Innovations in Accessibility Improving Communication for Digital Outcasts
 
What’s the answer?
What’s the  question?
 
 
 
 
http://www.boing boing.net/2010/04/02/why-i-wont-buy-an-ipad-and-think-you-shouldnt-either.html
 
~ Glenda Watson Hyatt Author of “I’ll Do It Myself” blog http://www.doitmyselfblog.com/2010/the-ipad-as-an-affordable-comm...
~ Gareth White, University of Sussex Author of “Toward Accessible 3D Virtual Environments for the Blind and Visually Impai...
"Human beings exist    along  continuums   of competence.     Success is based    upon adapting    oneself to the   n...
 
 
Niche Construction ~ Thomas Armstrong, from the article  The New Field of Neurodiversity: Why ‘Disabilities’ Are Essential...
 
http://articles.philly.com/2011-01-03/news/26356248_1_haptics-cane-immersion-corp
http://mobileasl.cs.washington.edu/ MobileASL
http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/smartphone-apps/autism-iphone-breakthrough-from-tantrums-to-appy-days-20100416-sjjl....
“ My daughter is    capable of a three-   hour tantrum that    leaves your ears    ringing.  With the    phone showing    ...
"Mia is cognitively    alert but unable    to communicate.    [iComm]  has    given her a voice    for the first time...
iPhone Money Reader http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvfDnGMPrkI ~ LookTel Products http://www.looktel.com/products
iPhone Money Reader http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvfDnGMPrkI ~ LookTel Products http://www.looktel.com/products
Texting for the Blind DrawBraille Haptic Phone ~ Shikun Sun Sheffield Hallam University http://technabob.com/blog/2011/08/...
Touchscreens for the Blind Omnifer Braille iPad Case ~ Jayson D’Allessandro Auburn University http://www.tecca.com/news/20...
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/ipad-becomes-the-apple-of-hollys-eye/story-fn7x8me2-1226083773188 “ Holly’s    ...
iPad and the Blind http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEDzitE2w_0
iPad and the Blind http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEDzitE2w_0
 
»  “We’re living in a high-tech,    low-touch society.” ~  Profiled occupational therapist, May 2010
5B
5B 2B http://www.nahc.org/facts/homecareStudy.html
of home health patients return to the hospital due to lack of risk assessment Medicare Statistic http://www.phd1.idaho.gov...
~ Dr. Gustavo Saposnik Director of the Stroke Outcomes Research Unit, St. Michael’s Hospital at the University of Toronto ...
Kinect Therapy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCWYFo7HesA
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/science/23avatar.html?_r=1
~ Jeremy Bailenson Director of the Stanford University Virtual Human Interaction Lab http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/sci...
Virtual Pain Distraction http://worlds.ruc.dk/archives/3033 http://www.ampainsoc.org/pub/bulletin/spr05/inno1.htm
Virtual Pain Distraction http://worlds.ruc.dk/archives/3033 http://www.ampainsoc.org/pub/bulletin/spr05/inno1.htm
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/discoblog/2009/01/15/when-technology-gets-creepy-giving-birth-in-second-life/
http://www.newswise.com/articles/people-with-disabilities-find-improved-quality-of-life-by-visiting-virtual-world-online-f...
http://scopeblog.stanford.edu/archives/2010/11/be-community.html BE Community  for adolescent cancer patients
http://scopeblog.stanford.edu/archives/2010/11/be-community.html “ Patients feel  empowered    by support they find    onl...
 
“ I’ve always wanted to    be part of a group that    understood what it’s like    to be me.”
Autism + Avatars http://www.wfaa.com/news/health/Dallas-center-uses-avatars-in-virtual-world-to-help-autistic-children-116...
Autism + Avatars http://www.wfaa.com/news/health/Dallas-center-uses-avatars-in-virtual-world-to-help-autistic-children-116...
Empathy
Making allowances for attributes a person  cannot readily change Empathy
 
~ Richard Rubenstein and Harry Hersh, from the book The Human Factor: Designing Computer Systems for People “ In the absen...
$ 175 b 2006 U.S. Department of Labor. “Providing Quality Services to Customers with Disabilities.”  www.dol.gov/odep/pubs...
4 x ~ Paul Farhi and Jennifer Frey.  “Marketers Tune In to the Tween Set; New Media target a Rich Niche of Young Consumers...
~ 2008 Information Solutions Group Survey http://www.casualgaming.biz/news/27527/20-of-casual-gamers-are-disabled 20.5%  t...
Changes in wireless Internet use by demographic groups, 2009-2010 Less than $30,000 $30,000-$49,999 $50,000-$74,999  $75,0...
Changes in wireless Internet use by demographic groups, 2009-2010 Less than $30,000 $30,000-$49,999 $50,000-$74,999  $75,0...
http://e-patients.net/archives/2010/07/mobile-social-health-at-the-national-library-of-medicine.html
http://e-patients.net/archives/2010/07/mobile-social-health-at-the-national-library-of-medicine.html
http://e-patients.net/archives/2010/07/mobile-social-health-at-the-national-library-of-medicine.html
15 % http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/06/09/137084239/nearly-1-in-7-people-on-earth-are-disabled-survey-finds?sc=fb&cc...
15% We are all digital outcasts http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/06/09/137084239/nearly-1-in-7-people-on-earth-are-dis...
What’s the answer?
What’s the answer? You are.
