Increasingly, digital consumer technologies are building in ever greater functionality in efforts to appeal to as wide a range of users as possible. These mainstream technologies such as smartphones, tablets and digital voice assistants have been increasingly referred to as accessible technologies as distinct from what has traditionally been referred to as assistive technologies. Aimed at a general market as opposed to being restricted to people with a disability and older people, consumer products, with their lower cost thresholds, can significantly reduce costs and provide a good ratio of social return on investment. The adaptive nature of much of mainstream consumer technologies provides greater opportunities for people with disabilities and older people to benefit from access to digital services and our increasingly online social and professional life. Increasingly, manufacturers and technology developers are recognising that people with disabilities and older people are demanding access to the same information and services as the general population without incurring additional cost.
Panel discussions at the #ICCHP_AAATE_2022 conferences explored how smartphones and other technologies are quickly establishing a market space delivering a range of assistive features for people with disabilities and older people on a mainstream platform. This proposed Special Thematic Session will provide a platform to continue these discussions by inviting participation from users with disabilities, technology developers and practitioners as well as those involved in technology service delivery systems from across Europe.
It is proposed that this Special Thematic Session will serve to showcase current research examining how emerging consumer technologies offer feasible alternatives to traditional assistive devices for people with disabilities and older people as well as a better social return on investment.
For this Special Thematic Session on “The Assistive Potential of Digital Consumer Technologies” we welcome presentations exploring how mainstream consumer technologies can postively impact the participation of People with Disabilities and Older People . Topics include, but are not limited to:
- Research and development of consumer technologies that have direct impact on People with Disabilities and Older People.
- Research exploring the how consumer digital technologies are disrupting traditional models of technology take up and usage by People with Disabilities and Older People.
- Design and manufacture of consumer technologies for People with Disabilities and Older People.
- Case-studies of how People with Disabilities and Older People are exploiting consumer technologies for assistive purposes.
- Efforts to increase the assistive and accessible functionalities of mainstream consumer technologies.
- Service delivery systems delivering consumer technologies to People with Disabilities and Older People.
- Ethical issues including risks to privacy and autonomy pertaining to the use of digital consumer technologies for People with Disabilities. And Older People.
- Dr Bryan Boyle, University College Cork (IRL)
- Sabine Lobnig, GARI, (AT)
- David Banes, Access and Inclusion Services (UK)
- Fiachra O’Brolcháin, Dublin City University (IRL)
Information: sts04 at aaate2023 dot eu