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Generic platform for registration and online offering of assistance-on-demand (AoD) services in an inclusive infrastructure

  • Helen C. Leligou
  • Athanasoulis Panagiotis
  • Gianna Tsakou
  • Gregg Vanderheiden
  • Katerina Touliou
  • Otilia KocsisEmail author
  • Nikos Katevas
Long Paper
  • 249 Downloads

Abstract

An increasing percentage of the population needs assistance services for a wide range of activities related to their independent living, which can be delivered either by humans or by machines. While cloud computing and emerging ICT solutions have introduced new types of services and service delivery paradigms, it remains costly and difficult to set up and market assistance services addressing the needs of very narrow end-user groups. The current work presents the design of a novel open-source infrastructure (web-based platform) which enables diverse stakeholders to easily set up web-based assistance-on-demand platform instances. Each of these AoD instances can be used by service providers to register and offer assistance-on-demand (AoD) services for catering individual needs of persons with disabilities. In this way, narrow end-user groups can be reached and enjoy a gamut of assistance services. The AoD platform is implemented in the context of a larger Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII), which is being developed in the context of the Prosperity4All project. The functional requirements for the design of the AoD infrastructure were iteratively fine-tuned through the definition and analysis of representative use models (sets of personas and use cases). The AoD platform architecture consists of two major components: front-end (GUI) and back-end (service infrastructure). Their implementation is mainly based on the Django framework which enables a Model–Template–View (MTV) software architectural pattern with highly configurable and flexible components. The evaluation of a demonstration instance of the AoD platform with end-users identified its advantages and pointed out additional functionality needed: multi-language, multi-modality, embedded social media feeding, dedicated menu for highly flexible service, etc. The overall perceived usefulness of the specific demonstration AoD platform instance that underwent evaluation was higher than 80%. The proposed AoD platform provides a flexible and sufficiently generic web-based infrastructure for the cost-effective setup, registration and web publication of services that can accommodate a highly diverse range of assistance needs. Furthermore, it is suitable for use by a wide range of different stakeholder/user groups interested in addressing the needs of persons with disabilities or otherwise at risk of exclusion.

Keywords

Assistance-on-demand platform Service delivery infrastructure Accessibility Inclusive design Assistance service 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Prosperity4All is funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) grant agreement 610510, the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the Consumer Electronics Association Foundation. Work leading up to Prosperity4All was funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) grant agreement 289016 (Cloud4All), by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, US Dept. of Education under Grants H133E080022 (RERC-IT) by the Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Adobe Foundation, the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. The opinions and results herein are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the funding agencies.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Sterea ElladaPsahna EviasGreece
  2. 2.SingularLogic S.A.AtticaGreece
  3. 3.Raising the Floor International (RtF-I)GenevaSwitzerland
  4. 4.Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH)ThessalonikiGreece

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