Universal Design and
Assistive Technology
Providing access and assistance to
people with special needs.
Part 4 Presentation
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20 minutes each (including questions)
Load slides onto swiki
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Motivation
Requirements
• learning from users
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Design
• learning from prototyping
• possible demo
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Evaluation
Conclusions
Q&A
Motivations
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Legal Requirements
Section 508 1973/1986 Rehabilitation
Act
 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act
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1/5 Americans have a disability, 1/10
have a severe disability*
 Everyone is impaired sometimes
 Intriguing interface challenges
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*2000 US Census Brief
Universal design principles
equitable use
 flexibility in use
 simple and intuitive to use
 perceptible information
 tolerance for error
 low physical effort
 size and space for approach and use
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http://www.design.ncsu.edu/cud/univ_design/princ_overview.htm
Multi-Sensory Systems
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More than one sensory channel in interaction
 e.g. sounds, text, hypertext, animation, video,
gestures, vision
Used in a range of applications:
 particularly good for users with special needs, and
virtual reality
Will cover
 general terminology
 speech
 non-speech sounds
 handwriting
considering applications as well as principles
Multi-modal vs. Multi-media
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Multi-modal systems
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use more than one sense (or mode ) of
interaction
e.g. visual and aural senses: a text processor may
speak the words as well as echoing them to the screen
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Multi-media systems
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use a number of different media to
communicate information
e.g. a computer-based teaching system:may use video,
animation, text and still images: different media all using
the visual mode of interaction; may also use sounds,
both speech and non-speech: two more media, now
using a different mode
Usable Senses
The 5 senses (sight, sound, touch, taste and smell) are
used by us every day
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each is important on its own
together, they provide a fuller interaction with the natural
world
Computers rarely offer such a rich interaction
Can we use all the available senses?
 ideally, yes
 practically – no
We can use
• sight • sound • touch (sometimes)
We cannot (yet) use
• taste • smell
Challenge
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Very hard to design a product for everyone
What happens when you can’t?
“Design for all” vs. “Design for most”
Assistive technology
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Any item, equipment or system, that is used
to increase, maintain, or improve functional
capabilities of a person with a disability
Access
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Access to GUIs for the blind
speech
 Braille
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Alternate input devices
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sip&puff, single switch
Prosthetic
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Communication for speech impaired
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Sign language translators
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Educational software for cognitive
impairments
Users with disabilities
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visual impairment
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hearing impairment
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speech synthesis, text communication
dyslexia
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speech I/O, eyegaze, gesture, predictive systems (e.g.
Reactive keyboard)
speech impairment
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text communication, gesture, captions
physical impairment
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screen readers, SonicFinder
speech input, output
autism
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communication, education
http://enablemart.com/
… plus …
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age groups
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older people e.g. disability aids, memory aids,
communication tools to prevent social isolation
children e.g. appropriate input/output devices,
involvement in design process
cultural differences
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influence of nationality, generation, gender, race,
sexuality, class, religion, political persuasion etc. on
interpretation of interface features
e.g. interpretation and acceptability of language,
cultural symbols, gesture and colour
We’re all disabled
Environment
 Fatigue
 Injury
 Aging
 Changing role of information
technology
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Example:
Sheila the programmer. She was diagnosed with
muscular dystrophy in her early 20's. This condition,
which results in progressive loss of muscular strength,
means that she works from her motorized wheelchair,
and is unable to sit upright for more than a brief time.
As a result, she works in a reclined position, leaning
back almost horizontally. Her vision problems limit the
amount of time she can focus on the screen, and her
muscular weakness prevents her from handling paper
manuals.
http://www.sun.com/access/developers/updt.HCI.advance.html#design
Another example:
Carla the secretary. She has no vision in one eye
and "tunnel vision" in the other and prepares
documents using a standard PC and screen
magnification software. Sometimes she is unable to
tell the difference between old and new email
messages, because her mail application uses color
to distinguish old from new. Like many users with
low vision, she has problems working with columns,
because it is difficult for her to see if text is aligned.
http://www.sun.com/access/developers/updt.HCI.advance.html#design
What is a physical disability?
