Cognitive Web Accessibility: Assistive Technology 2010

Published in 2010, these resources are original studies, literature reviews and related articles that cite references.

  • A tool to promote prolonged engagement in art therapy: design and development from arts therapist requirements
    "This paper presents the design of a novel tool to increase the capacity of creative arts therapists to engage cognitively impaired older adults in creative activities. The tool is a creative arts touch-screen interface that presents a user with activities such as painting, drawing, or collage. we evaluate the acceptability of the tool by arts therapists (our primary user group). We perform this evaluation qualitatively with a set of one-on-one interviews with arts therapists who work specifically with persons with dementia. We show how their responses during interviews support the idea of a customizable assistance tool. We evaluate the tool in simulation by showing a number of examples, and by demonstrating customizable components."
  • Introducing multimodal paper-digital interfaces for speech-language therapy
    "Our research examines the process of speech-language therapy with an emphasis on the practices of therapists working with adults with aphasia and apraxia of speech. This paper presents findings from field work undertaken to inform the design of a mixed paper-digital interface prototype using multimodal digital pens. We describe and analyze therapists' initial reactions to the system and present two case studies of use by older adults undergoing speech-language therapy. We discuss the utility of multimodal paper-digital interfaces to assist therapy and describe our vision of a system to help therapists independently create custom interactive paper materials for their clients."
  • Autonomous navigation through the city for the blind
    "We present a study on the effect of the use of an easy-to-access, audio-based GPS software program on navigation through open spaces, and in particular on the stimulation of orientation and mobility skills in blind people. Results show that the use of the audio-based GPS software allowed blind users to be able to get to various destinations without the need for prior information on the environment, favoring the navigation of blind people in unfamiliar contexts, stimulating the use of different orientation and mobility skills, and finally providing help to users that habitually navigate spaces in the city only in the company of other people."
  • Leveraging proprioception to make mobile phones more accessible to users with visual impairments
    "In this paper, we extend Virtual Shelves--an interaction technique that leverages proprioception to access application shortcuts--for visually impaired users. We measured the directional accuracy of visually impaired participants and found that they were less accurate than people with vision. We then built a functional prototype that uses an accelerometer and a gyroscope to sense its position and orientation. Finally, we evaluated the interaction and prototype by allowing participants to customize the placement of seven shortcuts within 15 regions. Participants were able to access shortcuts in their personal layout with 88.3% accuracy in an average of 1.74 seconds."
  • Vi-bowling: a tactile spatial exergame for individuals with visual impairments
    "This paper presents VI Bowling, a tactile/audio exergame that can be played using an inexpensive motion-sensing controller. VI Bowling explores tactile dowsing: a novel technique for performing spatial sensorimotor challenges, which can be used for motor learning. VI Bowling was evaluated with six blind adults. All players enjoyed VI Bowling and the challenge tactile dowsing provided. Players could throw their ball with an average error of 9.76 degrees using tactile dowsing. Participants achieved an average active energy expenditure of 4.61 kJ/Min while playing VI Bowling, which is comparable to walking."
  • Using accessible math textbooks with students who have learning disabilities
    "Project SMART provided digital versions of math textbooks modified to include MathML for use by eighth grade students with various learning disabilities. A goal of Project SMART was to determine whether these accessible digital textbooks improved student test performance as compared to control groups using the same texts in print format with a traditional oral accommodation..Students and most teachers found the accessible digital textbooks preferable to the print versions. This was generally reflected in higher test scores as well as consistently positive responses from qualitative measures obtained from ongoing student and teacher surveys."
  • Note-taker 2.0: the next step toward enabling students who are legally blind to take notes in class
    "This paper describes ongoing research aimed at developing a portable assistive device (called the Note-Taker) that a student can take to class, to assist in the process of taking notes. It describes the principles that have guided the development of the proof-of-concept Note-Taker prototype and the Note-Taker 2.0 prototype. Initial testing of those prototypes has been encouraging, but some significant problems remain to be solved. Proposed solutions are currently being implemented, and appear to be effective. If ongoing usability testing confirms their effectiveness, they will be implemented on the planned Note-Taker 3.0 prototype."
  • Multiple view perspectives: improving inclusiveness and video compression in mainstream classroom recordings
    "Multiple View Perspectives (MVP) enables deaf and hard of hearing students to view and record multiple video views of a classroom presentation using a stand-alone solution. We show that deaf and hard of hearing students prefer multiple, focused videos over a single, high-quality video and that a compacted layout of only the most important views is preferred."
  • A web-based user survey for evaluating power saving strategies for deaf users of mobileASL
    "MobileASL is a video compression project for two-way, real-time video communication on cell phones, allowing Deaf people to communicate in the language most accessible to them, American Sign Language. Unfortunately, running MobileASL quickly depletes a full battery charge in a few hours..We evaluated three algorithms by creating a linguistically accessible online survey to investigate Deaf people's perceptions of video quality when these algorithms were applied. In our survey results, we found that variable frame rate (VFR) produces perceived video choppiness and variable spatial resolution (VSR) produces perceived video blurriness; however, a surprising finding was that when both VFR and VSR are used together, they largely ameliorate the choppiness and blurriness perceived, i.e., they each improve the use of the other. This is a useful finding because using VFR and VSR together saves the most battery life."
  • Modeling and synthesizing spatially inflected verbs for American sign language animations
