SEVEN YEARS AGO, telecommunications heavyweight Comcast recruited Tom Wlodkowski to make the company’s services more accessible to people with disabilities.
Jean Lorenceau of France’s CNRS research institute has built a prototype device that enables people to write or draw on a computer screen using only their eyes. Cameras mounted on headgear track eye movements and translate them into lines on the computer screen. Eye tracking technology has been around for awhile, but Lorenceau’s system offers more precision for writting letters since it compensates for jumpy eye movements. After four half-hour training sessions, his subjects were able to write at a rate of about 25 letters per minute.
Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.