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UAIS Tables of Contents: 01020304050607080910111213

Universal Access in the Information Society 5

Editors:Constantine Stephanidis
Publisher:Springer Verlag
Standard No:ISSN 1615-5289 (print); 1615-5297 (electronic)
Links:Table of Contents
  1. UAIS 2006 Volume 5 Issue 1
  2. UAIS 2006 Volume 5 Issue 2
  3. UAIS 2006 Volume 5 Issue 3
  4. UAIS 2007 Volume 5 Issue 4

UAIS 2006 Volume 5 Issue 1


Information technology systems accessibility BIBDOI 1-3
  Eleanor T. Loiacono; Scott McCoy; Nicholas C. Romano


AudioBrowser: a mobile browsable information access for the visually impaired BIBAKDOI 4-22
  Xiaoyu Chen; Marilyn Tremaine; Robert Lutz; Jae-woo Chung; Patrick Lacsina
Although a large amount of research has been conducted on building interfaces for the visually impaired that allows users to read web pages and generate and access information on computers, little development addresses two problems faced by the blind users. First, sighted users can rapidly browse and select information they find useful, and second, sighted users can make much useful information portable through the recent proliferation of personal digital assistants (PDAs). These possibilities are not currently available for blind users. This paper describes an interface that has been built on a standard PDA and allows its user to browse the information stored on it through a combination of screen touches coupled with auditory feedback. The system also supports the storage and management of personal information so that addresses, music, directions, and other supportive information can be readily created and then accessed anytime and anywhere by the PDA user. The paper describes the system along with the related design choices and design rationale. A user study is also reported.
Keywords: Information accessibility - Mobile information browser - AudioBrowser - Non-visual interfaces for the blind and the visually impaired - Audio-tactile interface
Improving search engine interfaces for blind users: a case study BIBAKFull-Text 23-40
  Patrizia Andronico; Marina Buzzi; Carlos Castillo; Barbara Leporini
This article describes a research project aimed at improving search engine usability for sightless persons who use assistive technology to navigate the web. At the beginning of this research, a preliminary study was performed concerning accessibility and usability of search tools, and eight guidelines were formulated for designing search engine user interfaces. Then, the derived guidelines were applied in modifying the source code of Google's interface, while maintaining the same look and feel, in order to demonstrate that with very little effort it is possible to make interaction easier, more efficient, and less frustrating for sightless individuals. After providing a general overview of the project, the paper focuses on interface design and implementation.
Keywords: Accessibility - Usability - User interface - Blind users - Search engine
An exploratory study of the accessibility of state government Web sites BIBAKFull-Text 41-50
  Tanya Goette; Caroline Collier; Jennifer Daniels White
This paper focuses on Web accessibility. Relevant legislation and judicial decisions are reviewed, and prior empirical research is presented. This study presents the results from the Web accessibility analysis of the home pages of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. It found that twenty-nine percent of the home pages do not meet the requirements for Conformance Level A Web accessibility. Only one state meets Conformance Level AA standards, which are the minimum standards recommended for Web accessibility, and no state meets Conformance Level AAA standards. This paper also discusses how to address common accessibility problems.
Keywords: Web site accessibility - State Web sites
Developing inclusive e-learning systems BIBAKFull-Text 51-72
  Anthony Savidis; Dimitris Grammenos; Constantine Stephanidis
The requirement for e-inclusion relates to the employment of appropriate development strategies for software applications and services so as to accomplish accessibility and increased interaction quality at deployment time. Inclusive e-learning is the outcome from the application of e-inclusion design and implementation methods in the context of e-learning systems. This paper reports consolidated development experience from the construction of the following e-learning systems: (a) training applications for hand-motor impaired users and for people with cognitive disabilities; (b) learner-adapted courseware and (c) a universally accessible educational computer game. In this context, the primary emphasis is placed on the reporting of the design and implementation aspects to accommodate the inclusive system characteristics, rather than on the typical e-learning software engineering approaches.
Keywords: Inclusive e-learning - Accessible training applications - Learner-adapted courseware - Universally accessible computer games
Odd Job Jack described: a universal design approach to described video BIBAKFull-Text 73-81
  D. I. Fels; J. P. Udo; P. Ting; J. E. Diamond; J. I. Diamond
People who are blind or have low vision have only recently begun to enjoy greater access to television and video through a new technology, called descriptive video information (DVI). Two styles of DVI production for animated comedy content were compared. The first model used a conventional description style, and the second used a first person narrative style. In addition, the first person narrative style was produced by the original animation creation team. Results from blind participants show that using the first person narrative style shows promise, especially since all participants seemed to have positive entertainment experiences with the first person narrative DVI version of the content.
Keywords: Described video - Described audio - Production models

