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Archive for August, 2011

The 6th Cambridge Workshop on Universal Access (UA) and Assistive Technology (AT) (CWUAAT 2012) takes place on 26th – 29th March 2012 at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

The workshop theme: “Designing Inclusion for real-world applications” refers to the emerging potential and relevance of the latest generations of inclusive design data, tools, techniques and thinking, to mainstream project applications such as healthcare and the design of working environments. Previous research developments have addressed these issues in the context of simple daily living activities based on single tasks. New developments are now extending the scope of the approach into real-world applications.
Inclusive Design Research involves developing tools and guidance for supporting product designers to design for the widest possible population for a given range of capabilities. In the context of demographic changes leading to a greater number of older people, the general field of inclusive design research strives to relate the capabilities of the population to the design of products by better characterising the user. Inclusive populations of older people contain a greater variation in sensory, cognitive and physical user capabilities. These variations may be co-occurring and rapidly changing leading to a demanding design environment.
Important Dates
Deadline for submission of long papers: 15 August, 2011
Notification of paper acceptance: 6 October, 2011
Deadline for camera-ready version of submitted papers: 24 October, 2011
Advance registration (ends): 16 January, 2012
Late registration (ends): 20 February, 2012
CWUAAT Workshop: 26 – 29 March, 2012
Electronic submission of papers is now available via the conference website.

Brussels, 30 August 2011 – An EU-funded project is aiming to make self-service terminals, such as public transport ticket vending machines or public information kiosks and cash dispensers, more accessible for the one in six Europeans who have a disability or the 87 million Europeans aged 65 and over.
According to an EU study, only 38% of bank cash machines (automated teller machines or ATMs) across the EU provide voice capabilities to customers with disabilities, far behind the US (61%) and Canada (nearly all ATMs).
The European Commission is contributing €3.41 million, half of the overall budget, to the “APSIS4All” project which aims to design and validate personalised interfaces, including contactless cards, to help overcome existing accessibility barriers. Trials will begin in cash dispensers in Barcelona, Spain from September 2011 and at ticket vending machines in Paderborn, Germany from January 2012, and will run for three years.
The APSIS4All project sets out to design and validate, in real-life settings, innovative, personalised interfaces that overcome existing accessibility barriers. In a first phase, the project will collect information from 3000 users who will be testing different machines in order to adapt interfaces according to their needs and preferences. Tests will be carried out at 65 ATMS of la Caixa bank in Barcelona, Spain from 1st September 2011 and at 24 ticket vending machines operated by Höft & Wessel AG at Paderborn in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany from 1st January 2012.
The goal of this project is to propose a standardised framework that could foster further take up of e-accessibility features by the ATM industry and service providers. This could ultimately help make public digital terminals (PDTs) more accessible to a wide range of users, from people who are not familiar with the technology, people with reading difficulties, tourists who do not master the local language or even people who may have forgotten their reading glasses. APSI4All will focus on multi-modal interaction and cutting edge technologies such as Near Field Communication (NFC) or short range wireless communication. For example, tests could involve a programmed card that contains the user’s preferences. When the user brings the card close to the ATM, the machine instantly adapts to the user’s needs (perhaps changing the size of the font or choice of language). Other interfaces could include a mobile phone with accessibility features that enables a customer to purchase a ticket online and pay at the machine issuing the ticket using a secure code sent to their phone.

More information
APSIS4All (Accessible Personalised Services in PDTs for All)

The 1st International Conference on Age-Friendly Cities will be held in Dublin on 28th-30th September 2011.

Conference Programme
Participants will gain an insight into critical thinking on the issue of age-friendly cities from a broad spectrum of internationally recognised practitioners and speakers. Experts come from a diverse range of perspectives including spatial planning, leadership studies, social gerontology, anthropology, transport, city transformation, psychology, architecture, health, technology, city administration, education, and evaluation studies. The conference will also capture geographically diverse age-friendly initiatives from the developed and developing world including Ireland, the UK, the USA, Eastern Europe, Africa, Canada, Japan, Singapore, China and India. World renowned speakers include Gary Lawrence, Chris Phillipson, Charles Landry, Michael Mehaffy and Etienne Wenger.

Networking Opportunity
400 leaders and senior managers from existing members of the Age-friendly Cities Global Network, CEOs and senior managers of municipal authorities including planners, architects and elected representatives will share insight on age-friendly city initiatives. As the conference brings together experts involved in a broad range of age-friendly initiatives internationally, it provides a forum to meet people actively implementing age-friendly programmes at the Global Village exhibition. Participants will include senior professionals across the public, private and voluntary sectors in areas such as transport, health care and housing, research and academia, and key older people’s organisations.

