Julio Abascal. University of the Basque Country (Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain)
Keynote title: Can Ambient Intelligence exclude people, with disabilities?.
Abstract: The Egokituz Laboratory of HCI for Special Needs was founded in 1985 to work in the application of Informatics and Robotics methods and techniques to support people with diverse types of disabilities. From the design of communication systems (for Augmentative and Alternative Communication) to the development of tools to enhance accessibility to the Web accessibility, Egokituz has naturally evolved towards the application of the Ambient Intelligence paradigm to assist people with special needs interacting with their environment.
Since the first Ambient Intelligence proposals this new field showed its capacity to contribute with extremely promising new opportunities for people with disabilities. But, even if the Ambient Intelligence approach is very helpful for them, early studies showed structural and cognitive accessibility barriers that may exclude people with disabilities.
Starting from our experience in R&D projects in the Ambient Intelligence field (such as HetroRed, AmbienNet, AmIGune, DomoSilla, or Inredis), in this talk I will present its possible contributions for people with disabilities, and I will also discuss a number of accessibility issues they can find when using Ambient Intelligence based applications.