Long Paper

Automatic inspection-based support for obtaining usable Web sites for vision-impaired users BIBAKDOI 82-95
  Francesco Correani; Barbara Leporini; Fabio Paternò
The aim of this work is to provide designers and developers of Web applications with support to obtain systems that are usable for vision-impaired users. To this end, a number of design criteria to improve Web site navigation through screen readers or other similar devices have been defined. A user test by blind and vision-impaired subjects showed that such criteria improve Web site usability both qualitatively and quantitatively. An inspection-based tool has been developed to ease the application of the defined criteria. Its main features are presented in this article along with examples of applications and related discussion.
Keywords: Usability and accessibility - Automatic inspection - Vision-impaired users - Guidelines - Tools


Ambient multimodality: towards advancing computer accessibility and assisted living BIBAKDOI 96-104
  Noëlle Carbonell
The aim of this paper is to point out the benefits that can be derived from research advances while implementing concepts such as ambient intelligence and ubiquitous/pervasive computing for promoting universal access in the information society, that is, for contributing to enable everybody, especially people with physical disabilities, to have easy access to all computing resources and information services that the upcoming worldwide information society will soon make available to the general public as well as to expert users. Following definitions of basic concepts relating to multimodal interaction, the significant contribution of multimodality to developing universal access is briefly discussed. Then, a short state of the art in ambient intelligence research is presented, including references to some major research projects either in progress or recently completed. The last section is devoted to bringing out the potential contribution of advances in ambient intelligence research and technology to the improvement of computer access for physically disabled people, hence, to the implementation of universal access. This claim is mainly supported by the following observations: (1) most projects are aiming at implementing ambient intelligence focus research efforts on the design of new interaction modalities and flexible/adaptive multimodal user interfaces; outcomes of these projects may contribute to improving computer access for users with physical disabilities; (2) such projects target applications meant to support users in a wide range of daily activities which will have to be performed simultaneously with the related supporting computing tasks; therefore, users will be placed in situational contexts where they will be confronted with similar difficulties to those encountered by physically disabled users, since they will have to share out their perceptual and motor capabilities between one or several daily activities and the computing tasks meant to support them; (3) ambient intelligence applications being intended for the general public, a wide range of interaction devices supporting a great variety of input and output modalities will be available, making it possible to provide physically disabled users with appropriate human-computer interaction means tailored to their individual needs at a reasonable expense.
Keywords: Ambient intelligence - Universal access - Assisted living - Multimodal interaction


