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

ICCHP'94: International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs

Fullname:ICCHP'94: Computers for Handicapped Persons: 4th International Conference
Editors:Wolfgang L. Zagler; Geoffrey Busby; Roland R. Wagner
Location:Vienna, Austria
Dates:1994-Sep-14 to 1994-Sep-16
Publisher:Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Series:Lecture Notes in Computer Science 860
Standard No:DOI: 10.1007/3-540-58476-5; ISBN: 978-3-540-58476-6 (print), 978-3-540-48989-4 (online); hcibib: ICCHP94
Links:Online Proceedings
  1. Opening Session
  2. Blindness -- Graphical User Interfaces I
  3. Technology and Deafness
  4. Remote Control, Smart Environments
  5. Blindness -- Graphical User Interfaces II
  6. Human Computer Interfaces, I/0 Devices I
  7. Automatic Control and Robotics
  8. Blindness -- Screen Readers
  9. Human Computer Interfaces, I/O Devices II
  10. Short Reports: Activities
  11. Blindness -- Access to Documents I
  12. Vision Impairment and Higher Education
  13. Short Reports: Vocation and the Workplace
  14. Blindness -- Access to Documents II
  15. Disability and Higher Education
  16. Information Systems on Rehabilitation Technology
  17. Blindness -- Access to Math and Software Engineering
  18. Medical and Clinical Aspects I
  19. Speech Impairment -- Alternative Communication I
  20. Blindness -- New Applications of Sound Signals
  21. Medical and Clinical Aspects II
  22. Speech Impairment -- Alternative Communication II
  23. Blindness -- Tactile Output Devices
  24. Technology Support in Mainstream Education
  25. Short Reports: Human Computer Interfaces
  26. Short Reports: Education
  27. Technology and Low Vision
  28. Computer Aided Learning, Authoring Systems
  29. Telecommunication and Satellite Navigation
  30. Blindness -- Tactile Reading and Writing
  31. Technology and Disabled Children
  32. Late Papers

Opening Session

Communications and information technology for persons with disabilities -- The Canadian national strategy as an example BIBAFull-Text 1-8
  Mary Frances Laughton
Persons with disabilities have major reasons for use of adaptive systems. These individuals are often handicapped by not having access to traditional forms of communication and information. An individual who is blind cannot read print information. A person who is deaf cannot usually obtain information directly via telephone. An individual with a speech impairment may have the same problem with respect to telephone contact. A person who is in a wheelchair may not have physical access to buildings which house information services and, even if they can get in, their physical limitations may prevent them from using those services without extraordinary assistance. Industry Canada has been involved for a number of years in the development of assistive devices in partnership with a number of Canadian organizations. The search for a global market is always there.

Blindness -- Graphical User Interfaces I

An intelligent information system for blind people -- AI technology and philosophical aspects BIBAFull-Text 9-15
  Thomas Kieninger; Norbert Kuhn; Kerstin Seidenschwann; Werner Weiss
Communication to exchange information is essential for humans. In many fields of communication this has lead to more or less fixed forms that guide or determine the way how people exchange information. This concerns at first a logical layer of the information blocks, i.e., which information has to be transmitted but also a procedural layer describing how the information is send.
   A very important domain of communication is the business letter domain. Here, a certain standard has evolved that determines the form of business letters. We distinguish a logical structure and a layout structure that is captured in the international Standard called Office Document Architecture (ODA, ISO 8613 [1]).
   In this paper we discuss the problem of presenting printed documents to blind people who cannot perceive the information provided by the layout structure of a document. We outline how the ODA Standard can be exploited to allow random access to the logical entities of a printed document. This approach is based on a system that has been developed at the DFKI and which has been described in [5] and which is able to extract the layout information from certain classes of business letters automatically.
Adapting graphical user interfaces for use by visually handicapped computer users: Current results and continuing research BIBAFull-Text 16-24
  Arthur I. Karshmer; Bill Ogden; Pres Brawner; Karlis Kaugars; George Reiswig
The use of modern computers and software by the visually handicapped has become more difficult over the past few years. In earlier systems the user interface was a simple character based environment. In those systems, simple devices like screen readers, braille output and speech synthesizers were effective. Current systems now run Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) which have rendered these simple aids almost useless. In no area has this problem become more important than in technologies for the handicapped. What has become enabling technology for the sighted has become disabling technology for the visually impaired. In the current work we discuss new and innovative approaches to permit non-sighted users to interface with GUIs, having the salutary effect of gaining needed access to the most modern computing equipment for a subset of our population that is otherwise excluded from such access.
   Using our approach to integrating special interfaces into those already shipped by the manufacturer, the non-sighted user will no longer be isolated from the mainstream of the information world. The net effect of such an interface is to make computing and information resources available to the visually handicapped user at the cost as to the sighted user.
Training blind people in the use of graphical user interfaces BIBAFull-Text 25-31
  Gerhard Weber; Helen Petrie; Dirk Kochanek; Sarah Morley
The need for training of blind people to use graphical user interfaces has arisen since the first access systems became available. Two different approaches on the basis of PC-based tutorial systems are described and their benefits for the blind user are investigated.

Technology and Deafness

Artificial visual speech synchronized with a speech synthesis system BIBAFull-Text 32-37
  H. H. Bothe; E. A. Wieden
This paper describes a new approach of modeling visual speech, based on an artificial neural network (ANN). The network architecture makes possible a fusion of linguistic expert knowledge into the ANN. Goal is the development of a computer animation program as a training aid for learning lip-reading. The current PC version allows a synchronization of the animation program with a special stand-alone speech synthesis computer via a Centronics parallel interface.
Notational representation of sign language: A structural description of hand configuration BIBAFull-Text 38-45
  Jintae Lee
A universal description method of sign language is the most fundamental requirement in sign language research. Although a number of methods including notations have been invented, few are in substantial use for describing general sign languages. In this paper, we present structural description method of hand configuration based on human hand structure and geometric sign features, and explain with a series of arguments that this method has potential as a universal description method of sign language.
Further advances in real-time voice to text with steno interpreters BIBAFull-Text 46-50
  Jonathan E. Oakey
Microcomputer steno-interpreting technology allows the deaf to receive full access to the spoken word. The technology also benefits a variety of disabled people including the dyslexics, brain damaged people, and the deaf-blind. The Rapidtext software on a PC computer translates the stenowriter's output into English words and displays on a computer screen. The spoken English words are converted into text at up to 200 words per minute and displayed on computer screen. The technology also helps international audiences, people speaking English as a second language, and even illiterate people who speak English as their native language.