Picture:  http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/other-gadgets/virtual-world.htm One day …
~ Electrocorticographic (ECoG) Brain Implants Wadsworth Center Lab Albany, NY http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/magazine/t...
Computer Telepathy One epilepsy  patient moved  a ball across a  computer  screen simply  by  imagining  a  sound. ~ Elect...
~ William Gibson Science Fiction Author (Idoru) “ The future has    already arrived.     It’s just not evenly    distribut...
Waterloo Labs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4j2kw5MJK24
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4j2kw5MJK24 Waterloo Labs
Thank you Questions & Comments
Thank you @ kelsmith @ digitaloutcasts
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Kel Smith - Innovations in Accessibility

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"Innovations in Accessibility: Improving Communication for Digital Outcasts" was presented at the Center for Health Literacy Conference 2011: Plain Talk in Complex Times by Kel Smith, Digital Practice Lead of Euro RSCG Life Catapult/Havas Drive and Principal, Anikto LLC.

Description: Participants of this session will explore emerging technologies (mobile apps, video games, virtual worlds, etc) as they apply to the creation of barrier-free digital products that can be used by people with disabilities. Practical examples will include case studies involving blindness/low vision, long-term rehabilitation, oncology, physical therapy, cognitive disorders (such as autism) and opioid-free pain management.

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  • Designing for Digital Outcasts: Virtual Inclusivity and Emerging Platforms Kel Smith Presented on 2 December 2010 at The International Conference on Translation and Accessibility in Video Games and Virtual Worlds Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Barcelona, Spain EU
  • Hello. My name is Kel.
  • This comes to mind with anything involving innovation, as there always seems to be the key question of “What if?” What if we could do this or that with technology? What if something like that existed? And so on, and so on.
  • While the question of “what if?” is very crucial, I believe there to be an equally important component to the innovation equation: that of “so what?” What if we could do that? Well, so what if we did? Asking this important question helps to bind every innovation concept with an appropriate and compelling need, within either a business or social context.
  • The ideal process is a constant, iterative pinging between “what if” and “so what,” like a highly evolved game of conceptual tennis, hopefully resulting in a marketable product or service that advances the common good. That’s the idea, anyway.
  • Innovation is a little tricky in the context of technology products. Take the iPad, for example. Upon its launch in spring 2010, we saw an immediate propagation of what I’ll call “app economies” scaled to a specific device, rather than to behavioral or business need. Many, many technology groups design for tools rather than users, and this leads to supposedly innovative products with limited sustainability.
  • There is another challenge, that of the inevitable backlash that occurs when any supposed “innovation” attracts considerable media attention. Within weeks of the iPad’s initial release, Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing wrote the following in his piece “Why I won’t buy an iPad (and think you shouldn’t either): “ The model of interaction with the iPad is to be a ‘consumer,’ what William Gibson memorably described as ‘something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth... no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote.’” Source: http://www.boingboing.net/2010/04/02/why-i-wont-buy-an-ipad-and-think-you-shouldnt-either.html
  • Harsh words ostensibly describing anyone who bought an iPad, including me. Thanks, Cory!
  • This reminded me of a term first used by Gareth White at the University of Sussex: the Digital Outcast. Based on Marc Prensky’s theories of Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants, Digital Outcasts are those people who are left behind as technology advanced. The terms is particularly applicable to people with disabilities, those living with terminal illness/injury, or long-term rehabilitation patients.
  • Allow me to get a little bit scientific here; Thomas Armstrong wrote about the need for the human ecosystem to cultivate beings of all competencies and abilities. In his words, we exist along “continuums of competence” where “success is based upon adapting oneself to the needs of the surrounding environment.” Source: http://www.alternet.org/story/147107 We see this in nature all the time. Environments are expansive, cluttered, organic, difficult to navigate. From this seeming chaos, an organism must create something protective and sustainable in order to survive ...
  • Examples can be found in the way a beaver builds a dam out of wood it gnaws, or how a bird constructs a nest from debris it finds. From thus develops a new form that strengthens the overall ecosystem; creating something from nothing to sustain life.
  • We call this niche construction -- sustaining success in life by modifying one’s surroundings according to one’s unique needs. It happens in nature, and it’s currently happening in the digital space as well. Source: http://www.alternet.org/story/147107
  • It’s fascinating to witness the progress that’s been made over the past 12-18 months. People are doing Arduino programming, ripping apart Wii game consoles, creating haptic interfaces from raw materials, retro-fitting Kinect systems and exploring augmented reality platforms. And much of it is being executed within the disability and healthcare sectors, with a very specific (and personal) end in mind.