White Paper: promoting Design for All and e-Accessibility in Europe BIBAFull-Text 105-119
  Iosif Klironomos; Margherita Antona; Ioannis Basdekis; Constantine Stephanidis
This White Paper results from the collaboration of Design for All (DfA) and e-Accessibility expert bodies representing the European Union member states [ref: the coordination centres of the national European Design for All e-Accessibility network (EDeAN) in 23 European Union Member States, in this document referred to as NCCs]. The objectives of this White Paper are threefold: (1) to present the current state of affairs of EDeAN, active since 2002 as part of the European Commission's action line supporting the development of the European Information Society; (2) to outline a roadmap for future initiatives, actively reflecting views of the EDeAN network in specific domains related to DfA, e-Accessibility and e-Inclusion; and (3) to bring forward a set of suggestions and recommendations regarding the activities of the network, aiming to support the creation of a fully inclusive European Information Society. The paper is organised as follows: Section 1 provides a short introduction to DfA and Accessibility in Information Society (IS) and Information Society Technology (IST) developments in Europe. Section 2 provides an overview of policy as well as R&D activities related to DfA and accessibility in IST in Europe. Section 3 briefly describes the role of EDeAN and the new challenges that emerge as a result of the changing European policy environment. Section 4 presents current challenges that emerge in five domains directly related to DfA and accessibility, such as policy and legislation, industry, monitoring and evaluation -- benchmarking, standardisation, R&D, and education and training. Finally, Sect. 5 puts forward a number of recommendations with regard to future activities for EDeAN. The contents of this paper reflect results from the open discussion forums supported in the EDeAN website (ref: EDeAN Special Interest Groups, SIGs). The draft paper was written by the EDeAN Secretariat for 2005, FORTH-ICS (Greece), and completed with the support of all NCCs. Support was also provided by the European Commission DG Information Society and Media and by the D4ALLnet project (ref: an EC funded project with the code IST-2001-38833).

UAIS 2006 Volume 5 Issue 2


Augmentative and alternative communication: the future of text on the move BIBAFull-Text 125-149
  Anders Sewerin Johansen; John Paulin Hansen
The methods currently available for text entry on small mobile devices exhibit poor performance in terms of input speed, which presents a potential barrier to acceptance and growth. This paper presents an analysis of mobile text entry indicating that the likely solution is a combination of the use of language modelling and careful interaction design and verification. The paper argues that research in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is highly relevant to the mobile text entry problem and vice versa, and offers the opportunity to research solutions that will be feasible to implement on future generations of mobile devices. In the design of the system presented in this paper, fewer input buttons, natural language processing (NLP) and multimodal inputs are techniques that have been evaluated and applied. Contrary to initial expectations, analysis and evaluation showed that usability and human factors often are more significant factors in performance than the efficiency of the input method. In the conducted study, simplifications of a text-to-talk system increased productivity by 15%. This provides a strong indication that the best way to increase text production rates in realistic scenarios is to strive for simplicity and clarity in the interaction and user interface, rather than opting for including every possible time-saving feature in the system. Empirical validations of potential simplifications are therefore advocated as a general design methodology.
A proposal toward the development of accessible e-learning content by human involvement BIBAKDOI 150-169
  Maria De Marsico; Stephen Kimani; Valeria Mirabella; Kent L. Norman; Tiziana Catarci
Most of the existing efforts for supporting the design, preparation, and deployment of accessible e-learning applications propose guidelines that primarily address technical accessibility issues. Little, if any, consideration is given to the real actors involved in the learning experience, such as didactical experts and disabled learners. Moreover, implementing artifacts addressed to the e-learning world requires a wide range of particular skills which are related not only to technical but also to didactical, pedagogical, usability, and accessibility aspects of the produced material. This paper argues that the know-how of a number of stakeholders should be blended into a joint design activity, and that it should be possible to determine the role of each participant in the successive phases of the development lifecycle of e-learning applications. The paper sketches the methodological guidelines of a design framework based on involving the users with disabilities, as well as pedagogical experts, in the development process. The novelty of this proposal mainly stems from being built up around the core of strategies and choices specifically bound to accessibility requirements. Characteristic elements of learner-centered design are then further integrated into processes and methodologies which are typical of participatory and contextual design approaches. Following such guidelines, it will be possible to gain a deeper understanding of the requirements and of the operational context of people needing accessible material, either as learners or educators. The underlying objective is to increase the potential to realize learning systems that better meet different user needs and that provide a more satisfying learning experience. Moreover, when people get involved in the development process, they gain a sense of ownership of the system and are therefore more likely to accept and "promote" it.
Keywords: E-learning - Universal accessibility - Disability - Usability - Software development lifecycle