    "Animations of American Sign Language (ASL) have accessibility benefits for many signers with lower levels of written language literacy. This paper introduces a novel method for modeling and synthesizing ASL animations based on movement data collected from native signers. This technique allows for the synthesis of animations of signs (in particular, inflecting verbs, which are frequent in ASL) whose performance is affected by the arrangement of locations in 3D space that represent entities under discussion. Animations of ASL synthesized from the model were judged to be of similar quality to animations produced by a human animator, and these animations led to higher comprehension scores (than baseline approaches limited to selecting signs from a finite dictionary) in an evaluation study conducted with 18 native signers."
  • In-situ study of blind individuals listening to audio-visual contents
    "Videodescription (VD) or audio description is added to the sound track of audio-visual contents to make media such as film and television accessible to individuals with visual impairment. VD translates the relevant visual information into auditory information..we conducted a study with ten legally blind individuals (with and without residual vision) to observe the type, quantity and frequency of the information needed by them. We learned that the degree of residual vision and the complexity of the content have a significant impact of the required level of VD. This suggests that a tool to render VD should offer a basic level of information, allow enough flexibility to provide more VD if needed, and answer on the fly demands for specific information. These specifications were implanted into an accessible video player."
  • Field evaluation of a collaborative memory aid for persons with amnesia and their family members
    "To design technology for persons with amnesia and their families, we involved end users in the participatory design of a collaborative memory aid called Family-Link. We evaluated Family-Link by comparing it to a commercially available calendar application. We found that participants shared significantly more events when using Family-Link. Qualitative evidence also suggests that Family-Link increased participants' awareness of family members' schedules, enabled caregivers to track the person with amnesia leading to a greater a sense of security and reduced stress, and reduced the amount of caregiver coordination effort. "
  • Towards accessible touch interfaces
    "Our goal is to thoroughly study mobile touch screen interfaces, their characteristics and parameterizations, thus providing the tools for informed interface design for motor-impaired users. We present an evaluation performed with 15 tetraplegic people that allowed us to understand the factors limiting user performance within a comprehensive set of interaction techniques (Tapping, Crossing, Exiting and Directional Gesturing) and parameterizations (Position, Size and Direction). Our results show that for each technique, accuracy and precision vary across different areas of the screen and directions, in a way that is directly dependent on target size. Overall, Tapping was both the preferred technique and among the most effective. This proves that it is possible to design inclusive unified interfaces for motor-impaired and able-bodied users once the correct parameterization or adaptability is assured."
  • A general education course on universal access, disability, technology and society
    "This paper reports on a General Education course called "Universal Access: Disability, Technology and Society" that enables students from all majors to learn more about disability and the issues that surround it, as well as how Assistive Technology facilitates effective participation of those with disabilities in society...To gain practical knowledge, the students carry out group projects or volunteering activities that involves people with disabilities.A survey with 75 students conducted in Winter 2010 revealed that students felt that their knowledge about universal access and disabilities had improved significantly, and that they had become aware of accessibility in everyday life."
  • Disability studies as a source of critical inquiry for the field of assistive technology
    "We present case studies of two research projects in assistive technology and discuss how the field of disability studies influenced that work, led us to identify new or different problems relevant to the field of assistive technology, and helped us to think in new ways about the research process and its impact on the experiences of individuals who live with disability. We also discuss how the field of disability studies has influenced our teaching and highlight some of the key publications and publication venues from which our community may want to draw more deeply in the future."
  • Creating a Technology-Rich Learning Environment for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities
    Assistive technology offers infants and toddlers with disabilities a set of tools to assist in achieving developmental goals while interacting with objects, materials, adults, and other children in their environment. This article focuses on assistive technology devices that can promote young children's participation in activities and routines in everyday settings and offers strategies on how to infuse assistive technology and augmentative and alternative communication systems within natural routines for young children. A discussion of best practices in early intervention with specific ways to make infants' and toddlers' play activities accessible through the use of assistive technology, computers, and switches is provided
  • A method of selection of appropriate assistive technology for computer access
    "Assistive technologies (ATs) for computer access enable people with disabilities to be included in the information society. Current methods for assessment and selection of the most appropriate AT for each individual are nonstandardized, lengthy, subjective, and require substantial clinical experience of a multidisciplinary team. This manuscript presents and evaluates an objective approach to test and select an appropriate AT for computer access for people with disabilities. Different criteria for selecting the optimal AT were tested and compared with the skilled clinician's choice. The learning curves of the people with disabilities proved to follow those of the healthy controls, but with lower performance. Daily computer use was not associated with AT selection, but corresponded nearly perfectly to the level of functional ability of upper limbs. Agreement between clinician's choice and learning-based AT selection was noteworthy, but far from perfect. In conclusion, the developed method for AT assessment and selection seems to be an efficient guide for an unskilled clinician to choose an appropriate AT."
  • Research in Computer Access Assessment and Intervention
    "Computer access technology (CAT) allows people who have trouble using a standard computer keyboard, mouse, or monitor to access a computer. CAT is critical for enhancing the educational and vocational opportunities of people with disabilities. Choosing the most appropriate CAT is a collaborative decision-making process involving the consumer, clinician(s), and third party payers. The challenges involved and potential technological solutions are discussed."

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