover, results suggest that eye movement patterns are a reflection of the cognitive processes occurring during reading of texts in both Arabic deep and shallow orthographies. Applicability of eye movement analysis in investigating the nature of the reading problems and tailoring interventions to the particular needs of individuals with dyslexia is discussed.
Keywords: Dyslexia; Eye tracking; Arabic; Learning Difficulties; SpLD
Developing a Multimedia Environment to Aid in Vocalization for People on the Autism Spectrum: A User-Centered Design Approach BIBAKFull-Text 33-36
  Areej Al-Wabil; Hadeel Al-Shabanat; Rawan Al-Sarrani; Manal Al-Khonin
This paper outlines the analysis and design stages of an interactive multimedia environment for encouraging vocalization of people with autism. We described the user-centered design approach for involving users in different roles in the design of an Arabic interactive rehabilitation tool adapted to the needs of speech therapy programs used in the local context. Needs analysis included exploratory surveys and interviews conducted to understand how technology can help in encouraging the vocalization of children with autism. The design stage involved iterative development with prototype evaluations with specialists to refine system functionality and ensure the accessibility and usability of the system. Insights from involving users in different roles are described.
Keywords: Autism; User-Centered Design; Vocalization; Arabic; Multimedia
The Performance of Mouse Proficiency for Adolescents with Intellectual Disabilities BIBAKFull-Text 37-44
  Ting-Fang Wu; Ming-Chung Chen; Chi-Fen Wu
Information and computer technology has grown rapidly and played an essential role in our education, vocation, and daily life. However, for students with intellectual disabilities, effective cursor control is challenged. The purpose of this study is to investigate the performance of mouse control of 10 adolescents with intellectual disabilities compared with their aged peer. A mouse proficiency assessment software was utilized to collect the data. The results indicated that the adolescents with intellectual disabilities who had mouse using experience do not perform as efficient as their peers without disabilities, although they could use the mouse with high accuracy rates. The adolescents with intellectual disabilities spend less reaction time, longer total time and movement time, larger ratio of PL/TA, more movement units to complete pointing and clicking tasks. The results provide essential reference for designers of computer assisted learning software when developing e-learning material for adolescents with intellectual disabilities.
Keywords: students with intellectual disabilities; pointing and clicking tasks; cursor control
When Words Fall Short: Helping People with Aphasia to Express BIBAKFull-Text 45-48
  Tom Koppenol; Abdullah Al Mahmud; Jean-Bernard Martens
In this paper we present the design of an application that helps people with expressive aphasia to express their feelings and share information through digital photographs. Our design is based on feedback from the therapist and persons with aphasia and their partners. The preliminary prototypes are evaluated with persons with aphasia and their partners. The concept is well accepted by the aphasics and it could be easily used during therapy and post-therapy period.
Keywords: Aphasia; design; storytelling; digital photos; communication

People with Motor Disabilities: HCI and Rehabilitation

MarkerMouse: Mouse Cursor Control Using a Head-Mounted Marker BIBAKFull-Text 49-56
  Rados Javanovic; Ian Scott MacKenzie
We propose MarkerMouse, an inexpensive method for controlling the mouse cursor using a web cam and a marker placed on the user's forehead. Two modes of cursor control were compared: position-control and velocity-control. In position-control mode the cursor is positioned where the user's head is pointing. In velocity-control mode the mouse cursor moves in a constant speed in the direction the user's head is pointing. In an experiment designed according to ISO 9241-9, we found a mean throughput 1.61 bps in position-control mode. Throughput was 34% less, or 1.07 bps, in velocity-control mode. We explain how from the marker image we control the mouse cursor position and reduce noise in our computations.
Keywords: User interfaces; cursor control; web cam; marker tracking; head position tracking; head-operated mouse; mouse emulation; ISO 9241-9
Using Triaxial Acceleration Sensors as Input Devices for Disabled Persons BIBAKFull-Text 57-60
  Matthias Söllner; Philipp Hofmann; Josef Pösl
We propose the use of triaxial acceleration sensors as input devices for disabled persons. The use of accelerometers for interacting with computer systems is explained. Different possible applications are shown. Experiments with a commercially available sensor module are presented. Problems are discussed and future improvements are suggested.
Keywords: triaxial acceleration sensor; input device; disabled persons
Canceling Interference Caused by Tremors in Joystick Controller: Study Case in a Power Wheelchair BIBAKFull-Text 61-68
  Ludmila Correa de Alkmin Silva; Fernanda Cristina Corrêa; et al
People with disabilities such as Parkinson's, Holmess or other disease have difficulty operating conventional joysticks because of the tremor. This paper will present a study of the joystick control for the minimization of this tremor. For this minimization, different types filter and control were study and compared. These controls were tested in a wheelchair laboratory to see the behavior of the wheelchair with diferent inputs. Simulation results were presented to show the tremor cancel as well as the performance of the control development. With this results is possible to develop new products for people with special needs and to develop better controls for people with tremor hand.
Keywords: wheelchair; dynamics; vehicle model; tremor; control
Developing Rehabilitation Robots for the Brain Injured BIBAKFull-Text 69-76
  Paul Gnanayutham; Jennifer George
Although rehabilitation robotics have been used for helping disabled persons in various areas of disability, such as stroke rehabilitation, very little research has been done with the brain injured persons and robotics. This paper discusses the implementation of a simple model, which consists of brain body interface, a computer, an interface program and an electronic circuit to interface the computer to a robotic arm. This was an exploratory research that was carried out that allowed a brain-injured person to do simple tasks using robotic arms. This paper also looks at rehabilitation robotics both past and present. The paper goes on to explore the new avenues available to enhance this exploratory research. In this paper, we take the brain body interface communications a step further where the brain injured persons will not only communicate but will also be able to do simple tasks.
Keywords: Rehabilitation; Robot; Brain Injury; Cyberlink™ ; Brain Body Interface; Brain Computer Interface
A Rehabilitation Method with Visual and Haptic Guidance for Children with Upper Extremity Disability BIBAKFull-Text 77-84
  Kup-Sze Choi; Chum-Ming Chow; King-Hung Lo
Activities of daily living present difficulties to children with upper extremity disabilities. Among the activities, handwriting is considered essential to the children, and occupational therapy is important for them to adapt to the required motor skills. In this paper, a virtual-reality based system is developed for training fine motor skills in the context of writing Chinese characters. A haptic device equipped with a pen-like stylus is employed as user interface. Haptic cues in the form of feedback forces are provided through the device to drag the child's hand towards the correct path and direction. Real-time quantitative measurements can be recorded to allow for data analysis and performance tracking.
Keywords: hand rehabilitation; motor skills; virtual reality; haptic feedback; Chinese handwriting
SSVEP Based Brain-Computer Interface for Robot Control BIBAKFull-Text 85-90
  Rupert Ortner; Christoph Guger; Robert Prueckl; Engelbert Grünbacher; Günter Edlinger
A brain computer interface (BCI) using steady state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP) is presented. EEG was derived from 3 subjects to test the suitability of SSVEPs for robot control. To calculate features and to classify the EEG data Minimum Energy and Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) with linear discriminant analysis (LDA) were used. Finally the change rate (fluctuation of the classification result) and the majority weight of the analysis algorithms were calculated to increase the robustness and to provide a zero-class classification. The implementation was tested with a robot that was able to move forward, backward, to the left and to the right and to stop. A high accuracy was achieved for all commands. Of special interest is that the robot stopped with high reliability if the subject did not watch at the stimulation LEDs and therefore successfully zero-class recognition was implemented.
Keywords: SSVEP; BCI; robot control

