Accessibility for Meeting Rooms for Visually Impaired People
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Today?s work, educational and social life is characterized by intense collaboration in teams, who commonly try to work on and solve given tasks. To support such teamwork, meeting rooms are equipped with analog whiteboards, flipcharts, sketching tables, etc. to support, structure and document lively discussions. Within such discussions, information is made explicit using these tools, while other information remains implicit such as body language, position of artifacts in the meeting room, etc. Consequently, such meetings cause accessibility problems for blind users. Using ICT for such meetings already eases access to the explicit information of artifacts e.g. via digital whiteboards or interactive tables. Moreover, digitisation technologies (e.g. OCR, also for hand-written documents) and tools like Anoto support accessing the explicit information layer. What remains to be addressed as basic research questions are
? the nonverbal communication layer and
? information which is inherent to the spatial distribution (e.g. grouping, hierarchies, relations) of information in a meeting room, both of which are important for problem solving.