Remote Control, Smart Environments

A uniform control interface for various electronic aids BIBAFull-Text 51-58
  Christian Bühler; Helmut Heck; Rainer Wallbruch
The operation of technical aids by disabled and elderly people leads to enormous difficulties because users have to deal with different control philosophies and user interface concepts for each technical aid used. Therefore a point of general interest is not only the pure support function of the aid itself, but especially its human machine interface and the interdependencies with further aids used by the same handicapped person. A computer-based user interface management system is presented that allows an assistive person to individually tailored a human computer interface to the user's needs and capabilities which allows the handicapped user to operate very different devices by the same principle and mechanism of control.
An integrated system for communication and equipments control using radio link BIBAFull-Text 59-64
  Alberto Tronconi; Marco Billi
In the following we will describe a PC based system which allows motor disabled persons to control devices in a domestic environment. The system will be able to "learn" and reproduce infrared (IR) code from virtually every IR controller currently available, so it can relay on a wide range of commercial devices, now and in the future. The configuration phase will be quite easy, enabling non-experts to perform, without training, the operation needed to adapt the system to user needs. The control code will be sent via a radio link, to allow disabled users to control the desired device without moving around to "see" the receiver. The disabled user will interact with the environment via a highly adaptable iconic interface, designed to be used either to control devices or to send messages to the surrounding environment or to a remote supervising station.
Autonomy -- A flexible and easy-to-use assistive system to support the independence of handicapped and elderly persons BIBAFull-Text 65-75
  Christian Flachberger; Paul Panek; Wolfgang L. Zagler
A new assistive system to support the independence of handicapped persons and elderly persons with handicaps is under development at the Working Group on Rehabilitation Engineering at the Vienna University of Technology. This paper describes the concept of the system. To meet the requirements of the very different possible users, high flexibility in supported functions and configuration of the user interface is essential for the concept. So this paper reports about a step towards an all purpose assistive system, usable by very different handicapped persons.

Blindness -- Graphical User Interfaces II

Screen Reader/2 -- Programmed access to the GUI BIBAFull-Text 76-88
  Jim Thatcher
In this paper I will describe the Screen Reader/2 personality, that is the 'look and feel' of Screen Reader/2. As I do that I hope to give the reader an introduction to the Profile Access Language (PAL), which is one of the most important components of Screen Reader/2. This PAL introduction will not be formal, in the sense of careful syntax and semantics; I want to get across the idea of PAL so that one might want to program in the Profile Access Language to access the Graphical User Interface (GUI) of OS/2 and of Windows applications running under OS/2.
Designing an offscreen model for a GUI BIBAFull-Text 89-95
  Dirk Kochanek
Blind or visually impaired people get access to computers by using a screen reader. A screen reader is a special access program that operates on a database modelling the user interface and presents it in an appropriate form to the user. While in textbased user interfaces this database is fairly simple for graphical user interfaces a more sophisticated design is necessary. This article describes the design issues of such a database as well as an overview of a complete architecture of a screen reader system.
Screen reader for Windows based on speech output BIBAFull-Text 96-100
  Paolo Graziani; Bruno Breschi
A so-called "screen reader", enabling blind persons to access the Windows environment, is presented and discussed. It is based on synthetic speech used to present information related to the graphic user interface and organized into a database. Some remarks will be made concerning the comparison between Braille and speech presentation.

Human Computer Interfaces, I/0 Devices I

The New Wireless LinguControl BIBAFull-Text 101-105
  Walter Schmitt; Werner Zang
Persons who do not have the use of their limbs are isolated from daily functioning in society. It has been found that pathologies like traumatic injuries of the spinal cord or diseases of the neuromuscular and central nervous system do not affect the function of the user's tongue. LinguControl is a tongue activated communication controller and was presented at the 3rd ICCH. The intraorally worn thin plate with encapsulated sensors was connected by cable with an extra-oral smart box having computing means. The New Wireless LinguControl version is an intraoral assembly with telemetric based transmitting of the tongue position to the microcomputer operated controller. The embodiment of the controller includes software for decoding the received signals and for converting them into infrared control signals to manipulate environmental devices.
The FeelMouse: Making computer screens feelable BIBAFull-Text 106-113
  W. Kerstner; G. Pigel; M. Tscheligi
The FeelMouse supports the user by providing tactile and force feedback to the user. Depending on the object the user points to the force necessary to press the mouse button differs. With more or less resistance the user perceives harder or softer objects or objects which jut out more or less from the virtual computer surface. If the force is switched continuously a vibrating object is generated. In addition to "normal" usage the FeelMouse can be used to enable the work with GUI's also for visually impaired people.
Unexpected benefits of Voice Type computing BIBAFull-Text 115-119
  Douglas R. Bowes
Six of seven grade school students using Voice Type Voice Data entry systems experienced a variety of unexpected learning. Improvements in speech, breathing patterns, stamina and overall communication were noted in six of the participants. This paper looks at the partnership that produced this result as well as case synopsis for six of the users.

Automatic Control and Robotics

Robot control methods using the RAID workstation BIBAFull-Text 120-128
  Håkan Eftring
CERTEC intends to develop an autonomous grasping function, making it easier for physical disabled people to control robots, but first user requirements have to be studied.
   Therefore, user trials have been carried out on the RAID workstation (Robot to Assist the Integration of the Disabled) at the Rehabcentrum Lund-Orup in Höör, Sweden, see fig. 1. This paper will describe the control methods used in these trials as well as the results of the trials.
The ultrasonic navigating robot, WALKY BIBAFull-Text 129-135
  Håkan Neveryd; Gunnar Bolmsjö
A mobile robot system is being designed to work in a chemical laboratory environment for people with physical disabilities. We have found that chemical laboratories are good workplace alternatives to the office environment (see BACKGROUND). The main requirement for the workplace is to keep the work meaningful after the workplace has been robotized. The reasons for working with a mobile robot system are numerous:
  • high flexibility for the disabled (the possibility to move between different
  • only small changes in the physical environment are necessary.
  • possibilities for the disabled and the non-disabled to use the same
       laboratory equipment.
  • NavChair: An example of a shared-control system for assistive technologies BIBAFull-Text 136-143
      Simon P. Levine; David A. Bell; Yoram Koren
    The NavChair assistive navigation system was originally conceived as an application of mobile robot obstacle avoidance to a power wheelchair. In this system, the user shares wheelchair control with obstacle avoidance and other navigation components. The philosophy of shared control has important implications for the design of these components. This paper discusses the development of navigation methods for the NavChair guided by design criteria for shared control systems.

    Blindness -- Screen Readers

    Using spatial audio for the enhanced presentation of synthesised speech within screen-readers for blind computer users BIBAFull-Text 144-153
      Kai Crispien; Wolfgang Würz; Gerhard Weber
    In order to enhance the presentation of synthesised speech output within GUI-based screen-readers for blind computer users, a spatial audio processing system, based on head-related transfer function processing technology is used to apply virtual acoustic positioning to synthesised speech. The spatial audio processing system and methods for generating spatial auditory displays are introduced. A procedure for the integration and synchronisation of an external speech synthesiser to the system is described. Finally, some prospects for the use of the enhanced speech output facilities of the system are given.
    Multimodal concept for a new generation of screen reader BIBAFull-Text 154-161
      Nadine Vigouroux; Bernard Oriola
    One aim of this research is to explore how the selection of output modality and information presentation can be used to allow more appropriated access to electronic document by visually impaired persons. This paper shows how multi-modal interfaces can decrease certain difficulties linked with the visual disabilities. At IRIT our work consists in representing and developing multimodal access for the electronic document consultation. A representation space of output modalities is proposed in the goal of defining a multimodal user interface management system.
    Auditory extension of user interfaces BIBFull-Text 162-163
      Andrea R. Kennel

