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6.4 Case Study: an example of how



List of authors and members of


evaluation may change the

COST 219ter

design: ATM project in Portugal


Further information


6.5 Recommendations


6.6 Opportunities and challenges






What obstacles prevent

practical broadband

applications being

produced and exploited?

7.1 Executive summary


7.2 Introduction to interactive


management format

7.3 Results




Towards an inclusive future

1. Introduction

Patrick Roe

There is no question that over the last twenty years, since the inception of the

original COST 219 Action, a considerable shift in attitude and awareness has

occurred towards including people with disabilities and older people in all aspects

of society.

From a situation of ignorance and overall lack of awareness, there is now a general

acceptance at a political, societal and even to a certain extent at an industrial level

that it is no longer acceptable to develop products and services that will exclude a

substantial proportion of the population, including people with disabilities and

older people.

This is not to say that all issues have been resolved, far from it. For example, one

of the aspects that still needs to be conveyed to all stakeholders is that embracing

the Design for All principle is not a one off effort but an ongoing and permanent

commitment over the longer term. However at least there is now a state of

recognition that these issues have to be addressed and a realisation that if these

complex issues are suitably handled with appropriate strategies and policies, there

are exciting potential rewards to be gained. Indeed, with the well-publicised

ageing of the population the issue of technology at the service of older people is

seen as an opportunity and an integral part of future strategies in tackling the

problem of how to keep people in their homes for as long as possible (chapter 3).

A crucial and recurring theme throughout the book is that it is vital to design

products and services right from the beginning that can be used by the broadest

possible section of the population (Design for All approach discussed in chapters

3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, for example).

The purpose of this book is to give the reader an overall picture of the current

situation with the latest trends in products and services that can be used by as

many people as possible including people with disabilities and older people

(chapter 2). One example from section 2.3.2 will show how remote sign language

interpretation using 3G telephony had a high take up when priced affordably.

Other examples presented in chapter 2 include showing how new technologies can

help with safe navigation (section 2.2.1) and how the potential of broadband can

be fulfilled in providing useful new services (section 2.3.1). Some of the latest

issues concerning relay services and text telephony are discussed in sections 2.3.3

and 2.4



Towards an inclusive future

There is also a presentation of the latest possibilities of using speech processing

(section 2.2.2). This technology has been promising much for many years, and the

reader will be able to assess the degree of maturity it has now reached whilst

being able to appreciate the potential for using it in applications for people with


Another very important emerging technology/area is that of Ambient Intelligence

(AmI). The potential implications for all citizens are immense. In chapter 4, the

reader will get an insight into the exciting new possibilities that AmI could offer

people with disabilities and older people. The approach used has been to take the

ISTAG (IST Advisory Group) scenarios (with some adaptations) and to analyse what

would happen if people with disabilities were introduced into the scenarios. In this

way, it has been possible to carry out a detailed analysis of some of the

implications and possibilities of AmI for people with disabilities. This should help all

potential users answer the question, “The Future is here, can I live with it?” Ethical

issues related to A m I , which are of course of particular relevance to all

disadvantaged groups, are discussed in section 4.3.

An important component in this gathering groundswell of awareness is the

willingness of governments, both at national and EU level, to introduce new laws

and/or regulation, backed up by standardisation, so as to ensure equal rights of all

citizens in relation to access and use of technology.

A comprehensive review of the current situation is given in chapter 5, where the

reader will be able to gather a clear idea of the available choices within the review

of Framework Directives and the potential impact these decisions will have on

people with disabilities. The EU is clearly at an important regulatory crossroads

with the next few years being crucial in determining which is to be the future

direction of regulation. This chapter indicates how the interest of disadvantaged

users can be protected within this Framework Directives review without hampering

innovation and investment.

An additional key issue raised in chapter 5 is that of certification, be it self-

d e c l a ration certification, certification/accreditation of suppliers or third-party

certification schemes. The various options and their implications are discussed

leading on quite naturally to chapter 6 where an overview can be found of current

trends in accessibility evaluation and what types of evaluation and usability

assessment are currently being carried out by test houses. The reader will be able

to gather information about a mobile phone evaluation toolkit developed within

the framework of COST 219ter (section 6.3) which is a simple methodology for



Towards an inclusive future

assessing the accessibility of a mobile phone. The best time to use this toolkit

would be while testing/checking other protocols and design issues. A case study

from Portugal of how evaluation may change the design is also given in section


Despite the growing awareness and increasing technological possibilities, offered

for example by broadband, there is still widespread frustration that more truly

accessible and usable products are not appearing on the market. To try and

understand the reasons for this lack of products and services COST 219ter resolved

to employ the Interactive Management (IM) methodology with the triggering

question “Considering the availability of powerful broadband technologies and the

development of relevant scenarios, what are the obstacles that prevent us from

producing more practical applications?”. The intriguing results and ensuing

roadmap from of these two (IM) workshops are described in detail in chapter 7.

Without revealing too much, it is possible to say that the process yielded some

unexpected results. For example, the roadmap on page 293 shows that some very

fundamental issues, such the difficulty in turning a statement of user needs into

design requirements, still needs to be resolved in order for there to be more

practical applications and products on the market.

This roadmap also highlights some of the challenges that still lie ahead on the road

to inclusion. The momentum is surging ahead pushing all components of our

society including, users, disability organisations, regulatory authorities, legislators,

standardisation bodies, civil servants, governments and industry towards having to

grapple with new issues and break new ground. There is no turning back now and

by the end of this book, the reader should have a better appreciation of the point

we have reached on this road towards a truly inclusive future.

Note from the Editor

Although the Members of COST 219ter are well aware of the WHO “International

Classification of Disability, Functioning and Health (ICF)”, the terminology used

through out the book is not wholly consistent. This is partly for reasons of style but

also partly reflects the various opinions and preferences of the authors, amongst

whom no consensus was reached (and probably never will be) on what were the

most acceptable terms to be used. The Editor decided to respect this variety of

usage and hopes that no offence is taken by anyone.



Towards an inclusive future