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Accessibility engineering - Simulation and user experience tools for designing products for all

: Dangelmaier, Manfred; Tzovaras, Dimitrios; Blach, Roland; Tsakiris, T.

Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation -IAO-, Stuttgart; Univ. Stuttgart:
The R and D Management Conference 2014 : Management of Applied R and D: Connecting high value solutions with future markets; Stuttgart, Germany; June 3 to 6, 2014
Stuttgart: Fraunhofer Verlag, 2014
ISBN: 3-8396-0746-9
ISBN: 978-3-8396-0746-6
R&D Management Conference <2014, Stuttgart>
European Commission EC
FP7-ICT; 247765; VERITAS
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IAO ()

Inclusive design is a declared political intention in Europe. Enterprises are expected to take their social responsibility by providing accessible products. But designing products for all also means economic opportunities by improving usability and user experience of the product and by enlarging the target market. To design inclusive products a new type of engineering competence and functionis needed: accessibility engineering. VERITAS, an Integrated Project in the European 7th Framework Programme with 32 partners from industry, research and user organisations developed an open simulation platform and an immersive (Virtual Reality) platform for such purpose and proved their usefulness for various products and disabilities. VERITAS user models allow for simulation of motor, visio n, speech, hearing, and various cognitive impairments.Both model-based simulation and first person impairment experience tools were used to redesign products from the areas automotive, construction, domotics, workplaces, personal healthcare, and infotainment. The results of these redesign processes were verified in usability tests with disabled users and compared to the baseline state. The tools were also tested in pilot studies with designers. It was shown that the application of VERITAS tools is well accepted by designers and is effective inimproving accessibility of products in the considered application domains. A test in a productive real-life setting in the construction domain revealed high sensitivity among private house builders and construction professionals for acce ssibility issues and perceived benefits and ease of use for visual impairment simulation in decision making. It is furthermore concluded that an inclusion strategy and thorough accessibility engineering planning processes in manufacturing enterprises are needed.