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Look to Speak helps people communicate with their eyes

CAVE, Richard
EZEKIEL, Sarah
GOOGLE CREATIVE LAB
December 2020

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A speach and language therapist talks about "Look to Speak", an Android app which enables people to use their eyes to select pre-written phrases on mobile devices and have them spoken aloud. A text and video guide are available.

The mobile disability gap report 2020

ARANDA-JAN, Clara
December 2020

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As we move towards a more digital society, it is critical that digital technologies are inclusive of everyone, including persons with disabilities. However, research conducted by the GSMA Assistive Tech programme suggests that a disability gap exists in mobile access and use.

Driving greater inclusion of persons with disabilities requires data and evidence to inform actions from multiple stakeholders. This report looks to understand the digital divide experienced by persons with disabilities, identify existing barriers to digital inclusion and define strategies and actions to close the mobile disability.

This report uses data from the GSMA Intelligence Consumer Survey 2019 to explore the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities in eight LMICs: Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan and Uganda. This report looks at key stages and milestones in the journey to mobile internet use that can pose barriers to regular and diverse mobile use

A basic guide to accessible communications

BROWN, Simon
SCOTT-PARKER, Susan
November 2020

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This document provides a guide to improving accessible communications in the workplace. Demonstrating you don’t need to be an expert in digital accessibility – the basic principles are easy to understand and apply.

Moral distress and ethical decision-making of eldercare professionals involved in digital service transformation

FRENNERT, Susanne
2020

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Aim

Technology affects almost all aspects of modern eldercare. Ensuring ethical decision-making is essential as eldercare becomes more digital; each decision affects a patient’s life, self-esteem, health and wellness.

 

Methods

We conducted a survey and interviews with eldercare professionals to better understand the behavioural ethics and decision making involved in the digital transition of eldercare.

 

Conclusion

Our qualitative analysis showed three recurrent roles among eldercare professionals in regard to digital service transformation; makers, implementers and maintainers. All three encountered challenging and stressful ethical dilemmas due to uncertainty and a lack of control. The matter of power relations, the attempts to standardize digital solutions and the conflict between cost efficiency and if digital care solutions add value for patients, all caused moral dilemmas for eldercare professionals. The findings suggest a need for organizational infrastructure that promotes ethical conduct and behaviour, ethics training and access to related resources.

Product Narrative: Digital Assistive Technology. A market landscape and strategic approach to increasing access to digital assistive technology in low- and middle- income countries

SAVAGE, Margaret
LIAO, Cynthia
CHAUDRON, Matilde
BOYER, Jeffrey
BHATNAGAR, Tigmanshu
LAURENTIUS, Dennis
TORRENS, George
PERRY, Katherine
MORJARIA, Priya
BARAJAS, Felipe Ramos
GOEDDE, Barbara
November 2020

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This document is the final in a series of in-depth analyses that identify key barriers and promising market interventions. The previous four documents focused on wheelchairs, hearings aids, prostheses, and eyeglasses.

The report provides market landscapes of 3 areas of digital AT: mobile phones; screen readers; and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices.

A common set of recommendations focused on improving access emerged from the individual product landscapes:

  • Develop and adopt policies, including legislation, regulations, minimum product standards, and guidelines to support accessibility and uptake of digital AT at the global and country levels.
  • Support governments of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to increase awareness of digital AT by including digital assistive products such as smartphones and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices on national assistive product lists.
  • Support innovative financing schemes or negotiate pricing agreements to reduce the cost of digital AT to end users.
  • Increase availability of training programmes for users, suppliers, and service providers on the availability of digital AT and digital literacy skills.

Accessibility GO! A Guide to Action, Delivering on 7 accessibility commitments

AL JUBEH, Kathy
DARD, Benjamin
ZAYED, Yana
November 2020

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The World Blind Union (WBU) and CBM Global Disability Inclusion have developed Accessibility GO! A Guide to Action. The guide provides practical support on how to deliver a wholistic organisational approach towards accessibility. It describes how to progressively achieve seven core accessibility commitments across built environments, information and communications, procurement of goods and services, training and capacity development, programmes, meetings and events, recruitment, and human resource (HR) management. The guide offers pathways to progressively realise accessibility in various contexts and organisations; recognising that users of the guide will be diverse.