Another centre piece of the conference is the Dublin Declaration on Age-Friendly Communities. This will be launched at the conference by the Lord Mayor of Dublin and signed by a core group of mayors and leaders from across the world. If you would like your municipality to endorse the Declaration please bring this important element of the conference to their attention. We’ve also developed a process whereby cities don’t have to travel to Dublin to endorse the Declaration. Further information is available by emailing us at hilary@ageingwellnetwork.ie

Planning for the Global Village exhibition is also well underway. This informal exhibition space is an integral part of the conference programme and will provide opportunities for delegate representatives to present and showcase developments in their cities and communities throughout the three days of the conference. Already New York, Manchester, New Delhi, Lyon and Hong Kong have decided to be involved in the Village. You can get additional information about the Village at cbyrne@ageingwellnetwork.ie

Full information on the conference, including the programme and the registration process is available at www.afc-internationalconference.ie.

After 4 years of activities, the OASIS project is coming to the end. This International Final Conference will be the opportunity to present the project’s outcomes and to gather all relevant academic and industrial stakeholders to discuss about the OASIS applications together with the beneficiaries of the project, older people and all those people in the need of assistance. Therefore the OASIS International Conference will host the User Forum and the Scientific Advisory Board meeting. The first event, scheduled on Tuesday 15th November in the morning, will give the invited beneficiaries the opportunity to test the OASIS applications and their on-line trainings, touching by hand the devices developed by the project and discussing with the developers about their functions and potentials. The second meeting, organised on Wednesday 16th November, will involve the OASIS international experts and will gather their views and further advice on the applications and their interoperability.

From 31 August 2011 – 2 September 2011, the AAATE (European Conference for the Advancement of Assistive Technology) 2011 conference take splace in Maastricht, The Netherlands.
The theme of the conference is “Everyday Technology for Independence and Care”. The event is the opportunity for the AAATE community to share their expertise, what has been achieved and what is further needed to advance the position of AT in Europe.
More information can be found on the event website.

The ViPi project organises its 1st National Workshop in Larnaca, Cyprus on Monday 3 October 2011 (14:30 – 18:30) at the hotel “Henipa Crown Resorts”, Dhekelia Road, Larnaca.

About ViPi
A majority of Europe’s people with disabilities are unemployed (ANED figures state over 60%). There are many reasons for this. Many people with disabilities have advanced skills but suffer significant barriers to employment. This is an important issue which must be addressed. For others, skill acquisition must be facilitated. ViPi aims to support and facilitate the acquisition of basic ICT skills for those people with disabilities who lack them.
ViPi aims to provide a “one-stop-shop” interactive portal & learning environment for people with disabilities to acquire ICT skills. The ViPi platform will also act as an environment for trainer organizations to find and contribute Learning Objects (Los) that they can integrate in existing learning environments and practices. The platform will thus be able to support a fully accessible and Open Source based pan-European learning network and community, bringing together key stakeholders and gatekeepers (VET, target groups, umbrella organizations), while offering a vast set of reusable (PC and Mobile) LOs, supported by Web 2.0 social services.
ViPi has been partially funded under the Lifelong Learning program, subprogramme KA3 ICT.

Target Group
The workshop targets and is expected to attract the following profiles of people and organizations:

  • Organizations representing people with disabilities
  • Individuals with a disability
  • Relatives of, or carers of persons with disability
  • Training Centers and individual trainers of any level that are experienced or are interested in working with people with disabilities
  • Intermediaries (Employment Centres, etc.)
  • Policy makers

Objectives of the Workshop
The Workshop will comprise an opportunity for the participants to receive information on the early project’s findings and to discuss directly with the project consortium and affect the future workplan. The high-level objectives of the workshop are summarized as:

  • Presentation of project work and findings (Basic ICT Training curriculum, ViPi Survey, ViPi platform technologies and integration pathway, Current work on mobile applications, Current work on Semantic Content Management enhancements, etc.)
  • Presentation of Cyprus situation regarding education and employability of people with disabilities (invited talks by representatives of Training Centers and/or Organizations of people with disabilities)
  • Open (moderated) discussion among participants on the above subjects, to affect the present and future of the ViPi project

Language
The official language of the workshop will be the English, however, informal translation to/from Greek will be offered wherever required and for the participants’ convenience.

Registration
The participation to the workshop is free of any charge, but preliminary registration is obligatory. In order to express your interest and register to the workshop, please, send an email or call Mr. George Milis at: +357 99587884, by Friday 23 September 2011.

Please provide following information:

  • Full Name
  • Organization (if applicable)
  • Contact details
  • Reason of interest
  • Transportation required? (please, see Transportation section)
  • Interested for lunch? (please, see Lunch section).

Transportation
Considering the fact that the majority of the participants are expected to arrive from Nicosia, the project will arrange for a bus (free of charge) to transfer people from Nicosia to the workshop venue and back.

  • From Nicosia to workshop venue: 03 October 2011, 12:00 or 13:30 (please, see Lunch section).
  • From workshop venue to Nicosia: 03 October 2011, 19:00.

Please, explicitly state your interest to use the above service at registration.

Lunch
Before the workshop and depending on interest expressed through registration, the project will offer lunch (free of charge) to the participants, at the workshop venue. Time: 13:00.