  • One example is this ultrasound device attached to a cane that senses objects about waist high -- such as caution tape around a construction site, or a barricade rope at a bank or movie theater. Source: http://articles.philly.com/2011-01-03/news/26356248_1_haptics-cane-immersion-corp
  • MobileASL is a video compression project at the University of Washington with the goal of making wireless cell phone communication through sign language a reality in the U.S. With the advent of cell phone PDAs with larger screens and photo/video capture capabilities, people who communicate with American Sign Language (ASL) have an option that sidesteps the bandwidth limitations of the U.S. wireless telephone network. MobileASL utilizes ASL encoders that are compatible with the new H.264/AVC compression standard, nearly doubling the compression ratios of previous standards. Sprint, Nokia and the National Science Foundation are already on board with trial programs in the U.S. and Sweden. Source: http://mobileasl.cs.washington.edu
  • For 10-year-old Grace Domican, unable to speak due to severe autism, the touchscreen iPhone has given her a voice for the first time and genuinely changed her life. Her mother, Lisa Domican, created a picture-based iPhone application to help her daughter communicate. The tool was so successful it is being trialled in a school for autistic children in Ireland. Source: http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/smartphone-apps/autism-iphone-breakthrough-from-tantrums-to-appy-days-20100416-sjjl.html
  • For 10-year-old Grace Domican, unable to speak due to severe autism, the touchscreen iPhone has given her a voice for the first time and genuinely changed her life. Her mother, Lisa Domican, created a picture-based iPhone application to help her daughter communicate. The tool was so successful it is being trialled in a school for autistic children in Ireland. Source: http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/smartphone-apps/autism-iphone-breakthrough-from-tantrums-to-appy-days-20100416-sjjl.html
  • Brooks’ resulting product is iComm for iPhone, which allows his daughter Mia, who cannot walk, talk or control her movements, to point out pictures of food, toys, activities and other day-to-day themes on the iPhone screen using her eyes. Brooks and his wife Sarah Phelan can customize the tool by uploading their own photos, and even their own voices. The app is available on Apple’s app store and has secured more than 1,300 downloads. Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1276195/Father-creates-iPhone-app-gives-voice-severely-disabled-daughter.html
  • Called SnowWorld, this soothing wintry environment helps to balm the pain and discomfort of redressing by intercepting the neurological response to pain, which is similar to the part of the brain that responds to heat. By immersing the patient in this secluded, snowy place, third-degree burns are being treated without medication. Video: http:// worlds.ruc.dk/archives/3033 Source: http:// www.ampainsoc.org/pub/bulletin/spr05/inno1.htm
  • Called SnowWorld, this soothing wintry environment helps to balm the pain and discomfort of redressing by intercepting the neurological response to pain, which is similar to the part of the brain that responds to heat. By immersing the patient in this secluded, snowy place, third-degree burns are being treated without medication. Video: http:// worlds.ruc.dk/archives/3033 Source: http:// www.ampainsoc.org/pub/bulletin/spr05/inno1.htm
  • This interesting concept is called the DrawBraille phone, created by Shikun Sun while he was studying industrial design. It’s a haptic (touch-based) device that uses a braille board instead of a display. The dots are mechanically raised so the visually impaired and blind users can read using their fingers.
  • The iPad is the best-selling consumer tablet, but it — and every other entry into the slate market — is rendered unusable to those without the ability to see. That could change if the Omnifer Braille iPad case ever moves from concept to store shelves. The unique folding case isn't just protective, it also features a high-tech raised Braille technology that could be used with special apps, opening a whole new world to those with vision impairments. The case covers roughly half of the iPad's screen with a special Braille section that responds to changes in light. The glow of the tablet's 9.7" display would activate a special light-reactive chemical, and raise portions of the Braille section to be readable. Custom apps would be created to utilize this unique feature. As the area of the screen behind the Braille section changes, so would the raised bumps, opening the door to apps like digital magazines designed specifically for the blind. The Omnifer concept was created by Jayson D'Alessandro of Auburn University, and was a finalist in the 2011 Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). Though there are no current plans to mass produce such an accessory, the concept has received a good reception, and that's always an important first step.
  • These develops bring to mind intriguing evidence that the “virtual body” is at one with the physical, especially in the form of game avatars. You move, it moves; the brain begins to show activity typical of what the avatar is doing on the screen, and a neurological response takes place. Doctors call this “cybertherapy,” and it was a topic of discussion in this recent New York Times article. Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/science/23avatar.html?_r=1
  • Video of student using a screen reader to interface with an accessible video component.
  • Video of student using a screen reader to interface with an accessible video component.
  • Let’s take the “so what” component of the innovation equation to a broader context -- in this case, that of patient-centric healthcare. I read this book called The Empowered Patient by Elizabeth Cohen, which had me thinking about the need for technology tools to help patients and physicians better manage wellness and treatment options. This covers not only the disability sector, but also areas related to long-term rehabilitation for such conditions as multiple sclerosis.
  • Let me start off by explaining the esoteric title of this presentation. About six months ago, my team was conducting user research in the fields of occupational therapy and rehabilitation. One profiled therapist made the interesting comment, “We are living in a high-tech, low-touch society.”