    Human Computer Interfaces, I/O Devices II

    An attempt to define fully-accessible workstation levels of accessibility BIBAFull-Text 164-169
      R. J. Cooper; Jeffrey C. Senge
    The development and adoption of defined and standardized 'fully accessible workstations', which serve the needs of a great percentage of persons that require non-traditional access to computers, is a goal of all facilities that consider meeting the needs of persons with disabilities. Although the needs of every person with a disability are unique to that individual, it is possible to develop standards based upon relative incidence and probable need of technology assistance. These standards would provide a known starting point for those facilities wishing to begin technology access assistance programs, and structured upgrade paths for those facilities wishing to expand their services to cover other disabilities.
    Graz Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) II BIBAFull-Text 170-176
      J. Kalcher; D. Flotzinger; S. Gölly; Ch. Neuper; G. Pfurtscheller
    This paper describes the new setup of the Graz Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) system II, which is based on on-line classification of EEG patterns to determine which of three kinds of movement is planned by a subject. This classification can be exploited for on-line control which may constitute a great help for handicapped persons in the future.
    Human-computer interfacing for the severely physically disabled BIBAFull-Text 177-184
      A. D. Cherry; M. S. Hawley; M. Freeman; P. A. Cudd
    Human computer interfacing issues and the need for design standards for switch operated integrated rehabilitation systems are discussed. Input methods and compatibility problems are summarised. Formulae for access times to menu structures for a number of single switch selection methods are given. Quantitative comparisons are given for example selection processes. It is concluded that row column scanning is fastest for small selection sets. Advantages and disadvantages of the use of multiple switches for input are indicated.

    Short Reports: Activities

    Day and assessment training technology centres BIBAFull-Text 185-188
      Geoffrey Busby
    Modern technology affords opportunities to severely physically and sensory disabled people that previously would have been out of the question. In this paper I am not going to discuss the opportunities mentioned above, time doesn't permit, but rather the environment of my concept of the ideal environment in which such opportunities can be explored. Essentially it's a description of a planned Centre which I am hoping to set up in S.E. London.
    The North America association of rehabilitation programs in computer technology seeks to network with other training programs BIBAFull-Text 189-191
      Robert J. Leneway
    A North American Association of Training programs in Computer Related Areas hope to connect with other worldwide forums and training and placement programs also interested in working with persons with disabilities.
    Disability and rehabilitation database in Chinese language BIBAFull-Text 192-194
      Li Quankai; Guo Ming
    Disability and Rehabilitation database collected articles published in China 's journals, newspapers, papers in conference and laws which were relevant to rehabilitation and related areas. These were in Chinese and published from the year of 1949 to 1993. The DR database collected 35,000 records.
    Toward a single global market for assistive technology BIBAFull-Text 195-197
      Joseph P. Lane
    Public and private sector programs in North America parallel programs underway in the European Communities. Pursuing a single global market for assistive technology will reduce duplication, leverage resources, and accelerate progress toward our shared goals. This paper presents a rationale, reviews relevant programs in North America and invites participation in a global effort.

    Blindness -- Access to Documents I

    Using structure within electronic documents to make editors more accessible BIBAFull-Text 198-205
      Nick Ayres; Tom Wesley
    This paper describes on going work within the CAPS Consortium-Communication and Access to Information for People with Special Needs, a European Union funded project in the Technology Initiative for Disabled and Elderly People (TIDE) Programme -- that is examining ways in which structure within electronic documents may help make those documents more accessible to people with print disabilities. The work concentrates on the production and editing of documents by people with visual impairments and considers how structured editors may be useful to them. A structured editor has been designed to test the ideas, and this is described in the paper.
    Distinguishing pattern-types in printed documents BIBAFull-Text 206-213
      Georg Lokowandt; Waltraud Schweikhardt
    Reading machines and other devices have helped a lot in integrating blind persons into society. Simultaneously the progress and widespread use of desktop-publishing systems lead to documents that are hard to recognise for current reading machines. Nevertheless, access to printed documents is required by most blind persons. In this article we show a possible structure of an improved and flexible system for document recognition. It will be capable of processing any printed document, for instance a letter or a musical score as well as diagrams or line drawings. Special emphasis is put on correct and efficient distinction of categories of documents. Requirements for distinction are shown and an suggestion for an implementation is presented. It will perform this classification in a fast and flexible way. Also, the suggested method can automatically as well as interactively classify the type of a document. Afterwards the contents of the document can be displayed in an appropriate style. The blind users also have the possibility to interactively define new classes of documents if required. The prototype of this system is currently being implemented at our institute.
    Structuring documents: the key to increasing access to information for the print disabled BIBAFull-Text 214-221
      Bart Bauwens; Jan Engelen; Filip Evenepoel; Chris Tobin; Tom Wesley
    There is a growing conviction that the Standard Generalized Markup Language, SGML, can play an important role as an enabling technology to increase access to information for blind and partially sighted people. This paper reports on mechanisms that have been devised to build in accessibility into SGML encoded electronic documents, concentrating on the work done in the CAPS Consortium-Communication and Access to Information for People with Special Needs, a European Union funded project in the Technology Initiative for Disabled and Elderly People (TIDE) Programme-and by ICADD, the International Committee on Accessible Document Design. The CAPS follow on project, HARMONY is briefly described.

    Vision Impairment and Higher Education

    Study Center for Visually Impaired Persons supportive system for blind and partially sighted Students at the University of Karlsruhe/Germany BIBAFull-Text 222-228
      Joachim Klaus
    In 1987 a pilot project was started at the University of Karlsruhe dedicated to involve new communication technologies for visually impaired students and the sighted world. This supporting system for blind student led after five years of model development to a Study Center for Visually Impaired Students, which offers equal chances to these handicapped students in steps towards university, in living, learning and examinations inside the university system as well as in steps towards labour market.
    Support Centre for Visually impaired Students BIBAFull-Text 229-235
      Ludmila Moravcíková
    The paper deals about problems, achievements and prospect of building the support Centre at the Comenius University in Bratislava. The support Centre of academic studies for the blind and partially sighted has been built within the project TEMPUS JEP 2423 "New Study and Vocational Possibilities for Visually Handicapped Students" at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics since September 1992. The basic role of the Centre is to secure conditions for the integrated study of visually handicapped students at Comenius University and enable them to acquire education in the fields that have not been attainable before.
    Educational endeavour "Computer Science for the Blind" state of the art and experiences in supporting visually handicapped students BIBAFull-Text 236-243
      Roland Wagner; Bernhard Stöger; Klaus Miesenberger
    This report wants to show our experience and line out the state of the art of the Educational Endeavour "Computer Science for the Blind" at the University of Linz. First we will show that supporting visually handicapped at University is a task for Computer Science. After that we will have a look at the social background of a handicap. Special notice we will be given to education and integration. Taking these basic intentions into account we will then focus on the services offered at our university.
    Modellversuch "Informatik für Blinde" BIBFull-Text 244-245
      Bernhard Stöger; Klaus Miesenberger

