Design and the Digital Divide

Design and the Digital Divide
Insights from 40 Years in Computer Support for Older and Disabled People

Alan F. Newell
ISBN: 9781608457403 | PDF ISBN: 9781608457410
Copyright © 2011 | 195 Pages | Publication Date: 01/01/2011

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Demographic trends and increasing support costs means that good design for older and disabled people is an economic necessity, as well as a moral imperative. Alan Newell has been described as "a visionary who stretches the imagination of all of us" and "truly ahead of his time." This monograph describes research ranging from developing communication systems for non-speaking and hearing-impaired people to technology to support older people, and addresses the particular challenges older people have with much modern technology.

Alan recounts the insights gained from this research journey, and recommends a philosophy, and design practices, to reduce the "Digital Divide" between users of information technology and those who are excluded by the poor design of many current systems.

How to create and lead interdisciplinary teams, and the practical and ethical challenges of working in clinically related fields are discussed. The concepts of "Ordinary and Extra-ordinary HCI", "User Sensitive Inclusive Design" , and "Design for Dynamic Diversity", and the use of "Creative Design" techniques are suggested as extensions of "User Centered" and "Universal Design." Also described are the use of professional theatre and other methods for raising designers' awareness of the challenges faced by older and disabled people, ways of engaging with these groups, and of ascertaining what they "want" rather than just what they "need."

This monograph will give all Human Computer Interaction (HCI) practitioners and designers of both mainstream and specialized IT equipment much food for thought.

Table of Contents

40 years--Highlights and a Brief Review
Communication Systems for Non-Speaking and Hearing-Impaired People
TV Subtitling for Hearing-Impaired People
Word Prediction for Non-Speaking People and Systems for those with Dyslexia
Providing Reusable Conversation for Non-Speaking People
Story Telling and Emotion in Synthetic Speech
Lessons Learned from Designing AAC Devices
IT Systems for Older People
Designing IT Systems for Older People
Ordinary and Extra-Ordinary Human Computer Interaction
User Sensitive Inclusive Design
The Use of Professional Theatre
Attacking the Digital Divide

About the Author(s)

Alan F. Newell, Dundee University
Alan Newell is an Emeritus Professor at the School of Computing at Dundee University. This group was founded by Alan in 1980 and now contains one of the largest academic groups in the world whose research concentrates on computer and communication systems for older and disabled people. Alan has been researching into Human Computer Interaction, particularly by older people and people with disabilities, for over 40 years. He is a member of the Order of the British Empire and a Fellow of the British Computer Society, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the (US) Association for Computing Machinery, and an Honorary Fellow Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy. He was a Winston Churchill Travel Fellow studying Communication Aids for the disabled in 1976 and was awarded the Lloyd of Kilgerran Prize from the UK Foundation for Science and Technology for Research intoTechnology to Assist People with Disabilities in 1995, the Guardian Innovation Challenge Trophy for Social Welfare 1987 with John Arnott and Norman Alm, the British Computer Society Award for Social Benefit in 1988 with Norman Alm, John Arnott and Andrew Swiffin, and the 1991 UK National Training Award for Technological Assistance for Children with Dyslexia and other Spelling and Writing Dysfunction. He was appointed a "Universal Usability Fellow" at ACM SIGCHI Conference on Universal Usability, Washington DC November 2000, and was presented with the ACM SIGCHI award for Social Impact, at CHI 2011

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