Long Paper

Website design attributes for retrieving health information by older adults: an application of architectural criteria BIBAKFull-Text 170-179
  Laxman Nayak; Lee Priest; Ian Stuart-Hamilton; Allan White
The objectives of this research were to identify design attributes to develop easy-to-use websites for older adults. Forty-one males and 58 females (age range 58-90) were asked to retrieve information on a health-related topic from the NHS Direct and Medicdirect websites, and were asked to fill in a website evaluation questionnaire. An exploratory factor analysis of data identified navigation/search usability, link usability, usefulness and colour as important dimensions of a senior-friendly website. A two-stage, three-component regression model with these dimensions as predictor variables and the satisfaction level in using a website as the dependent variable has been proposed.
Keywords: Older adults - Website usability - Health information - World Wide Web


On the efficiency of keyboard navigation in Web sites BIBAKDOI 180-188
  Martin Schrepp
An efficient keyboard access to Web sites is highly important for many groups of disabled users. However, the current design of most Web sites makes the efficient keyboard navigation nearly impossible. This paper investigates the performance of the keyboard and mouse navigation in Web pages. The comparison is based on the theoretical arguments and on two small studies. The results show that the current amount of keyboard support in common Web sites is far from being sufficient. Typical problems concerning keyboard support in Web sites are discussed, along with possible solutions and the related constraints.
Keywords: Accessibility - Universal design - Web sites - Keyboard navigation
An alternative approach to strengthening tactile memory for sensory disabled people BIBAKFull-Text 189-198
  Tatiana G. Evreinova; Grigori Evreinov; Roope Raisamo
Deaf and hearing-impaired people need special educational and developmental tools to support their social inclusion. Research in vibro-tactile pattern perception has shown that tactile memory could be a crucial aspect in coding and imaging semantic information for users with sensory limitations. This paper describes a simple matching game designed to facilitate the learning process of 27 vibro-tactile composite patterns (tactons) which can be produced with the Logitech tactile feedback mouse. The underlying assumption was that a particular framework and game intrigue would induce a player to mobilize the perceptive skills and deploy individual playing tactics to recall the tactons when progressing through the game. The performance of ten subjects using soundproof headphones was investigated in terms of the number of repetitions required to memorize and learn the mono-frequency, bi-frequency and three-frequency tactons, and in terms of the selection time needed to match the tactons in the game script. The analysis of the data collected indicated that the novice-to-expert transition was significantly above chance when the results obtained in the first and the last test sessions were statistically analyzed and compared. There was also a significant difference between mean selection times needed to match the composite patterns depending of their complexity in the first and the last test sessions. Upon learning and training within game, the tactons may be employed to assign alphabet characters or symbols to communicate textual or symbolic information.
Keywords: Sensory disabled - Hearing-impaired - Game training methodology - Vibro-tactile feedback - Tactile memory - Tactons
Effects of feedback and dwell time on eye typing speed and accuracy BIBAKDOI 199-208
  Päivi Majaranta; I. Scott MacKenzie; Anne Aula; Kari-Jouko Räihä
Eye typing provides a means of communication that is especially useful for people with disabilities. However, most related research addresses technical issues in eye typing systems, and largely ignores design issues. This paper reports experiments studying the impact of auditory and visual feedback on user performance and experience. Results show that feedback impacts typing speed, accuracy, gaze behavior, and subjective experience. Also, the feedback should be matched with the dwell time. Short dwell times require simplified feedback to support the typing rhythm, whereas long dwell times allow extra information on the eye typing process. Both short and long dwell times benefit from combined visual and auditory feedback. Six guidelines for designing feedback for gaze-based text entry are provided.
Keywords: Eye typing - Text entry - Feedback modalities - People with disabilities
User interface evaluation of interactive TV: a media studies perspective BIBAKFull-Text 209-218
  Konstantinos Chorianopoulos; Diomidis Spinellis
A diverse user population employs interactive TV (ITV) applications in a leisure context for entertainment purposes. The traditional user interface (UI) evaluation paradigm involving efficiency and task completion may not be adequate for the assessment of such applications. In this paper, we argue that unless ITV applications are evaluated with consideration for the ordinary TV viewer, they are going to be appropriate only for the computer literate user, thus excluding the TV audience from easy access to information society services. The field of media studies has accumulated an extensive theory of TV and associated methods. We applied the corresponding findings in the domain of ITV to examine how universal access to ITV applications can be obtained. By combining these results with emerging affective quality theories for interactive products, we propose a UI evaluation framework for ITV applications.
Keywords: Interactive television - User interface - Affective quality - Media studies - Evaluation - Methodology
Five qualitative research methods to make iTV applications universally accessible BIBAKFull-Text 219-238
  Leena Eronen
Television is a powerful media with a strong influence on the lives of the individuals and their behaviour. As new interactive technologies are being developed and marketed with the home as the main market, this creates an effect on domestic activities. This paper is a description of five qualitative research methods applied to the field of interactive television (iTV) application design and evaluation. Overall, the reported work is unique in the young field of iTV, due to the range and variety of the applied methods, some of which are quite novel. The aim of the conducted research was to find techniques to meet TV viewers' future needs and to provide examples of future product concepts. Several techniques were used, including user study based on the "cultural probes" method, interviews, focus groups, design sessions, usability testing, and storytelling. The methods have been applied to average users not concentrating on specific user groups such as the children or the elderly, but these same methods when applied to specific user groups can help finding out about accessibility problems in the quest to achieve universally accessible iTV applications. There are also valuable results from including a group of TV producers in the design sessions to find new concepts of iTV programs. The implications of this paper for the HCI community concern gathering the user data and transforming the results into new product concepts.
Keywords: Interactive television - User research - Concept design - Qualitative methods - Usability

