Universal Access in the Information Society

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 49–62

An integrated semantic framework supporting universal accessibility to ICT

  • Vassilis Koutkias
  • Nick Kaklanis
  • Konstantinos Votis
  • Dimitrios Tzovaras
  • Nicos Maglaveras
Long paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10209-014-0372-1

Cite this article as:
Koutkias, V., Kaklanis, N., Votis, K. et al. Univ Access Inf Soc (2016) 15: 49. doi:10.1007/s10209-014-0372-1
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Abstract

As we are moving rapidly to a digital economy, accessing and effectively using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in everyday life is widely recognized as an important requirement. However, the accessibility technologies that we have up to date are meeting the needs of only some, at a very high cost and, as a consequence, accessible ICT for all people still remains a major research and development goal. This work presents an integrated ontological framework for the semantic representation of terms and concepts (i.e., related to user needs and preferences (N&P) with respect to ICT use, as well as solutions, platforms and devices) that are required for addressing the universal accessibility in the scope of the Cloud4all project and the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII). Cloud4all aims at advancing and building upon the concept of GPII through the development of the necessary tools and models for making ICT accessible for all by exploiting the cloud computing paradigm. The main goal of the proposed framework lays in the separation between generalized accessibility concepts, user interaction mechanisms and N&P with the particular details of different ICT artifacts. Thus, the framework aims at integrating concepts related with user N&P, as well as ICT solutions, platforms, devices and their customizable settings along with information concerning their vendors or implementers, in order to (a) offer the necessary expressiveness for defining/representing personal N&P across applications, platforms and devices, (b) link N&P with the conditions/context according to which these shall be applicable for (e.g., considering the user activity and the physical environment), (c) link interaction requirements (originated from user characteristics) with N&P and (d) support the Cloud4all matchmaking process through the mapping between N&P and application-specific settings based on semantic rules and automatic reasoning techniques.

Keywords

Universal accessibilityUser needs and preferencesAccessible ICTOntologiesSemantic modelingCloud computing

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vassilis Koutkias
    • 1
  • Nick Kaklanis
    • 2
  • Konstantinos Votis
    • 2
  • Dimitrios Tzovaras
    • 2
  • Nicos Maglaveras
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Applied BiosciencesCenter for Research and Technology HellasThermi, ThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Information Technologies InstituteCenter for Research and Technology HellasThermi, ThessalonikiGreece