People with Motor Disabilities: How to Improve Text Input

Text Composing Software for Disabled People, Using Blink and Motion Detection BIBAKFull-Text 91-97
  Philipp Hofmann; Matthias Söllner; Josef Pösl
We present a PC software to give disabled persons the possibility of writing texts without mouse and keyboard. Single letters and words are presented, scrolling over the screen. The suggested words are chosen from a self-learning database by frequency of their use. Although different kinds of binary input signals can be used, we focused on blink detection for choosing letters and words. Algorithms based on Haar Cascades are used for finding the eyes. We aim on low-cost realisation, therefore a state-of-the-art Windows based computer and a commercially available webcam is used. As an alternative input device we used a acceleration sensor for motion detection. We could successfully demonstrate quick text writing with different test persons.
Keywords: text composing; blink detection; acceleration sensor; OpenCV; disabled persons
Augmented and Alternative Communication System Based on Dasher Application and an Accelerometer BIBAKFull-Text 98-103
  Isabel Gómez; Pablo Anaya; Rafael Cabrera; Alberto Molina; Octavio Rivera; et al
This paper describes a system composed by predictive text input software called "Dasher" and a hardware used to connect an accelerometer to the computer. The main goal of this work is to allow people with motor disabilities to have a flexible and cheap way to communicate. The accelerometer can be placed on any body part depending on user preferences. For this reason calibration functionality has been added to dasher software. The calibration process is easy and requires only some minutes but it is necessary in order to allow system can be used in different ways. Tests have been carried out by placing the accelerometer on the head. A rate of 26 words per minute is reached.
Keywords: dasher; accelerometer; open and flexible system; text input
Evaluation of WordTree System with Motor Disabled Users BIBAKFull-Text 104-111
  Georges Badr; Mathieu Raynal
In this paper we propose a novel interaction technique to use with a prediction list. Our aim is to optimize the use of this assistive aid. A prediction list is generally used to reduce effort by presenting a list of candidate words that may continue the prefix of the user. However, this technique presents a disadvantage: sometimes the word that the user is aiming to write is not presented in the list. The user has to continue his typing manually. Our technique allows the user to click on any letter in a word of the list so that the substring from this letter is inserted in the text. We also present the experiments carried out to compare our system to the classical list.
Keywords: Soft keyboard; interaction; word list prediction; motor disabled people
Evaluation of SpreadKey System with Motor Impaired Users BIBAKFull-Text 112-119
  Bruno Merlin; Mathieu Raynal
We recently presented a new soft keyboard: SpreadKey. The keyboard is based on a QWERTY layout and dynamically recycles the needless characters. The needless characters are determines by a predictive system in function of the previous input characters. The recycling aims at providing several times the characters with a high probability to be typed. This article resume the concept of SpreadKey and explain the experimentation we conduct to evaluate its. The experimental results show that SpreadKey is an interesting solution to assist motor impaired users (with motor impairment of the superior limbs) in the text input task.
Keywords: Text entry; Fitts' law; soft keyboard; assistive technology
An Integrated Text Entry System Design for Severe Physical Disabilities BIBAKFull-Text 120-127
  Yun-Lung Lin; Ming-Chung Chen; Yao-Ming Yeh; Chih-Ching Yeh
Text entry is an important and prerequisite skill for people to utilize the computer information technology; however, people with severe physical disabilities need appropriated text entry system to interact with computer. The authors designed a text entry system which integrated on-screen keyboarding and encoding technique. Furthermore, this integrated text entry system provided learning strategy and on-screen keyboard layout adaption tools. This study also introduced the effect of the application of this text entry system on two clients with severe physical disabilities. The results demonstrated that the text entry system benefited the clients.
Keywords: text entry; severe physical disabilities; on-screen keyboard; encoding technique
Qanti: A Software Tool for Quick Ambiguous Non-standard Text Input BIBAKFull-Text 128-135
  Torsten Felzer; Ian Scott MacKenzie; Philipp Beckerle; Stephan Rinderknecht
This paper introduces a single-key text entry application for users with severe physical impairments. The tool combines the idea of a scanning ambiguous keyboard (which promises unusually high entry rates) with intentional muscle contractions as input signals (which require much less physical effort compared to key presses). In addition to the program architecture, the paper presents the results of several evaluations with participants with and without disabilities. An entry speed of 6.59 wpm was achieved.
Keywords: Human-computer interaction; scanning; ambiguous keyboards; intentional muscle contractions
A Prototype Scanning System with an Ambiguous Keyboard and a Predictive Disambiguation Algorithm BIBAKFull-Text 136-139
  Julio Miró-Borrás; Pablo Bernabeu-Soler; Raul Llinares; Jorge Igual
This paper presents a prototype single-switch scanning system with a four-key ambiguous keyboard. The keyboard consists of only three keys for letters and an additional key for editing and extra functions. The letter-to-key assignment is based on the shapes of lowercase consonants, and vowels are alphabetically distributed among the keys. An adaptation of the "one-key with disambiguation" algorithm has been used to increase text entry speed. The system has been implemented for Spanish language.
Keywords: Ambiguous Keyboards; Scanning Systems; Text Entry; AAC
An Ambiguous Keyboard Based on "Character Graphical Association" for the Severely Physically Handicapped BIBAKFull-Text 140-143
  Julio Miró-Borrás; Pablo Bernabeu-Soler; Raul Llinares; Jorge Igual
Ambiguous keyboards can be used instead of scan matrices in Scanning Systems in order to increase the text entry rate. We present a novel alternative to assigning letters to keys by taking into consideration the shapes of lowercase letters in order to create simple layouts, leading to families of keyboards with 2, 3 and 4 keys. We have chosen the best 3-key layout using a single switch scanning system and a word level disambiguation algorithm with a 10,911 word dictionary and we have tested it. We predict 16.6 wpm for an expert user with a 0.5 second scan period.
Keywords: Ambiguous Keyboards; Scanning Systems; Text Entry; AAC

Deaf and Hard of Hearing People: Accessible Information and Education

The Deaf and Online Comprehension Texts, How Can Technology Help? BIBAKFull-Text 144-151
  Simona Ottaviano; Gianluca Merlo; Antonella Chifari; Giuseppe Chiazzese; Luciano Seta; et al
This paper focuses on metacognition and reading comprehension processes in hearing impaired students, as deafness causes a number of linguistic difficulties, affecting the comprehension and production of written text and reducing interest in reading. Then a web tool called Gym2Learn is described and the results of a single-subject-design are discussed. In conclusion, the effects of this system on deaf students' learning performance are highlighted.
Keywords: Hearing impaired; Web tool; Metacognition
Extraction of Displayed Objects Corresponding to Demonstrative Words for Use in Remote Transcription BIBAFull-Text 152-159
  Yoshinori Takeuchi; Hajime Ohta; Noboru Ohnishi; Daisuke Wakatsuki; Hiroki Minagawa
A previously proposed system for extracting target objects displayed during lectures by using demonstrative words and phrases and pointing gestures has now been evaluated. The system identifies pointing gestures by analyzing the trajectory of the stick pointer and extracts the objects to which the speaker points. The extracted objects are displayed on the transcriber's monitor at a remote location, thereby helping the transcriber to translate the demonstrative word or phrase into a short description of the object. Testing using video of an actual lecture showed that the system had a recall rate of 85.7% and precision of 84.8%. Testing using two extracted scenes showed that transcribers replaced significantly more demonstrative words with short descriptions of the target objects when the extracted objects were displayed on the transcriber's screen. A transcriber using this system can thus transcribe speech more easily and produce more meaningful transcriptions for hearing-impaired listeners.
E-Scribe: Ubiquitous Real-Time Speech Transcription for the Hearing-Impaired BIBAKFull-Text 160-168
  Zdenek Bumbalek; Jan Zelenka; Lukas Kencl
Availability of real-time speech transcription anywhere, anytime, represents a potentially life-changing opportunity for the hearing-impaired to improve their communication capability. We present e-Scribe, a prototype web-based online centre for real-time speech transcription for the hearing-impaired, which provides ubiquitous access to speech transcription utilizing contemporary communication technologies.
Keywords: Hearing-Impaired; Real-Time Text; Voice over IP
SportSign: A Service to Make Sports News Accessible to Deaf Persons in Sign Languages BIBAKFull-Text 169-176
  Achraf Othman; Oussama El Ghoul; Mohamed Jemni
Sports are important in the life of deaf, as well as hearing persons, on physical, social and mental levels. However, despite that there exist many deaf sports organization in the world, the announcement of sports' results and actualities is still done by written or vocal languages. In this context, we propose a Web based application to edit and diffuse sports news in sign languages. The system uses the technology of avatar and it is based on WebSign kernel developed by our research Laboratory of Technologies of Information and Communication (UTIC). Information is broadcasted using MMS containing video on sign languages and also published in SportSign's Web site.
Keywords: Sport; Deaf; Sign Language
Synote: Accessible and Assistive Technology Enhancing Learning for All Students BIBAFull-Text 177-184
  Mike Wald
Although manual transcription and captioning can increase the accessibility of multimedia for deaf students it is rarely provided in educational contexts in the UK due to the cost and shortage of highly skilled and trained stenographers. Speech recognition has the potential to reduce the cost and increase the availability of captioning if it could satisfy accuracy and readability requirements. This paper discusses how Synote, a web application for annotating and captioning multimedia, can enhance learning for all students and how, finding ways to improve the accuracy and readability of automatic captioning, can encourage its widespread adoption and so greatly benefit disabled students.
Teaching English to Deaf Adults: "SignOnOne" -- An Online Course for Beginners BIBAKFull-Text 185-192
  Marlene Hilzensauer
A basic knowledge of English is indispensable nowadays. While there are many courses for hearing people, there are few aimed at deaf people who use a national sign language as their first or preferred language. This paper describes "SignOnOne", a two-year Grundtvig project which is a follow-up to "SignOn!" (Internet English for the Deaf). "SignOnOne" teaches English for beginners with sign language as language of instruction. This allows the deaf users to access the course directly (the written language of their country is often a first foreign language). The target group are deaf adults, who can use the course in class but also explore English on their own. This online course will be accessible free-of-charge via the Internet homepage of the project without any log-in or download.
Keywords: sign language; deaf and hearing-impaired people; e-learning; accessibility; ICT; multimedia; deaf bilingualism; EFL

