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Category: Design for all

Recommended read: Lewthwaite, Sarah (2011) Disability 2.0, student dis/connections: a study of student experiences of disability and social networks on campus in higher education. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

Abstract: For many young people, social networks are an essential part of their student experience. Using a Foucauldian perspective, this qualitative study explores the networked experiences of disabled students to examine how dis/ability difference is ascribed and negotiated within social networks. Data comprises 34 internet-enabled interviews with 18 participants from three English universities. Accessible field methods recognise participant preferences and circumstances. Data is analysed using discourse analysis, with an attention to context framed by activity theory.

Disabled students’ networked experiences are found to be complex and diverse. For a proportion, the network shifts the boundaries of disability, creating non-disabled subjectivities. For these students, the network represents the opportunity to mobilise new ways of being, building social capital and mitigating impairment.

Other participants experience the network as punitive and disabling. Disability is socio-technically ascribed by the social networking site and the networked public. Each inducts norms that constitute disability as a visible, deviant and deficit identity. In the highly normative conditions of the network, where every action is open to scrutiny, impairment is subjected to an unequal gaze that produces disabled subjectivities. For some students with unseen impairments, a social experience of disability is inducted for the first time.

As a result, students deploy diverse strategies to retain control and resist deviant status. Self-surveillance, self-discipline and self-advocacy are evoked, each involving numerous social, cognitive and technological tactics for self-determination, including disconnection. I conclude that networks function both as Technologies of the Self and as Technologies of Power. For some disabled students, the network supports ‘normal’ status. For others, it must be resisted as a form of social domination.

Importantly, in each instance, the network propels students towards disciplinary techniques that mask diversity, rendering disability and the possibility of disability invisible. Consequently, disability is both produced and suppressed by the network.

Public conference of the EuCAN – European Concept for Accessibility Network to launch the new ECA publication: “ECA 2013 – From theory to practice”.

In cooperation with the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment Berlin, the Fürst Donnersmarck-Foundation, Berlinische Galerie and Design for All – Germany (EDAD)

Venue: Berlinische Galerie – Museum of Modern Art, Photography and Architecture
Alte Jakobstraße 124-128
10969 Berlin
Deutschland
www.berlinischegalerie.de
Date:7th and 8th November 2013
Conference language: English
Audience: Members of the organisers and other interested persons from Europe, with a particular focus on representatives active in the following fields: (environmental) architecture, construction, city planning, crafts, marketing, design, art, culture, communication, entrepreneurship, consumer organisations, organisations of and for Senior citizens and/or people with disabilities, Highschools, training institutes and decision makers in economy, policy and administration.
Accomodations: Advance bookings have been made in Grimm’s Hotel and Best Western Hotel am Spittelmarkt. There are special offers for the attendances of the conference. Please send an email to eca@eca.lu (after September 9th) if you are interested to book a room.
Deadline: Deadline to register for the conference and the hotel rooms: September 30th.
Contact: Silvio Sagramola, eca@eca.lu

ViPi project released a range of mobile and PC games:

  • Memobile
Memobile screenshot

Memobile screenshot

Memobile is an Android application which contains a set of 3 games to both teach skills to and test the skills of students on areas of the ViPi curriculum. The games are have elements to help the students learn the curriculum content, reinforce and memorise curriculum content and also to discover new information.
The game uses Memo, a little cartoon boy, as a tutor for users. It is a collection of 3 games designed to help people with difficulties in memorizing the simple functions and components of computers. The games are Matching Pairs, Starter Kit and Press… and Action.

The first is a game where you match pairs of computer equipment. The game first introduces the parts of a computer with brief descriptions of what they do. Matching the pairs in the game should help users to remember what the parts are and the game acts as an incentive to repeat the learning.
When the user presses on a square, a component hidden underneath it will be revealed. When they press a further square, the first square will be closed unless the two components hidden below match. The idea is to memorise where the components are hidden as you go along. If you open two matching computer components in two clicks one after another, these components will remain open. The aim of the game is to match all of the pairs using as few presses as possible. After successfully completing the game the user receives a tip about one additional computer component. Then they can play again to try to improve their score or go to main menu and chose another game.
The second game is one where the user has a short time to press as many on buttons as possible on the screen. The game serves to reinforce the symbol for the on button, and also has benefits in enhancing coordination in the user. The game starts with a description of how to safely turn on and off the computer.  This description is enhanced by carton style graphics showing what to press and in what order. The game then continues where the user has a short time to press start buttons and miss red crosses on a grid of icons. Pressing start buttons and missing red crosses score points.
The final game, Press… and Action is a game to teach computer shortcuts. It starts with a teaching session where it explains what a number of important keyboard shortcuts can do. It then moves on to a multiple choice quiz which asks the user to identify the actions associated with a number of shortcut key combinations. The game should reinforce the student’s knowledge of keyboard shortcuts enabling them to use the computer more efficiently.
The different language versions can be downloaded here (apk files): NL, EN, EL, LT.
Memobile is also available on Google Play.
  • Stay Safe Game
Stay Safe screenshot

