ITR/PE: Universal access for situationally induced impairments: Modeling, prototyping, and evaluation

Project: Research project

Project Details


As mobile computing becomes more pervasive, users enjoy increased flexibility in terms of where and when they record, retrieve, and transmit information; at the same time, the conditions under which these devices are used are becoming more variable, less predictable, and in many situations less hospitable. With increasing frequency, computers are being used when lighting is poor, noise is unpredictable, or when the user is on the move (e.g., walking, driving a vehicle). In addition, mobile devices often cause users to interrupt an ongoing activity in order to perform secondary computer-based tasks: examples include individuals replying to e-mails during meetings, doctors reviewing operating room schedules while interacting with patients, and individuals retrieving directions from their in-vehicle navigation system while driving. The goal of this research is to address the issues involved in developing effective computer systems for individuals experiencing such situationally-induced impairments (SII). Like disability-induced impairments (DII), SII exist when the physical, cognitive, or perceptual demands placed on the user exceed their abilities. Unlike DII, SII are temporary, resulting from the environment in which the work is being performed or the tasks in which the user is engaged. Through this research, the PI and his team will develop new techniques for identifying and documenting the factors that contribute to SII, will identify methods for developing solutions that address the temporary and dynamic nature of SII, and will compare the interaction strategies of individuals experiencing SII to those of individuals with comparable DII.

Effective start/end date9/15/018/31/08


  • National Science Foundation: $1,083,020.00


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