Long Paper

Diversified users' satisfaction with advanced mobile phone features BIBAKDOI 239-249
  Chen Ling; Wonil Hwang; Gavriel Salvendy
Mobile phones are widely used all over the world, and with their increasing number of value-added features, they are becoming far more than a mere mobile voice communication device. Rather, they provide a powerful platform for accessing information universally. This paper reports a study which scrutinized users' preference levels with five new mobile phone design features facilitating universal information access through mobile phones: camera, colour screen, voice-activated dialling, Internet browsing, and wireless connectivity (e.g. Bluetooth, infrared, etc.). The survey study involved college students and investigated the degree to which each of the above features impacts the users' overall satisfaction and enhances the potential of mobile phones to contribute to different aspects of universal access. Our results show that colour screen, voice-activated dialling, and Internet browsing feature can strongly predict users' satisfaction level, and their preference levels together account for 22.7% of the variance of the users' overall satisfaction. Users' satisfaction levels are significantly different between models with colour screen feature and those without, and models with Internet browsing features and those without. Since mobile phone design needs to accommodate the needs and preferences of diversified user groups, the performed study also investigated the difference in users' preference levels of the five new features for different ethnic groups, and difference in mobile phone owned by different genders. The result indicates that Asian female users in the U.S. market have higher preference level on colour screen feature than Caucasian female users. Significantly higher percentage of male users own phones with camera, Internet browsing, and wireless connectivity features than female users. The empirical study reported in this paper provides a comprehensive picture of how new design features can enhance the mobile phone as a universal access device, and what impact they have brought about. It can also help manufacturers adopt a universal design perspective in view of the differences in preference levels of users with different ethnicity and genders.
Keywords: Mobile phone - New feature - Users' satisfaction - Ethnic difference - Gender difference

UAIS 2006 Volume 5 Issue 3


Consilience in research methods for HCI and universal access BIBFull-Text 251-252
  Ray Adams