Stay Safe screenshot

Stay Safe is a game designed to highlight safety issues regarding email. It covers such topics as dangerous attachments, spoofing, scams, and chain email. The game situation involves a user checking his emails and going through the received mail with an experienced computer user stood behind them. The user must make decisions (based on multiple choice questions) with each email. When wrong choices are made, the helper character will interject with advice about the way to proceed.

All on-screen content (displayed as textures on the 3D monitor model) is replicated in on screen question text which can be read by the built in screen reader.
The editor package built into the game allows a trainer to edit the content of the text fields and save the xml back out, so the games can be changed to suit different materials. If a trainer wishes to create new screen grabs to upload to the screen this is also possible as the files are called from an external image folder.
The game is available in the four project languages of Greek English, Lithuanian and Dutch.

Stay Safe is installed using the downloaded installer package (download here). The installer places a shortcut on the desktop and in the Interactive Systems NTU folder on the Start Menu. On starting the game the initial screen contains buttons to start the game, enter the options screen, or exit the application.

Stay Safe has been developed using a game engine developed in house at the Interactive Systems Research Group at Nottingham Trent University. The game uses XNA for the graphics and is coded in C# calling game data from a set of editable XML files.

  • Fly Swat Game

Fly Swat screenshotSwat the flies using mouse, keyboard – or your assistive technology! Swat as many flies as you can in one minute.Fly swat has been developed to meet the needs of people with both physical and learning disabilities. It provides a means to develop and assess skills relating to awareness of ICT, understanding the concept of cause and effect within ICT, and provides also a means of practicing skills with input technologies (mouse and keyboard, and other assistive devices which may be used), and improving timing and co-ordination with the ICT technology.The game is developed in JavaScript and HTML5 running in a web browser. It is available to play online at http://software.isrg.org.uk/vipi/flyswat/FlySwatIndex.html.Fly swat is a game based around the principle of watching and swatting a fly. The fly has several modes of movement to map to tracking modes that are required by the pre-GCSE level guidelines, including horizontal, vertical, following an expected route, and random. The swat also has several movement modes. It can be stationary, auto track the fly in one axis (to allow one key/one click gameplay) or be moved left and right by either following the mouse or by key presses.  These are described as either ‘user control’ or ‘one’ touch’ mode. In ‘user control’ mode the swat is moved manually by mouse or keyboard. In ‘one-touch’ mode the swat either moves automatically or is fixed and the gameplay is about timing of swatting the fly at the right moment.Swat activation is by either mouse click or keypress.  These inputs can also be mapped with external software to allow gameplay using assistive technologies such as switches, eye-tracking or brain control interfaces.The game is visually stimulating and also contains audio (which may be muted). It records the high score during a session to provide additional stimulation to play more. The object of the game is to swat as many flies as possible in the 60 seconds  available. At the end of the game the user sees their score and the highest score obtained during the current session.

A target can be shown to give the user a better indication of where the swat will fall.

Controls – these can be selected as buttons on screen or with the keyboard shortcuts listed below:

Control Key Mouse
Move Left Left arrow Move mouse left over game canvas
Move Right Right arrow Move mouse right over game canvas
Swat Space bar Left click over game canvas
Fly Movement Mode ‘M’ key Left click the button to switch between fly movement modes – of horizontal, vertical, predictable or random
Sound on/off ‘N’ key Left click on sound on/off button during gameplay or on the title screen
Show/hide Target ‘T’ key Click on target button during gameplay or at the title screen
Fly Speed ‘S’ key Click on fly speed button to change fly speed between slow, medium and fast
One Touch Mode ‘O’ key Click on one touch mode button to switch between manual and automatic swat movement (only available in random fly movement mode)
Help ‘H’ key Available on the start screen this displays the instructions
Restart game at end Space bar Left click click over game canvas
  • Yes No ICT Quiz Game
Yes No ICT Quiz Game

Yes No ICT Quiz Game

This set of games asks true/false questions about a set of ICT subject areas.

The materials provided cover aspects of Basic ICT Skills in English. The content has been adjusted to suit use with people with learning difficulty. Navigation can always be achieved through use of the keyboard (arrow keys to move and space to select) or by use of the mouse.

