• Qatar – Mada Center for Assistive
Technologies - 83% Arabic speakers - 7,643
• Wider community
Chinese English Hindi Spanish Arabic
2 4 5 6
Overall Visually Disabled Hearing Disabled Physically
Unaided Awareness in Qatar : Assistive
Aid for physical disability
Aid for Learning disability
Those with learning difficulties appeared to be those who
were most unaware of how AT could help.
Base: 211 52 49 87 119
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Fixed line phone
Internet (on Laptop/ Computer)
Internet (on Mobile phone)
Digital music player / iPod
Tablet PC (iPad/Galaxy Tab)
Use of ICT products in the household in Qatar
Ever Used by disabled person Present in household
Base: 211 % figures
Ecosystem – addressing needs
Base: 211 % figures
• Free Arabic voice for text to speech and screen reading
• Spell checking and word prediction corpus expansion
• Accessible Arabic digital content needs to be increased
in amount available and quality.
• Optical Character Recognition work to be done
• Speech Recognition improvements
• AAC symbol systems to fit the culture and the language
• Community Support for translation
• Dissemination of information and resources that come
out of research
• Open Source – Free but must be licensed
• Main developer and small contributions from
• Make it possible to add small amounts of code
to help a project e.g. ATbar plugins
• Need to have agreement about the code that
will be accepted
• Open, online communication
• Collaborative working
• Good code - it is open source!
• Problems shared – bug tracking, issues raised,
comments made, new ideas.
• Social media – wikis for documentation,
tweets and blogs for news
• Multiple means of representation, expression
and engagement to accommodate individual
ACC-05 - Global Inclusive Design for All, Beyond Accessible Design – ATBar January 31, 20134:00 PM - 5:00 PMPrimary Speaker
Session DescriptionLocalisation of an open source browser based toolbar to Arabic led to research resulting in a series of criteria supporting issues around spoken and written language impacting on coding and website development, where localisation is in a language not known to the team. The criteria encompass project management queries regarding community building, technical skills, training requirements and the need for localised guidance materials to aid sustainability and future development.
Monument to Multiculturalism by Francesco Perilli inToronto, Canada. Four identical sculptures are located inBuffalo City, South Africa; Changchun, China; Sarajevo,Bosnia and Sydney, Australia
Entry level – first step to more advanced solutions
Stimulus to more complex solutions
Stimulus to innovation
Ability and Skills
Competency in the way someone uses digital information and communication tools – often learnt out of school plays a role in the way they carry out such activity in educational settings (Thorne 2003a) as well as what is actually available in terms of hardware. software and connectivity. So if you are not used to
internet-mediated communication there may be issues around a
Lack clear visual cues
Reduced social context
Misinterpretation and this is when you haven’t even taken their culture into account
Language - Internet-mediated global English – Netspeak (Crystal, D. 2001)
Informal and friendly may suit individualistic cultures but “may prove disturbing for unprepared members of a collectivist culture” (O’Dowd, 2001) individualistic – relationships with individuals developed during the communication, tends to be direct but collectivist cultures prefer to use their known types of communication preserving the boundaries already defined by the group – high context and indirect speech (Gudykunst and Matsumoto 1996)
Arabic written language – 28 letters but each one changes depending on its position in a word – initial, medial and final) No short vowels – these are made by the diacritics but these are often left out on the web – deep orthography as opposed to shallow orthography used in children’s books. So heard, herd, hard and hired become hrd in Arabic – Context is essential But screen readers /TTS mispronounce the words if there are no diacritics and even with them they are not always accurate which makes it hard to understand the text.
It is bidirectional – words right to left and numbers left to right! It is highly homographic – same word can carry many different meanings.
In written English we tend to say that left justification rather than full justification helps with reading as you avoid different spacing between words and have a jagged righthand side to help follow flow of text – In Arabic full justification can help as this allows for words to be stretched and you may see the diacritics more easily or recognise letters more easily.
Use larger script size 16-20 pt range rather than 12pt – Arabic script is usually larger.
Adding colour to aid memory –often used in Arabic elementary books – very bright.
Arabic has long sentences over several lines compared to English which can be difficult when you are trying to highlight for TTS and you are not sure how long you need to keep going in order to make sense! Word boundaries are an issue – 6 letters in the Arabic alphabet cannot be joined so you end up with spaces within words – it is a cursive script even online!
Activity – Task being undertaken – very dependent on culture, age, but is it for home, education, work or leisure.
Culture is “essentially elusive, abstract and invisible” (Furstenberg et al., 2001)
High Context Cultures Japan Arab Countries Greece Spain Italy England France North America Scandinavian Countries German-speaking Countries Low Context Cultures Source: Hall, E. and M. Hall (1990) Understanding Cultural Differences
Demographics - “People don’t come preassembled but are glued together by life” (Le Doux, J. 2002)
Everyday experiences change the way we interact – level of digital literacy expertise,
Range of disabilities.
Environment – Climate, Geography, Calendar – times for holidays, religious events impact on completion of projects.
“... codebases that are more modular or have more option value increase developers’ incentives to join and to remain involved in an open source development effort; and decrease the amount of free-riding in equilibrium.’
The Architecture of Participation:
Does Code Architecture Mitigate Free Riding in the
Open Source Development Model
Baldwin and Clark, 2005