    Short Reports: Vocation and the Workplace

    Cottage industry at NewLink BIBAFull-Text 246-248
      K. M. S. Barnes; R. W. Jotham; C. I. G. Sherman
    This paper outlines the design and development of a computer communication system for an education and training project for people with physical disabilities in the East Midland Region of England. The emphasis is not merely upon the technical development itself but upon the need of technical developments for people with physical disabilities to be created with consideration being given to the social context in which these individuals live. If such considerations do not take place there will be an increasing number of people with physical disabilities who do not have access to these new forms of communication.
    Telework for Handicapped people: an experience BIBAFull-Text 249-251
      Marco Zampiceni
    The goal of the courses organized by Fondazione Pro Juventute in collaboration with A.S.P.H.I. (The Association for the Development of Information Technology Projects for the Handicapped) in computer software applications programming, is to secure employement to young disabled people and more than 80% of those qualifying find a job. The remaining 20% isn't able to find a job, usually owing to geographic origin and degree of autonomy. The interest of Fondazione Pro Juventute Don Carlo Gnocchi and A.S.P.H.I. in the concept of telecommuting fits into this framework.
    Ableprofessionals: A recruiting and accommodation service for Atlanta employers BIBAFull-Text 252-254
      J. Hunter Ramseur; Lee S. Gardner; Darcy S. Painter
    In the 1990s and beyond, businesses face increasing demands for a competitive edge in the global marketplace. Nations also face similar global economic pressures. It is clear that effective, efficient use of human and technological resources are key factors for national economic survival as we enter the next millennium. One measure of human resource efficiency in a society is the percentage of its members who contribute to the economy. The society's technological resources, in the form of accessible computer tools integrated into the workplace, can enable the contribution of a larger percentage of its members. This paper presents a business being started in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, that assists corporations in hiring people with disabilities by offering to locate and recruit quality candidates and provide complete, cost effective accommodation service including design, and installation of office technology to enable them to be effectively employed.

    Blindness -- Access to Documents II

    "NewsReader" -- a comfortable digital newspaper and bookreading system BIBAFull-Text 255-261
      Peter Resele; Wolfgang Resele
    The project "NewsReader" is aimed at the development of state-of-the art digital newspaper and bookreading systems for blind people. The key concepts in "NewsReader" are digital transmission from the source (the publisher) to the reader, a user interface that is based on extensive reader surveys and an object-oriented approach to software development. Currently, the "NewsReader" reading system already enables blind people of all ages to read a variety of document types like newspapers, magazines and books. Available output devices include speech synthesis, braille and screen enlargers. Field trials showed that the user interface can be mastered within about 10 minutes for simple tasks like the reading of a newspaper article. While a menu-driven approach, together with a minimum number of only four keys, allows also computer-illiterate and computer-sceptical persons to use the system with minimum effort, a set of powerful functions is available to the advanced user.
    Digital talking books -- a report from a practical, ongoing project BIBAFull-Text 262-268
      Kjell Hansson; Lars Sönnebo; Jan Lindholm
    This project aims to develop a new system for storing and retrieving talking book material using digital technology. The project shows how radically new means of information access can be put to work using a digital talking book system based on standard personal computer technology.
    The electronic kiosk accessing newspapers with electronic media BIBAFull-Text 269-273
      Arnold Schneider; Cleto Pescia
    This paper presents a project which has been initiated in Switzerland in 1992 to provide people who are blind or visually impaired with daily newspapers. At present newspapers in Italian and German language are available. Articles are sent to a host computer from where the readers can download the files they want to read. An especially developed reading program enables the reader to select the articles of his or her interest.

    Disability and Higher Education

    Students support services at a scientific university BIBAFull-Text 274-280
      Claude Decoret; Laurent De Berti
    In this paper, we intend to describe the functioning of the services for handicapped students at our university. Details of functioning are given which show The co-ordination role of the Handicap Mission between teachers, students and administration. Links between the Handicap Mission and research and development laboratories teams, librarians, etc. are essential for diminishing handicap and facilitating studies in the framework of integration. This last point has specific aspects in a scientific university.
    Assistive technology in us higher education: The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater experience BIBAFull-Text 281-287
      John D. Truesdale; Connie Wiersma
    The advent of the personal computer age has significant implications for the lives of individuals who happen to have disabilities. It also has significant implications for the system of service delivery of computers and other assistive technology. New paradigms of service delivery may be needed to take full advantage of the power of technology systems. It is suggested that the introduction, training and use of computers is most effective when it is part of a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary team approach and based on the philosophies of human development and independent living.
    Leadership and Technology Management (LTM) the strategic management of technology in a consumer-driven environment BIBFull-Text 288-290
      Harry J. Murphy

    Information Systems on Rehabilitation Technology

    Multimedia information system on assistive devices BIBAFull-Text 291-296
      R. Andrich
    A computerised information system with multimedia capabilities is described which supports a network of technical aids information and advice Centres in Italy. The system is currently used by 58 Centres disseminated throughout the Country, mainly run by Local Health Authorities of the National Health Service, and by 10 Centres abroad. The distribution medium is the compact disk CD-ROM. A number of other services (monthly telefaxed bulletins, training programmes, help desk) are provided along with the quarterly distribution of CD-ROMs.
    REHA -- A multimedia system to learn about IT-systems for disabled persons BIBAFull-Text 297-304
      O. Rienhoff; H. Wittchow
    In the last five years R&D activities in the field of information-technology-support for disabled persons have boomed. However, despite many impressive pieces of technology no breakthrough to a broad usage of this technology has happened. In this context an interdisciplinary working group at the Institute of Medical Informatics worked on the didactic- and presentation concept of Reha, a multimedia learning system, orientated towards three main target groups for information technoloy for the disabled: physicians, medical students, and patients. The concept was transformed into a demonstrator.
       The program offers information and explanations about certain diseases. From there is a direct branching to the IT-aid part of the program to introduce a corresponding IT-aid that seems to be suitable.
    Introducing voice control -- Widening the perspective BIBAKFull-Text 305-312
      Ian French; Philip Halford; Jill Hewitt; John Sapsford-Francis
    This paper describes the development of a multimedia tutorial system which is designed to encourage more people to use voice controlled systems. A three part tutorial takes a user through a first introduction at an exhibition or assessment centre, an intermediate learning level designed to improve performance in using speech controlled systems and finally an application oriented tutorial designed to accelerate learning to 'expert user' status. The system is designed to be used in hands-free mode right from the first access by a new user, thus giving the disabled user more independence of use throughout their training, hence minimising the need for third party assistance.
    Keywords: Speech Controlled Systems; Hands-Free Operation; Tutorial System; Multimedia Tutorial

    Blindness -- Access to Math and Software Engineering

    Mathtalk: The design of an interface for reading algebra using speech BIBAFull-Text 313-320
      Robert Stevens; Alistair Edwards
    The problems that a visually disabled person has with reading, writing and manipulating standard algebra notation are characterized in terms of speed, control and external memory. The Mathtalk program has been developed to enable the listener to read algebra notation in a quick and active manner, that overcomes some of these problems. Prosody has been added to the synthetic voice output to resolve grouping ambiguities, decrease mental workload and improve memory for the presented notation. Browsing functions and the associated command language allow the listening reader to shift his or her attention to any part of an expression. To make most effective use of the speed and control afforded by Mathtalk, an audio glance is provided that should allow planning of the reading process. The development and evaluation of Mathtalk has led to the proposal of a set of design principles that should facilitate the production of other, similar user interfaces for the reading of structured information. Further work includes the development of Mathtalk in the TIDE Maths project. As well as reading, the problems of writing and manipulation need to be tackled.
    A method of access to computer aided software engineering (CASE) tools for blind software engineers BIBAFull-Text 321-328
      Paul Blenkhorn; David Gareth Evans
    This paper proposes a technique to allow blind software engineers to access the information held in Computer Aided Software Engineering (CASE) tools. Such tools support systems analysis and design methods that typically encode information as hierarchically structured two-dimensional graphs. The paper discusses the problems that blind engineers face in accessing this type of information by considering the structure of system models built in one Software Engineering notation, namely Hatley-Pirbhai Real Time Structured Analysis. It introduces a long established, but not widely used, notation, N2 charts, which provide an equivalent tabular encoding for many software engineering notations. This style of presentation is used, together with talking touch tablet, to provide an interactive means for blind software engineers to access full system models.