Consilience for universal design: the emergence of a third culture BIBAKFull-Text 253-268
  Darren Dalcher
Consilience offers a powerful mechanism for borrowing from other disciplines, thereby extending the scope of what can be known. This paper looks at the foundations of the activity of design as a means of providing IT systems that cater for diverse needs. Developing systems that are expected to satisfy needs continuously (i.e., systems that are expected to evolve) calls for a dynamic activity of design that is responsive to changes in the environment. The contrast with the scientific assumption of ordered development invokes a new classification, supported by insights from other disciplines that place the range of approaches in context. Design is neither orderly nor linear; it implies a continuous and active search to resolve trade-offs and satisfy changing constraints. The paper concludes by making a case for design as an alternative culture that borrows from, and supports, both the scientific and the literary cultures. Acceptance of the role of practice as an interface alongside the more traditional cultures enables researchers and practitioners to access and adopt a larger variety of methods and general approaches underpinning an even larger corpus of insights. Consilience can occur at different levels and offer a variety of benefits. Balancing scientific enquiry with artistic flair and creativity through careful sensemaking that supports sharing across cultures provides the greatest benefit from learning to look across rather than blindly focusing inwards.
Keywords: Consilience - Design - Design characteristics - Design culture
Pragmatic research issues confronting HCI practitioners when designing for universal access BIBADOI 269-278
  Simeon Keates
Many HCI products exclude potential users unnecessarily. Such exclusion often arises because of a mismatch between designers' perceptions of the wants and needs of the end-user and their actual wants and needs. Sometimes the mismatch originates from the designer being unaware of the need to design inclusively, or of methods for implementing inclusive design. Other times the mismatch comes from the commissioner of the design, for example the client of a design consultancy. If the design commissioner specifies a target socio-economic group, but does not explicitly recognise that the group consists of users of varying functional capabilities, then the designers will often be given a design brief that overlooks the need to address the wider range of users, beyond simply the able-bodied. In either case, for universal access to be achieved effectively, information is required to identify the need for inclusive design and thus to generate demand, and design guidance is needed to help designers make inclusive design a reality. Currently, that information is largely unavailable to designers in an appropriate off-the-shelf format. This paper investigates methods for researchers to provide the kind of information that HCI designers need to design for universal access. It focuses on the profiling, recruitment and selection of users, along with the interpretation of the data gathered. In many instances, the HCI designer may also be the person performing the research, where specialist researchers are not available.
Aspects of HCI research for older people BIBAKFull-Text 279-286
  Mary Zajicek
HCI research has come of age, and now is a good time to reflect upon the HCI research processes that have become established over the years. This paper examines the HCI research process itself with respect to funding opportunities and the methods used for empirical research, assessing in particular the efficacy of standard methods for research dissemination. The focus of the paper is HCI research for older people. The nature of this user group is explored, and Alexandrian patterns are proposed both as a means of dissemination of research results and for strengthening the framework of HCI knowledge.
Keywords: Human-computer interface research - Older people - Patterns - Guidelines - Research dissemination
Enabling people with sensory impairments to participate effectively in research BIBAKDOI 287-291
  Gill Whitney
The aim of this paper is to identify and discuss some of the effects that a person's sensory impairment has on the ways in which they can participate in research. Sensory impairment will result in a person receiving less sensory information. This reduction may be uniform across a particular type of sensory information (like having the volume on the radio turned down or watching things through a haze) or, more likely, it will have different effects on different parts of the available information. The result of this information loss will not be that the person has a partial experience of a situation compared to a person without a sensory impairment or with a different sensory impairment. Instead, they will have a full experience based on a different combination of information, and it is likely that more of the information that they are using will come from their memory or previous experience. This paper describes ways of working that acknowledge the different experiences of people with a hearing or visual impairment with respect to both the object of the research and the research process. It describes how to design questionnaire, use interviews and focus groups and carry out evaluations of objects and situations in a way that acknowledges the effect of the different amounts and types of information available have on the experiences of people with sensory impairments.
Keywords: Sensory impairment - Hearing impairment - Visual impairment - Research methods
Universal access through accessible computer educational programs to develop the reading skills of children with autistic spectrum disorders BIBAKFull-Text 292-298
  Marian Tuedor
Finding the right research design, method and methodology for research in universal access can be a daunting process, as there are often no clearly laid down procedures on how to go about such work (Adams and Langdon, Universal access in HCI inclusive design in the information society. Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, 2003). Researchers in the past have looked to other disciplines for guidance, or have followed the examples of other leading researchers. This problem is particularly acute when considering groups of individuals with very demanding and complex requirements. This paper evaluates research aimed at enabling children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and severe learning difficulties to acquire early reading skills. In order to carry out research in this area, which contributes to a better understanding of the issues and to provide practical benefits, new methods are required to be developed on top of existing approaches.
Keywords: Accessibility - Universal access - Learning - Usability - Research - Inclusive design - Assistive technology - Children - Autism
Cross-cultural interface design strategy BIBAKFull-Text 299-305
  Jainaba Jagne; A. Serengul Guven Smith-Atakan
This paper addresses the emerging need for an integration of the cultural and social factors of metaphors into interface design, by creating cultural models within the context of indigenous users. Current theoretical and empirical work is reviewed that uses existing cultural models. Finally, an investigative strategic model is proposed for research in this field that incorporates all the important components of cultural contexts of metaphors in interface design.
Keywords: Cultural models - Cross-cultural interface design - Investigative strategic model
Validation methods for an accessible user interface for a rehabilitation robot BIBADOI 306-324
  Bernard Parsons; Anthony White; Peter Warner; Raj Gill
This paper describes the research methods required for the development and validation of a user interface for a wheelchair mounted manipulator for use by severely disabled persons. It explains the construction of the interface using tasks to define the user interface architecture. It outlines the experiments used to evaluate the user responses and draws conclusions about the effectiveness of the whole system. A systematic procedure is defined to obtain numerical estimates of the effectiveness of task analysis for individual use. This approach marries engineering procedures with a consideration of the human interaction. The prototype robot used several gesture recognition systems to achieve a better level of accessibility and usability than other robots used for rehabilitation at this time. Two different approaches to user interfaces were tested with different input devices.


