Federal / Regulatory

Technology and Disability Policy Highlights: August - September 2016

In September the White House hosted the Designing for All Showcase, a celebration that recognized the work and expertise of companies, designers, and engineers making strides in inclusive design, assistive technology, and prosthetics. At the event, many new technologies were announced, as well as government programs facilitating the inclusion of people with disabilities to engage in all aspects of society including school, employment, and recreation. 

The Federal...

Attention, Memory, & Wearable Interfaces

The paper considers the limits of human attention and how wearable interfaces should be developed to complement, not interfere, with normal human capabilities. Most interfaces on desktop computers do not have this problem; desktop interface designers can assume that the user is solely concentrating on the digital task. However, a major advantage of a wearable is that users can take it anywhere and use it anytime.

Universal Design: Lessons for Wearable Computing. IEEE Pervasive Computing: Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems

When we as developers and designers create a system that requires user interaction-whether it is computer software, a kitchen appliance, or a door knob-we often fall victim to a common mistake: we use ourselves as the model for our system's potential users. Even developing for an "average user" is a pitfall that results in numerous users whose needs are overlooked. The average user might account for the largest spike under a bell curve, but nonaverage users account for a much...

Factors Influencing Adoption of Wireless Technologies - Key Policy Issues, Barriers and Opportunities for People with Disabilities

While wireless communication and other information linked technologies have rapidly achieved widespread levels of adoption, a significant array of stakeholder groups have been effectively excluded, not by as much by active intent as by inadvertent oversight and lack of awareness. Many of these technologies routinely used by the general population are frequently inaccessible to persons with disabilities. Barriers to the use of these technologies by people with varying disabilities may be...

Using GPS to learn significant locations and predict movement across multiple users

Wearable computers have the potential to act as intelligent agents in everyday life and to assist the user in a variety of tasks, using context to determine how to act. Location is the most common form of context used by these agents to determine the user's task. However, another potential use of location context is the creation of a predictive model of the user's future movements. We present a system that automatically clusters GPS data taken over an extended period of time into...

Keyboards Redux: Enabling Mobile e-mail and other services with fast mobile text entry

The typing rates of today's text-entry methods using the mobile phone's number pad are two to five times slower than that expected with a desktop keyboard. For mobile phone service providers to enable mobile email, faster typing methods must be devised. Several methods currently exist for improving mobile-text-entry speeds.

Mobile Phones as computing devices: The Viruses are coming!

Understanding existing threats against mobile phones helps us better protect our information and prepare for future dangers. Mobile phones have evolved from their roots as analog walkie-talkies to full-scale Internet-enabled computers. Today, mobile phone handsets are arguably the dominant computer form factor consumers purchase. But having such powerful networked computers leads to a new class of malware: viruses, worms, and trojans specifically designed for the mobile environment. Merely...

Human Generated Power for Mobile Electronics

Energy harvesting has grown from long-established concepts into devices for powering ubiquitously deployed sensor networks and mobile electronics. Systems can scavenge power from human activity or derive limited energy from ambient heat, light, radio, or vibrations. Ongoing power management developments enable battery-powered electronics to live longer. Such advances include dynamic optimization of voltage and clock rate, hybrid analog-digital designs, and clever wake-up procedures that keep...

Assessment of User Needs in Wireless Technologies

This article presents the results to date of an ongoing research project of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Mobile Wireless Technologies for Persons with Disabilities (Wireless RERC), which was established in the fall of 2001. The purpose of this project is to identify, prioritize, and disseminate information about the ergonomic needs of users with disabilities for mobile wireless technologies. This article describes the findings of two parts of this research project: (a) a...

Mobile technology, compensatory aids, and usability evaluations

This Works in Progress department features: The Shepherd Centerýs use of mobile wireless technology to develop a compensatory aid for individuals with cognitive impairments; and the University of Bathýs research project that seeks to evaluate widely used context-aware mobile services and to develop an efficient method for further evaluation.

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Disclaimer

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90RE5025-01-00). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this website do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.