    Medical and Clinical Aspects I

    Automatic image processing in developmental testing of visual-motor integration BIBAFull-Text 329-335
      M. C. Fairhurst; N. Higson; C. Clar; R. Bradford; W. Clark; E. Pringle
    Figure copying and related tasks are commonly used in the evaluation of perceptual and motor-perceptual functioning, yet there are many potential difficulties associated with the administration of such tests and their objective assessment. This paper describes a study, based on the Beery Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration, which investigates the use of automatic image analysis techniques to implement and evaluate figure copying tasks, and which can afford the opportunity for the extraction of further characteristics of drawing execution which are of potential significance in assessing performance.
    Computer neuropsychological training in mentally retarded children BIBAFull-Text 336-341
      Enrico Castelli; Geraldina Poggi; Cristina Ferraroli; Vittoria Trebeschi
    Informatic tecnology can be the right answer to deal with some neuropsychological troubles of children. The goal of this study is the application of computer programs as a possible strategy in rehabilitation of children with cognitive problems. Four programs were selected to stimulate various basic brain functions: problem solving, categorization, logical sequence and spatial thought. The programs were tested on a group of 20 mentally retarded young subjects matched with a comparison group of 20 like subjects trained with ordinary techniques. The computer trained group showed a significant improvement in tests involving attention, motivation for learning and problem solving abilities. These results, in our opinion, would confirm the usefulness of specific software as a rehabilitative method in dealing with cognitive problems of children.
    Computer training in cognitive remediation of the traumatic head injured BIBFull-Text 342-349
      Jack Rattok

    Speech Impairment -- Alternative Communication I

    Computer utilisation for speaking re-education BIBAFull-Text 350-354
      Radu V. Ciupa; Alexandra A. Ciupa; Emil Simion
    The purpose of the research was to study the problems which exists in the speech analysis domain and to work out a system through which speaking ability regained for this kind of patients was facilitated as far as speed, quality and reduction of useless staff in the educational process are concerned. The device was conceived and carried out with a double-aimed role: -a computer interface, for the analysis of the quality of uttered words and the display on a video screen of the results of comparison in graphical form proper for the usual feedback related to pronunciation correctness and, -a system of auditive feedback carried out with the same aim.
    The effectiveness of the Intonation Meter for teaching intonation to deaf persons BIBAFull-Text 355-362
      Gerard W. Spaai; Dik. J. Hermes; Esther S. Derksen; Paul A. Kaufholz
    Prelingually, profoundly deaf speakers frequently experience problems in generating a proper intonation. For this reason several attempts have been made to improve their intonation with the help of visual intonation-display systems. A system has been developed, called the Intonation Meter, in which visual feedback of intonation is given as a continuous representation of the pitch contour containing only the perceptually relevant aspects of the intonation pattern. Two exploratory studies were carried out to determine the effectiveness of the Intonation Meter for teaching intonation to prelingually profoundly deaf children aged 6 to 18 years. The results indicate that the Intonation Meter can be an effective tool for teaching intonation to older children, i.e. children of nine years and older. Furthermore, younger children (i.e. 6-7-year-olds) receiving intonation training progressed well, irrespective of whether or not the Intonation Meter was used.
    Application of Artificial Intelligence methods in a word-prediction aid BIBAFull-Text 363-370
      Nestor Garay-Vitoria; Julio González-Abascal
    Word-prediction appears to be a good aid to enhance message-composition rate for people with physical disabilities. Usually word-prediction is based on statistical information (mainly on word frequencies). Hit rate can be enhanced by trying to imitate the behaviour of a human interlocutor (who uses syntactic and semantic information). In this paper some new approaches based on Artificial Intelligence methods are presented. Advantages of syntactic and semantic analysis in relation to bare statistical methods are studied. Furthermore, the integration with human-computer interfaces for disabled users is also described.
    Speech therapy, new developments and results in LingWare BIBAFull-Text 371-378
      Wolfgang Grießl; F. J. Stachowiak
    LingWare/STACH is a permanently extended multimedia program for computer assisted language and speech therapy, which includes besides the therapy programme an author system for creative and extensive use. A short example of one of the more than 2000 exercises is given.
       Since two years LingWare is extended: new soundcards, foreign versions, features to support home based therapy. The principles are outlined.
       The German Federal Ministry of Research and Technology provided financial support to carry out a randomized multicenter study on the efficacy of LingWare/STACH as a form of supplementary therapy in addition o the language therapy provided by a speech therapist. A detailed description of the study and the results is given.

    Blindness -- New Applications of Sound Signals

    Projective display of document information by parametric sound beam BIBAFull-Text 379-384
      Yoshimichi Yonezawa; Hideki Nonaka; Kazunori Itoh; Masami Hashimoto
    For the input work of sentences by the blind, the location information of cursor is necessary. We have tried to display document information by the sound (voice). The sound we used is secondary one derived from parametric array driven by an ultrasonic range signal. We got the movable sound source using the sound and projecting it on the wall just like torch light. The basic characteristics show the possibility of the document information display by this method.
    Synthesizing non-speech sound to support blind and visually impaired computer users BIBAKFull-Text 385-393
      A. Darvishi; V. Guggiana; E. Munteanu; H. Schauer; M. Motavalli; M. Rauterberg
    This paper describes work in progress on automatic generation of "impact sounds" based on physical modelling. These sounds can be used as non-speech audio presentation of objects and as interaction-mechanisms to non visual interfaces. In this paper especially we present the complete physical model for impact sounds "spherical objects hitting flat plates or beams." The results of analysing of some examples of recorded (digitised) "impact sounds" and their comparisons with some theoretical aspects are discussed in this paper. These results are supposed to be used as input for the next phases of our audio framework project. The objective of this research project (joint project University of Zurich and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) is to develop a concept, methods and a prototype for an audio framework. This audio framework shall describe sounds on a highly abstract semantic level. Every sound is to be described as the result of one or several interactions between one or several objects at a certain place and in a certain environment.
    Keywords: non speech sound generation; visual impairment; auditory interfaces; physical modelling; auditive feedback; human computer interaction; software ergonomics; usability engineering; material properties
    Stereo sound board for real time auditory coding of visual information BIBFull-Text 394-395
      C. Faïk; C. Capelle; C. Halet; C. Trullemans; C. Veraart