Sherry Y. Chen and George D. Magoulas: Adaptable and adaptive hypermedia systems BIBFull-Text 325
  Marcus Specht

UAIS 2007 Volume 5 Issue 4


Special issue on "Cognitive and learning difficulties and how they affect access to IT systems" BIBDOI 327-328
  Simeon Keates; Philip Varker

Long Paper

Cognitive and learning difficulties and how they affect access to IT systems BIBAKFull-Text 329-339
  Simeon Keates; Ray Adams; Cathy Bodine; Sara Czaja; Wayne Gordon; Peter Gregor; Emily Hacker; Vicki Hanson; John Kemp; Mark Laff; Clayton Lewis; Michael Pieper; John Richards; David Rose; Anthony Savidis; Greg Schultz; Paul Snayd; Shari Trewin; Philip Varker
In October 2005, the IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center and T.J. Watson Research Center hosted a symposium on "cognitive and learning difficulties and how they affect access to IT systems". The central premise of the symposium was the recognition that cognitive and learning difficulties have a profound impact on a person's ability to interact with information technology (IT) systems, but that little support is currently being offered by those systems. By bringing together internationally renowned experts from a variety of different, but complementary, research fields, the symposium aimed to provide a complete overview of the issues related to this topic. This paper summarises the discussions and findings of the symposium.
Keywords: Cognitive impairment - Learning difficulties - Design - Cognitive models
The impact of aging on access to technology BIBAKDOI 341-349
  Sara J. Czaja; Chin Chin Lee
The number of people over the age of 65 is increasing worldwide with the fastest growing subgroup those aged 80+ years. Computer and information technologies hold promise in terms of increasing the quality of life for older people. However, successful use of technology by older adults is predicated on systems that are designed to accommodate the needs and preferences of this user group. This paper discusses the implications of age-related changes in cognition for system design. Generally, the existing literature shows that, although older adults are willing to use technology, many report usability problems with existing systems and these problems may in part be due to the cognitive and perceptual demands placed on the user. These findings are discussed in terms of guidelines for system design.
Keywords: Older adults - Use of technology - System design
Simplicity in cognitive assistive technology: a framework and agenda for research BIBAKFull-Text 351-361
  Clayton Lewis
Technology offers substantial benefits to the many people with some form of cognitive disability. But the power of technology often comes in a package whose complexity is a barrier to many users, leading to calls for designs, and especially designs for user interfaces, that are "simple". This paper analyzes the idea of simplicity, and suggests (a) that simplicity in a user interface is not a unified concept, but rather has distinguishable facets, and (b) that simplicity must be defined in terms of the cognitive capabilities of a user, so that what is "simpler" for one user may be "more complex" for another. Despite (b), the prospects for universal design in this area are good, in that interface technology with the flexibility needed to produce "simple" interfaces for a range of users with different cognitive strengths will be of value in addressing the overall design space of interfaces for a broad audience. While it is possible to sketch the outlines of a useful theory of simplicity, the sketch reveals much that is not fully understood. It also reveals opportunities to rethink the architecture of user interfaces in a way that will benefit user interface development generally.
Keywords: User interface design - Cognitive disabilities
Decision and stress: cognition and e-accessibility in the information workplace BIBAKFull-Text 363-379
  Ray Adams