  • The blight of the homebound patient goes beyond quality of care; it is also a financial and logistical drain on our health system. Physical therapists in the U.S. drive an estimated 5 billion miles a year ... Source: http://www.nahc.org/facts/homecareStudy.html
  • By point of comparison, UPS only drives 2 billion miles a year. Consider the burden of physical therapists in rural areas, having to drive hundreds of miles to serve clients spanning multiple counties (and even states). With this in mind, some forward-thinking hospitals and clinics are investigating the use of new technologies to improve remote homebound care. Source: http://www.nahc.org/facts/homecareStudy.html
  • Her sentiments speak to a larger issue. The whole point of homebound care is to get the patient out of the home as quickly and effectively as possible, so they can lead more productive lives. Unfortunately, 28% of home health patients wind up returning to the hospital due to lack of risk assessment and limited touchpoints. Source: http://www.phd1.idaho.gov/homehealth/homehealthprofile.cfm
  • Consider this case study from the University of Toronto. Twenty patients recovering from stroke underwent eight 60-minute sessions over a period of two weeks, showing 30% improvement in motor skill efficiency. Source: http://dailycontributor.com/playing-wii-can-help-stroke-patients-recover-faster/13017/
  • Called SnowWorld, this soothing wintry environment helps to balm the pain and discomfort of redressing by intercepting the neurological response to pain, which is similar to the part of the brain that responds to heat. By immersing the patient in this secluded, snowy place, third-degree burns are being treated without medication. Video: http:// worlds.ruc.dk/archives/3033 Source: http:// www.ampainsoc.org/pub/bulletin/spr05/inno1.htm
  • These develops bring to mind intriguing evidence that the “virtual body” is at one with the physical, especially in the form of game avatars. You move, it moves; the brain begins to show activity typical of what the avatar is doing on the screen, and a neurological response takes place. Doctors call this “cybertherapy,” and it was a topic of discussion in this recent New York Times article. Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/science/23avatar.html?_r=1
  • In a matter of minutes, people placed in front of this virtual mirror identify strongly with their “body” and psychologically inhabit it, researchers at Stanford University have found. And by subtly altering elements of that embodied figure, the scientists have established a principle that is fundamental to therapy — that an experience in a virtual world can alter behavior in the real one. “ The remarkable thing is how little a virtual human has to do to produce fairly large effects on behavior,” said Jeremy Bailenson, director of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford and the author, with James Blascovich, of the coming book “Infinite Reality” (HarperCollins 2011). Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/science/23avatar.html?_r=1
  • Called SnowWorld, this soothing wintry environment helps to balm the pain and discomfort of redressing by intercepting the neurological response to pain, which is similar to the part of the brain that responds to heat. By immersing the patient in this secluded, snowy place, third-degree burns are being treated without medication. Video: http:// worlds.ruc.dk/archives/3033 Source: http:// www.ampainsoc.org/pub/bulletin/spr05/inno1.htm
  • Called SnowWorld, this soothing wintry environment helps to balm the pain and discomfort of redressing by intercepting the neurological response to pain, which is similar to the part of the brain that responds to heat. By immersing the patient in this secluded, snowy place, third-degree burns are being treated without medication. Video: http:// worlds.ruc.dk/archives/3033 Source: http:// www.ampainsoc.org/pub/bulletin/spr05/inno1.htm
  • Unfortunately, most people’s attitudes were jaundiced by an equal number of stories describing the unsavory sexual and economic practices taking place in Second Life. Such accounts provided a grimy balance to any mention of virtual worlds and online social activity. This article from Discover describes what happens “when technology gets creepy,” citing how people were giving birth to virtual babies through their avatars. I’m going to admit a certain queasiness on my part as well. Source: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/discoblog/2009/01/15/when-technology-gets-creepy-giving-birth-in-second-life/
  • The Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) has recognized the value of virtual worlds for people with disabilities beyond mere entertainment. Participation in virtual activities contributes positively to quality of life, according according to the authors of an article in the November/December 2010 issue of Rehabilitation Nursing , published by the ARN. “ Second Life provides benefits to people with disabilities such as information, socialization, and community membership. SL communities, groups, and activities help increase feelings of self-worth and empowerment,” the authors wrote. “Nurses caring for patients in a rehabilitation setting can use SL as an enrichment tool to help disabled, chronically ill, and convalescing patients improve their overall quality of life and enhance their physical, emotional, and social adjustment. SL could become part of a rehabilitation plan for people with disabilities, enabling patients to learn more about their own conditions, health and wellbeing, and resources available to enhance their quality of life.” “ Participation in support groups and communities of people who understand what they are going through improves their sense of self-worth and augments their adjustment and functional ability by providing opportunities for socialization, encouragement, friendships and fun.” Source: No author. (2010). People with disabilities find improved quality of life by visiting virtual world online. Available from Newswise and Medical News. Accessed November 10, 2010 from http://www.newswise.com/articles/people-with-disabilities-find-improved-quality-of-life-by-visiting-virtual-world-online-free-internet-site-used-by-millions-for-entertainment-now-serves-disabled-individuals
  • A new collaborative effort at the Center of Stress and Health at Stanford University aims to fuse cancer therapy with virtual worlds, providing a learning and fellowship space for adolescents between the ages of 13 and 24. Called the BE Community, the interaction provides games, videos, treatment and nutrition diaries. What’s interesting is how officials from the University decided to build their own platform, rather than set up an island in Second Life. Again, a form of niche construction delivered with the digital outcast in mind. Source: http://scopeblog.stanford.edu/archives/2010/11/be-community.html
  • Mette Hoybye, PhD, a visiting scholar at the Center on Stress and Health , explains that “patients feel empowered by support resources they find online and experience a strong sense of emotionally beneficial recognition from interactions with similar others in shared patient spaces such as discussion fora or websites. We are also planning to collect various measures of treatment adherence, for example: appointment attendance, blood tests to observe adherence to chemotherapy regimens, and possibly cortisol levels to indicate stress level.” Source: http://scopeblog.stanford.edu/archives/2010/11/be-comm unity.html
  • GimpGirl provides a valuable resource for women with disabilities as a forum for advocacy and companionship. Among the activities at GimpGirl’s Second Life are social events, art happenings and outreach sessions. Many of their initiatives operate in parallel both in-world and in real life. Illustration: GimpGirl community in Second Life.
