CARDIAC

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CARDIAC
CARDIAC
Contract Title CARDIAC - Advancing Research & Development in the area of accessible & Assistive ICT
Contract Number 248582
Funding Period 01/03/2010 to 28/02/2013
Funding Agency European Union for EPFL
Total Cost €57,790.00 (CNTI Budget)

€499,991.00 (Total Budget)

Partners Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne
Central Remedial Clinic
Cyprus Neuroscience and Technology Institute
Universidad del País Vasco
Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche
Evangelische Stiftung Volmarstein
John Gill Technology Ltd.
Smart Homes
University of Oslo
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas
Univesdidad De Sevilla
Universidade Technica De Lisboa
Associate partners:
GSA Information Consultants
Website http://www.cardiac-eu.org/



The CARDIAC project aspired to develop a series of roadmaps for future research and development in the area of accessible and assistive information and communication technology systems by inviting relevant stakeholders and experts from across Europe to participate in three Structured Dialogic Design Processes.

The particular focus is on:

  • inclusive human-machine interactions
  • network-based applications
  • systems and services supporting accessibility
  • the transfer process itself, which includes the transfer of technology and the making of the business case

Various techniques are being used including Structure Democratic Dialogues, Wiki discussion groups, experts' opinion and analysis of internally produced and external data, as well as direct contact with key players.

The results of the dialogues of the project are available as follows:

Virtual CARDIAC SDD before Cyprus

1st CARDIAC SDD Pafos 2010 Accessible and Assistive Technologies

2nd CARDIAC SDD San Sebastian 2011 Userintercation

3rd CARDIAC SDD in Florence 2012 Network-based Applications


Accessible User Interfaces

For many people with disabilities accessibility of information and communication technology systems is determined by whether they can easily operate the user interface. In recent years there have been dramatic changes in user interface design particularly for mobile and hand-held devices. In some cases this has meant that a previously accessible device is no longer accessible.

A roadmap is being developed to produce:

  • Clear proposals on what technologies need to be supported. E.g. Eye tracking, Voice/gesture reckoning, Wearable devices, Smart displays, etc.
  • Clear inputs on what methodologies have to be investigated. E.g.. Adaptive UI design, Accessibility evaluation guidelines (for devices, services and applications)
  • Clear contributions on what kind of tools should be developed. E.g.. Automatic accessibility verification/design tools, Accessible User Interface Description Languages, etc.

In recent years, a large number of international projects had to address the need for guaranteeing accessibility and usability in user-system interaction. To this end, a number of diverse approaches, methodologies and technologies have been proposed. Many research and development activities have been carried out on different aspects of accessibility of ICT equipment and services with an Assistive Technology approach, and more recently, the Design for All approach has been explored.

Positive results have been achieved following both approaches. In particular, accessibility problems of specific groups of users have been addressed through Assistive Technology (AT) based adaptations, and systematic Design for All approaches have been elaborated and applied in various domains at a research level. Still, the field is currently in need of a breakthrough towards the adoption in practice of design approaches, based on the accumulated knowledge, leading to accessible and usable inclusive interfaces.

Several research activities in the field of Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) focus on more user involvement in the design process. The ISO standard 13407 Human-centred design process for interactive systems provides guidance on human-centred design activities throughout the life cycle of interactive computer-based systems. However also other research methods are available, for instance participatory and co-design. These approaches have in common that they all express the belief that all people have something to offer to the design process. These approaches will also be part of our study.

Moreover, adaptivity/intelligence on the one hand, and the analysis of the implications, from an e-accessibility perspective, of the emerging Ambient Intelligence (AmI) paradigm (with a clear orientation to creating "natural" interfaces) on the other, are becoming increasingly important aspects. The main difficulty lies in understanding and utilizing the whole range of possibilities for Inclusive Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).

Therefore, it seems necessary to propose a road-map towards achieving inclusive HCI based on the accumulated experience by diverse European actors. This could be addressed through a network of multidisciplinary experts, who can bring in their expertise in the different aspects of the issues involved, as well as propose solutions, in order to elaborate a balanced model incorporating different approaches.

Systems and Services Supporting Accessibility

The market for Accessible and Assistive ICT products and services is complex and presents many challenges for successful technology transfer. It includes an array of supply and sale mechanisms, from direct sales to consumers to indirect supply in specialized fields such as Assistive Technology. The ultimate determinant of successful research in the area of Accessible and Assistive ICT must be whether or not a product reaches the market place and is available to consumers throughout the EU. It is clear however, that much, good, research fails to result in new innovations transferring successfully to the market place. Consequently in such instances, it may be argued that consumers do not benefit directly from investment in research.

There are a variety of reasons why this is so, some of these are specific to the area in question, such as the complex supply chain in many countries, others however are more applicable to the transfer of ICT products in general, such as affordability, availability etc. On the other hand, a number of approaches and solutions are available that support the ICT industry in implementing accessibility into their products and services in various stages of products development, maintenance and service provision. These “solutions” comprise e.g. methodologies, guidelines, knowledge bases, hardware and software components, tools for modelling, simulation or verification, as well as interfaces to external assistive technology.

Besides the application of such “solutions”, some industrial companies have established structures and procedures in their organisation that take care of accessibility aspects, be it a part of their product philosophy or just a matter of quality assurance. These can also include cooperation with other organisations from the same technological area, e.g. in associations like DIGITAL EUROPE, with research organisations, with user oriented organisations or with assistive technology companies.


Dissemination

A roadmap is being developed to produce:

  • Clear proposals on what technologies need to be supported. E.g. Eye tracking, Voice/gesture reckoning, Wearable devices, Smart displays, etc.
  • Clear inputs on what methodologies have to be investigated. E.g.. Adaptive UI design, Accessibility evaluation guidelines (for devices, services and applications)
  • Clear contributions on what kind of tools should be developed. E.g.. Automatic accessibility verification/design tools, Accessible User Interface Description Languages, etc.


The Cardiac project organised a workshop in 2011 to develop a roadmap for this area. Visit the CARDIAC website to view the reports.

SDDPs

SDDP Reports

External Links