    Medical and Clinical Aspects II

    DHT -- Diary handy terminal -- for evaluating fluctuations in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) BIBAFull-Text 396-402
      M. M. Pinter; R. J. Helscher; H. Binder
    In order to permit immediate evaluation of fluctuations in advanced PD and corresponding modification of drug adminstration we developed a software package running on an Epson Handy Terminal.
       In a prospective study of 38 PD patients we investigated the improved data evaluation and statistical evaluation of fluctuations registered by DHT as compared to hand-written entries. It was our main objective to investigate in principle the possibility of using a computer-assisted technique for the documentation of oscillations in Parkinson's disease.
       The data acquired in the two different ways were evaluated for all 38 patients. As regards accuracy of data acquisition, DHT was superior to the handwritten version. Moreoever DHT also allowed a check of acutal drug intake time to the second. As regards the relationship between duration of drug action and occurence of fluctuations or dyskinesia, DHT provides rapid information for a modification of the therapeutical time schedule.
    Development of the system to teach the bedsore prevention method for wheelchair users BIBAFull-Text 403-408
      Hiroyuki Koyama; Takashi Komeda; Tateki Uchida; Masao Miyagi; Kikuo Kanaya; Sadae Kuroiwa; Susumu Otsuka; Hiroyasu Funakubo
    In this study, we are developing the system to teach bedsores prevention method for wheelchair users. This system can measure the distribution of pressure by the sensor sheet when a wheelchair user sits on it, and show the measured result on the monitor by the color image. Therefore, wheelchair users are able to learn the bedsores prevention method under recognizing their distributions of pressure with the therapist. We measured pressure distribution and got differences between SCI people and AB people using this system, and we confirmed that it is important to measure pressure distributions and this system is useful to use when therapist teach the bedsore prevention method to wheelchair users.
    Development of the bedsore alarm system using microcomputer for wheelchair users BIBFull-Text 409
      Takashi Komeda; Hiroyuki Koyama; Tateki Uchida; Masao Miyagi; Kikuo Kanaya; Sadae Kuroiwa; Susumu Otsuka; Hiroyasu Funakubo
    A case study of computer analysis of the arthritic user in rehabilitation engineering BIBAFull-Text 410
      G. Jeffries; D. K. Wright; N. Rogers; K. Leibrandt
    From the data obtained by this method of analysis, and applying existing anthropometric and ergonomic principles, products can be evaluated with comparison to existing studies. This makes feasible the study of complex 3D systems, and also provides a valuable evaluation tool in the design process. Further development of this tool will incorporate joint range of motion and time dependent criteria such as fatigue.
    Evaluation of Ergolab BIBAFull-Text 411-412
      Monique Noirhomme-Fraiture; Luc Goffinet; Clairette Charrière
    From our observations, we have gained information on the qualities that Ergolab and general software for young children should have. These qualities are:
  • Find a means to help young children validate their answers to the program.
  • The young children also need a way to physically centre the mouse on its
  • Software for the younger should take into account the fact that children need
       to express with words the actions they intend to perform.
  • There is an age limit, under which some specific actions cannot be carried
  • When someone interacts with the computer thanks to a switch and through a
       scanning process, the first item in the selection is often harder to choose
       than the others.
  • Speech Impairment -- Alternative Communication II

    Dynamic displays: the changing face of augmentative communication BIBAFull-Text 413-420
      Walter S. Woltosz
    Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices incorporating dynamic displays have been commercially-available since 1981 for text-based systems, and since 1986 for graphic-based systems. Beginning in about 1990, the advantages of dynamic displays became so overwhelming and so obvious that clinicians began recommending them more frequently and their use increased rapidly. This paper reviews the history of dynamic display AAC devices, describes their advantages and disadvantages with respect to static display systems, and discusses relevant research literature.
    BLISSVOX -- Voice output communication system for teaching, rehabilitation, and communication BIBAFull-Text 421-428
      G. Olaszy; S. L. Kálmán; P. Olaszi
    Combining the text-to-speech system MULTIVOX and Blissymbolics and adapting them to the special needs of disabled children, outlined by the Hungarian Bliss Foundation, a speaking communication program using Bliss symbols has been developed for DOS environment. The special characteristics of this program and the preliminary results of its use will be described.
    Access to the text component of multimedia conversation services for non-speaking people with severe physical disabilities BIBAFull-Text 429-436
      N. A. Hine; W. Beattie; A. McKinlay; J. L. Arnott
    This paper discusses an investigation of text communication as an element of interaction mediated by a broadband telecommunication system. This study is part of a wider investigation being undertaken by the EEC RACE IPSNI II project. The focus of the study was to determine if the typing rate achieved by non-speaking people with additional severe motor impairments could be improved by refining a scanning array. Whilst some improvement was achieved, the rate was still far lower than that of an able bodied typist. Other factors that affect the text production rate are discussed. The results suggests that a scanning text selection method could cause excessive expense for users seeking to undertake real-time text-based communication over broadband telecommunications networks, and alternative approaches are presented.
    Protocolling the TINATEL-System: A contribution for long term evaluation of an AAC-system for speech impaired persons to access the public telephone network BIBAFull-Text 437-446
      Paul Panek
    This paper describes the long-term evaluation of the TINATEL-System, an Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) device to be used for aided communication within the public telephone network. The system was especially developed for a single speech impaired User. An integrated logbook recorded a lot of data between 1991 and 1994 concerning the daily use of the system. These data are described and shown in different ways to keep in view the transferrate, the average daily duration of use, the social and therapeutical effects and so on.
       Some general aspects of protocolling data by an AAC system are shown. It is stated that these data can contribute valuable parts to the evaluation of AAC-devices.

    Blindness -- Tactile Output Devices

    The conventional Braille display state of the art and future perspectives BIBAFull-Text 447-454
      Bernhard Stöger; Klaus Miesenberger
    The conventional one-line Braille display is explained and discussed in great detail, the emphasis being laid on the ergonomic and software-technical aspects rather than the electronic or the electromechanical ones. Especially closely studied are the deeper aspects of text-based Braille display operation such as video attribute viewing and lightbar handling. In addition, some suggestions to improve present Braille display software are given, especially concerning the recently developed programs to access graphical user interfaces.
    The concept of a full screen tactile display (FSTD) driven by electrochemical reactions BIBAFull-Text 455-460
      Ryszard Kowalik; Irena Postawka
    A concept of a full screen tactile display driven by electrochemical reactions is presented. It is based on theoretical considerations of electrochemical reactions which occur during electrolysis. The basic calculations of electrochemical equations are discussed. A model of one cell and full size tactile display is proposed. A project of a driving and controlling system of a tactile display is presented.
    Displaying laterally moving tactile information BIBAFull-Text 461-468
      Joerg Fricke; Helmut Baehring
    A movable dynamic tactile display has been developed presenting information to one or several fingertips resting on the display. As a main goal, the virtual line or plane of information to be displayed should be read using the same perceptual and cognitive resources as with real objects like paper braille or tactile graphics. This is achieved by a nonvibratory display comprising an array of tactile pins having a spacing of about 1 mm, at least in the x-direction. These pins can be lifted by piezoelectric bending strips to a variety of heights. A scanned braille dot, for example, is presented by a smooth lateral "wave" of lifted and lowered pins. A special design resulting in a negligible power dissipation even at high bandwidth allows the integration of the bending strip drivers into the display mechanics. First experiences with a prototype are reported, and future research topics are outlined.
    A new architecture conception for a two dimensional tactile display BIBFull-Text 469-470
      Bertold Schulz