Deaf People: AT for Sign Language

A Web Based Platform for Sign Language Corpus Creation BIBAKFull-Text 193-199
  Davide Barberis; Nicola Garazzino; Elio Piccolo; Paolo Prinetto; Gabriele Tiotto
This paper presents the design and implementation issues of a tool for the annotation of sign language based on speech recognition. It is at his first version of stable development and it was designed within the Automatic Translation into Sign Languages (ATLAS) project. The tool can be used to gather data from the language for corpus creation and stores information in a Multilanguage Multimedia Archive. The objective is to create a corpus of Italian Sign Language for supporting an automatic translation system that visualizes signs by means of a virtual character. The tool allows the user to search for media content related to signs and stores metadata about the translation and annotation processes.
Keywords: Accessibility; Sign Language; Annotation; Language Formal Representation; Annotation Editor
Context Analysis of Universal Communication through Local Sign Languages Applying Multivariate Analysis BIBAKFull-Text 200-204
  Naotsune Hosono; Hiromitsu Inoue; Yuji Nagashima
This paper discusses universal communication with ICONs or pictograms in the field of assistive technology (AT) with human centred design (HCD) and context analysis by Persona model. Typical two personas are created as a deaf person in an emergency and a travelling woman from Hong Kong. Then scenarios like diary are written and about 40 words are selected as minimum communication words in the dialogue. Several local sign languages of related selected words are referred in order to investigate universal signs. For this purpose a sensory evaluation method with multivariate analysis is applied. The outcome is plotted on one plane with relationships of subjects and samples of several local sign languages. Through proposed method by sensory evaluation, the relationship between fundamental words and local sign languages are initially explained.
Keywords: assistive technology (AT); human centred design (HCD); context of use; Persona model; sign language
Toward Automatic Sign Language Recognition from Web3D Based Scenes BIBAKFull-Text 205-212
  Kabil Jaballah; Mohamed Jemni
This paper describes the development of a 3D continuous sign language recognition system. Since many systems like WebSign[1], Vsigns[2] and eSign[3] are using Web3D standards to generate 3D signing avatars, 3D signed sentences are becoming common. Hidden Markov Models is the most used method to recognize sign language from video-based scenes, but in our case, since we are dealing with well formatted 3D scenes based on H-anim and X3D standards, Hidden Markov Models (HMM) is a too costly double stochastic process. We present a novel approach for sign language recognition using Longest Common Subsequence method. Our recognition experiments were based on a 500 signs lexicon and reach 99% of accuracy.
Keywords: Sign Language; X3D/VRML; Gesture recognition; Web3D scenes; H-Anim; Virtual reality
Introducing Arabic Sign Language for Mobile Phones BIBAKFull-Text 213-220
  Hend S. Al-Khalifa
With the wide spread of smart mobile phones equipped with advanced processing power among deaf people, the need for utilizing these devices to serve the deaf people requirements is becoming an evolving research trend. In this paper we present the idea of a portable Arabic sign language translator for mobile phones to convert typed Arabic text to sign language animation using 3D signer avatar. This will empower people with hearing disability by using their mobile phones to bridge the divide between them and the hearing people.
Keywords: Sign Language; Arabic Language; Mobile phones; Hearing Impaired; Usability
Sign Language Interpreter Module: Accessible Video Retrieval with Subtitles BIBAKFull-Text 221-228
  Primoz Kosec; Matjaz Debevc; Andreas Holzinger
In this paper, we introduce a new approach to the integration of sign language on the Web. Written information is presented by a Sign Language Interpreter Module (SLI Module). The improvement in comparison to state-of-the-art solutions on the Web is that our sign language video has a transparent background and is shown over the existing web page. The end user can activate the video playback by clicking on an interactive icon. The mechanism also provides a simplified approach to enable accessibility requirements of existing web pages. In addition, the subtitles are stored externally in the Timed Text Authoring Format (TTAF), which is a candidate for recommendation by the W3C community. Empirical results from our evaluation study showed that the prototype was well accepted and was pleasant to use.
Keywords: Web; Multimedia; Video; Sign Language; Subtitles; Deaf; Hard of hearing; Human-Computer Interaction (HCI); Usability Engineering

