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Demands on User Interfaces for People with Intellectual Disabilities, Their Requirements, and Adjustments

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Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare (PH 2022)


Information and communication technologies are ubiquitous in today’s society. They have the potential to enhance the life of its users in various areas, especially the life of people with intellectual disabilities (ID). Unfortunately, natural user interfaces are often too complicated to use and not adapted to the varying needs of every user group. A possible improvement can be achieved by adapting the respective user interface to the abilities and skills of the respective user(s). Therefore, this study evaluates currently available interface types and their adaptation possibilities and requirements for people with ID. 116 individual solutions and prototypes were tested with 41 participants. We found that interfaces with pointing gestures are currently the preferred interface type for most people with ID, as this input type is used in most technologies today and provides the most accessibility features and possible adaptations. Other input types, such as voice or object interaction, offer great potential for people with disabilities and ID, but are currently more difficult to adapt to the individual needs of users with ID.

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This study is part of a project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in Germany within the framework of the program “FH Sozial 2017”. We would also like to thank the participating institutions for people with disabilities.

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Correspondence to Melinda C. Braun .

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© 2023 ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering

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Braun, M.C., Wölfel, M. (2023). Demands on User Interfaces for People with Intellectual Disabilities, Their Requirements, and Adjustments. In: Tsanas, A., Triantafyllidis, A. (eds) Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare. PH 2022. Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, vol 488. Springer, Cham.

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