Proceedings of the Wireless RERC 2021 State of Technology Forum

Publication Type: 

The Wireless RERC convened the Virtual State of Technology (SoT) Forum 2020One on March 23-24, 2021. The 2021 virtual SoT was a focused, robust event, with a lively, informed, and diverse group of attendees representing the research community, people with disabilities, industry, technologists, advocates, policymakers, and disability service providers who explored the state of, and emerging trends in, inclusive wireless technologies and applications. 

The Forum Proceedings is an interactive document with papers, presentations, videos, and bios from the two-day event. Further, it opens with a summation of the event and closes with a chapter on key activities to pursue to ensure inclusion is always at the forefront of wireless technology, design, development, and deployment.

Date of Publication: 
Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Applying Tangible Augmented Reality for Usability Assessment

When developing a new product, it is common for designers to feel that they do not have enough information about users’ needs. This is especially true at the front end of a new product design process. An important component of this process is testing and validating potential design concepts. The aim of this study was to explore the validity of augmented reality (AR) and tangible augmented reality (TAR) as tools for evaluating the usability of


Design and Evaluation of a Multimodal Physics Simulation

We present a multimodal science simulation, including visual and auditory (descriptions, sound effects, and sonifications) display. The design of each modality is described, as well as evaluation with learners with and without visual impairments. We conclude with challenges and opportunities at the intersection of multiple modalities.

Supporting Simulation Use for Students with Mild Cognitive Impairment

In this study, we explore how enhancing interactive science simulations with sonifications can scaffold interaction and learning for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). We added auditory cues to three PhET Interactive Simulations as additional feedback to highlight important concepts and relationships. Working with seventeen students who have I/DD, we evaluated the success of these cues in emphasizing science concepts, explored


Spotlights and Soundscapes: On the Design of Mixed Reality Auditory Environments for Persons with Visual Impairment

For persons with visual impairment, forming cognitive maps of unfamiliar interior spaces can be challenging. Various technical developments have converged to make it feasible, without specialized equipment, to repre- sent a variety of useful landmark objects via spatial audio, rather than solely dispensing route information. Although such systems could be key to facilitating cognitive map formation, high-density auditory environments must be crafted carefully


Design and Evaluation of a Multimodal Physics Simulation

We present a multimodal physics simulation, including visual and auditory (description, sound effects, and sonification) modalities to support the diverse needs of learners. We describe design challenges and solutions, and findings from final simulation evaluations with learners with and without visual impairments. We also share insights from completing research with members of diverse learner groups (N = 52). This work presents approaches for designing and


Barriers to Employment Participation of Individuals with Disabilities: Addressing the Impact of Employer (Mis)Perception and Policy

Although progress has been made toward the objective of increased employment for people with disabilities, the 17.2% employment rate of people with disabilities stands in distressing contrast to the 65% rate of those without disabilities. This article summarizes the results of a comparative survey of representative academic literature and industry publications related to employer policies and practices that can affect workforce participation of


Imagining futures: A collaborative policy/device design for wearable computing

The rapidly expanding market for wearable computing devices (wearables), driven by advances in information and communication technologies (ICT), wireless access, and public acceptance of a design aesthetic, is indicative of the near limitless potential for changing the relationship of users to information context(s). As the adoption of wearable devices spreads, there are cultural and social impacts that represent both barriers and opportunities, with subsequent policy ramifications. All too...

Does culture affect usability? A trans-European usability and user experience assessment of a falls-risk connected health system following a user-centered design methodology carried out in a single

User-centred design (UCD) is a process whereby the end-user is placed at the centre of the design process. The WIISEL (Wireless Insole for Independent and Safe Elderly Living) system is designed to monitor fall risk and to detect falls and consists of a pair of instrumented insoles and a smartphone app. The system was designed using a three-phase UCD process carried out in Ireland, which incorporated the input of Irish end-users and multidisciplinary experts


Use of consumer wireless devices by South Africans with severe communication disability

Advancements in wireless technology (e.g. cell phones and tablets) have opened new communication opportunities and environments for individuals with severe communication disabilities. The advancement of these technologies poses challenges to ensuring that these individuals enjoy equal access to this increasingly essential technology. However, a paucity of research exists.


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