Blind and Partially Sighted People: Mobility and Interaction without Sight

Real-Time Walk Light Detection with a Mobile Phone BIBAKFull-Text 229-234
  Volodymyr Ivanchenko; James Coughlan; Huiying Shen
Crossing an urban traffic intersection is one of the most dangerous activities of a blind or visually impaired person's travel. Building on past work by the authors on the issue of proper alignment with the crosswalk, this paper addresses the complementary issue of knowing when it is time to cross. We describe a prototype portable system that alerts the user in real time once the Walk light is illuminated. The system runs as a software application on an off-the-shelf Nokia N95 mobile phone, using computer vision algorithms to analyze video acquired by the built-in camera to determine in real time if a Walk light is currently visible. Once a Walk light is detected, an audio tone is sounded to alert the user. Experiments with a blind volunteer subject at urban traffic intersections demonstrate proof of concept of the system, which successfully alerted the subject when the Walk light appeared.
Keywords: blindness; visual impairment; traffic intersection; pedestrian signals
An Ultrasonic Blind Guidance System for Street Crossings BIBAKFull-Text 235-238
  Satoshi Hashino; Sho Yamada
This paper addresses the technical feasibility of a guidance system based on ultrasonic sensors to aid visually impaired people to cross a road easily and safely. A computer processes ultrasonic signals emitted by a transmitter, which is carried by the impaired user, and provides real-time information on the direction and distance to keep user on the correct track. Instead of time of flight, the system estimates user position by the order of received ultrasonic signals at multiple receivers. Experimental results are presented to discuss feasibility of this method.
Keywords: guidance system; ultrasonic sensor; cross-correlation
Pedestrian Navigation System Using Tone Gradient and Robotic GIS BIBAKFull-Text 239-246
  Takafumi Ienaga; Yukinobu Sugimura; Yoshihiko Kimuro; Chikamune Wada
In this study, we propose a new type of pedestrian navigation system for the visually impaired, and which uses "grid maps of accumulated costs" and "tone gradient" techniques. And, we developed the navigation system using a platform called "The RT-middleware". The developed system was demonstrated at an exhibition of welfare equipments and devices in Japan. And more, we conducted an experiment to evaluate our method for navigation. The results of the experiment suggested that our method was more comprehensible than a method using the oral explanations. And, the results also suggested that the pedestrians felt safer during walk with our method than the oral explanation method.
Keywords: Tone Gradient; R-GIS; Visually Impaired; RFID; RT- middleware
MOST-NNG: An Accessible GPS Navigation Application Integrated into the MObile Slate Talker (MOST) for the Blind BIBAFull-Text 247-254
  Norbert Márkus; András Arató; Zoltán Juhász; Gábor Bognár; László Késmárki
Over the recent years, GPS navigation has been attracting a growing attention among the visually impaired. This is because assistive technologies can obviously be based on commercially available solutions, as the GPS capable hand-held devices entered the size range of the ordinary mobile phones, and are available at an ever more affordable price, now providing a real choice for a wider audience. For many, an accessible GPS navigator has even become an indispensable tool, an integral part of their every-day life. Since the most appropriate (or at least the most favored) device type for GPS navigation is the so-called PDA, whose user interface is dominated by a touch screen and usually lacks any keyboard, accessibility for the blind remains an issue. This issue has successfully been tackled by the MOST-NNG project in which, the MObile Slate Talker's blind-friendly user interface has been combined with Hungary's leading iGO navigator.
Improving Computer Vision-Based Indoor Wayfinding for Blind Persons with Context Information BIBAKFull-Text 255-262
  YingLi Tian; Chucai Yi; Aries Arditi
There are more than 161 million visually impaired people in the world today, of which 37 million are blind. Camera-based computer vision systems have the potential to assist blind persons to independently access unfamiliar buildings. Signs with text play a very important role in identification of bathrooms, exits, office doors, and elevators. In this paper, we present an effective and robust method of text extraction and recognition to improve computer vision-based indoor wayfinding. First, we extract regions containing text information from indoor signage with multiple colors and complex background and then identify text characters in the extracted regions by using the features of size, aspect ratio and nested edge boundaries. Based on the consistence of distances between two neighboring characters in a text string, the identified text characters have been normalized before they are recognized by using off-the-shelf optical character recognition (OCR) software products and output as speech for blind users.
Keywords: Indoor navigation and wayfinding; indoor; computer vision; text extraction; optical character recognition (OCR)
Computer Vision-Based Door Detection for Accessibility of Unfamiliar Environments to Blind Persons BIBAFull-Text 263-270
  Yingli Tian; Xiaodong Yang; Aries Arditi
Doors are significant landmarks for indoor wayfinding and navigation to assist blind people accessing unfamiliar environments. Most camera-based door detection algorithms are limited to familiar environments where doors demonstrate known and similar appearance features. In this paper, we present a robust image-based door detection algorithm based on doors' general and stable features (edges and corners) instead of appearance features (color, texture, etc). A generic geometric door model is built to detect doors by combining edges and corners. Furthermore, additional geometric information is employed to distinguish doors from other objects with similar size and shape (e.g. bookshelf, cabinet, etc). The robustness and generalizability of the proposed detection algorithm are evaluated against a challenging database of doors collected from a variety of environments over a wide range of colors, textures, occlusions, illuminations, scale, and views.
Development and Installation of Programmable Light-Emitting Braille Blocks BIBAKFull-Text 271-274
  Makoto Kobayashi; Hiroshi Katoh
A set of programmable light-emitting Braille blocks which comprise of LEDs were developed. They paved on the approach in front of the main building in the campus of Tsukuba University of Technology. Originally the Braille bocks are useful for the blind, but it also is available for the low-visions. With light-emitting functions, Braille blocks can be good walking guide for them even in the night. These blocks have each ID number and its luminance can be controlled in eight levels. Most remarkable feature is that the program which controls illuminating timing and the brightness is rewritable. By that feature, these blocks became an emergency guide system by changing the animation patterns.
Keywords: Braille blocks; LED; Low-vision; emergency guide system
FLIPPS for the Blind -- An Object Detector for Medium Distances Using Concerted Fingertip Stimulation BIBAKFull-Text 275-281
  Hans-Heinrich Bothe; Sermed Al-Hamdani
The idea of FLIPPS is to design, implement, and evaluate a vibro-tactile device that is composed of a photo diode, vibro-tactile stimulator, microcontroller and power supply. The stimulator is attached to the finger tip and activated when light illumination exceeds a defined threshold. The subject (blind person) receives the reflected light from the objects and, based on brain plasticity principles, can interactively learn to construct a mental image of the objects and of the scenery. The FLIPPS idea is based on sensory substitution theory; here, substituting visual inputs by haptic vibrations.
Keywords: Haptic stimulation; vibro-tactile stimulation; sound source localization; sensory substitution; scene analysis; visually impaired
Camera Based Target Acquisition Augmented with Phosphene Sensations BIBAFull-Text 282-289
  Tatiana G. Evreinova; Grigori Evreinov; Roope Raisamo
This paper presents the results of evaluation of the user performance in the target acquisition task using camera-mouse real time face tracking technique augmented with phosphene-based guiding signals. The underlying assumption was that during non-visual inspection of the virtual workspace (screen area), the transcutaneous electrical stimulation of the optic nerve can be considered as alternative feedback when the visual ability is low or absent. The performance of the eight blindfolded subjects was evaluated. The experimental findings show that the camera-based target acquisition augmented with phosphene sensations is an efficient input technique when visual information is not available.
A Mobile Phone Application Enabling Visually Impaired Users to Find and Read Product Barcodes BIBAFull-Text 290-295
  Ender Tekin; James M. Coughlan
While there are many barcode readers available for identifying products in a supermarket or at home on mobile phones (e.g., Red Laser iPhone app), such readers are inaccessible to blind or visually impaired persons because of their reliance on visual feedback from the user to center the barcode in the camera's field of view. We describe a mobile phone application that guides a visually impaired user to the barcode on a package in real-time using the phone's built-in video camera. Once the barcode is located by the system, the user is prompted with audio signals to bring the camera closer to the barcode until it can be resolved by the camera, which is then decoded and the corresponding product information read aloud using text-to-speech. Experiments with a blind volunteer demonstrate proof of concept of our system, which allowed the volunteer to locate barcodes which were then translated to product information that was announced to the user. We successfully tested a series of common products, as well as user-generated barcodes labeling household items that may not come with barcodes.
A Model to Develop Videogames for Orientation and Mobility BIBAKFull-Text 296-303
  Jaime Sánchez; Luis Guerrero; Mauricio Sáenz; Héctor Flores
There is a real need to have systems for people with visual disabilities to be able to improve their orientation and mobility skills, and especially for children to be able to improve their autonomy into the future. However, these systems must be designed according to available objectives, methodologies and resources, as well as by taking the interests and ways of interacting of the end users into account. This work presents a model for the development of videogame-based applications, which includes differing levels of abstraction and different stages in the design and development of systems that allow for the improvement of orientation and mobility skills for people with visual disability. The feasibility of the model was studied by modeling two videogames for children with visual disabilities.
Keywords: Software engineering model; serious videogames; orientation and mobility; audiogames
Underestimated Cerebral Visual Impairment Requires Innovative Thinking When Using AT BIBAKFull-Text 304-307
  Michael Cyrus; Frank Lunde
The impact of cerebral visual impairment (CVI) obviously is widely underestimated and knowledge about CVI is not widespread. This article illustrates in which way the dysfunction of visually guided handmovements as well as simultaneous attention demands rethinking hardware design especially of input devices. CVI dysfunctions are manifold and special software is needed. The challenges of some aspects of CVI may be met by everyday hardware as modern smartphones providing numerous software which might show to be useful, even if designed for other purposes than CVI-rehabilitation. It is possible that useful software is already created (or may be created) when the open system invites to creative program development from the public. The role of user centered design should therefore be given more attention.
Keywords: CVI (cerebral visual impairment); visually guided hand movements; simultaneous attention; writing difficulties; user centered design; alternative input devices; iPod

