Design for All and the Capabilities of Users Some users have certain disabilities that make their requirements obvious: Blind users Deaf users Users with motor impairments (e.g. due to Parkinson” disease, wheelchair users) Users with cognitive impairments (e.g. dyslexia) Users with memory limitations (e.g. due to Alzheimer’s disease) Elderly users, too, can have a wide range of special requirements.
Design for All and the Capabilities of Older Users Old age is often accompanied by a combination of mild to moderate impairments including: Impaired vision: age-related short-sightedness, far-sightedness, clouding of the lens (cataract or glaucoma); Impaired hearing: age-related hearing loss, other cumulative effects of ageing on the ability to hear sounds in the higher frequency band and a greater difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments; Decreased motor skills: this effect is most noticeable in the effective use of the skeletal muscles for grasping, pressing and other fine- motor functions;
Decreased performance of the short-term memory: ability to remember new things, associated with difficulties is retrieving previously learned material; Slowed-down cognitive abilities: to need more time for the evaluation of a new situation; consequently, elderly people need more time than young people when dealing with interactive devices or services to react to a dialogue message. The demographic shift towards ageing societies raises the importance of design adapted to the needs of older users. Design for All and the Capabilities of Older Users
The percentage of users requiring and benefiting from Design for All is increasing. Demographics document a shift towards ageing societies: In a number of countries including China, Japan, and Germany the percentage of younger people is decreasing and the percentage of older people is increasing. Even traditional immigrant countries such as the United States have population age structures no longer resembling the age pyramid known from past centuries. In an ageing society, consumers are getting older, too. According to a study of CAR – the Center Automotive Research of the University of Duisburg-Essen, the average age of buyers of new cars in Germany is 52.4 years.
The Need for Design for All What is the motivation to Design for All? The business case i.e. the realisation that money can be made by addressing the whole target population Legal and regulatory requirements e.g. the German BGG (equality law for disabled people) e.g. EU mandates on public procurement Social policy e.g. most EU countries have signed up to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) Standardisation The knowledge on how to achieve Design for All
Guidance for Including Design for All in Standards In context of EU Mandate M 473, the European Commission asked European Standards Organisations (ETSI and CEN/CENELEC) to design a procedure for ensuring that Design-for-All requirements be considered when starting a new standards document. ETSI published EG 202 952 to provide writers of ETSI deliverables an easy and fast way of assessing whether there are potential Design-for-All issues related to a new or revised standard; to offer guidance on Design-for-All issues.
Guidance for Including Design for All in Standards Standards writers need to be aware that ICT that is developed following their standards may have several potential users: Direct users e.g. those who directly benefit from what the ICT allows them to do; indirect users e.g. someone who has their new laptop computer configured by an expert (who herself is a direct user); collateral users e.g. someone who is disturbed by another person accessing an information kiosk with audio output
The ETSI Design-for-All Assessment Process The assessment process as described in EG 202 952 is as follows: The potential relevance of Design for All (DfA) issues in the context of any ETSI deliverable to be developed or updated can be assessed by means of a DfA checklist. Based on the specific checklist results, a set of relevant user needs can be identified and an indication given on how these user needs may need to be addressed in the deliverable The EG gives guidance on user interaction aspects relating to specific user needs, allowing further analysis of options to address those user needs in the deliverable
The DfA Checklist The DfA checklist used in the DfA assessment deals with different options for how users may interact with ICT and services. It contains the following topics: Control of devices through a user interface Control of services Media presentation to the user Media entry by the user (media capture) Media processing including transport, coding, transposition, etc. User and device profile management and use.