  • Above all, people in the virtual realm interact relatively free of risk and find community among folks for whom it may not otherwise exist. What I’ve heard most is someone telling me, “I’ve always wanted to be a part of a group that understood what it’s like to be me.” Virtual worlds provide benefit to people with disabilities (and their caregivers) who use these environments and communities to discuss their experiences with others who understand them. Source: Brady, J. (2008). How 'second life' therapy helps Asperger's patients. In WFAA online. Retrieved May 20, 2008 from http://www.wfaa.com/sharedcontent/dws/wfaa/localnews/news8/stories/wfaa080111_lj_brady.11fb5bac.html Source: Mollman, S. (2008). Avatars in rehab: getting therapy in virtual worlds. From CNN.com. Retrieved July 12, 2008 from http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/07/16/db.secondlifetherapy/index.html
  • "It's not just recognizing a face," says Dan Krawczyk, a researcher at the facility. "It's recognizing emotion ... So, a lot of brain areas have to talk to each other and coordinate, and some of these connections are not as strong as they should be." Even Thurston’s mother reports being impressed at how beneficially the treatment has affected her son’s social behavior. Video: http://www.wfaa.com/news/health/Dallas-center-uses-avatars-in-virtual-world-to-help-autistic-children-116899863.html
  • "It's not just recognizing a face," says Dan Krawczyk, a researcher at the facility. "It's recognizing emotion ... So, a lot of brain areas have to talk to each other and coordinate, and some of these connections are not as strong as they should be." Even Thurston’s mother reports being impressed at how beneficially the treatment has affected her son’s social behavior. Video: http://www.wfaa.com/news/health/Dallas-center-uses-avatars-in-virtual-world-to-help-autistic-children-116899863.html
  • The key word here is empathy . While technological innovations are exciting, it’s important to keep in mind the benefit that barrier-free virtual environments provide. People with disabilities have the opportunity to escape their bodies, if they so choose, or to celebrate their unique gifts among peers. It really comes down to finding a sense of finding one’s place among others, no matter what the platform.
  • In the end, as designers of inclusive environments we are making allowances to attributes a person cannot readily change. It goes beyond 3D environments or the appearance of avatars; it’s really about how a person’s behavior can be enhanced or manifested through technology. Virtual worlds and games happen to be an engaging vehicle for this surprising demographic of Digital Outcasts.
  • As mentioned previously, a key failure in the innovation lifecycle is to always operate on the basis of assumptions . I have a theory that thoughts are sort of like little sponges. When you drop a sponge into a glass of water, it expands and takes up the entire volume of the glass, sucking up all the water. Thoughts that become assumptions are like this as well; they expand and encompass the entire volume of the skull, eventually disguising themselves in our minds as facts. I’m going to detail how these assumptions shape the landscape in which digital outcasts reside, and what we need to do to evolve beyond them.
  • As a usability specialist, I recognize the danger of making assumptions and acting without all of the data. I did this with respect to virtual worlds, which to be honest I always found a little creepy. I could never comprehend what people found so addictive about sims, which to me represented an unhealthy distraction from real life problems. Quote: “In the absence of detailed information we all work from assumptions ... we tend to design for ourselves, not for other people.” Source: Rubenstein, R. and Hersh, H. (1990). Human Factor: Designing Computer Systems for People, 24th edition. Bedford: Digital Press.
  • Users with disabilities represent $175 billion in discretionary income. Source: 2004 U.S. Department of Labor. "Providing Quality Services to Customers with Disabilities." http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/ek98/provide.htm
  • To put that number in perspective, that is more than four times the spending power of tweens (8-14 year olds), a demographic much sought after by businesses and agencies. Source: Paul Farhi and Jennifer Frey. "Marketers Tune In to the Tween Set; New Media target a Rich Niche of Young Consumers" Washington Post. 23 May 2006. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/22/AR2006052201903.html
  • So where we’re arriving is a new digital ecosystem in place, one that utilizes game-based technologies for the greater good of inclusive design and health/wellness. It’s interesting to note the number of disabled gamers currently operating in this space. According to a 2008 Information Solutions Group survey of 13,296 players, over a fifth of game players self-identified as as having some form of a disability. This is the specific breakdown: Physical (46% overall) - Rheumatoid Arthritis/Osteoarthritis (14%) , Fibromyalgia (11%), Multiple Sclerosis (7%) Mental (29% overall) - Moderate/Severe Depression (41%), Bipolar Disorder (16%), Anxiety Disorder (15%) Developmental/Learning (25% overall) - ADD/ADHD (46%), Autism (15%), Dyslexia (11%) With thousands of dollars spent in the US alone on alternative means of input, hardware input for has gained some mainstream visibility of late within the gaming community. I’ll take a little time now to cover some of the fascinating work being done in this space. Source: No author (2009) 20% of casual gamers are disabled. (2008). Retrieved February 7, 2009 from http://www.casualgaming.biz/news/27527/20-of-casual-gamers-are-disabled
  • Another assumption is that people with disabilities living with fixed incomes do not have economic access to such luxuries as mobile devices. A study published last year by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project listed relative rates of adoption according to income bracket. Interestingly, the lowest income group (comprising those making less than $30,000 year) showed the highest rise in mobile Internet use, from 35% in April 2009 to 46% in May 2010. By comparison, the highest income group (those making more than $75,000 a year) only rose 8%. Here’s the total breakdown: Less than $30,000 - rose 11 points from 35% to 46% $30,000-$49,999 - rose 2 points from 53% to 55% $50,000-$74,999 - rose 4 points from 63% to 67% $30,000-$49,999 - rose 2 points from 72% to 80% What does this mean? Although the mobile access is still directly proportional to income, the trend is starting to shift. This means that we cannot use economic inaccessibility as a means to discount the technological needs of underserved populations. Source: http://e-patients.net/archives/2010/07/mobile-social-health-at-the-national-library-of-medicine.html