Range of Physical
Impairments
Complete
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lack of function
absence of a limb
paralysis – usually due to spinal injury, the
higher the damage the greater the degree
of paralysis
• tetraplegia/quadriplegia – all four limbs
• paraplegia – lower limbs only
Lack
of strength
Tremor/lack of accuracy
Slowness
Keyboard Modifications
Keyguards
 Alternative layouts
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Reduce movement
 One-handed keyboards, possible
chords
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Membrane surfaces (minimize
required pressure)
Software Modifications
Sticky keys
 Slow keys or disable auto-repeat
 Modify keyboard mappings
 On-screen keyboards
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Alternative Input Devices
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Speech input
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Dictation versus control
Switches
Keyboard has approx 50 switches
 Scanning interfaces
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Possible Switches
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Foot pedal
“Leaf” switch – highly sensitive
Sip and puff
Dual switch (can be used for Morse code)
Joy stick
Muscle switch
Neural implant
Eye gaze
http://enablemart.com/productdetail.aspx?store=10&pid=581&dept=15
Scanning Interfaces
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Acceleration Techniques
Control macros
 Word prediction
 Abbreviations
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Mouse alternatives
Trackball
 Proportional joystick
 Switched joystick or cursor keys
 Head sensor or mouth stick
 Eye-gaze
 Keyboard only
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http://enablemart.com/productDetail.aspx?store=10&pid=998&dept=12
Vision
Low-vision
 Color blindness
 Blindness
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affordances of different media
 interface model
 special purpose doesn’t work
 challenge of generality
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Incidence of visual disability
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The vast majority of visually disabled
people have some sight
Myopia and Hypermetropia
Myopia
 (short-sighted)
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Hypermetropia
(far-sighted)
Macular degeneration
Diabetic retinopathy
Cataracts
Tunnel vision
Accommodating Partial
Sight
Large monitor, high resolution, glare
protection
 Control of color and contrast
 Control of font size everywhere
 Keyboard orientation aids
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Magnification not always a
help
‘Now is the time,’
the Walrus said,
‘To spea
Hardware or Software
Magnification
2 to 16 times
 Virtual screen
 Viewport, control
 Notification of “outside” events
 CRTs for physical items
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http://www.synapseadaptive.com/aisquared/zoomtext_9/zoomtext_9_home_page.htm
Accommodating Blind Users
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Screen Readers
Full-featured
 Cursor-tracking, routing
 Dialogue focus
 View areas
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Auditory or tactile output
http://www.freedomscientific.com/fs_products/software_jaws.asp
http://www.webaim.org/simulations/screenreader
Screen Reader Output
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Braille
Only 10%?
 Many Braille codes
 Real and virtual displays
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Tactile pads
 Synthesized speech
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http://www.mountbattenbrailler.com/
Access to Graphical User
Interfaces
Capture and model graphical interface
 Translate graphical objects
 Support efficient and intuitive
interaction
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Hearing
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Redundant output
hardware (flashing title bar)
 software (text to speech)
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An increasing problem?
Population
 Phone interfaces
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Deafness
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Communication aids
Sign language
 Speech training
 Writing aids
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Preventable form of mental
retardation
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Importance of language development
Seeing Voices (Sacks)
Sign Language
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Sign languages are true languages
 Syntax, semantics, pragmatics
Differ dramatically from oral-based languages
Many different sign languages
 American (ASL) close to French Sign
Language but different than British (BSL)
Signed Exact English for one-to-one translation
Minicoms and TDDs
“Universal” telephone technology
 Text terminal (keyboard, LED display,
modem)
 Deaf relay centers
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TypeTalk
Automation?