Feedback is given after each question, after each round, and at the end of the quiz. The final screen allows the user to save all feedback in the form of a pdf file.

There are five individual quizzes available that cover the subjects one at a time. This is so that the game can be used after covering a particular subject area. The subjects covered are as follows – click on the links to play the online version:

There is a downloadable version available here.

  • True False ICT Quiz Game
True False ICT Quiz Game

True False ICT Quiz Game

This game asks true/false questions about a set of ICT subject areas.

The materials provided cover aspects of Basic ICT Skills in English, Greek, Dutch and Lithuanian. Navigation can always be achieved through use of the keyboard (arrow keys to move and space to select) or by use of the mouse.

Feedback is given after each question, after each round, and at the end of the quiz. The final screen allows the user to save all feedback in the form of a pdf file.

The rounds follow on one after the other, and the subjects covered are:

  • Using your computer
  • Using the internet
  • Using email
  • Staying safe

Play the game for your language using the link below:

el gb lt nl

  • Rob the Mob – ICT quiz game
Rob the Mob - ICT quiz game

Rob the Mob – ICT quiz game

This game allows the user to play a card style multiple choice quiz betting game where they must  answer questions to win the gangster’s money. The topic can be selected from a list by the player so that they can work on a specific subject area. Navigation can always be achieved through use of the keyboard or by use of the mouse.  Feedback is given after any wrong answers to educate whilst playing!

Play the game online here.

The materials provided cover aspects of Basic ICT Skills in English, Greek, Dutch and Lithuanian.

The offline version of the game (download it here) is also editable, so trainers can easily add their own question content for their specific set of trainees, content is added in the form of xml files which may be created with the help of the Escapology and Rob the Mob game editor. It comes as a packaged zip file with the editor and also the Escapology game. Please unzip the files into a folder of your choice to play the offline games.

  • Escapology ICT Game
Escapology ICT Game

Escapology ICT Game

This Flash game allows the user to play a hangman style game where they must guess words relating to a certain topic. The topic and sub-topic can be selected by the user so that they can work on a specific subject area. Navigation can always be achieved through use of the keyboard or by use of the mouse.  Feedback is given after each question, and every question word has an associated clue that hints at the answer to the hangman game.

Play the game online here.

The materials provided cover aspects of Basic ICT Skills in English, Greek, Dutch and Lithuanian.

The offline version of the game (download it here) is also editable, so trainers can easily add their own question content for their specific set of trainees, content is added in the form of xml files which may be created with the help of the Escapology and Rob the Mob game editor. It comes a a packaged zip file with the editor and also the Rob the Mob game. Please unzip the files into a folder of your choice to play the offline games.

The ViPi KA3 LLL project (511792-LLP-1-2010-1-GR-KA3-KA3NW) has been partially funded under the Lifelong Learning program, subprogramme KA3 ICT. This web site reflects the views only of the author(s), and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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

The ITAG conference, held annually in partnership with GameCity, aims to bring together academics and practitioners working with interactive technologies to explore and innovate within the areas of Education, Health and Disability.

The opportunity to take part in ITAG13 is still available. Submit an abstract for any of the following strands of the conference before Friday 28 June.

  • Academic conference: 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. We especially want to bring together practitioners with technical experts, for their mutual benefit; you don’t have to be a technical whizz kid to benefit from this conference! The conference provides an excellent opportunity to showcase practice and to mainstream research ideas and outcomes. It introduces a wider audience to key findings and products from research and illustrates how practice feeds back into and informs research. The conference also creates a forum for two-way communication between the academic and practitioner communities.
  • Practical workshops: every afternoon, parallel workshops will be organised addressing following topics: interactive street gaming using mobile gaming applications, robotics in a gaming environment, mobile gaming, immersive gaming and rehabilitation gaming. These workshops will involve the participants in exploring the various games, and creating an interactive experience with the originators/developers.
  • – Gaming hackathon: several teams consisting of developers, designers and special education trainers will compete with each other to use various technologies (Android based games, Flash Games, Games Mods, XNA) and create an educational game in just 2 days. The winner will take home a £250 prize award.
  • Exhibition: An exhibition space will be available for demonstrations and posters, and will be embedded in the conference and workshops area.

We particularly welcome user led presentations and workshops.

The deadline for submissions has been extended to Friday 28 June 2013 and should be sent to Claire.addison@ntu.ac.uk.

Want to attend ITAG13? Online booking is now available.

When?: Thursday 17 – Friday 18 October 2013
Where?: The Council House, Nottingham

www.itag.gamecity.org