Universal Access Iain Murray Curtin University of Technology Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering Rehabilitation Engineering Research Laboratory Introduction Project Descriptions & Definitions Motivation & Strategy Access Methods Assistive Devices both High Tech and Low Braille displays to pipe cleaners Current Development What now? Rehabilitation Engineering is the systematic application of engineering sciences to design, develop, adapt, test, evaluate, apply, and distribute technological solutions to problems confronted by individuals with disabilities in functional areas, such as mobility, communications, hearing, vision, and cognition, and in activities associated with employment, independent living, education, and integration into the community. (US Rehabilitation Act of 1973) Who? Rehabilitation Engineering is a multidisciplinary science and may include any or all of the following professions or areas of expertise. Physical Therapist Occupational Therapist Rehabilitation Engineer Rehabilitation Engineering Technician Prosthetist Physician Why? 19% of the Australian population have disabilities or functional limitations, which a major cause is aging (ABS, 1998). Includes those. born with disabilities. whose abilities diminish during their lifetime through disease, accident or ageing. There is a demographic trend toward a growing elderly population (particularly as the "babyboomer" generation ages). Raises the prospect of a large number of consumers with decreasing abilities. Demographics 67% of Vision Impaired (VI) have another permanent illness or disability 35% of VI experience difficulty in hearing normal speech (50% for those over 75) 56% of VI children have at least one other impairment Over half of VI people (in the UK) live alone (Gill, 2004) Motivation Develop systems and methodologies to assist people with sensory disabilities to gain access to education and technology Resources Rehabilitation Engineering Research Laboratory Researchers 2 academic staff 1 technical staff 6 Postgraduate students 2 Masters and 4 PhD Over 30 Honours students (4th & 5th year engineering) Industry & consumer advisors Current Access Methods For low vision users. Screen enlargement. Zoomtext, Magic. Screen review programs. Jaws, Slimware, Artic. Two output methods - speech and Braille displays. Screen review software must rely on text output. Tactile Graphics PIAF Printed Braille and Audio recordings Access Methods Other Disabilities Quadriplegics. Morse, Eye tracking, scan boards. Emphasis on keyboard/mouse replacement issues. Deaf. Subtitles, visual alerts, transcription of conferences/video. Many others. Current Research Projects Cisco Access for the Vision Impaired (CAVI) Curtin University Brailler (CUB) Wireless Stereo Headset Parakeet -Apple OS X Accessibility iView - Classroom Aid for Low Vision Students Dasher Auslan to Text Currency Identifier for the Blind Braille Scanner Ultrasonic White Cane/Seeing with Sound 7 Segment reader and colour sensor Curtin University Brailler (CUB) Perkins Brailler Mechanical only Qui ckTime™ and a TIFF ( LZW) decompressor are needed to see this pi cture. Mountbatten Brailler Electronic, very old technology Curtin University Brailler (CUB) Low Cost Modern Materials Forward & Back Translation Use by Deaf/Blind CUB Braille Scanner Aimed at Sighted non-Braille Readers Converts Braille to Expanded Text in real time Purpose of the Device To overcome the written communications barrier between seeing and blind person’s Schooling system Workplace As an aid to persons with Diabetic Peripheral Polyneuropathy (diabetes being the major cause of blindness is Australia) No feasible commercial product exists for the portable translation of Braille into other mediums Prototype Implementation Image Capture Image Capture Operation QuickTime™ and a YUV420 codec decompressor are needed to see this picture. DSP Braille Recognition Conclusion Once commercialised, the device has potential to act as a written communication’s gateway between seeing and vision impaired person’s. A Secure Dual Channel Wireless Headset for Multi-user Environments Funded by Dept. of Training Science & Technology Grant Joint Project Association for the Blind WA RAC (WA) Project Objectives Aim: To increase labor market opportunities for vision impaired persons (VIP’s) in call center environments. (Department of Training, 2002) Why Wireless: VIP’s have prevailing difficulties with cable entanglement and cable jack damage Why Secure: Call centers often deal with sensitive information, ie banking, government etc, and device must be protected against eavesdropping Additional Criteria High quality, real time, duplex, stereo audio Low Power: Must be able to run for > 8 hours on single battery charge Ergonomic: Low Headset weight (subject to regulations). ie battery mAh/weight compromise Flexible: System must be able to accommodate encryption, communications medium upgrades Low Cost Robust Sound Quality: Device must operate in multi-user environments Communications Issues RF / 802.1x Security an issue for call center operations involving banking details Bandwidth issues for quality real time audio RAC Joondalup Call Center has over 300 operators Power consumption Current 802.11g devices draw over 300mA, ⇒ batteries for all day operation would be impracticably large Infrared Less Ergonomic (user movement restriction) Inherently secure, robust, lower power Satisfies System Requirements Proof of Concept Prototype Dual channel, two-way, high quality, low power