Computer Education for All

A study toward an accessible courseware design


Project Framework

The project has been developed in the mainstream of the so-called “design for all” (“universal design”) context.
The aim of this approach is to consider, in developing a product or service, the access needs of all possible users. It considers the limitations of disabled people and elderly people and the related strategies to overcome them.
The application of such concepts yields to a more complex design phase with other inputs and constraints which should be merged to reach the objective. An awareness of the complexity of this phase is the basis of the guideline elaboration regarding themes such as: physical access to buildings, accessibility of public terminals, etc….

Access for all to information technology and to knowledge is the real challenge for the new “knowledge society” concept that IT development imposes.
All kinds of accessibility to information are involved in this process: access to educational material, to public information, to private services and to e-government applications.

Project Objectives

The project is related to courseware development. The activity relates research for a process support to the development of ODL materials, taking into account disable user needs.
The project focus is on upper limb disabilities, like: tremor (multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s), range of movement limitations, tetraplegia, hemiplegia, lack of motor-visual co-ordination…
The final aim of the project is the proposal of a guideline document to help all who are involved in courseware design to prepare an accessible presentation of their contents. At the end of the project a courseware example is developed.

Courseware Guidelines

They consist in an “open” document providing a continuous updating of listed items and recommendations as well as of exemplary techniques to accomplish the user requirement.
The guidelines refer to material presentation (and system UI) independently of the supporting platform or the workstation specification.

Courseware Example

The guidelines document is provided with a courseware example comprising a list of typical items and GUI implementations. The material has been validated in the consortium by means of “on field” application with people affected by different types of disability (with regard to upper limb movement impairments).
The evaluation phase is included in the design cycle of this prototype courseware application.

Dissemination Activities

Dissemination activities are provided for those who can benefit from the work done:

public and private bodies involved in courseware production;
teachers designing computer-based courses;
public and private organisations involved in the application of educational programmes (via ODL);
national and regional policy makers involved in defining best practice approaches to computerised educational tools.
Project Co-ordinator

TUCEP Consortium – Tiber Umbria COMETT Education Program
Piazza dell’Università 1 – I 06123 Perugia – Italy

Project Partners

Pragma Engineering S.r.l.
Perugia – Italy

FAIP – Federazione Associazioni Italiane Paraplegici
Perugia-Rome – Italy

Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Bonn – Germany

Szeged Tudomanyegyetem
Szeged Kozepfasor – Hungary

FELEM – Federación Española para la Lucha contra la Esclerosis Múltiple
Madrid – Spain