Most significant new communication
device is…
The mobile phone
 …with SMS
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Sidekicks, Blackberry, etc. –
extremely popular
Computing Assistance
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Translators
Speech to sign
 Sign to speech
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• Gesture recognition
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Need sign language grammars
Video phones
 Word processors (Write This Way)
 Speech training (Speech Viewer, IBM)
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Speech & Conversation
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Conversation is “a dialogue in which the
one taking breath is called the listener”
150 words/minute
High-speed input for people with limited
manual dexterity
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Predictive interface, stored phrases, iconic
boards
Chat
Generating Words
M e th o d
W o rd s p e r
m in u te
C o n v e rsa tio n a l sp e e c h
150
S k ille d c o p y ty p ist
100
C o m p o sin g ty p ist
50
O n e -fin g e r ty p ist
10
S c a n n in g in p u t d e v ic e
3 – 5
Input Techniques
Word boards
 Switch input
 Scanning techniques
 Predictive input
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Speech Synthesis
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Quality of synthetic speech
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Similarity to human speech
Cognitive Impairments
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Memory
Perception
Problem-solving
Learning impairments
 redundant input-output, motivation
Language impairments
 dyslexia (spelling corrector)
 aphasia (symbolic languages)
Everyday impairments - in-place information
Writing Home
Impaired Mental Capabilities
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Memory
 Short or long term, recall and recognition
Perception
 Attention, discriminating sensory input
Problem Solving
 Recognizing the problem, implementing
solutions and evaluation
Concepts
 Generalizing, skill development
Common Causes
Learning disability
 Head injury or stroke
 Alzheimer’s
 Dementia
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Design Guidelines
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Input / Interface Control
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Presentation Format
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ex: touchpad, prompts and menus
ex: blank space to focus attention
Informational Content and Prompting
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ex: match vocabulary level to user
Learning Impairment
Infinite patience
 Risk-free environment
 Accommodate cognitive impairment
 Motivate
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Who are older people?
People who have been alive for longer
 That’s about all they have in common
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Potential Declining Abilities
Physical
 Sensory
 Cognition
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Cognitive ageing
 Retrospective memory
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Computing no longer limited to the
workplace
Assistive Uses
Sensory aids
 Memory aids
 Mobile emergency alerts
 Information access
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ThirdAge (www.thirdage.com)
Social communication
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SeniorNet (www.seniornet.com)
Universal design principles
equitable use
 flexibility in use
 simple and intuitive to use
 perceptible information
 tolerance for error
 low physical effort
 size and space for approach and use
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http://www.design.ncsu.edu/cud/univ_design/princ_overview.htm
Guideline summary
http://www.sun.com/access/developers/updt.HCI.advance.html#design
Direct Brain Interfaces
Melody Moore
Computer Information Systems Dept.
What is a Direct
Brain-Computer Interface?
… a system that captures signals directly from the human
brain, providing a channel to control computers and other
devices.
The GSU BrainLab Mission
is to pioneer real-world applications research for biometric
technologies to improve the quality of life for people with
severe disabilities, and to explore mainstream applications.
Brain Signal Detection
Techniques
Invasive: implanted
electrodes (single neuron)
Noninvasive: scalp
electrodes (EEG)
Neural Internet
Neurally controlled Internet Access:
Specialized web browser and email
program
Uses:
• communication
• shopping
• education
• handling of personal finances
• employment
Restoring Motion - Neural Prosthetics
Brain “re-learns” how to move limbs via an artificial
nervous system
Simulation
• Virtual reality hand
Restoring Physical Motion
• Robotic arm
The “Aware ‘Chair”
Integrated communication and environmental control
• Intelligent, neurally controlled wheelchair
• Conversation and environmental control prediction
• Learns users habits and context
• Provides emotional expression
Take home points
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Think about universal design principles –
helps all users, not just disabled
Technology can help provide access and
control of computer
Technology can also help people function
better in everyday world
Solutions include wide range of physical
and software solutions
Work with users!
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You can’t understand what its like
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Universal design and Assistive Technology