Design accessibility

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Accessibility session 1st day

Coming from industry into NGO

Working with older people noticed that tools are not person/user centred

Who is working on making these tools better for real people.

Stories from working with older adults - making inclusive solutions

  • Digital divide - access to tech and device is 1st layer - 2nd layer is digital literacy/how to use a device - 3rd layer new conditions that effect interaction with technology (disabilities? Impairments? Or specific literacy challenges)

Healthcare data - fitness apps have a clinical display of the app - don’t appeal? To the older adult groups

Something can be user centred but not person centred.

Wearables technology - are these inclusive for specific groups?

Statistics from UN re. World population increasingly aging - age related conditions. Designing new tech needs to be considering older folks. Reduce pressure on health care systems.

Participatory design - what is an expert? ‘Experts’ design solutions typically but we can become an expert based off your own use verses a skill that is learned. End Users are experts. Can we bridge that lived experience into tools.

Many assumptions about older adults and how they use technology

Researcher name (look up) digital natives and digital immigrants.

1st lesson from facilitators workshops: Older adults are removed from digital native category. Older adults in same group they don’t use smart phone they only use a feature phone. But some older people might use a smart phone.

2nd lesson: Experiences need to be designed for.

3rd lesson: Cultural specific needs to be designed for.

Q: Is this not happening? We assume this isn’t happening?

  • A: Predominance of the tech industry re. Health data - big companies produce health data.
    • ^ Is there not research behind it? For profit is behind a wall so its assumed, unashamed - for profit is going towards the market share? Demographic doesn’t have $$’s

Q/S: The RTFM approach to OSS. The access is not accessible due to the expert level needed to interact with OSS.

Q: Academic research is about make sure older adults can understand their health data - they don’t need to call ‘younger’ relatives to explain the data to them.

  • Many of the existing health data tools are based on professional health software. Many don’t understand their own data, how to access, understand - ‘What is this cardiac information?’

When we think about older adults and providing health literacy accessibility - where can that happen? In the device? e.g. Should my watch be better at giving me info alongside data?

  • Click on terms in some info - less good than what you search online for the same information. e.g. This is what this in your ekg means.
    • ^ Exploring the challenges with existing health data. Done workshops with people developing those experiences and also with older adults. Should we come up with a way of presenting this information. e.g. blood pressure data. Every month * it changes. Understanding the 6 month picture is different to month by month. Information overload and how to design with/against that by giving as little information as possible. More info can be critical to better understanding.
  • Vibration touch/haptic feedback can be different for text and call - can this be applied to health devices/technology
  • Same with text sounds vs. call sounds.

Research from industry isn’t unrelated. They have a health team that’s relevant to work. Not as much about assistive technology accessibility. If you make it look like something else then that is difficult.

  • People have been trained in a particular way - less cleverness is better in design. Trend is adding more words and labels. Larger touch areas. Bring down to basics. If every web application was accessible it’d be very different. Same as designing for very young.
  • Colour association.

Both ends of life span is a challenge. Elders have decline in their abilities to use technology. Some people are beyond the ability to use tech once. Just need big buttons to do simple actions.

  • Understand health data to action health data. Are young people more able really? Do they understand graphs. It’s a bigger problem than elders.
  • All these apps are being pushed by a standardised methods. Or are they? Those teams have blind spots, bias in itself?

The corruption of co design

  • The accessibility of the participation
  • Pressure of releasing the project - sounds like the participation is not accessible. For industry based research, ethical considerations there.
  • The taint of corporate touch - difference between the real data between what is really known in orgs. Do we need to ‘stop’ looking at data? And trying to understand it? Moving away from screens and moving away from augmented reality/VR.

With progressive hearing loss, looking at lyrics on songs can help. Closed Captioning has existed for a long time.

Having your own health data but don’t have a clear path to understanding that. In an ideal world we’d call a medical professional to explain. Would NLP or tech intermediary could be asked?

The easy slipping into designing for people and not with. Reference Dutch study re. Kids wanting to interact with robots and what roles they want them to do.

The ease to which we offer our data to companies when we offer our data and info.

  • Large Language Models - explaining things etc. Local Open Government data - teaching the teachers about data literacy - people come in and run workshops about data literacy - mix of regular folks, researchers, technology specialists. e.g. reference crime data and news.

Site visits for past research and shadowing how someone does what they do - it’s great if they have that insight into that.

Making older friends - hobbies and volunteering and getting into community.

Big data means we might not have to design software anymore. We can just get answers to whatever we want from metrics. Clean Insights.

Discussion about people with severe impairments and how they are ‘given’ technology to use. The inclusion on how to configure that tech is not planned for and done. This is where OSS can offer ways of enaging.

Ambient tech and how it just works. Amber case’s

  • Peer experts - held workshops for elders on how to use their phone, how to user X tech at local libraries. Expert in the community.
  • How to get that personal 1-2-1 experience out of technology? Empowering other elders to teach their peers? To run workshops? More removed experiences?

In Ireland they have community meetings with iPad’s they designed their own manual guide during the session. They know what is necessary to them. Some changes to tech are unintuitive. Having end users as experts.

Hippa laws in USA - couldn’t talk to patients, subject matter experts e.g doctors.

OSS and openness is hard.

Assistive technology is access technology. Back to voice being a core input operation.