Blind and Partially Sighted People: Rehabilitation and Social Skills

Eye Tracking for Low Vision Aids -- Toward Guiding of Gaze BIBAKFull-Text 308-315
  Yasuyuki Murai; Masaji Kawahara; Hisayuki Tatsumi; Iwao Sekita; Masahiro Miyakawa
Eye tracking technique in the visibility study of low vision was newly introduced in the previous report, where we examined the ease of finding public signs on the streets and in the interior of buildings by low vision people. We got a conclusion that they hardly notice these signs. In this report we continue our research in this direction. We describe details of eye tracking technology applied to low vision. We devise calibration method for low vision. We describe analysis of eye tracking data on the basis of simplified gaze circle model of sight of low vision, leading to a conclusion that it is possible as well for low vision to locate regions of interest (ROI) by applying classical method of scanpath analysis. We also show a preliminary result of public sign recognition in the view by using a fast pattern matching technology called "boosting," linking to a future system for guiding the gaze of low vision to a missing public sign and zooming into it.
Keywords: Low vision; Eye tracking; Visual aids; Public signs; View image segmenting
Assistive Technologies as Effective Mediators in Interpersonal Social Interactions for Persons with Visual Disability BIBAKFull-Text 316-323
  Sreekar Krishna; Sethuraman Panchanathan
In this paper, we discuss the use of assistive technologies for enriching the social interactions of people who are blind and visually impaired with their sighted counterparts. Specifically, we describe and demonstrate two experiments with the Social Interaction Assistant for, a) providing rehabilitative feedback for reducing stereotypic body mannerisms which are known to impede social interactions, and b) provide an assistive technology for accessing facial expressions of interaction partners. We highlight the importance of these two problems in everyday social interactions of the visually disabled community. We propose novel use of wearable computing technologies (both sensing and actuating technologies) for augmenting sensory deficiencies of the user population, while ensuring that their cognitive faculties are not compromised in any manner. Computer vision, motion sensing and haptic technologies are combined in the proposed platform towards enhancing social interactions of the targeted user population.
Keywords: Assistive Technology; Social Interactions; Dyadic Interpersonal Interaction; Computer Vision; Haptic Technology; Motion Sensors
Clothes Matching for Blind and Color Blind People BIBAKFull-Text 324-331
  Yingli Tian; Shuai Yuan
Matching clothes is a challenging task for blind people. In this paper, we propose a new computer vision-based technology of clothes matching to help blind or color blind people by using a pair of images from two different clothes captured by a camera. A mini-laptop or a PDA can be used to perform the texture and color matching process. The proposed method can handle clothes in uniform color without any texture, as well as clothes with multiple colors and complex textures patterns. Furthermore, our method is robust to variations of illumination, clothes rotation, and clothes wrinkles. The proposed method is evaluated on a challenging database of clothes. The matching results are displayed as audio outputs (sound or speech) to the users for "match (for both color and texture)", "color match, texture not match", "texture match, color not match", or "not match (for both color and texture)".
Keywords: Computer Vision; Clothes Matching; Color Matching; Texture Matching; Blind; Color Blind
A Basic Inspection of Wall-Climbing Support System for the Visually Challenged BIBAKFull-Text 332-337
  Makoto Kobayashi
Wall climbing became more and more popular sports among the visually challenged in these days. They can play and enjoy it together with sighted people without any additional rules. However, severely visually impaired climbers still have a problem. That is a difficulty to know where the climbing hold after next one is in advance. A visually impaired climber champion pointed out that to know the positions of holds of two or three steps ahead is very important and that information will be useful to make a strategy. To solve that problem, a basic inspection of support method is conducted. Web camera, a pair of ultra sonic devices and a bone conduction headphone with Bluetooth technology are tested. The results of these tests and comments by climbers suggested that to make a system which support bouldering using general-purpose equipments is available for the visually challenged climbers.
Keywords: wall climbing; visually challenged; bouldering
Makeup Support System for Visually Impaired Persons: Overview of System Functions BIBAKFull-Text 338-345
  Akihiko Hanafusa; Shuri Terada; Yuuri Miki; Chiharu Sasagawa; Tomozumi Ikeda; et al
A questionnaire survey carried out among 25 visually impaired women indicates that they feel uncertainty to their makeup. It is observed that there is a need to develop a system to teach them how to apply makeup and to check their makeup. We have been developing a prototype of a makeup support system for visually impaired persons. The system provides information on makeup and imparts knowledge on how to apply makeup. Further, for checking the current makeup condition, an image processing system that can recognize the face and its parts and check for excess lipstick and the shape of the eyebrows has been developed. From a series of input images, the best image for checking can be selected on the basis of the sum of squares of residual errors after an affine transformation. Further, a usability assessment was carried out by considering eight visually impaired women, and the result could achieve a high score related to the content of information on makeup.
Keywords: Makeup support system; Visually impaired persons

Blind and Partially Sighted People: HCI

WebTrax: Visualizing Non-visual Web Interactions BIBAKFull-Text 346-353
  Jeffrey P. Bigham; Kyle Murray
Web accessibility and usability problems can make evaluation difficult for non-experts who may be unfamiliar with assistive technology. Developers often (i) lack easy access to the diversity of assistive technology employed by users, and (ii) are unaware of the different access patterns and browsing strategies that people familiar with a specific assistive technology tool might use. One way to overcome this problem is to observe a person with a disability using their tools to access content, but this can often be confusing because developers are not familiar with assistive technology and tools are not built supporting this use. In this paper we introduce WebTrax, a tool that we have developed to support developers who engage blind web users as part of their accessibility evaluation or education strategy. WebTrax helps visualize the process that screen reader users employ to access content, helping to make problems more obvious and understandable to developers.
Keywords: web accessibility; visualization; screen reader; web trails
A Context-Based Grammar Generation in Mixed Initiative Dialogue System for Visually Impaired BIBAKFull-Text 354-360
  Jaromír Plhák
In this paper, we present some principles of designing mixed-initiative dialogue systems suited to the needs of visually impaired users related with dialogue based web page generation. These principles have been implemented in the online BrowserWebGen system that allows users to generate their web pages. The primary user interface is implemented as a dialogue system with implicit confirmation. The users are able to enter one piece of semantic information at each step of a dialogue interaction. Second part of the application allows the user to activate mixed initiative dialogue interface in each dialogue state. This interface is called Dialogue Prompt Window and it provides an additional support to the users as well as control over the application in natural language.
Keywords: web page creation; dialogue system; grammar; accessibility; visually impaired
Design and Development of Spoken Dialog Systems Incorporating Speech Synthesis of Viennese Varieties BIBAKFull-Text 361-366
  Michael Pucher; Friedrich Neubarth; Dietmar Schabus
This paper describes our work on the design and development of a spoken dialog system, which uses synthesized speech of various different Viennese varieties. In a previous study we investigated the usefulness of synthesis of varieties. The developed spoken dialog system was especially designed for the different personas that can be realized with multiple varieties. This brings more realistic and fun-to-use spoken dialog systems to the end user and can serve as speech-based user interface for blind users and users with visual impairment. The benefits for this group of users are the increased acceptability and also comprehensibility that comes about when the synthesized speech reflects the user's linguistic and/or social identity.
Keywords: Spoken dialog system; speech synthesis; dialect
Methods for the Visually Impaired to Retrieve Audio Information Efficiently BIBAKFull-Text 367-372
  Atsushi Imai; Nobumasa Seiyama; Tohru Takagi; Tohru Ifukube
Visually impaired persons are able to get large amounts of information through sound, especially speech, but because sound information is time-sequential it is difficult to gain an overall understanding of content in a short time, presenting inevitable issues. This paper described a solution we have proposed a framework for fast listening methods (e.g. for 3 times normal speed or more over) that are the equivalent of visual "skimming" of textual reading materials. Currently we have completed a basic study and preliminary tests indicate positive results.
Keywords: blind user; speech rate conversion; adaptive speech rate conversion; fast listening; recording book; scanning; skimming
Binocular Vision Impairments Therapy Supported by Contactless Eye-Gaze Tracking System BIBAKFull-Text 373-376
  Lukasz Kosikowski; Andrzej Czyzewski
Binocular vision impairments often result in partial or total loss of stereoscopic vision. The lack of binocular vision is a serious vision impairment that deserves more attention. Very important result of the binocular vision impairments is a binocular depth perception. This paper describes also a concept of a measurement and therapy system for the binocular vision impairments by using eye-gaze tracking system.
Keywords: Amblyopia; lazy-eye syndrome; eye-gaze tracking system
Realization of Direct Manipulation for Visually Impaired on Touch Panel Interface BIBAKFull-Text 377-384
  Tatuso Nishizawa; Daisuke Nagasaka; Hiroshi Kodama; Masami Hashimoto; Kazunori Itoh; et al
Touch panel interface is expanding its application rapidly, with the great flexibility and GUI that allows direct manipulation, and allows easy interaction for sighted people. Various approaches have been tried to achieve accessible touch panel for the visually impaired by combination of tactile sense and audio feedback. In this paper, we report the real benefit of direct manipulation of touch panel for the visually impaired by typical finger gestures such as finger flicks and taps only. Implementations of DAISY digital talking book navigation, by up/down and left/right finger flicks operations were compared with conventional up/down and left/right button operations. As a result, finger flicks achieved the same as or faster in regards to operation.
Keywords: touch panel; visually impaired; finger gesture; mobile phone; DAISY
Inspired by Sharp Vision: The Full HD Desktop Video Magnifier "Eagle" BIBAKFull-Text 385-388
  Maria Schiewe; Thorsten Völkel; Dirk Kochanek
This paper describes Eagle. Eagle marks the beginning of a new video desktop magnifier generation. Equipped with a high-definition camera, it offers a resolution up to 1920×1200 pixels supporting the 16:10 aspect ratio by default. We show how Eagle fulfils well-known requirements of desktop magnifiers combining state-of-the-art technologies. We also emphasise in which way users benefit from this novel development.
Keywords: video magnifier; closed-circuit television; electronic vision enhancement system; high-definition camera; low vision; visual impairment