  • Statistically speaking, disability is often associated with being older, less educated and living in a lower-income household. By contrast, Internet use is statistically associated with being younger, college-educated, and living in a higher-income household. It’s not surprising that people living with a disability report lower rates of Internet access than other adults; however, when all demographic factors are controlled, living with a disability is negatively correlated with the likelihood to have Internet access. I would submit the following two hypotheses for debate and/or disproof: (1) with 54% of adults living with a disability using the Internet, and 41% having access to broadband, the adoption of mobile access must be accounting for at least some portion of the remainder; and (2) both numbers would be a lot higher, if accessibility were more successfully integrated in digital product design. In other words, the onus of inaccessibility should fall more heavily on those providing the service than those who cannot use it. Source: http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2011/PIP_Disability.pdf
  • Let me tell you why all of this is so important. Here’s a chart detailing the top online activities, ranked from 1-17, split among seven age groups from youngest to oldest. Here’s the span of all seven groups: Teens, Generation Y, Generation X, Younger Boomers, Older Boomers, the Silent Generation and finally the G.I. Generation. Source: http://e-patients.net/archives/2010/07/mobile-social-health-at-the-national-library-of-medicine.html
  • Studies like this are fascinating, because they provide an opportunity to drill down to determine attitudinal preferences specific to target segments. I’ve highlighted the online activity called “Get health info” to show how important this is to each age group. It should be no surprise that the older the demographic, the more critically they rank the importance of finding health information online. It’s also of little surprise that Teens, the youngest segment, rank “Get health info” at #14; older groups rank the activity much higher (often in the top 3 or 4). Source: http://e-patients.net/archives/2010/07/mobile-social-health-at-the-national-library-of-medicine.html
  • So let’s look at what teens do online: play games, check email, share content, visit social networking sites. They want their digital content to be immediate, engaging, ubiquitous and evaporative. This is very important for us to understand, right now. For as we work to accommodate the digital outcasts, we must also have a vision for the future of the Web and how today’s digital natives are retrieving and utilizing information. One day those Teens will be much older, and I guarantee that their interest in personal health will increase with time. To put it simply ... we are all digital outcasts at some point or another in our lives. Source: http://e-patients.net/archives/2010/07/mobile-social-health-at-the-national-library-of-medicine.html
  • It comes as no surprise to anyone here that the business case for accessibility is very convincing. People with disabilities are the largest minority market in the U.S. The Census Bureau reports that there are 54 million adults with disabilities who spend almost $200 billion annually, yet remarkably little research has been conducted by marketing academics or practitioners on the unique factors that influence these consumers. Source: 2009 ADA statistic from 2005 US census report - http://health.weightview.com/2009/01/05/number-of-americans-with-disabilities-reaches-544-million/
  • It comes as no surprise to anyone here that the business case for accessibility is very convincing. People with disabilities are the largest minority market in the U.S. The Census Bureau reports that there are 54 million adults with disabilities who spend almost $200 billion annually, yet remarkably little research has been conducted by marketing academics or practitioners on the unique factors that influence these consumers. Source: 2009 ADA statistic from 2005 US census report - http://health.weightview.com/2009/01/05/number-of-americans-with-disabilities-reaches-544-million/
  • The last 12-18 months have seen a sharp confluence in various streams: games for health, haptic controls, virtual environments, avatars, robotics, augmented reality, mobile devices, geolocation and social technology. Pretty much anything we’ve envisioned from science fiction is either in market, or it’s well within the realm of feasibility. So the question isn’t so much a matter of, “When does the future get here?” For digital outcasts, they are making their own future.
  • The iPad is the best-selling consumer tablet, but it — and every other entry into the slate market — is rendered unusable to those without the ability to see. That could change if the Omnifer Braille iPad case ever moves from concept to store shelves. The unique folding case isn't just protective, it also features a high-tech raised Braille technology that could be used with special apps, opening a whole new world to those with vision impairments. The case covers roughly half of the iPad's screen with a special Braille section that responds to changes in light. The glow of the tablet's 9.7" display would activate a special light-reactive chemical, and raise portions of the Braille section to be readable. Custom apps would be created to utilize this unique feature. As the area of the screen behind the Braille section changes, so would the raised bumps, opening the door to apps like digital magazines designed specifically for the blind. The Omnifer concept was created by Jayson D'Alessandro of Auburn University, and was a finalist in the 2011 Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). Though there are no current plans to mass produce such an accessory, the concept has received a good reception, and that's always an important first step.
  • The iPad is the best-selling consumer tablet, but it — and every other entry into the slate market — is rendered unusable to those without the ability to see. That could change if the Omnifer Braille iPad case ever moves from concept to store shelves. The unique folding case isn't just protective, it also features a high-tech raised Braille technology that could be used with special apps, opening a whole new world to those with vision impairments. The case covers roughly half of the iPad's screen with a special Braille section that responds to changes in light. The glow of the tablet's 9.7" display would activate a special light-reactive chemical, and raise portions of the Braille section to be readable. Custom apps would be created to utilize this unique feature. As the area of the screen behind the Braille section changes, so would the raised bumps, opening the door to apps like digital magazines designed specifically for the blind. The Omnifer concept was created by Jayson D'Alessandro of Auburn University, and was a finalist in the 2011 Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). Though there are no current plans to mass produce such an accessory, the concept has received a good reception, and that's always an important first step.
