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Archive for March, 2010

RECALL logo

RECALL logo

RECALL (Location Based Services – Reconnecting Excluded Communities and Lifelong Learning) KA3 project has been developed to meet a need identified from years of research in working with user groups of people with learning disabilities and their teachers/trainers. This research has shown that on leaving compulsory education, people with learning disabilities, who have previously been provided with transport to allow them to access community activity, suddenly become excluded from lifelong learning and community activity because of their lack of independent travel skills.
Three modes of RECALL will be implemented and tested which allows our target audience to plan, rehearse and then actually reconnect with learning, employment and other community opportunities. This approach combines location based services with games based learning approaches. The Plan mode promotes User Created Content and allows RECALL to be personalised to users’ needs. The Challenge mode uses games based learning approaches and context awareness to engage users in rehearsing, reflecting on and reinforcing the ways in which they have planned their reconnection with these opportunities. The Usage mode also offers self directed learning opportunities by specifying and personalising the key community and road safety messages that they require to be triggered by location. RECALL is an application developed for the Android Operating System and will be specified in English, Bulgarian, Greek and Romanian.
In the UK and Greece RECALL will work with end user groups of people with learning disabilities (NTU, GHI) and with Deaf people (BID). In Romania it will work with people with physical disabilities and sensory impairments and in Bulgaria RECALL will involve mainly people with mobility impairments. Testing and piloting of the products will measure performance against agreed indicators to ensure that we meet the objectives of increasing independence and inclusion for the target groups and of reconnecting excluded learners back to their communities and lifelong learning opportunities.
More info on the project website.

Interactive Technologies and Games: Education, Health and Disability – Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham – 26th and 27th October 2010

Call for papers

The aim of the conference is to bring together academics and practitioners working with interactive technologies to explore and innovate within the areas of Education, Health and Disability. We have a particular focus on the use of gaming hardware and software to implement accessible solutions, interaction design using new input/output devices and the increasing impact of ubiquitous computing on our everyday well being.

The conference provides an excellent opportunity to showcase practice and to mainstream research ideas and outcomes. It will introduce a wider audience to key findings and products from research and will illustrate how practice feeds back into and informs research. The conference will create a forum for two-way communication between the academic and practitioner communities and particularly welcomes user led presentations and work shops.

The programme will include presentations of papers, workshops, and an exhibition space for demonstrations and posters. This event is held in partnership with GameCity and delegates are welcome to GameCity events including the opening drinks reception.

Scope:

Compulsory and post-compulsory education is included within ‘education’. Disability includes physical, sensory and cognitive impairment. The impact of interactive technologies and games on Health and well-being is also a focus of this conference. An emphasis will be placed on practical applications and guides to where currently available training resources and tools can be found and used. A selection of papers will be published electronically in full, so presentations will be limited to 20 minutes for the key findings, including time for questions from the floor. It is hoped (as in previous years) that the best papers will be published in a special issue of a relevant academic journal.

Topics that will be covered by the conference (but not limited to) include:

Education

  • Social and collaborative aspects of interactive technology (e.g., Massively Multiplayer Online Games and Virtual worlds)
  • Raising aspirations and achievement through interactive technologies and games-based learning
  • Interactive learning tools and environments resources, e.g. Flash, podcasts, simulations, mobile games, Web 2.0 tool etc.
  • Implementation and ethical issues associated with games-based learning
  • Learning theory, universal design and assessment in interactive technology-based learning
  • Best Practices in the use of Interactive and Innovative Technologies for learning
  • Collaboration between Science and Art for more effective learning
  • Issues related to vulnerable groups
  • The engagement potential of serious games for people at risk of social exclusion

Health

  • Games based learning approaches to patient education
  • Using contemporary games controllers to create new opportunities in health and rehabilitation applications (e.g., applications for Wii Fit, Wii Mote)
  • Games based learning and virtual and enhanced environments for clinical assessment (e.g. after stroke)
  • Games based learning and virtual environments for treatment (e.g. of phobias, ADHA, post-traumatic stress disorders, Amblyopia, etc.)
  • ‘Modding’ for health
  • Patient created content in serious games
  • Psychological impact of game playing
  • Interaction and well-being