Blind and Partially Sighted People: Access to Mathematics

Non-sequential Mathematical Notations in the LAMBDA System BIBAKFull-Text 389-395
  Cristian Bernareggi
Blind people are used to read mathematical notations through sequential representations (e.g. most Braille codes represent fractions, superscripts and underscripts in a sequential pattern). In mathematics, many notations cannot be represented through a sequential pattern without a loss of suggestivity and expressiveness (e.g. matrices, polynomial division, long division, automata, etc.). This paper introduces a multimodal interaction paradigm which aims to enable blind people to explore and edit mathematical notations which cannot be represented through a sequential pattern. So far, this interaction paradigm has been implemented in the LAMBDA system.
Keywords: Accessibility; mathematics; blind
MathML to ASCII-Braille and Hierarchical Tree Converter BIBAFull-Text 396-402
  Silvia Fajardo-Flores; Maria Andrade-Arechiga; Alfonso Flores-Barriga; et al
Mathematics is a complex study subject for most people. People with disabilities, specifically those who are blind, face additional challenges: lack of study material and difficulty to access digital math notation. Significant efforts have been made in order to improve the quality of access to materials; however a complete solution has not been provided; in addition to this, most software applications support European and North American mathematical Braille codes, but very few of them cater for Spaniard and Latin American users with blindness. The present paper describes a prototype that converts equations in MathML into two alternative formats for representing them: an ASCII-Braille file ready for embossing, and a navigable tree structure conveying the hierarchy of equations that can be read with a screen-reader. The prototype uses the Unified Mathematical Code. The current version of the prototype presented here is functional and can be used for producing material for people with blindness; however, it still requires testing with final users.
Tactile Graphic Tool for Portable Digital Pad BIBAKFull-Text 403-406
  Thamburaj Robinson; Atulya K. Nagar
Hand exploratory movements are an important aspect in the pedagogical exercise of teaching and learning diagrammatic representations among vision impaired students. The Tactile Graphic Tool is one such device allowing hand exploratory movement in making tactile diagrams of graphical and geometric constructions. In this paper the same device is modified to be used along with a portable digital pad making the tactile picture drawn accessible as digital picture in computer through its interface. Illustrations of tactile geometrical construction in tactile and digital format are provided.
Keywords: Tactile diagrams; visual impairments; mathematics; accessibility
Spoken Mathematics Using Prosody, Earcons and Spearcons BIBAKFull-Text 407-414
  Enda Bates; Dónal Fitzpatrick
Printed notation provides a highly succinct and unambiguous description of the structure of mathematical formulae in a manner which is difficult to replicate for the visually impaired. A number of different approaches to the verbal presentation of mathematical material have been explored, however, the fundamental differences between the two modalities of vision and audition are often ignored. This use of additional lexical cues, spatial audio or complex hierarchies of non-speech sounds to represent the structure and scope of equations may be cognitively demanding to process, and this can detract from the perception of the mathematical content. In this paper, a new methodology is proposed which uses the prosodic component found in spoken language, in conjunction with a limited set of spatialized earcons and spearcons, to disambiguate the structure of mathematical formulae. This system can potentially represent this information in an intuitive and unambiguous manner which takes advantage of the specific strengths and capabilities of audition.
Keywords: Math; auditory interfaces; visual impairment; earcons; spearcons
On Necessity of a New Method to Read Out Math Contents Properly in DAISY BIBAKFull-Text 415-422
  Katsuhito Yamaguchi; Masakazu Suzuki
The necessity of a new method for defining how to read out technical terms or mathematical formulas properly in mathematical DAISY content is discussed. Two concepts of enabling aloud reading, "Ruby" and "Yomi," are introduced. A tentative way to assign pronunciation based on "Ruby tag," which will be adopted in the next version of DAISY, is proposed. Our new version of DAISY software, in which Ruby and Yomi functions are implemented, is presented. Combining this software with our optical character recognition system for mathematical documents allows both sighted and print-disabled people to easily produce and author mathematical DAISY books. Furthermore, people with various print disabilities can browse in mathematical content with enhanced navigation.
Keywords: DAISY; mathematics; print disability; aloud reading; inclusion
Innovative Methods for Accessing Mathematics by Visually Impaired Users BIBAKFull-Text 423-430
  Giuseppe Nicotra; Giovanni Bertoni; Enrico Bortolazzi; Luciana Formenti
Blind people have always considered the study of Mathematics as a difficult problem, hindering the chance to approach scientific studies for generations of visually impaired people. At present computer use is very widespread among blind students, who appreciate more and more its advantages (speed, efficiency, access to almost limitless papers), yet in the field of Mathematics, there are still few benefits, due to its complex symbols and because notation is graphical, whereas Braille notation is linear, to suit characteristics of the sense of touch.
   The LAMBDA-project team designed a system based on the functional integration of a linear mathematical code and an editor for the visualization, writing and manipulation of texts.
Keywords: Braille; Mathematics; blind people

Blind and Partially Sighted People: Designing Haptic Interaction for a Collaborative World