  • In fact, I would argue that the future has already arrived. We are living it. And if I may utilize my own William Gibson quote, “It’s just not evenly distributed yet.” But it’s getting there.
  • I’ll leave you with this little video by a wonderful group in Texas called Waterloo Labs. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4j2kw5MJK24
  • I’ll leave you with this little video by a wonderful group in Texas called Waterloo Labs. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4j2kw5MJK24
  • Thanks for your time and attention today.
  • Contact me via email at Kel [dot] Smith [at] anikto [dot] com Follow me on Twitter at anikto and kelsmith .
  • Kel Smith - Innovations in Accessibility

    1. 1. Innovations in Accessibility Improving Communication for Digital Outcasts
    2. 3. What’s the answer?
    3. 4. What’s the question?
    4. 9. http://www.boing boing.net/2010/04/02/why-i-wont-buy-an-ipad-and-think-you-shouldnt-either.html
    5. 11. ~ Glenda Watson Hyatt Author of “I’ll Do It Myself” blog http://www.doitmyselfblog.com/2010/the-ipad-as-an-affordable-communicator-initial-review/ “ I feel like technology is finally catching up with what I truly need.”
    6. 12. ~ Gareth White, University of Sussex Author of “Toward Accessible 3D Virtual Environments for the Blind and Visually Impaired” Retrieved May 20, 2008 courtesy the authors from http://blindsecondlife.blogspot.com/2008/09/paper-publication.html “ Digital Outcasts”
    7. 13. "Human beings exist along continuums of competence. Success is based upon adapting oneself to the needs of the surrounding environment." ~ Thomas Armstrong Author of “The New Field of Neurodiversity: Why ‘Disabilities’ Are Essential to the Human Ecosystem” Retrieved July 28, 2010 from http://www.alternet.org/story/147107
    8. 16. Niche Construction ~ Thomas Armstrong, from the article The New Field of Neurodiversity: Why ‘Disabilities’ Are Essential to the Human Ecosystem http://www.alternet.org/story/147107 Modifying one’s surroundings according to one’s unique needs, in order to ensure success in life
    9. 18. http://articles.philly.com/2011-01-03/news/26356248_1_haptics-cane-immersion-corp
    10. 19. http://mobileasl.cs.washington.edu/ MobileASL
    11. 20. http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/smartphone-apps/autism-iphone-breakthrough-from-tantrums-to-appy-days-20100416-sjjl.html
    12. 21. “ My daughter is capable of a three- hour tantrum that leaves your ears ringing. With the phone showing exactly what she has requested, we see a huge reduction in (her) frustration." ~ Lisa Domican Creator of the Grace app for iPad and iPhone http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/smartphone-apps/autism-iphone-breakthrough-from-tantrums-to-appy-days-20100416-sjjl.html
    13. 22. "Mia is cognitively alert but unable to communicate. [iComm] has given her a voice for the first time and allowed us to understand her so much better." ~ Martin Brooks Creator of the iComm app for iPhone http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1276195/Father-creates-iPhone-app-gives-voice-severely-disabled-daughter.html
    14. 23. iPhone Money Reader http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvfDnGMPrkI ~ LookTel Products http://www.looktel.com/products
    15. 24. iPhone Money Reader http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvfDnGMPrkI ~ LookTel Products http://www.looktel.com/products
    16. 25. Texting for the Blind DrawBraille Haptic Phone ~ Shikun Sun Sheffield Hallam University http://technabob.com/blog/2011/08/29/drawbraille-phone-concept/
    17. 26. Touchscreens for the Blind Omnifer Braille iPad Case ~ Jayson D’Allessandro Auburn University http://www.tecca.com/news/2011/08/12/omnifer-braille-ipad-case/
    18. 27. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/ipad-becomes-the-apple-of-hollys-eye/story-fn7x8me2-1226083773188 “ Holly’s enthusiasm to read has grown so much, and it’s definitely increased her independence.” ~ Fiona Bligh Mother of Holly Bligh, a 9-year old with albino nystagmus
    19. 28. iPad and the Blind http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEDzitE2w_0
    20. 29. iPad and the Blind http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEDzitE2w_0
    21. 31. » “We’re living in a high-tech, low-touch society.” ~ Profiled occupational therapist, May 2010
    22. 32. 5B
    23. 33. 5B 2B http://www.nahc.org/facts/homecareStudy.html
    24. 34. of home health patients return to the hospital due to lack of risk assessment Medicare Statistic http://www.phd1.idaho.gov/homehealth/homehealthprofile.cfm 28%
    25. 35. ~ Dr. Gustavo Saposnik Director of the Stroke Outcomes Research Unit, St. Michael’s Hospital at the University of Toronto http://dailycontributor.com/playing-wii-can-help-stroke-patients-recover-faster/13017/ 30% improvement * Based on 20 patients recovering from stroke with average age of 61, undergoing eight 60-minute sessions over a period of two weeks
    26. 36. Kinect Therapy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCWYFo7HesA
    27. 37. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/science/23avatar.html?_r=1
    28. 38. ~ Jeremy Bailenson Director of the Stanford University Virtual Human Interaction Lab http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/science/23avatar.html?_r=1 “ In a matter of minutes, people placed in front of the virtual mirror identify strongly with their ‘body’ and psychologically inhabit it.”