    Technology Support in Mainstream Education

    Tactison: a multimedia learning tool for blind children BIBAFull-Text 471-478
      Burger Dominique; Bouraoui Amina; Mazurier Christian; Cesarano Serge; Sagot Jack
    This paper introduces a tactile and auditory interactive material, Tactison, that was developed to teach blind or visually impaired children. The principles and design of the system are described. Some applications in education are presented and prospects for future developments are discussed. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how technology can bring about metaphorical environments which may be as useful for the blind as images are for sighted people.
    Fortec's efforts to support mainstream education through research and technology development BIBAFull-Text 479-486
      F. P. Seiler; J. Haider; P. Mayer; W. L. Zagler
    Mainstream education of visually impaired pupils and students depends heavily on the accessibility of the same information than those available for sighted colleagues. These information are: printed text like books, lecture notes and transparents; graphics and figures are often used to illustrate or support the understanding of a verbally described procedure; and access to information available in electronic form like library catalogues, information services (e.g. gopher) and electronic texts.
       fortec developed HotDot, a printing device that allows the production of Braille and/or inkprint within the same unit and on the same page. Another project is RelieF, a new system to produce graphics and figures as hardcopy materials in tactile (three-dimensional) form. And the third project described in this paper is the conceptual design and set-up of the multifunctional VIP-Workplace for visually impaired students at the Vienna University of Technology.
    Providing assistive technology training to a rural school of education through an in-direct service strategy BIBAFull-Text 487-492
      Melissa Salem Darrow; W. Scott Thomson
    A strategy is described for staffing and equipping an assistive technology training laboratory within the constraints of a rural environment. The acquisition of appropriate hardware and peripherals is described, as well as a model for staff training and the coincidental delivery of service to a disabled population. A discussion of the effectiveness of the project is included.

    Short Reports: Human Computer Interfaces

    The CORES project BIBAFull-Text 493-495
      P. A. Cudd; M. Freeman; R. B. Yates; A. J. Wilson; M. P. Cooke; M. S. Hawley
    Discussion paper of a proposed project that is the initial phase of a far reaching research programme. The CORES project aims to investigate the development of a speech-only-input based Human Computer Interface (HCI) which will lead to suitably skilled disabled users being able to operate any commonly available commercial personal computer or workstation. The long term aim is to generalise this to a portable device with an adaptable HCI (both in hardware and software terms) suitable for disabled and able-bodied people alike.
    Real time HCI and limits of human performance BIBAFull-Text 496-498
      V. Risak
    Real-time-systems impose demands concerning complexity and reaction-time onto the user. The limits of human performance can be compared with these demands in a special diagram. Special types of handicaps and the result of countermeasures by modifying the task or training can be shown.

    Short Reports: Education

    Computer and Computer Communication Guidance Centre for the Disabled BIBAFull-Text 499-500
      P. D. Bhalerao
    Computer and Computer Communication Guidance Centre for Disabled is started at the Institute of Science, Nagpur India with the financial assistance from UNCSDHA Vienna and infrastructural facilities from State Govt. of Maharashtra. This is a highly motivated project that focusses on the upliftment of disabled to the status of economic independence through free of charge high tech. education in the field of computers. In fourteen months fifty disabled have been trained and referred for job placement. Other objectives include Computer aided diagnosis of medical and psychological health of disabled, adoptions and attachments for regional languages, training in D.T.P., FAX and EPABX as well development of incidental software.
    Assistive technology in the public schools BIBAFull-Text 501-503
      M. Shannon McCord
    Providing assistive technology and/or augmentative communication devi ces to students with disabilities ranging from severe cognitive delays to orthopedic handicaps can drastically increase their ability to participate to their potential in the public school system and improve self-esteem at the same time. Our Special Education Local Plan Area has established a new lab to facilitate exposing as amany students as possible to the latest technology and to provide a space for training the entire team that works with the students including the family.
    ADAMLAB Educational agency designs Voice Output Communication Aid BIBAFull-Text 504-506
      Gregory A. Turner
    This paper gives a thumbnail sketch of the ADAMLAB project. The project has pioneered an entrepreneurial model in the governmental (public agency) sphere for the design and delivery of low-cost electronic assistive technology products to handicapped individuals for whom the otherwise high cost of the technology is prohibitive.

    Technology and Low Vision

    Large print desktop-publishing by PC for the partially sighted BIBAFull-Text 507-517
      Ulrich Zeun
    This paper emphasizes the need of large print textbooks for partially sighted readers as a alternative reading medium. Research showed that there are almost no production facilities for large print, too little large print titles, and widely spread photocopying does not fit the perceptual needs of low vision people in all aspects. First experience of a large print project working with regular PC-equipment are stated, and guidelines are given concerning technical equipment, large print layout and typography. Though image editing is a more time-consuming and sophisticated job than text editing, adapted pictures should be included in large print books.
    A new approach in designing low vision aids (LVA) BIBAFull-Text 518-525
      Berry P. L. M. den Brinker
    In reading text, two processes can be discriminated: 1) the search for desired information on the page, and 2) the process of processing information once the desired spot on the page has been found. A global overview is given about the research on the structure of the visual system and how this system is used in normal reading and reading by people with low vision (LVP). It is concluded that research has been concentrated at the second process of the reading process and that no knowledge is available on how LVP can use their residual visual function to enable search. It is argued that visual search is of increasing importance in our modern society and that low vision aids (LVA) should support visual search. It is assumed that betters LVA can be developed on the basis of an 'Ecological approach to visual perception' (Gibson (1979).

    Computer Aided Learning, Authoring Systems

    Multimedia authoring systems for constructing education packages for Special Needs Education BIBAFull-Text 526-532
      J. Fowler; S. Swales
    There are many problems involved with using "off-the-shelf" educational packages in Special Needs Education. For instance, commercial packages have, in the past, been found to accomplish only about half the function requires, or are found not to meet the needs of the pupils at all. An additional problem, is that these pupils often require special hardware which caters for their individual needs. There seems to be a complete lack of software which can be configured for the use of these special devices, which would enable the individual pupils to use the various programs.
       This paper contains details of proposed research, which is currently underway, looking into specifying, designing and developing a system, which would allow teaching staff at such Special Needs Schools to construct their own customised software for teaching purposes. With the use of such a system, software would be individually tailored to meet the needs of the pupils, and more accurately adjusted to the material being used in the curriculum of the time.
       The proposed system would consist of a multi-media authoring system, which together with an easy-to-grasp user interface, would allow teachers to build their own stand-alone packages without the need to know a programming language.
    Computer-aided Instruction with blind persons on an audio-tactile basis BIBAFull-Text 533-539
      Paul Nater; Thomas Thale
    A hardware configuration to realize Programmed Instruction (as a partial aspect of Computer-aided Instruction) on an audio-tactile basis is discribed. In order to enable teachers without special EDP-knowledge to program teaching-programs as interactive (branched) systems with Braille interaction and speach-output, an author-system is explained. Contours of current and future research are outlined.
    Authoring software in special education BIBAFull-Text 540-549
      Panayiota G. Smirni; Pearl Brereton
    The limited quantity and quality of existing software (courseware) restricts the use of computers in today's special educational environments. Special educators are often reluctant to become involved with the development of new courseware because of the high costs associated with courseware development. Therefore in this paper we are focussing on procedures for the development of Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI) lessons. Three primary techniques to help authors produce CAI lessons are the use of traditional programming languages, authoring languages, and authoring systems. These techniques are defined and compared. For our study we concentrated on those authoring systems which require no programming from the user and which provide a courseware generator for special teachers to enter their own content. These authoring systems can be divided into three categories according to the type of CAI lesson they support. Criteria are also given for selecting between the authoring systems.
       An Authoring Courseware Development Model (ACDM) is proposed to guide the development of authored lessons. According to this model the development of special CAI lessons is separated into four phases: lesson design, lesson authoring, lesson testing and lesson documentation. It is hoped that by using this model from beginning to end, teachers will be rewarded for their time and effort with lesson products that can be used over time with students with learning difficulties.

