Developing Accessibility Design Guidelines for Wearables: Accessibility Standards for Multimodal Wearable Devices

  • Jobke WentzelEmail author
  • Eric Velleman
  • Thea van der Geest
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9737)


Smart wearable devices are integrated our everyday lives. Such wearable technology is worn on or near the body, while leaving both hands free. This enables users to receive and send information in a non-obtrusive way. Because of the ability to continuously assist and support activities, wearables could be of great value to persons with a disability. Persons with a disability can only benefit from the potential of wearables if they are accessible. Like other devices, platforms, and applications, developers of wearables need to take accessibility into account during early development, for example by including multimodal interfaces in the design. Even though some accessibility guidelines and standards exist for websites and mobile phones, more support for the development of accessible wearables is needed. The aim of our project is to develop a set of guidelines for accessible wearables. Three approaches are combined to develop the guidelines. A scan of the literature was done to identify publications addressing the accessibility of wearables and/or development guidelines. Semi-structured interviews were held with developers of accessible wearable technology. Based on these first activities, a draft set of guidelines is created. This draft is evaluated with developers and researchers in the field of universal design, accessibility, and wearables. Further, the draft is evaluated with visually impaired people (VIP) in interviews. Based on these results, a final set of guidelines will be created. This set is evaluated against an actual project in which apps are developed for VIP. This study is in progress; first results are presented (literature study, semi-structured interviews, first draft of guidelines) and a call for participation in the Delphi study is issued.


Accessibility Wearables Guidelines Universal design Multimodal interfaces Visually impaired people 



We thank the researchers and developers who were interviewed thus far for participating in this study. This study is executed within a project (Google Glass For VIP), funded as a Tech4People 2015 grant by the faculty BMS of the University of Twente.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jobke Wentzel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eric Velleman
    • 2
  • Thea van der Geest
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Media, Communication and OrganisationUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands
  2. 2.The Accessibility FoundationUtrechtThe Netherlands

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