5. Assessing The Accessibility Of User Interfaces For All Ages


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User interfaces are omnipresent in daily consumer goods, whether it is in the usage of brown goods or the access to the menu of a DVD player, as well as in the Ambient Assistive Living services that are being established like for example in the OASIS project and which will be provided to older people. Considering the growing number of older people and the directly linked increasing number of disabilities that will appear accordingly, OASIS project has taken the step to consider accessible user interfaces (UI) from the very beginning using a variety of interaction technologies. In addition, it will also have its interfaces assessed by using the assessment tools provided by the ACCESSIBLE project that focuses on ensuring web, desktop and mobile interfaces are fully accessible from the very beginning, without any adjusting afterwards.

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5. Assessing The Accessibility Of User Interfaces For All Ages

  1. 1. Assessing The Accessibility Of UI For All Ages Karel Van Isacker Marie Curie Association Bulgaria
  2. 2. Some facts <ul><li>Direct linkage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Growing size older population 55+ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Woldwide, Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA): 1990-2025 an expected increase of 200% to 300% in their elderly population </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing number of disabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not everywhere at same rate, SSA at approx. 10% </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Projected number </li></ul><ul><li>of persons aged 65 </li></ul><ul><li>and over expressed as </li></ul><ul><li>a percentage of the </li></ul><ul><li>projected number of </li></ul><ul><li>persons aged between </li></ul><ul><li>15 and 64 </li></ul>
  3. 3. Research Objectives <ul><li>Important aim </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider accessible user interfaces (UI) from the very beginning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>With older-age, ageing-related impairments including vision and hearing decline, physical disabilities and cognitive declines. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Need for multimodal user interfaces </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ageing has its impact on the need for accessible ICT, whether for the workplace or for home that address ageing related impairments. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using a variety of interaction technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment through tools developed by ACCESSIBLE project </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Applied User Interface Guide <ul><li>Applied for all service developments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Desktop, mobile or smartphone implementations. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Established accessible UIs to assessed by end-users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Older people with a wide range of disabilities and activity degree, related to old age or not </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pilots in Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania, the UK </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Designers and developers assess developed user interfaces </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software that simulates a wide variety of disabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment tools that verify e.g. Java TM interfaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both developed by ACCESSIBLE project. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Why this User Interface Guide? <ul><li>Specific physical and cognitive changes occur with age </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vision: most common source of difficulty for seniors using the web; acuity, contrast discriminations and colour perception all affected when ageing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dexterity: problematic, especially in the usage of the mouse and keyboard. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cognitive: Impact on desktop usage overall, if only in needing a longer time to get grip of applications or understanding certain interfaces. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hearing: increasing number of multimedia that is being embedded in e.g. Rich Internet Applications. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Major Outcomes/Results <ul><li>OASIS will deploy 10 services: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Independent living applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nutritional advisor </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Activity coach </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Brain and skills trainer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social communities platform </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Health monitoring </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Environmental control </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Autonomous Mobility and Smart Workplaces Applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Transport information services </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Route guidance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personal mobility </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Smart workplaces </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Follows specific guidelines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Arrangement (multimodal) user interface elements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functionality of each element </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Colour codes to be applied </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. OASIS video <ul><li>Available online (www.oasis-project.eu) </li></ul><ul><li>Subtitled in English, French, … </li></ul>
  8. 8. Major Outcomes/Results <ul><li>Gesture based interaction – optical gesture recognition </li></ul><ul><li>Multitouch </li></ul><ul><li>Gesture based interaction- Accelerometer </li></ul><ul><li>Tangible user interfaces </li></ul><ul><li>Audio supported interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Java TM supported interaction </li></ul>
  9. 9. Does not stop at development… <ul><li>Provision of fully accessible e-learning for end-users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usage of ATutor (www.atutor.ca) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Accessible learning <ul><li>Below are some of the accessibility features that are addressing in particular the needs of older users: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keyboard accessibility, thus allowing limited usage of the mouse. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adjustable font size. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of <label> tags to increase clickable surfaces in forms, menu tabs, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consistent navigation (only exception is the chat functionality –which refreshes text at certain intervals controllable by the user- so as to allow screen reader users to easily participate in a chat session without having to go to all menus). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ATutor supports accessibility in terms of following standards: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>W3C WCAG 1.0, W3C WCAG 2.0, W3C ATAG 2.0, US Section 508, Italy Stanca Act, IMS AccessForAll 2.0 draft, ISO FDIS 24751 </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Platform possibilities <ul><li>Course module </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Course content and associated tests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 profiles: administrator, tutor, student </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Course tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mailbox </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Glossary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>File storage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FAQ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Polls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test and surveys </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sitemap </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Members directory </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Course management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Member management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Course enrollment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Management of course content and associated material </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Multilingual support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>English, Spanish, Italian </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More can be added </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Identified business benefits and barriers <ul><li>Positive ageing has become a buzzword </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Active living among older people (with a wide range of health, functional ability, disability, psychology, ethnicity and socioeconomic factors) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Governments worried about impending age crisis (ageing population combined with dropping fertility rates) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But also: untapped opportunity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Older people encouraged to remain active for a longer time, and remain as independent as possible in daily life. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Main barrier </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provided services and technologies remain very expensive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many not enough supported by local governments (and their respective health insurance systems) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Older people in general not aware of the social and functional benefits provided by technology </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Conclusion and outlook <ul><li>OASIS at the crossroad between new technologies and an ageing population that is to some extent reluctant to embark in new ICT territory. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Offered services as intuitive as possible in their usage, taking into account the limitations that arise with ageing. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Piloting will identify the gaps and these will be implemented into the final OASIS services. </li></ul><ul><li>More info: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.oasis-project.eu </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mail us at: [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Forthcoming events  … </li></ul>
  14. 14. Forthcoming events <ul><li>ACCESSIBLE 1 st Workshop in collaboration with ICCHP 2010 conference </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FP7 project ACCESSIBLE: Accessibility Assessment Simulation Environment for New Applications Design and Development - assess accessibility, support standards, improve life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vienna, Austria, 13 July 2010, in the context of the ICCHP pre-conference in Vienna. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.accessible-project.eu </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Forthcoming events <ul><li>2 nd Pan-European Workshop/User Forum and the 1 st International AEGIS Conference entitled “Access for All in the desktop, web and mobile field: an end-user and developer perspective” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FP7 project ÆGIS: Accessibility Everywhere: Groundwork, Infrastructure, Accessibility Everywhere: Groundwork, Infrastructure, Standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seville, Spain, 6-7-8 October 2010 respectively </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Important dates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Abstracts submission deadline: 28th May 2010 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Notification of abstracts acceptance: 14th June 2010 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Paper submission deadline: 9th July 2010 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Notification of acceptance and outcome of review : 23rd July 2010 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Final camera ready papers: 31st August 2010 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.aegis-project.eu </li></ul></ul>