Does the purpose matter? A comparison of everyday information and communication technologies between eHealth use and general use as perceived by older adults with cognitive impairment

JAKOBSSON, Elin
NYGÅRD, Louise
KOTTORP, Anders
OLSSON, Cecilia Bråkenhielm
MALINOWSKY, Camilla
2020

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Background and objective

Everyday information and communication technologies (EICTs) are increasingly being used in our society, for both general and health-related purposes. This study aims to compare how older adults with cognitive impairment perceive relevance and level of EICT challenge between eHealth use and general use.

 

Methods

This cross-sectional study includes 32 participants (65–85 years of age) with cognitive impairment of different origins (due to e.g., stroke or dementia). The Short Everyday Technology Use Questionnaire+ (S-ETUQ+) was used, providing information about the relevance of EICTs and measuring the EICT level of challenge. Data were analysed with descriptive statistics, standardized z-tests and Fisher’s exact tests. The significance level was set to p < .05.

 

Results

The result shows that the perceived amount of relevant EICTs for eHealth use was lower in all 16 EICTs compared to those of general use. About the perceived level of challenge, a significant difference was detected in one of the seven included EICTs between eHealth use and general use.

 

Conclusions

In this sample, all EICTs were perceived as having lower relevance for eHealth use compared to general use, suggesting that the purpose of using an EICT affects the perceived relevance of it. Also, once an EICT is perceived as relevant and used for eHealth purposes, there seem to be little to no differences in perceived challenge compared to the same EICT used for general purposes.

Smartphone apps for transportation by people with intellectual disabilities: are they really helpful in improving their mobility?

ALANAZI, Adel
2020

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Purpose

The paper undertakes a critical assessment of the use of smartphone apps for transportation by people with intellectual disabilities. Although apps for transportation such as Uber and Careem have been developed to assist people with disabilities and have numerous benefits, people with intellectual disabilities tend to encounter their own set of difficulties in accessing these apps.

 

Materials and method

This paper presents the research findings drawn from a focus group discussion conducted with nine people with moderate to mild intellectual disabilities in Riyadh, by using a qualitative study focussed on the interpretative paradigm.

 

Results

From the interview findings, some relevant themes were identified. These were: transportation issues encountered by people with intellectual disabilities, the extent and manner of the use of smartphone apps for transportation, the benefits enjoyed by those individuals in using smartphone apps for transportation and the difficulties encountered by them.

 

Conclusions

The paper also discusses the implications for practice and presents some useful recommendations, including the need for family support and government assistance.

Inclusion, access, and accessibility of educational resources in higher education institutions: exploring the Ethiopian context

BEYENE, Wondwossen Mulualem
MEKONNEN, Abraham Tulu
GIANNOUMIS, George Anthony
2020

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The right of persons with disabilities for equal access to education and educational resources is enshrined by international and country-specific anti-discrimination laws. Taking the Ethiopian context as an example, this paper sought to identify barriers of access to educational resources and explored ways for removing them. Seventeen students with visual impairments studying at Hawassa University were selected for semi-structured interviews. Moreover, five individuals working at the disability centre and the university library were interviewed. The results of the interviews were analysed thematically using the International Classification of Functioning, Disabilities and Health (ICF) as a framework. Access and accessibility problems that emanate from the learners’ diverse background, lack of educational resources in alternative formats, lack of institutional tools (policy, procedure, guidelines, etc.) to bridge the gap between law and practice, and the digital divide were among the problems identified and discussed. At the end, the paper showed how libraries, revitalised as learning and information commons, could help to ensure the accessibility of educational resources and help learners with disabilities to acquire skills that may help them in their studies and their future undertakings.