Cognitive abilities and disabilities are increasingly important in today's information-based workplace, particularly in relation to the accessibility of advanced information society technologies. As this paper discusses, new technologies can create problems for human decision making, stress levels, general cognition and e-accessibility. Yet it is not easy to identify possible new e-accessibility solutions to these problems. This is where theories of cognitive aspects of e-accessibility could be useful to generate solutions to these problems of HCI in general and of accessibility in particular. The purpose of this paper is to report a new generative theory (called Simplex 2), provide validating evidence for it from two meta-analyses and demonstrate a proof of concept through the application of Simplex to the solution of HCI problems. Two qualitative meta-analyses are reported for two different samples (N1 = 90 and N2 = 100) of relevant and contemporary conference papers. Whilst a few more concepts were identified, only nine cognitive concepts emerged from both analyses, validating the predictions of Simplex, which is also used for cognitive user modeling. Given the sample sizes and the successful replication, it is clear that these nine factors feature prominently in current research and practice in universal access and inclusive design. Further support for the value of this theory is found in a consideration of the requirements of older adult users and from studies of cognitive overload and augmentation. Uses of Simplex include the evaluation of existing systems, assessment of user requirements, system development in combination with models of task, context of use and technology platform and through the concepts of cognitive augmentation and overload to identify future opportunities for new, accessible, cognitive solutions. A proof of concept of Simplex is demonstrated by the treatment of HCI accessibility problems and as a generative theory for the development of new solutions.
Keywords: Cognition - Architecture - Models - e-Accessibility - Workplace - Overload - Augmentation
Cognitive difficulties and access to information systems: an interaction design perspective BIBAKFull-Text 393-400
  Peter Gregor; Anna Dickinson
People with cognitive difficulties, including memory, sequencing and attentional difficulties, face barriers to the use of conventionally designed information systems. This paper explores some of the reasons for these barriers in terms of the expectations normally placed on the user's cognitive abilities and background knowledge. In the paper, the design and evaluation of three information systems are reported. These systems go some way towards overcoming cognitive barriers, allowing access to the advantages of computers for people with dyslexia, and for older users with no background in computer use who were able to access both email and the World Wide Web through specially designed interfaces.
Keywords: Accessibility - Cognitive difficulties - Interface design - Supportive systems
Developing inclusive e-learning and e-entertainment to effectively accommodate learning difficulties BIBAKFull-Text 401-419
  Anthony Savidis; Dimitris Grammenos; Constantine Stephanidis
The real-life training of people with learning difficulties is a highly challenging and demanding process that can be effectively improved with the deployment of special-purpose software instruments. This paper discusses the development and evaluation of two inclusive training applications and two games for people with learning difficulties. Namely, the four developed systems are: (a) a cashier training applications; (b) a sewing training applications; (c) an accessible pong game; and (d) an accessible action game. The main objective of the work was to investigate the hypothesis that computer games, as pleasant, motivating and highly engaging interactive experiences, can have a significant role on improving the training of people with learning difficulties, such as attention deficit disorder or Asperger syndrome. The obtained results are very positive and encouraging, and have led to the identification of new research directions, blending training and playing, via novel training techniques and purpose-specific game genres.
Keywords: e-Entertainment - e-Learning - Universal access - Learning difficulties - Game development


Gavriel Salvendy (Ed.): Handbook of human factors and ergonomics (3rd edn.) BIBDOI 421
  Don Norman