Two papers have been accepted at CHI2018; 1) on on informing design of technology to improve inclusion of children with visual impairment in mainstream education; and 2) on awareness in audio-only collaboration.
Paper 1: “Bursting the Assistance Bubble”: Designing Inclusive Technology with Children with Mixed Visual Abilities. With Clare Cullen
Abstract: Children living with visual impairments (VIs) are increasingly educated in mainstream rather than special schools. But knowledge about the challenges they face in inclusive schooling environments and how to design technology to overcome them remains scarce. We report findings from a field study involving interviews and observations of educators and children with/without VIs in mainstream schools, in which we identified the “teaching assistant bubble” as a potential barrier to group learning, social play and independent mobility. We present co-design activities blending elements of future workshops, multisensory crafting, fictional inquiry and bodystorming, demonstrating that children with and without VIs can jointly lead design processes and explore design spaces reflective of mixed visual abilities and shared experiences. We extend previous research by characterising challenges and opportunities for improving inclusive education of children with VIs in mainstream schools in terms of balancing assistance and independence, and reflect on the process and outcomes of co-designing with mixed-ability groups in this context.
Paper 2: “I Hear You”: Understanding Awareness Information Exchange in an Audio-only Workspace. With Nick Bryan-Kinns and Tony Stockman
Abstract: Graphical displays are a typical means for conveying awareness information in groupware systems to help users track joint activities, but are not ideal when vision is constrained. Understanding how people maintain awareness through non-visual means is crucial for designing effective alternatives for supporting awareness in such situations. We present a lab study simulating an extreme scenario where 32 pairs of participants use an audio-only tool to edit shared audio menus. Our aim is to characterise collaboration in this audio-only space in order to identify how, by itself, audio can mediate collaboration. Our findings show that the means for audio delivery and choice of collaborative working styles in this space influence types and patterns of awareness information exchange. We thus highlight the need to accommodate different working styles when designing audio support for awareness, and extend previous research by identifying types of awareness information to convey in response to group work dynamics.