Breaking down the barriers for people with disabilities through innovation in Africa

GSMA
September 2020

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During this interactive session, hosted by GSMA’s Assistive Tech team, we shared insights on the mobile disability gap, including findings from our gender and disability research, and lessons learnt from the innovation landscape. We also heard from several leading assistive tech innovators supporting the digital inclusion of people with disabilities, both visible or unseen across emerging markets

Pivoting to inclusion : Leveraging lessons from the COVID-19 crisis for learners with disabilities

McCLAIN-NHALPO,Charlotte Vuyiswa
KULBIR SINGH,Ruchi
MARTIN,Anna Hill
et al
August 2020

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As governments respond to the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the global community must ensure that persons with disabilities are included. This will require disability inclusion to be considered in all interconnected sectors; education, health, social protection, and inclusion from the planning stage all the way through to delivery and recovery efforts that are inclusive of all and are sufficiently differentiated to meet the specific needs of children with disabilities. The issues paper focuses on the following objectives: (1) addressing education, social needs, barriers, and issues for learners with disabilities at a global, regional, and country-level during the COVID-19 crisis; and (2) recommending practices for education and social inclusion, and reasonable accommodations utilizing the twin track approach and principles of universal design for learning.

A person living with dementia learning to navigate an iPad: a case study

INGEBRAND, Elias
SAMUELSSON, Christina
HYDÉN, Lars-Christer
2020

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Purpose

This study challenges the notion that people living with dementia are unable to achieve novel learning without focussed intervention techniques. The purpose of this study is to explore how a woman living with dementia (Alzheimer’s disease) learns to use a tablet computer with support from communicative partners.

 

Method

The study is based on video recordings and the theoretical framework of learning as changing participation in joint activities. Quantitative and qualitative focus is on changes in the interactional organization over the course of six weeks in the activity of using an augmentative and alternative communication application.

 

Results

Over time, the participant living with dementia, relies less on the expertise and explicit instructions of her communicative partners when navigating the application, and more on the immediate feedback provided by the tablet computer.

 

Conclusions

The findings suggest that novel learning still is possible for people living with dementia, even without the implementation of focussed interventions. This study further emphasizes the procedural nature of learning for people living with dementia as the woman’s embodied actions were carried out in an increasingly more direct fashion.

Human-centred design in humanitarian settings: Methodologies for inclusivity

HAMILTON, Zoe
CASSWELL, Jenny
ALONSO, Aline
July 2020

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This report documents the human-centred design process used in a project conducted in 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya. It includes research tools that can be used in other contexts, as well as the adaptations that were made to research tools to ensure they were inclusive. These tools are followed by the main lessons learned, and recommendations for others who want to implement a similar process.

The goal of this project was to better understand how people living with disabilities in humanitarian contexts use mobile technology, the barriers they face in accessing mobile services, and the opportunities that mobile might present to increase access to basic services in their daily lives. The target population for this project was urban refugees living with visual or hearing impairments in Nairobi, Kenya. 

The human-centred design tools used included: Location Mapping, User Journeys, Communication Mapping, Future Me and Daily Diaries. 

Radical Accessibility: Research and Recommendations. A deep dive into how accessible charities are during Covid-19 and beyond

REASON DIGITAL
July 2020

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Insights are shared into the world of digital accessibility in the charity sector: the attitudes and behaviours of beneficiaries, the accessibility needs of those accessing charity websites, the impact of coronavirus and, what should be done by charities. The authors build on knowledge gained from 12 years in the digital charity sector, their annual research into digital charity trends, a new (2020), bespoke and nationally representative survey of the general public, and insights from some of the industry’s leading minds in making charities accessible. A list of evidenced and sector-specific recommendations is provided.

 

The research and report were part of a virtual event, Radical Accessibility, hosted by Reason Digital, Microsoft UK and Charity Digital on July 9th 2020

COVID-19 and Disability; Exploring a new innovation landscape

HOLLOWAY, Catherine
OLDFREY, Ben
CHIIRA, Bernard
KETT, Maria
July 2020

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This webinar explored the impact of, and learnings from COVID-19 on Disability Innovation. We heard from those shifting their work in response to the pandemic. We also looked at how learnings from Assistive Technology (AT) are being applied to this unprecedented global environment.

