Accessible User Interface Concept for Business Meeting Tool Support including Spatial and Non-Verbal Information for Blind and Visually Impaired People
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Business meetings play an essential role in many people?s work life. Although, business meetings have changed over time, especially tools, which are used to support the process, slowly moving from traditional means like flipcharts to more modern, digital alternatives, some aspects stayed the same: Visual information is used to gather thoughts, support arguments and lead the discussion. These kinds of information used to be completely inaccessible to blind and visually impaired people (BVIP) and still are, for the most part. Even though, the movement towards digitalization facilitates accessibility, no fully accessible tool support for business meetings is available. Additionally, non-verbal communication and spatial information is heavily used as well. People use mimic and gestures, and they refer to objects or other people by pointing at them. BVIP miss out on this type of information as well. Ultimately, BVIP have a significant disadvantage during business meetings and very often during their entire professional life. Research efforts have tried to mitigate single aspects of this situation, but no comprehensive user interface approach has be developed. This paper presents a user interface approach, as part of the MAPVI project, that allows BVIP access visual, non-verbal and spatial information of business meetings in a user-friendly manner, using only off-the-shelf hardware. Additionally, it presents results of user tests of this novel user interface.