Disability

  • Approaches to making virtual environments, computer and video games accessible by all
  • Assistive technologies for people with disabilities and elderly people
  • Practical applications of virtual environments and serious games for the education of people with disabilities and elderly people (in e.g. work preparation, travel training)
  • Including people with disabilities in the design of serious games, assistive technologies and virtual environments.
  • Location based services for navigation and reconnection of people with disabilities
  • Art and music rehabilitation in 3D multisensory environments
  • Design for All

Submissions

Those wishing to present papers or hold a work shop should send abstracts, to a maximum of 500 words. For those hoping to exhibit or produce a poster, a 300-word abstract is required. The deadline for submissions is Friday 14th May, 2010 to be sent to: karen.krelle@ntu.ac.uk

Final copies of accepted papers are required by Wednesday 17th September 2010.

There is a conference fee of £75/day, £125 for full two day registration (concessions £35/day, £70 total).

Conference website http://www.ntu.ac.uk/cels/outreach/events/61435.html.

Important dates

Draft submission: 14th May 2010

Notice of paper acceptance: 16th July 2010

Final paper submission: 17th September 2010

Final Conference registration: 1st October 2010

Conference: 26th/27th October 2010

The Spanish Presidency of the European Union has attempted to clarify that the planned Equal Treatment Directive does not force manufacturers to only make goods that are accessible to people with disabilities.
Many goods, such as mobile phones or digital television devices, are not easily usable by people with visual impairments. Some disability rights campaigners had claimed that a previous draft of the Directive would force manufacturers to change the way goods are made.
But the Presidency has published amendments to the draft Directive that make it clear that the planned law does not change the legal landscape for manufacturers.
“This Directive shall not apply to the design and manufacture of goods,” said an amendment to Article 4 of the proposed Directive tabled by the EU Presidency.
The European Blind Union and the UK’s RNIB had claimed that the previous draft of the Directive did mandate a change in the law through Article 3, clause 1 (d), which prohibits discrimination in relation to “access to and supply of goods and other services which are available to the public, including housing”.
Source: Based on OUT-LAW article.

The overall aim of the completed LLP project ‘web_access’ is the development of a distance learning programme with regard to national diversity at a European level in the field of accessible web design (AWD). It summed up to a Europe-wide unique academic training programme and was designed in an accessible way to enable access by as many people as possible, including people with disabilities.
Evidence has shown that there is a growing need for the creation and maintenance of websites at European and national level which are truly accessible and in conformance with agreed and emerging international standards. This issue also needs to be addressed through more formal education and training. The target groups (web designers, students/graduates in computer sciences and related fields of study, and those who have achieved equivalent knowledge and skills, especially people with disabilities) should be trained in both the requirements for and the techniques to achieve fully accessible websites.
More information on the project website.

ACCESSIBLE project is organizing its first Workshop on “accessibility simulation technologies and standards issues”, within the frame of the 12th ICCHP conference in Vienna. The Workshop will be held on Tuesday 13 of July 2010, in the context of the ICCHP pre-conference in Vienna. The ICCHP, International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs, 2010 wants to highlight the progress of the issue of Interfacing the existing and emerging Human-Computer Interface as well as achievements and plot a R&D-roadmap towards such challenges, which will ensure even higher product and service usability.
The invitation and the program of the Workshop will be published soon.
For more information visit: http://www.icchp.org/.

AsTeRICS project logo

AsTeRICS project logo

The goal of the AsTeRICS Project is to develop a construction set for assistive technologies which can be adapted to the motor abilities of the end-users, technologies that will allow the access to different devices like PCs, cell phones and smart home devices, all of them integrated in a platform adapted as much as possible to each user.
The main objective of the project is to develop a support platform that will facilitate and improve communication resources of people with motor disabilities in their upper limbs.
The end user group at which this Project is aimed are adults (18+ years old) with motor disabilities in the upper limbs, with no cognitive impairment, no perceptual limitations (neither visual nor auditory) and with basic skills in using technologies like PCs, cell phones, electronic agendas, etc.
More information at the project website.