ICCHP Keynote: Designing Haptic Interaction for a Collaborative World BIBAKFull-Text 431-438
  Gerhard Weber
The design of haptic interaction for blind users of a large tactile display capable of multitouch input may face a design barrier. Visual media and their modalites have to be mapped to tactile graphics and audiohaptic modalities due to the low resolution. We present the work of the Hyperbraille project on understanding the limitations of current screenreaders, implementation of a modular Braille window system merging multiple tactile views through Add-Ins, and report about the main findings of some of the evaluations related to reading Braille and gestural input.
Keywords: tactile display; screen reader; audio-haptic interaction; gestures
Improving the Accessibility of ASCII Graphics for the Blind Students BIBAKFull-Text 439-442
  Karin Müller; Angela Constantinescu
Graphics are pervasively used in natural sciences. Making graphics accessible to blind people is difficult because blind students have to know how the layout looks like, to understand what the layout means and to have a possibility to create a graphic by themselves. Therefore we suggest to use ASCII graphics. Our approach tries to improve the accessibility of ASCII graphics by automatically extracting and transforming them in order to be printed with a tactile embosser.
Keywords: accessibility of graphics; ASCII graphics; blind
Development of a Musical Score System Using Body-Braille BIBAKFull-Text 443-446
  Satoshi Ohtsuka; Nobuyuki Sasaki; Sadao Hasegawa; Tetsumi Harakawa
We have developed a musical score system for visually impaired people and deaf-blind people using Body-Braille. The normal musical score is very convenient for non-disabled people, but it is difficult for disabled people to use it. In order to resolve this issue, 9 micro vibrators are used to express the note and the duration time of each sound, which we call "vibration score system". This system is very suitable not only for the study of a melody but also for disabled people's reference while playing. We performed several experiments with a subject, and in each case, we obtained successful results.
Keywords: Body-Braille; score system; vibration; visually impaired people; deaf-blind people
Analysis of Awareness while Touching the Tactile Figures Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy BIBAKFull-Text 447-450
  Takayuki Shiose; Yasuhiro Kagiyama; Kentaro Toda; Hiroshi Kawakami; Kiyohide Ito; et al
In this paper, we propose a method to measuring how the blind to touch the tactile images using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS). The tactile image is one of powerful tool to give any visual information for the blind. On the other hand, it is difficult to estimate the process that the blind has understood the tactile images because the only trajectories of the hand are too vague to identify when the blind know the target image. Some experimental results insist that the brain is strongly activated at beginning of a task rather than the process of the task. Then, NIRS is confirmed to be useful to analyze process of understanding tactile figures by touching.
Keywords: assessment; design for all; blind people; neural science
Development of Directly Manipulable Tactile Graphic System with Audio Support Function BIBAFull-Text 451-458
  Shigenobu Shimada; Haruka Murase; Suguru Yamamoto; Yusuke Uchida; Makoto Shimojo; et al
A basic device combining a tactile graphic display function and a touch position sensing function is proposed. The trial device consists of two major components, a tactile graphic display and a force sensor. The force sensor measures a center of gravity generated by touch action on the display surface and a PC estimates the point based on the data. The fundamental function for achieving the interactive communication is to detect the location where user is touching a tangible surface. By applying this functions, the click and scroll function by an empty hand are realized. In addition, an audio-tactile graphic system which can be used mainly to overcome tactile cognitive limitation is implemented as an application of the system. Moreover, the area of tactile display is expanded for the purpose of improvement usability. Following this, we propose the tactile scrollbar where the users can recognize their position of plane space. The validity of the developed tactile graphic system has been confirmed through subjective experiments.
AutOMathic Blocks: Supporting Learning Games for Young Blind Students BIBAKFull-Text 459-465
  Arthur I. Karshmer; Ken Paap
The AutOMathic Blocks system has been developed to help young blind students in the acquisition of elementary math skills. Through the use of Braille labeled blocks, a plastic grid, a touchpad device and any computer, the system has been defined to aid the young student in this most important domain of education. Without these basic skills, students have a much higher probability of not being able to enter math related professions.
Keywords: Mathematics; Learning; Blind
Audio-Haptic Browser for a Geographical Information System BIBAKFull-Text 466-473
  Limin Zeng; Gerhard Weber
People who are blind or low vision currently hasn't obtained an effectual solution to access map applications. Although there are existing several paper-based tactile map projects, most of them need additional processing when product of new area of a map. Besides because of the size limitation of paper materials, these kinds of map fail to provide detailed information. In order to improvement accessibility of geographic data, we develop an audio-haptic map browser to access geo-data from an off-the-shelf GIS through a large-scale Braille display. The browser enables to not only maintain lively haptic sensation via raised pins, but also speech out detailed information of each map element stored in the GIS database. Furthermore, in principle it is possible to carry out worldwide map without any additional processing, if the GIS database supports. We employ a novel method, blinking pins, aimed at locating map elements quickly when implementing map search operations. Excepting introduction of our methodologies, we evaluate the system in 2 phases by participation of 4 blind persons. The results of evaluations have been issued in the end.
Keywords: accessible geographic data; audio-haptic interaction; GIS; the visually impaired
A Graphical Tactile Screen-Explorer BIBAKFull-Text 474-481
  Martin Spindler; Michael Kraus; Gerhard Weber
A graphical screen explorer, as it is developed in the HyperBraille project, has different demands on representing information than conventional screen readers and thereby new concepts of interaction, the representation of widgets and the synchronization of multimodal operations become necessary. We describe a concept for complex user interaction with tactile widgets and how to adapt the screen explorer to the requirements of third party applications by the use of Add-Ins.
Keywords: accessibility; blind; tactile graphics display; Braille display; screen explorer; HyperBraille; interaction; extensibility; Add-In
Reading Braille and Tactile Ink-Print on a Planar Tactile Display BIBAKFull-Text 482-489
  Denise Prescher; Oliver Nadig; Gerhard Weber
Reading characters by fingers depends on the tactile features of the medium in use. Braille displays were often found to be slower than Braille on paper. We study reading Braille on a novel planar tactile display by conducting three reading tests. A first study compares the reading speed on four different devices, namely paper, 40 cell Braille display and two varied conditions on the planar pin device. In a second study we isolate the factor of 'equidistance' which is due to the design of our planar tactile display. Our intention is to find out if equidistant Braille can be as fast as standard Braille. Because of the two-dimensionality, the pin device also can show graphics and tactile ink-print. The latter was evaluated with blind subjects in the third study.
Keywords: equidistant Braille; tactile ink-print; blind users; planar tactile display; reading speed
Enhancing Single Touch Gesture Classifiers to Multitouch Support BIBAKFull-Text 490-497
  Michael Schmidt; Gerhard Weber
Recent progress in the area of touch sensitive hardware has accelerated a trend of rethinking classical user interfaces. Applications controlled by gestures have become of special interest. System defined gestures however may prove not to be as intuitive and flexible as preferred by eager users. A same amount of flexibility would be handy for offering special input methods appropriate to users' options and skills. The presented work shows an alternative to system defined gestures even for multitouch input. Extended by a few feature comparisons, existing single touch classifiers are enhanced to support a much wider range of input. The main goal is to provide an easy to use and implement concept of multitouch recognition. Along with the algorithmic design testing results on the classifiers performance and proposals for applications are given.
Keywords: gesture; recognition; classifier; multitouch; recognition rates; user interfaces
User-Interface Filter for Two-Dimensional Haptic Interaction BIBAFull-Text 498-505
  Wiebke Köhlmann; Francis Zinke; Maria Schiewe; Helmut Jürgensen
General principles for the design of user interfaces for systems software are discussed, which take into account the constraints imposed by special user groups like visually impaired or blind persons and by special displays like haptic displays or very small screens.
Improving Screen Magnification Using the HyperBraille Multiview Windowing Technique BIBAKFull-Text 506-512
  Christiane Taras; Michael Raschke; Thomas Schlegel; Thomas Ertl; Denise Prescher; et al
Screen magnification is an important means to support visually impaired people when working with computers. Many improvements have been made on appropriate software. But unfortunately, in the last years, those improvements where mainly in realization detail. A number of problems remain, that, to our minds, need conceptual rethinking. In this paper, we present a new concept for magnification software. It uses different views to support the user efficiently in different situations. Thereby, it reveals the possibility to build upon current magnification methods and so retain features of current magnification software. The described views are derived from a concept that was originally developed for a tactile graphics display. We found that both topics, rendering for a tactile graphics display and screen magnification, have very much in common. Initial user feedback confirms the usefulness of the concept.
Keywords: Screen Magnification

Blind and Partially Sighted People: Three-Dimensional Tactile Models for Blind People and Recognition of 3D Objects by Touch

Three-Dimensional Tactile Models for Blind People and Recognition of 3D Objects by Touch: Introduction to the Special Thematic Session BIBAKFull-Text 513-514
  Yoshinori Teshima
Blind people can recognize three-dimensional shapes through tactile sensations. Therefore, effective models are useful in tactile learning. In our special thematic session, we will focus upon three-dimensional tactile models which developed by using the most advanced technologies. Another focus of the special thematic session is devoted to the recognition mechanisms of 3D objects based on tactile information. This includes the problem to recognize the shapes of 3D objects from 2D tactile plane figures.
Keywords: tactile sensation; tactile learning; tactile teaching; teaching materials; 3D tactile models in science; 3D tactile models in mathematics; 3D tactile models in art; recognition mechanisms of 3D objects; tactile plane figures
Models of Mathematically Defined Curved Surfaces for Tactile Learning BIBAKFull-Text 515-522
  Yoshinori Teshima; Tohru Ogawa; Mamoru Fujiyoshi; Yuji Ikegami; Takeshi Kaneko; et al
Several accurate models of mathematically defined curved surfaces were constructed for use in tactile learning. Exact shape data were generated on a personal computer (PC) using mathematical or computer-aided design (CAD) software. Then tactile models were constructed by layered manufacturing, which is well suited for curved surfaces. This method is flexible in that the equation parameters and model scale can be changed easily. A recognition test performed on several models showed their potential usefulness for tactile learning.
Keywords: tactile 3D model; mathematically defined curved surface; layered manufacturing
Enlarged Skeleton Models of Plankton for Tactile Teaching BIBAKFull-Text 523-526
  Yoshinori Teshima; Atsushi Matsuoka; Mamoru Fujiyoshi; Yuji Ikegami; Takeshi Kaneko; et al
Blind people can learn about real objects through tactile sensations. However, the objects are sometimes rather small to observe by touch. Enlarged three-dimensional (3D) models for such tiny objects are useful for tactile teaching. This paper presents the first exact models of radiolaria and foraminifera. Their 3D shape data are measured using micro X-ray CT, and their exact 3D models are constructed using layered manufacturing. A recognition test showed the immense usefulness of these enlarged models for blind students in learning the shapes of micro-organisms.
Keywords: microorganism; plankton; radiolarian; foraminifera; enlarged model; 3D model; X-ray CT; layered manufacturing; tactile teaching; recognition test
Reproduction of Tactile Paintings for Visual Impairments Utilized Three-Dimensional Modeling System and the Effect of Difference in the Painting Size on Tactile Perception BIBAKFull-Text 527-533
  Susumu Oouchi; Kenji Yamazawa; Lorreta Secchi
It is difficult for blind persons to appreciate painting. To facilitate the appreciation by tactile perception, the Francesco Cavazza Institute for blind in Italy is developing three-dimensional tactile painting for blind persons. We are developing a system which product tactile paintings utilized three-dimensional model making technology cooperation with Cavazza Institute. This method enables us to manufacture paintings of varied sizes. In this study, we examined the possibility of down-sizing products. We find blind persons to be useful means of materials which reaffirm the painting image.
Keywords: tactile painting; three-dimensional modeling; blind student
Tactile Map Automated Creation System to Enhance the Mobility of Blind Persons -- Its Design Concept and Evaluation through Experiment BIBAKFull-Text 534-540
  Kazunori Minatani; Tetsuya Watanabe; Toshimitsu Yamaguchi; Ken Watanabe; Joji Akiyama; et al
The authors have developed a tactile map creation system (TMACS). It is intended to assist blind persons' independent mobility. For this purpose, the system was designed to produce tactile maps, to be manipulated by the blind person and to support producing tactile maps of arbitrary locations of Japan. Through group interviews with blind persons, the authors collected information on what kind of strategies are useful for independent walk and what kind of objects can function as landmarks. TMACS is developed to make good use of these information. From the walking experiment, some assumptions which were made by the authors were confirmed. On the other hand, some unexpected or contradicted results were observed on the usefulness of landmarks and the cause of losing right routes.
Keywords: Blind person; Visually Impaired; Tactile Map; Independent Mobility; Orientation and Mobility
Development of Tactile Graphics Production Software for Three-Dimensional Projections BIBAKFull-Text 541-547
  Mamoru Fujiyoshi; Takeshi Kaneko; Akio Fujiyoshi; Susumu Oouchi; Kenji Yamazawa; et al
In this paper, we introduce tactile graphics production software for three-dimensional projections. A blind person can use this software without assistance from the sighted and produce tactile graphics of three-dimensional projections. With this software, we want to study the limitation of tactile recognition of projections and improve the guidelines of teaching projections.
Keywords: tactile graphics; the blind; three-dimensional projections; universal design
Comprehending and Making Drawings of 3D Objects by Visually Impaired People: Research on Drawings of Geometric Shapes by Various Methods of Projection BIBAKFull-Text 548-555
  Takeshi Kaneko; Mamoru Fujiyoshi; Susumu Oouchi; Yoshinori Teshima; Yuji Ikegami; et al
In this study, we investigated the possibility of the early and late blind comprehending and producing tactile drawings by oblique, axonometric or perspective projection, which has been considered difficult to understand for them, especially for the early blind. For this purpose, an experiment was carried out analyzing the following issues: 1) how early and late blind high school students draw four geometric 3D shapes; 2) how they rank tactile drawings of such shapes produced via various methods; development, orthogonal projection, in addition to above three projection methods; 3) their explanations of how these drawings by use of such methods are produced. The results demonstrate that both groups understand drawings via latter two methods well and in addition to the late blind, even the early blind understand drawings via the former three projection methods at least partially, which would lead to better understanding.
Keywords: Visually Impaired People; Drawing of 3D Object; Tactile Recognition; Educational Material

