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Category: Case studies

ITAG14: 7th Interactive Technologies and Games - Education, Health and Disability Conference
The Council House, Nottingham
16 – 17 October 2014

Now in its seventh consecutive year, ITAG aims to bring together academics, developers, beneficiaries and practitioners to explore interactive technologies and innovate within the areas of Education, Health and Disability.

ITAG will consist of 4 strands: Paper Presentations, Practical Workshops, Hackathon and Exhibition. Submissions are solicited on new research results and detailed interactive expositions related to ITAG, including but not limited to:

Mobile Gaming, Immersive Gaming, Rehabilitation Gaming, Games in Assistive Care, Artificial Intelligence in Games, Robotics in a Gaming Environment, Interactive design with new input/output devices, Ubiquitous computing on our everyday well-being, Interactive street gaming using mobile gaming applications, Gaming Hardware and Software to implement accessible solutions.

Read the call for papers for more information on themes and topics.

Successful paper submissions will be published through IEEE-XploreTM and the IEEE Computer Society (CSDL) digital libraries which deliver full text access to the world’s highest quality technical literature in engineering and technology.

What to do next

Prospective authors are invited to submit a maximum of 500 words abstract for a full paper and 300 words for a poster using the ITAG Abstract Submission Form’ attached to mail you send to itag@ntu.ac.uk by Monday 28 April 2014. Full papers in Conference Publishing Services (CPS) format should not exceed 8 pages in length, while posters should not exceed 4 pages in length. The papers will be reviewed for technical merit and content and the accepted papers will appear in the proceedings, to be published by CPS. Accepted publications are submitted for indexing through  IEEE-XploreTM and the IEEE Computer Society (CSDL) digital libraries. Publication templates are available for LaTeX and MS Word.

Key Dates

Abstract Due Date: Monday 28 April 2014
Full Paper Submission Due Date: Monday 2 June 2014
Notification: Monday 7 July 2014
Camera-Ready Due Date: Monday 21 July 2014
Submission opening: Tuesday 29 April 2014.

The Economist released a worldwide study based on interviews with experts on the digital divide, and the findings included some brand new conclusions. Although many are still urging public sector subsidies to roll out more broadband facilities, the real barriers to adoption and use may arise elsewhere — the ‘social divide’. Large proportions of people not using the Internet do not yet see its value (because good relevance arguments have not been made to them) or believe that they lack the skills (because good digital literacy programs are not available to them). Among these are people with disabilities; the report quotes Axel Leblois of the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict): “Among governments, there has been great focuson expanding the infrastructure to all corners of the world, but less so on promoting actual usage among disenfranchised populations.”
Source: Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII)

Actual tests of websites on e-accessibility in all EU member states plus Norway, USA, Canada and Australia took place, and were published.

The report is based on the international guidelines WCAG 2.0. This means that the study mainly concerns the technology and doesn’t cover cognitive aspects, content or on how interfaces work on mobile devices nor the accessibility in documents. The report thus can’t be read as an absolute measure of web-accessibility, but more like a temperature check based on cluster sampling.

The overall result of the survey is a disappointment. Relatively easy things fail in many places, for example marking up the headings properly. More recent requirements, which came with WCAG 2.0 in 2008, are even less implemented.

There are differences between the countries, but, there is no country which can be described as good. We were hoping that the EU member states would learn from each other and be inspired from good examples, but that doesn´t seem to be the case.

One conclusion is that the most successful countries are those who have managed to combine several things:
- Legislation or policy which is not too technically detailed but more focused on individual rights;
- A well developed industry with a high level of accessibility competence, also among end user organizations.

More than 100 teachers from across Europe participated in the SMILE (Social Media in Learning and Education) action and undertook a pedagogical journey to explore jointly the challenges and opportunities involved when using social media in learning and education.

The outcomes of the project, funded by a Digital Citizenship Research Grant from Facebook, are now published in a digital handbook. You can find pedagogical materials and resources from the learning laboratory with many valuable reflections and suggestions on some critical aspects of the use of social media as regards school policies, pedagogical principles, professional development, responsible use and challenges to adoption.

Unfortunately, the accessibility aspect was entirely ignored in this project. Improving the Accessibility of Social Media in Government is an excellent article that does address accessibility concerns of social media.

Logo UnicefToday, 30 May, UNICEF launched this year’s edition of its flagship publication, State of the World’s Children. The focus is Children with Disabilities. The report focuses on the position of children with disabilities in a varying worldwide landscape: how do they fare at home, in school, or at health care centres? What happens to children with disabilities in emergencies or conflict? How do these situations fluctuate around the world? The report asks readers to consider the lost opportunities in denying the full potential of these children. The State of the World’s Children 2013 argues for inclusive and equitable approaches in such areas as early childhood development, education, health, nutrition, humanitarian response and protection.

Source: Unicef

‘Mobile for Good Europe Awards’
VODAFONE FOUNDATION LAUNCHES SEARCH FOR TRANSFORMATIONAL APPS

Vodafone Foundation today announces the launch of the first Mobile for Good Europe Awards to search for iOS and Android apps designed to improve people’s lives and deliver substantial public benefit.
Creators of the winning apps, in categories including accessibility, mobilising public services, health and education, will receive a shared prize fund of €200,000 to be used for the development of their innovations. Mobilising Public Services will focus on how local and national governments can leverage mobile technology to improve the delivery of public services. The closing date for entries is 15 October and an awards ceremony will be held in Brussels on 5 December 2013.
The awards build on the success of the Vodafone Foundation’s Smart Accessibility Awards, held in 2011 and 2012 with the cooperation with AGE Platform Europe and the European Disability Forum, which was a competition to find Android apps which improve the lives of older people or people with disabilities. Last year’s winners included Juan Carlos Gonzalez Montesino, who designed Ablah, an app to help his autistic son communicate.
Judges of the Health category will be searching for innovative solutions to overcome challenges in areas such as real-time patient monitoring and the collection and distribution of health-related data. For the Accessibility category, which follows on from last year’s Smart Accessibility Awards, judges will look for apps which can improve the quality of life for people with disabilities or older people. The Education category judges will look for mobile apps which provide simple and effective teaching tools. In each of the four categories, the winner will receive €30,000, second place wins €15,000 and third place receives €5,000. There will be local workshops organised for the developers in Berlin, Amsterdam and Madrid. The Mobile for Good Europe Awards is again a partnership with AGE Platform Europe and the European Disability Forum, representing the users’ perspective.
Vodafone Group Sustainability Director and Director of the Vodafone Foundation Andrew Dunnett
said: “Mobile technology has the potential to educate, liberate and empower hundreds of millions of people. We hope the Mobile for Good Europe Awards will inspire innovators to invest in new and creative ways to use mobile to enhance individual daily lives and deliver substantial public benefits.”

For further information:
Vodafone Group: Media Relations – Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 664444

To enter the Mobile for Good Europe Awards, please visit www.mobileforgoodeuropeawards.com