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Cardiac-eu.org

Summary of Project

The aim of the Cardiac project was to generate a research agenda roadmap highlighting research priorities in accessible and assistive ICT that will favour eAccessibility.

Assistive devices have helped many people with activity limitations – these devices vary from inexpensive low technology aids for daily living to sophisticated special computer terminals. However the trends in technological development mean that it is increasingly important for all users to be able to use mainstream systems and services. All too often these systems have been designed for what has been perceived as a ‘typical’ user, and little allowance has been made for people with activity limitations.

Prioritising research for social inclusion in the emerging information society is not just about determining what new technological developments to fund, but how to influence mainstream design teams to take into account the needs of people with activity limitations when designing new products or services. In the longer term the full integration of various technologies offers exciting possibilities to provide a wide range of services that are inclusive and able to support people when necessary.

Whilst the core objective of the project was to advise funding bodies as to where to direct research funding in the short, medium and more distant future within the context of ICT for independent living, inclusion and governance, the results are also of value to all stakeholders involved in the field of accessible and assistive ICT.

A wide range of multidisciplinary experts and stakeholders were involved in a systematic methodology to develop the roadmap.  The overall result is a research agenda roadmap containing 72 different research actions structured into 14 research lines, reflecting the complex issues involved that require a holistic and interdisciplinary approach.

The first conclusion is to support the research actions which exert the most influence on the other research actions.  The eight fundamental research actions are:

  1. Explore how users interact and cooperate with intelligent systems
  2. Promote methodologies that consider not only the interface but the entire interaction dialogue
  3. Reduce the complexity of user interaction whilst retaining functionality
  4. Methodologies to safely collect and manage the information about the user when using the ICT system
  5. Use reasoning techniques for personalisation
  6. Involvement of end users throughout the design and development process
  7. Methodologies and tools for the development of accessible and assistive ICT
  8. Methodologies for collaborative research in the field of assistive ICT and accessible ICT

A second phase of research actions include:

  1. Identify impact of cloud platforms
  2. Systems to enhance the safety and user trust and confidence of locally and remotely provided services
  3. Use of context awareness to adapt user interfaces
  4. Further static and adaptive user interaction profiles
  5. Innovative interaction devices for accessibility: advanced assistive technologies
  6. Interoperability of devices, networks and services to enhance accessibility to ubiquitous computing environments
  7. Analyse end-user needs and personal barriers with respect to ICT
  8. Research on the use of social media to reduce isolation
  9. Research on the ethical and legal requirements and consequences

Additional consultation was carried out where the respondents were asked to score the research lines in terms of impact, probability of requiring public funding and feasibility. The main finding was that all the research lines received high or fairly high scores on all three aspects. This indicates that all the research lines were deemed by the respondents to have a high level of potential impact, have a high probability of requiring public funding and to be feasible.

Nevertheless the various rankings indicate that the three research lines to emerge as a priority are “Innovative user interfaces” (top of ranking in terms of joint impact and probability of requiring public funding) “Holistic approach to human computer interaction” (second in ranking in terms of joint impact and probability of requiring public funding top of ranking in terms of impact), and “Advanced design and development methodologies and tools” (third in ranking in terms of joint impact and probability of requiring public funding).

“Innovative user interfaces” include a wide range of aspects relating to user interaction, such as:

  1. Affective computing to assist accessibility interfaces and interactions
  2. Accessible human-robot and human-robot-environment relationships
  3. Novel human-machine interfaces for recreational activities
  4. Accessible telecommunications technologies for people with little or no speech
  5. Practical adaptive user interfaces and multi-modal interaction methods
  6. Means for customization of UI and open interfaces
  7. Principles for adaptable end-user interfaces
  8. Enhance and universalize Web 2.0 accessibility
  9. Extension of web accessibility knowledge to general HCI

“Holistic approach to human computer interaction” includes research actions on:

  1. Methodologies that consider not only the interface but the entire interaction dialogue
  2. Methodologies that include the human diversity in user interface design
  3. Reducing the complexity of user interaction whilst retaining functionality and avoiding cognitive barriers in the design of human machine interfaces, especially in multimodal interfaces.

“Advanced design and development methodologies and tools” include:

  1. Methodologies and tools for the development of accessible and assistive ICT
  2. Tools to facilitate the creation of digital accessible materials to non-accessibility experts
  3. Design and authoring tools supporting and automating e-inclusion
  4. Tools for decision making in the user-centred design process
  5. Translate user needs into product design
  6. Development of training modules about needs of people with disabilities for developers