    Telecommunication and Satellite Navigation

    Radio computer communications network for disabled people BIBAFull-Text 550-555
      András Arató; Teréz Vaspöri
    Communication is essential for people with all kinds of disabilities. Blind people can access more information, deaf people can have conversation with others, mobility impaired people can also access information easier. What to do in a country like Hungary which has a shortage of telephone lines? This article describes a possible solution through extending two-way radio to the internet.
    An investigation of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology for disabled people BIBAFull-Text 556-562
      Paul Blenkhorn; David Gareth Evans; Stephen Pettitt
    There has been a good deal of both interest and confusion regarding the capabilities and use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) to assist people with disabilities. The confusion has resulted mainly from the uncertainty regarding the resolution of the system in determining the position of a user. The Technology for Disabled People Unit (UMIST) has examined this problem in two ways: by purchasing a GPS development system for field trials; and by undertaking a search of relevant information in an attempt to clarify the situation. This paper reports on the results of these investigations and also highlights potential applications, problems, and, where known, possible solutions.
    Telecommunity telecommunication for persons with mental retardation -- A Swedish perspective BIBAFull-Text 563-568
      Jane Brodin
    A study of the use of telecommunications for persons with moderate mental retardation has revealed that videotelephony may provide possibilities of participation in society and social life for persons with special needs. The Swedish ACE (Advanced Communications Experiments) is part of the European project TeleCommunity and based on data collected from a minitrial with two participants, and background information, questionnaires, interviews and observations with 24 adults with moderate mental retardation living in group homes. The results show that the effects of the impairments can be diminished, that communication and independence increase and that the quality of life may increase by using a videotelephone which is based on both visual and auditory impressions.

    Blindness -- Tactile Reading and Writing

    Tactile-audio user interface for blind persons BIBAFull-Text 569-574
      Hiroki Minagawa; Noboru Ohnishi; Noboru Sugie
    We are developing a communication media for blind persons which enables blind persons to represent diagrams freely using only their tactile and auditory senses. We conducted psychological experiments in which blind students used and evaluated our prototype system, tactile-audio display (TAD). As a result, some problems on the user interface for blind persons were revealed. These included "troublesome keyboard operations", "rasping voice menu" and "difficulty in simultaneous use by three or more persons". We considered how to resolve such problems.
    Computer-aided access to tactile graphics for the blind BIBAFull-Text 575-581
      Jürgen Lötzsch
    Every day sighted people use 2D graphic representations of informations for communication and documentation. At school and work but also in the daily life they bring a lot of advantages especially efficiency and speed. Now we see all of them on computer screens. But how can blind people manage the access to such 2D representations used in computers? The experiences, gained during the author's involvement in projects dealing with audio-tactile pictures, are presented in this paper.
    Braille reader BIBAFull-Text 582-589
      Yasuhiko Ogawa; Yoshinobu Kikuchi; Nobuyuki Ohtake
    A braille reader is developed as an input device on a personal computer. This mechanism is direct touch for embossed point on braille paper by an isolated thin metal wire. We designed a braille reader considering standard input/output interface[3] of general computers, then this can connect any other large/small computers. Not only a braille reader is used by the blind and volunteer, but such a useful machine should be set up in public offices and libraries. Furthermore, this braille reader makes many copies of an old braille document which exists only one.

    Technology and Disabled Children

    Computer camp for the handicapped and their family members BIBAFull-Text 590-595
      Vanja R. Kiswarday
    With the rapid development of information technology and its increasing in all fields of life and work, there are practically no more workplaces without computer possibilities. In Slovenija everyone but the handicapped has a chance to join a computer class satisfying his interests. At the "Jozef Stefan" Institute, we made appropriate modifications to existing computer literacy programs to meet the special education needs of some children. We prepared a computer camp for handicapped children and their family members. The aim of this camp was to link the knowledge and first experience in computer use with their everyday needs. We found that it is important to introduce children's family members to various possibilities as to how the computer can become a useful tool in study, creative work and daily life. By inviting family members to join the camp, we encourage them to involve themselves in this process.
    SMLLSTPS: the software version of the Macquarie Program, a computerized child assessment system BIBAFull-Text 596-605
      Erik de Graaf
    This paper describes an application of DataPerfect, which was designed to accommodate the early intervention programme from Macquarie University in Sydney. Not only will its use save time, it can also be used as a powerful tool to monitor the development of children with developmental disability in a way which was not possible before.

    Late Papers

    Development and use of a speech recognition system for physically handicapped users BIBAFull-Text 606-614
      James Monaghan; Christine Cheepen
    This paper reports on the impact of the implementation of a totally hands-free work station based on an automatic speech recognition (ASR) user interface management system in a school for disabled children with learning difficulties. It focusses on two major areas of impact -- firstly the general effects of the introduction of a speech input computer system into the organisational context of a school, and secondly the educational benefit to the student users which arose from the introduction of the system.
    Head mounted accelerometers in the control of a video cursor BIBFull-Text 615
      E. Gallasch; D. Rafolt; T. Kenner
    Computer assisted training programme for early intervention for children with mental retardation BIBAFull-Text 616-620
      Marshal V. Krishnaswamy
    Mental retardation is the worst of all human handicaps. An estimated 2% of the population suffer from this handicap. The earlier the intervention the greater is its effectiveness. There is hardly any systematic programme of early intervention suited to the cultural milieu and socio-economic conditions of India. Noting the need for an indigenous programme suited to the country, Indchem Research and Development Laboratory developed a computer assisted programme of training for children with mental retardation. The curriculum of training was developed by an interdisciplinary team of experts in the field. A logic was developed to relate the pre-requisite skills in different developmental areas to those in the area of Self-Help. The programme called Upanayan (To lead along) is confined now to children with mental retardation in the age group 0-2 years. The mothers are trained on this programme to train the children.
       The computer assistance for the training programme was developed in Microsoft 'C' and operates on an IBM compatible PC/AT. A programme for recording the data on children under training and their progress facilitates the setting of goals and the monitoring of progress.
       Parents of children at Madhuram Narayanan Centre for Exceptional Centre, Madras, use this programme for early intervention. The programme for the children has been documented and the results of training using it are satisfactory and encouraging.