infrared headset prototype which has been field tested by the ABWA and certified. DSP based system Upgradeable, flexible Ultra Low Power Secure comm’s Current BOM < $150 …IR TxRx’s < $3 Cellular Architecture Current Form Ideal Form The Future Infrared / 802.1x Hybrid Keep low power, security, and bandwidth benefits of infrared, but combine with 802.11g to overcome infrared mobility issue. Commercialisation Packaging Alternative markets Navy Parakeet The project involves designing, building and testing a screen reader application for Mac OS X operating system. A screen reader is an application that allows a vision- impaired person to use a graphical user interface by providing audible feedback in the form of speech. The screen reader interrogates the actions of the user via the Accessibility APIs and produces speech output using the text-to-speech (TTS) APIs. Both of these APIs are provided by Apple as part of Mac OS X. Dasher Information-efficient text-entry interface driven by natural continuous pointing gestures. operating a computer one-handed with zero hands (i.e., by head-mouse or by eyetracker). The eyetracking version of Dasher allows an experienced user to write text as fast as normal handwriting - 25 words per minute; using a mouse, experienced users can write at 39 words per minute. Auslan to Text Auslan to Text QuickTime™ and a Video decompressor are needed to see this picture. Currency Identifier Australian Polymer notes are of a similar size Hard to distinguish denomination if totally blind Utilises the unique pattern in the clear window Ultrasonic White Cane Augments the standard long cane Warns of Head height obstructions Drop off (e.g. Stairs) Simple user interface Qu ickT ime™ an d a M icro soft Vide o 1 d eco mpre ssor are need ed to see this pict ure. Earcons Earcons were first proposed by Meera Blattner in 1989. They are abstract, musical tones that can be used in structured combinations to create auditory messages. "non-verbal audio messages that are used in the computer/user interface to provide information to the user about some computer object, operation or interaction" They are based on musical sounds. CAVI The Networking Academy program is an e-learning model that delivers Web-based educational content, online testing, student performance tracking, and instructor training and support, as well as hands-on labs. (Cisco,2002) CAVI Project Description Develop a method of course delivery to vision impaired students Standard Curriculum Existing lab bundles CCNA initially Long term aim to include other academy programs Create a “bridge” between the curriculum and assistive technology Includes instructor training Student Motivation Self Esteem Independence Employment Opportunities Ease the problems for other VIPs Curriculum Access Use text documents Explain diagrams Stress important but uniquely difficult points The OSI model Layer 2 technologies Tactile objects Network dominoes Pipe cleaners Function Generator Some of the Students QuickTime™ and a DV - PAL decompressor are needed to see this picture. Number Systems & Subnetting QuickTime™ and a DV - PAL decompressor are needed to see this picture. Access Methods Speech Output JAWS screen review software Synthesised speech Screen Magnification Zoomtext and MAGic Braille Printed and displays Tactile Graphics PIAF And lots of home made aids The OSI Model Other Props Braille Display Diagrams Host A sends SYN (seq =x) Host B receives SYN (seq=x) and sends SYN(seq=y, ack=x+1) Host A Receives SYN (seq=y, ack = x+1) and sends ACK (ack = y+1) Host B Receives ACK (ack = y+1) Other CAVI Applications Speech Friendly Packet Sniffer Braille Transcription Software Router Simulator XML to Descriptive Text Conclusion Cavi Project is a test bench Includes most of the devices/techniques currently being researched Final outcome Deliver an “Academy in a Box” For Academies that wish to teach vision impaired students Questions? http://www.ece.curtin.edu.au/~iain/accessibility http://cisco.netacad.net http://www.seeingwithsound.com/voice.htm http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher/ www.tiresias.org (John Gill) AsTeR Audio System For Technical Readings A computing system for rendering technical documents in audio Developed by T.V. Raman The Target Demographic In Western Australia 8,800 legally blind Nearly 2,400 under 65 The Association for the Blind 75 new clients each month 411 clients per year in technology training (ABWA annual report 2001) Extrapolate to the world market Third world countries have higher rates of vision impairment Disability Discrimination Act DDA is administered by the Human rights and Equal Opportunities Commission (HREOC). Accepts that some differential treatment is unavoidable. Commonwealth Departments and Agencies must develop action plans. Emerging DDA standards on “Electronic Communication”. Economic or Humanitarian? Should the mainstream design of products include consideration of people who have disabilities or are elderly? From a humanitarian standpoint. This must also be considered in terms of effects on personnel, curricula and economic perspectives. Disabled and Elderly Persons Can't the Needs of Disabled and Elderly Persons Be Handled Separately or As Exceptions? Many small groups together represent a large portion of the population. Is it both economically and practically feasible to include disabled and elderly persons in the design process for mass market products? Aging wealthier population. OS&H considerations and employee comfort. Discrimination suits.