Finally, there was an overview of how knowledge was captured during Ebola can support the response to this latest threat

Use of technology by orientation and mobility professionals in Australia and Malaysia before COVID-19

DEVERELL, Lil
BHOWMIK, Jahar
LAU, Bee Theng
AL MAHMUD, Abdullah
SUKUNESAN, Suku
ISLAM, Fakir M Amirul
MCCARTHY, Chris
MEYER, Denny
2020

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Purpose

Orientation and Mobility (O&M) professionals teach people with low vision or blindness to use specialist assistive technologies to support confident travel, but many O&M clients now prefer a smartphone. This study aimed to investigate what technology O&M professionals in Australia and Malaysia have, use, like, and want to support their client work, to inform the development of O&M technologies and build capacity in the international O&M profession.

 

Materials and Methods

A technology survey was completed by professionals (n = 36) attending O&M workshops in Malaysia. A revised survey was completed online by O&M specialists (n = 31) primarily in Australia. Qualitative data about technology use came from conferences, workshops and interviews with O&M professionals. Descriptive statistics were analysed together with free-text data.

 

Results

Limited awareness of apps used by clients, unaffordability of devices, and inadequate technology training discouraged many O&M professionals from employing existing technologies in client programmes or for broader professional purposes. Professionals needed to learn smartphone accessibility features and travel-related apps, and ways to use technology during O&M client programmes, initial professional training, ongoing professional development and research.

 

Conclusions

Smartphones are now integral to travel with low vision or blindness and early-adopter O&M clients are the travel tech-experts. O&M professionals need better initial training and then regular upskilling in mainstream O&M technologies to expand clients’ travel choices. COVID-19 has created an imperative for technology laggards to upskill for O&M tele-practice. O&M technology could support comprehensive O&M specialist training and practice in Malaysia, to better serve O&M clients with complex needs.

Implementing music therapy through telehealth: considerations for military populations

VAUDREUIL, Rebecca
LANGSTON, Diane G
MAGEE, Wendy L
BETTS, Donna
KASS, Sara
LEVY, Charles
2020

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Purpose

Telehealth provides psychotherapeutic interventions and psychoeducation for remote populations with limited access to in-person behavioural health and/or rehabilitation treatment. The United States Department of Défense and the Veterans Health Administration use telehealth to deliver primary care, medication management, and services including physical, occupational, and speech-language therapies for service members, veterans, and eligible dependents. While creative arts therapies are included in telehealth programming, the existing evidence base focuses on art therapy and dance/movement therapy, with a paucity of information on music therapy.

 

Methods

Discussion of didactic and applied music experiences, clinical, ethical, and technological considerations, and research pertaining to music therapy telehealth addresses this gap through presentation of three case examples. These programmes highlight music therapy telehealth with military-connected populations on a continuum of clinical and community engagement: 1) collaboration between Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA and the Acoke Rural Development Initiative in Lira, Uganda; 2) the Semper Sound Cyber Health programme in San Diego, CA; and 3) the integration of music therapy telehealth into Creative Forces®, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

Results

These examples illustrate that participants were found to positively respond to music therapy and community music engagement through telehealth, and reported decrease in pain, anxiety, and depression; they endorsed that telehealth was not a deterrent to continued music engagement, requested continued music therapy telehealth sessions, and recommended it to their peers.

 

Conclusions

Knowledge gaps and evolving models of creative arts therapies telehealth for military-connected populations are elucidated, with emphasis on clinical and ethical considerations.

The digital lives of refugees and Kenyans with disabilities in Nairobi: A human-centred design approach to identifying mobile-enabled opportunities

HAMILTON, Zoe
CASSWELL, Jenny
ALONSO, Aline
July 2020

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This research focuses on disability, using human-centred design methods to better understand how refugees and Kenyans with visual and hearing impairments in Nairobi use mobile technology and potential opportunities that it could provide.

The target populations for the project were urban refugees and host communities with visual or hearing impairments in Nairobi, Kenya. 

 

This report is divided into four main sections, following an introduction, the second section focuses on insights learned from the hearing impaired, the third on the visually impaired and the fourth highlighting issues that were cross-cutting insights across both groups. Sections two and three include insights related to mobile, health and financial services. The fourth section includes insights related to humanitarian and disability support services

 

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