    29. 39. Virtual Pain Distraction http://worlds.ruc.dk/archives/3033 http://www.ampainsoc.org/pub/bulletin/spr05/inno1.htm
    30. 40. Virtual Pain Distraction http://worlds.ruc.dk/archives/3033 http://www.ampainsoc.org/pub/bulletin/spr05/inno1.htm
    31. 41. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/discoblog/2009/01/15/when-technology-gets-creepy-giving-birth-in-second-life/
    32. 42. http://www.newswise.com/articles/people-with-disabilities-find-improved-quality-of-life-by-visiting-virtual-world-online-free-internet-site-used-by-millions-for-entertainment-now-serves-disabled-individuals
    33. 43. http://scopeblog.stanford.edu/archives/2010/11/be-community.html BE Community for adolescent cancer patients
    34. 44. http://scopeblog.stanford.edu/archives/2010/11/be-community.html “ Patients feel empowered by support they find online and experience emotionally beneficial recognition from similar interactions.” ~ Mette Hoybye, PhD Center on Stress and Health Stanford University
    35. 46. “ I’ve always wanted to be part of a group that understood what it’s like to be me.”
    36. 47. Autism + Avatars http://www.wfaa.com/news/health/Dallas-center-uses-avatars-in-virtual-world-to-help-autistic-children-116899863.html
    37. 48. Autism + Avatars http://www.wfaa.com/news/health/Dallas-center-uses-avatars-in-virtual-world-to-help-autistic-children-116899863.html
    38. 49. Empathy
    39. 50. Making allowances for attributes a person cannot readily change Empathy
    40. 52. ~ Richard Rubenstein and Harry Hersh, from the book The Human Factor: Designing Computer Systems for People “ In the absence of detailed information we all work from assumptions ... we tend to design for ourselves, not for other people.”
    41. 53. $ 175 b 2006 U.S. Department of Labor. “Providing Quality Services to Customers with Disabilities.” www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/ek98/provide.htm
    42. 54. 4 x ~ Paul Farhi and Jennifer Frey. “Marketers Tune In to the Tween Set; New Media target a Rich Niche of Young Consumers” Washington Post . 23 May 2006. www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/22/AR2006052201903.html
    43. 55. ~ 2008 Information Solutions Group Survey http://www.casualgaming.biz/news/27527/20-of-casual-gamers-are-disabled 20.5% total* players 46% physical 29% mental 25% developmental *13,296 players surveyed
    44. 56. Changes in wireless Internet use by demographic groups, 2009-2010 Less than $30,000 $30,000-$49,999 $50,000-$74,999 $75,000+ 35 53 63 72 46 55 67 80 +11 +2 +4 +8 April 2009 May 2010 Change ~ Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project April 29-May 30 Tracking Survey N=2,252 adults 18 and older http://e-patients.net/archives/2010/07/mobile-social-health-at-the-national-library-of-medicine.html
    45. 57. Changes in wireless Internet use by demographic groups, 2009-2010 Less than $30,000 $30,000-$49,999 $50,000-$74,999 $75,000+ 35 53 63 72 46 55 67 80 +11 +2 +4 +8 April 2009 May 2010 Change ~ Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project April 29-May 30 Tracking Survey N=2,252 adults 18 and older http://e-patients.net/archives/2010/07/mobile-social-health-at-the-national-library-of-medicine.html Of adults living with a disability have broadband Internet access 41%
    46. 58. http://e-patients.net/archives/2010/07/mobile-social-health-at-the-national-library-of-medicine.html
    47. 59. http://e-patients.net/archives/2010/07/mobile-social-health-at-the-national-library-of-medicine.html
    48. 60. http://e-patients.net/archives/2010/07/mobile-social-health-at-the-national-library-of-medicine.html
    49. 61. 15 % http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/06/09/137084239/nearly-1-in-7-people-on-earth-are-disabled-survey-finds?sc=fb&cc=fp/
    50. 62. 15% We are all digital outcasts http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/06/09/137084239/nearly-1-in-7-people-on-earth-are-disabled-survey-finds?sc=fb&cc=fp/
    51. 63. What’s the answer?
    52. 64. What’s the answer? You are.
    53. 65. Picture: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/other-gadgets/virtual-world.htm One day …
    54. 66. ~ Electrocorticographic (ECoG) Brain Implants Wadsworth Center Lab Albany, NY http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/magazine/the-cyborg-in-us-all.html?_r=1&ref=technology
    55. 67. Computer Telepathy One epilepsy patient moved a ball across a computer screen simply by imagining a sound. ~ Electrocorticographic (ECoG) Brain Implants Wadsworth Center Lab Albany, NY http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/magazine/the-cyborg-in-us-all.html?_r=1&ref=technology
    56. 68. ~ William Gibson Science Fiction Author (Idoru) “ The future has already arrived. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.” http://www.flickr.com/photos/fredarmitage/1057613629
    57. 69. Waterloo Labs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4j2kw5MJK24
    58. 70. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4j2kw5MJK24 Waterloo Labs
    59. 71. Thank you Questions & Comments
    60. 72. Thank you @ kelsmith @ digitaloutcasts
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