This project is principally concerned with T.857 of the RACE II Workplan (services for people with special needs), which has as the main objective to increase the proportion of the population that uses the integrated service environment as emerging during RACE II, by enabling access by people with special needs (defined as people with functional limitations due to sensory/motor/speech disabilities or due to ageing and other causes).
The main objective of the research is to increase the proportion of the population that used the integrated service environment by enabling access to people with special needs (defined as people with functional limitations due to sensory motor or speech disabilities or due to ageing and other causes).
The research involves the practical testing of services and applications foreseen for integrated broadband communications (IBC) supported by appropriate analyses and the development of required tools. This involves prototype systems integrated within a multimedia environment and includes specific solutions to satisfy particular identified needs. Three levels of adaptations of the telecommunication environment are considered:
modification of services and applications (eg by the introduction of additional service components and/or centralized transactions);
the setup of new services and applications to solve remaining problems of people with special needs.
The research has achieved the following results:
the analysis of foreseen services and applications, from the point of view of people with special needs;
the analysis of the structure of multimedia information exchanged in the given services and applications;
the analysis of interaction tasks by applying currently available models for user to terminal and user to service interaction;
an investigation of the availability and use of special peripherals and special support software;
the specification of the requirements of a terminal emulator.
Building on the results of the RACE I programme (mainly of the IPSNI project), the above objective will be pursued through practical testing of services and applications foreseen for IBC, supported by appropriate analyses and the development of required tools. This will result in prototype systems, integrated within a multimedia environment, and will also include specific solutions to satisfy particular identified needs.
Three levels of adaptation of the telecommunication environment will be considered:
- modification of terminals
- modification of services and applications (e.g. by the introduction of additional service components and/or centralised transactions)
- set-up of new services and applications to solve remaining problems of people with special needs.
The activity of the project follows from the work done in RACE I (e.g. the IPSNI, APPSN and human factors projects) and will rely on corresponding common functional specifications. It will be related mainly to projects in the service engineering line, but also will seek relationships with relevant activities in other lines (e.g. advanced communication experiments). Connections are foreseen with other actions such as TIDE, AIM and COST projects and concerted actions.
- Analysis of services and applications foreseen on the B-ISDN network.
- Adaptation of services to increase their accessibility to people with special needs.
- New possibilities offered by the network in supporting special communication problems.
The main impact of this project will be to increase the range of people actively seeking to take-up usage of IBC services.
Results of the project are being reported to other research, standards and commercial organisations, both inside and outside RACE, including (within RACE) the STG and SIG forums. It is foreseen that these results will be exploited by partners in their ongoing research and development work and by service providers in their implementation activities.
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