Project

INCA - Inclusive Digital Content for People with Aphasia

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Project log

Abi Roper
added 2 research items
This is the accepted version of the paper. This version of the publication may differ from the final published version. Permanent repository link: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/21271/ ABSTRACT Personas are powerful tools for designing technology and envisioning its usage. They are widely used to imagine ar-chetypal users around whom to orient design work. We have been exploring co-created personas as a technique to use in co-design with users who have diverse needs. Our vision was that this would broaden the demographic and liberate co-designers of their personal relationship with a health condition. This paper reports three studies where we investigated using co-created personas with people who had Parkinson's disease, dementia or aphasia. Observational data of co-design sessions were collected and analysed. Findings revealed that the co-created personas encouraged users with diverse needs to engage with co-designing. Importantly, they also afforded additional benefits including empowering users within a more accessible design process. Reflecting on the outcomes from the different user groups, we conclude with a discussion of the potential for co-created personas to be applied more broadly.
This is the accepted version of the paper. This version of the publication may differ from the final published version. Permanent repository link: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/21272/ ABSTRACT Creative activities allow people to express themselves in rich, nuanced ways. However, being creative does not always come easily. For example, people with speech and language impairments, such as aphasia, face challenges in creative activities that involve language. In this paper, we explore the concept of constrained creativity as a way of addressing this challenge and enabling creative writing. We report an app, MakeWrite, that supports the constrained creation of digital texts through automated redaction. The app was co-designed with and for people with aphasia and was subsequently explored in a workshop with a group of people with aphasia. Participants were not only successful in crafting novel language , but, importantly, self-reported that the app was crucial in enabling them to do so. We refect on the potential of technology-supported constrained creativity as a means of empowering expression amongst users with diverse needs.
Abi Roper
added an update
World Poetry Day saw the launch of our first app - MakeWrite. This is a co-designed technology created with people with aphasia following a year long co-design process. The app uses principles of constrained creativity to support users to create and share playful new texts.
The app, for iPad only, can be downloaded from the appstore via:
 
Brian Grellmann
added 2 research items
The World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) have become widely accepted as the standard for web accessibility evaluation. This poster investigates how the mobile version of these guidelines caters for people with aphasia (PWA) by comparing the results from user testing against that of an audit using the guidelines. We outline the efficacy of the guidelines in the broader context of how they cater for various impairments and offer some recommendations for designing for people with aphasia.
This paper reports the experience of participating in usability testing from the perspective of a person with aphasia. We briefly report adaptations to classic usability testing to enable the participation of people with aphasia. These included the use of short, direct tasks and physical artefacts such as picture cards. Authors of the paper include Ian, a user with aphasia who participated in adapted usability testing and Abi, a speech and language therapist researcher who facilitated sessions. Ian reports that these methods allowed him, as a person with aphasia, to engage with the usability testing process. We argue that such adaptations are essential in order to develop technologies which will be accessible to people with aphasia. This collaborative report provides a case for both how and why these adaptations can be made.
Abi Roper
added an update
Stephanie Wilson , Timothy Neate , Abi Roper and Ian Davey travelled to Galway, Ireland to present two pieces of work from the INCA project.
Investigating Mobile Accessibility [...] presented details of an accessibility audit and usability testing for four commonly used social networking sites: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.
Usability Testing [...] was co-authored and co-presented by research team members (Abi, Steph, Tim, Jane and Brian) and a user tester with aphasia (Ian).
 
Abi Roper
added an update
Poster: INCA Project. Dos and Don’ts on Designing for Aphasia Accessibility. Launched at Accessibility London Meetup, June 2018. Watch the talk here: https://youtu.be/vphdqLNlMNY
Download the poster below.
 
Abi Roper
added 2 research items
Background: The use of social networking sites (SNS) such as Facebook and Twitter may help to ameliorate the social isolation prevalent amongst individuals with aphasia (Northcott et al., 2016). For therapists, SNS offer contemporary platforms for communication activities, which encourage generalisation of skills and social uses of language. While some research has explored online, social network content created by people with aphasia (PWA) (Baier et al., 2017), no work to date has directly explored the accessibility of SNS for this group. Aims: The reported project aims to reveal barriers and facilitators to the use of SNS by PWA through the use of structured usability testing and interviews. We hope that findings will broaden access to such ubiquitous communication opportunities. Methods & Procedures: Study 1. Four participants (one female) with mild to moderate aphasia (Western Aphasia Battery Aphasia Quotients 72–95) took part in individual usability testing sessions. These used well-established usability assessment techniques (Rogers et al., 2015), adapted for PWA. Testing sessions were facilitated by a speech and language therapist (SLT) researcher and moderated by a user experience researcher specialising in digital accessibility. Four of the most commonly used social media apps available on iPad (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest) were explored for issues of accessibility, examining common digital interaction tasks of varying complexity. Tasks included opening an app and browsing the “home news feed”, writing a post, and adding a picture. Video and audio data from sessions were transcribed and analysed to identify common accessibility issues. Study 2. Four female UK SLTs were interviewed. Interviewees had 12 to 20+ years of clinical experience of using technology with PWA and worked across a variety of settings (research (n = 1), private practice (n = 1), and National Health Service (NHS) (n = 2)). Interviews invited participants to predict how two identified PWA on their caseload might respond to the same set of tasks explored in study 1. Thematic analysis of transcribed data was conducted to reveal barriers and facilitators. Outcomes & Results: Study 1. 18 barrier and 3 facilitator categories were identified. Participants experienced the greatest number of barriers for apps with which they had little or no previous experience. Several key barriers were experienced by all four participants and across all four apps. One arose where the apps used novel pictorial icons to access key functions (e.g., “write a tweet”) in the absence of supporting textual prompts. Another arose where actions (e.g., delete) were concealed within a sequence of multiple button presses. Facilitators identified were: predictive search features, previous experience in using the SNS, and the ability to navigate to a destination using non-typical routes (e.g., finding their own profile page by typing their name into the search bar). Study 2. 30 barrier and 43 facilitator categories were identified. The most commonly reported barrier related to writing/typing difficulties, followed by “actions requiring multiple steps”, “cognitive difficulties”, and “the presence of distractions”. The most commonly reported facilitator was “the presence of SLT assistance”, followed by premorbid familiarity with technology”, “family support”, and the “requirement of only a limited number of steps”. Conclusions: Usability testing revealed several barriers to SNS access for participants with aphasia and a limited number of facilitators. Findings were echoed in data from SLT interviews, which also revealed additional proposed facilitators. Specific design features such as the absence of text from novel icons were identified in study 1. These might be addressed by designers of SNS tools. At a clinical level, study 2 indicates that the presence of SLT and family support to extend experience with SNS might offer additional access. Outcomes indicate the important role of designers and clinicians in facilitating future access to these increasingly ubiquitous technologies and modes of communication.
We report barriers and facilitators to the use of Social Networking Site (SNS) apps for people with aphasia (PWA). Issues were explored through structured usability testing of apps for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr with PWA, and interviews with experienced speech and language therapists (SLTs).