Ageing: HCI Usability (HCI4AGING)

Human-Computer Interaction and Usability Engineering for Elderly (HCI4AGING): Introduction to the Special Thematic Session BIBAKFull-Text 556-559
  Andreas Holzinger; Martina Ziefle; Carsten Röcker
In most countries demographic developments tend towards more and more elderly people in single households. Improving the quality of life for elderly people is an emerging issue within our information society. Good user interfaces have tremendous implications for appropriate accessibility. Though, user interfaces should not only be easily accessible, they should also be useful, usable and most of all enjoyable and a benefit for people. Traditionally, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) bridges Natural Sciences (Psychology) and Engineering (Informatics/Computer Science), whilst Usability Engineering (UE) is anchored in Software Technology and supports the actual implementation. Together, HCI and UE have a powerful potential to help towards making technology a little bit more accessible, useful, useable and enjoyable for everybody.
Keywords: Human-Computer Interaction; Usability Engineering; User Interfaces; Elderly People; Older Adults
A Device to Evaluate Broadcast Background Sound Balance Using Loudness for Elderly Listeners BIBAKFull-Text 560-567
  Tomoyasu Komori; Tohru Takagi; Koichi Kurozumi; Kiyotake Shoda; Kazuhiro Murakawa
Elderly people complain that they sometimes have a hard time hearing the narration of broadcast TV programs because the background sounds (background music, sound effects) are too loud. We conducted subjective evaluations to determine the relationship between TV volume and loudness of background sounds as it regards the comprehension of programs by elderly subjects. On the basis of objectively measured loudness levels, we confirmed two conditions under which elderly listeners perceive background sounds as too loud. One is a less than 6 phon difference between the narration and background sounds; the other is when background sounds are more than 2.5 phon louder than the average narration in the program. Based on these findings, we constructed a prototype system for objectively evaluating loudness. The device features a meter with seven color-coded levels that clearly shows the best sound balance for elderly listeners. The evaluation system was tested at a broadcasting station.
Keywords: Loudness level; elderly listeners; broadcast program speech; subjective evaluation
Automatic Live Monitoring of Communication Quality for Normal-Hearing and Hearing-Impaired Listeners BIBAFull-Text 568-575
  Jan Rennies; Eugen Albertin; Stefan Goetze; Jens-E. Appell
This contribution presents a system, which allows for a continuous monitoring of speech intelligibility from a single microphone signal. The system accounts for the detrimental effects of environmental noise and reverberation by estimating the two relevant parameters signal-to-noise ratio and reverberation time, and feeding them to a speech intelligibility model. Due to its real-time functionality and the fact that no reference signal is required, the system offers a wide range of opportunities to monitor communication channels and control further signal enhancement mechanisms. A priori knowledge of the individual hearing loss can be used to make the system applicable also for hearing-impaired users.
Portrait: Portraying Individuality BIBAKFull-Text 576-583
  Gemma Webster; Deborah I. Fels; Gary Gowans; Norman Alm
People with dementia who live in care homes can have very little social interaction. Care staff have limited time to spend with each person and communication difficulties can make it difficult to get to know the person with dementia as a person. This paper presents Portrait a software tool to enable care staff to get to know a person with dementia quickly. An initial usability study was carried out to evaluate the system with inexperienced computer users. The study was conducted in two iterations collecting data on ease of use, preference of features, level of training required and how engaging Portrait was to use. Overall Portrait was very positively received with no major usability issues and all participants rated the system as either engaging or very engaging and fun to use.
Keywords: Multimedia; Dementia; Personality; Person Centred; Care Aid
Mental Models of Menu Structures in Diabetes Assistants BIBAKFull-Text 584-591
  André Calero Valdez; Martina Ziefle; Firat Alagöz; Andreas Holzinger
Demographic change in regard to an aging population with an increasing amount of diabetes patients will put a strain on health care rentability in all modern societies. Electronic living assistants for diabetes patients might help lift the burden on taxpayers, if they are usable for the heterogeneous user group. Research has shown that correct mental models of device menu structures might help users in handling electronic devices. This exploratory study investigates construction and facilitation of spatial mental models for a menu structure of a diabetes living assistant and relates them to performance in usage of a device. Furthemore impact of age, domain knowledge and technical expertise on complexity and quality of the mental model are evaluated. Results indicate that even having a simplified spatial representation of the menu structure increases navigation performance. Interestingly not the overall correctness of the model was important for task success but rather the amount of route knowledge within the model.
Keywords: HCI; Mental Models; eHealth; Diabetes; User Performance; Menu Navigation; Aging; Assisted Living
Touch Screen User Interfaces for Older Subjects BIBAKFull-Text 592-599
  Guillaume Lepicard; Nadine Vigouroux
This study investigated the optimal numbers of blocks and tactile targets for touch screen user interfaces intended for use by all (reference and older population). Three independent variables (number of targets, number of interaction blocks on the touch screen and number of hands used) were studied in our experiment. Huge amount of data were stored. In this paper, we will only report statistical analyses on two variables: Time needed to Realize the Test and Error Rate. Each variable will be analyzed in two times: for the whole population (reference and older) and for the comparison between these two populations.
Keywords: older people; touch screen; interface design; bi-manual
Using a Wearable Insole Gait Analyzing System for Automated Mobility Assessment for Older People BIBAKFull-Text 600-603
  Johannes Oberzaucher; Harald Jagos; Christian Zödl; Walter Hlauschek; Wolfgang Zagler
Falls among the older population are one of the most common causes for injuries, frailty and for morbidity. Fall incidents have various reasons and are often related to decreased mobility and hence an increasing fall risk could be detected in time. The objective of this paper is to show results and future prospects of the funded project "vitaliSHOE" and in detail of an automated multi-sensor-based method to determine fall risk indicators in older people's gait and body movements.
Keywords: wearable; fall risk assessment; gait analysis; accelerometer; ambient assisted living