ICCHP 2014

14th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs

July 09-11, 2014; Pre-Conference July 07-08, 2014

Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis; 2, Rue de la Liberté, 93200 Saint-Denis; France


Keynotes at ICCHP: "Brainfood for eInclusion"

ICCHP invites outstanding contributions with the potential for a "breakthrough" in R&D and practice or the potential to open new perspectives for researchers and practitioners in AT and eInclusion. The keynote speeches should make the field of eInclusion reflect and rethink its own practice. 2010, ICCHP includes three keynote sessions with outstanding talks and panel discussions.
ICCHP proudly presents:

Wednesday, July 14, 9 - 10.30am (Chairs: Klaus Miesenberger, Wolfgang Zagler)

  1. Opening 
    • Sabine Seidler, Vize Rector, Vienna University of Technology
    • Willi Kremser, Member of Board Austrian Computer Society
    • Sonja Wehsely, Executive City Councillor for Public Health and Social Affairs, City of Vienna
    • Federal Minister Rudolf Hundstorfer, Federal Ministry for Labour, Social Affaires and Consumer Protection
  2. Welcome Notes
  3. Opening Keynotes

Wednesday, July 14, 14.30 - 15.00pm

Thursday, July 15, 11am - 12.30pm

Friday, July 16, 2 - 4 pm


Portrait of Ms. Irmgarda Kasinskaite-Buddeberg
Welcome Note by Irmgarda Kasinskaite-Buddeberg, Programme Specialist for eInclusion Issues in the Communication and Information Sector of the Information Society Division of UNESCO: Exploring ICTs Potential to Access Information and Knowledge for Persons with Disabilities

Irmgarda Kasinskaite-Buddeberg

Irmgarda Kasinskaite-Buddeberg is a programme specialist working at UNESCO’s Communication and Information Sector on issues related to the Communication and Information Technologies (ICTs) and Persons with Disabilities, multilingualism in cyberspace and information literacy. Since 2002, she contributed to UNESCO’s efforts preparing the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), research activities related to communication and information issues, including ICTs and persons with disabilities and implemented projects linked to HIV and AIDS prevention.
She studied Humanitarian Sciences, Communication and Information and received her doctoral degree from Vilnius University in 2006. Before joining UNESCO, she worked as Senior Programme Specialist at the Ministry of Public Administration Reforms and Local Authorities, Lithuania.

back to top


Portrait of Rob Steel
Welcome Note by Rob Steele: International Standards Addressing Accessibility and Related Global Challenges

Rob Steele

Rob Steele took up the post of ISO Secretary-General on 1 January 2009. He was the Chief Executive Officer of Standards New Zealand (SNZ) until 2007. He is a Chartered Accountant, a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors, and a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management. Rob was also Secretary of the Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC) from 2002 to April 2007. Prior to joining SNZ Rob was Chief Executive of an electricity distribution company in New Zealand for eight years; and worked in New Zealand and Canada in financial audit and advisory services for an international accounting firm for 18 years.

back to top

Keynote Speaker Paul Timmers: New Perspectives for Assistive Technologies and eAccessibility

Paul Timmers

Paul Timmers is Head of Unit of ICT for Inclusion in the European Commission, Directorate-General Information Society & Media. Previously he headed the eGovernment unit (EU policy, research and promotion). He has been a member of the Cabinet of European Commissioner for Enterprise and Information Society Erkki Liikanen, responsible for the information society and telecommunications policy portfolios.  Other activities in the European Commission included electronic commerce policy and programme development. Recently he was awarded an EU Research Fellowship at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, USA.
Paul Timmers has been a manager in product marketing and head of software development in a large IT company and has co-founded a software start-up.  He holds a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands and an MBA from Warwick Business School, UK. He has widely published in the field of technology and policy, including a book on electronic commerce strategies and business models, and has been a visiting professor and lecturer at several universities and business schools across the world.

back to top

Keynote Speaker Gerhard Weber: Maintaining an Overview Through Your Fingers


Braille displays face a new competitor: Planar or 2 D Braille displays open up new opportunities for access to graphical information. The Hyperbraille project developed such a large planar tactile display with multitouch input and designs new tangible systems around it. Tactile interaction has been used for a long time with assistive technologies but is now more and more independent from Braille concerning pure transcription purposes. Multitouch planar tactile displays may help to gain access to tactile graphics or graphical notations through fingers, palms and hands. Drag&Drop, pointing with fingers while reading, gesturing or writing graphically are new for non-visual user interfaces and parallel the well-known paradigm “What You See is What You Get” with the concept “What You Feel is What You Get”. 2D tactile displays may also be the key for better multimodal support for many users, including blind people, when collaborating with others as haptics may be superior to other senses in specific situations and particular context. This keynote is closely related to the Special Thematic Session on Designing Haptic Interaction for a Collaborative World and points out some perspectives when rethinking well-known concepts.

Gerhard Weber

Gerhard Weber studied Computer Science and received his doctoral degree from University of Stuttgart for his work on gestures for a pin-matrix display in 1989. Since then, as a researcher, he has developed and contributed to several systems within EU projects, including:

  • GUIB screen reader for access to MS Windows and X Windows,
  • MATHS workstation using Braille and spoken maths,
  • MultiReader  for personalizing multimedia contents to readers who are blind, have low vision, are deaf or dyslexic, and
  • Test suites for evaluating Web accessibility within BenToWeb

In the moment, he is Professor for Human-Computer Interaction at TU Dresden where he teaches on HCI, multimodal user interfaces as well as Accessibility. He and his group are members of the Hyperbraille consortium and design non-visual editing techniques for example for graphical notations or presentation slides. He is Chair of WG 13.3 “HCI and Disabilities” within IFIP TC 13 Human Computer Interaction. He also contributes to the development of new ISO 9241-9xx standards on the usability of haptic interaction.

back to top

Portrait of Reinhard Weissinger
Keynote Speaker Reinhard Weissinger: ISO Work in the Field of eAccessibility - An Overview"


Mr. Weissinger will report on "ISO work in the field of eAccessibility - An overview". This keynote is part of a workshop on "Standards: Indispensible and Strategic for Accessibility" that follows the Special Thematic Session on "Standards: A Driver for Accessibility". This comprehensive presentation and discussion underlines the importance of standards and work on standardization for eAccessibility.

Reinhard Weissinger

Reinhard Weissinger is the Manager, Research, education and strategy in the ISO Central Secretariat. He holds a Masters in Chinese Studies and Linguistics of the University of Tübingen (Germany) and a Master of Business Administration of the European University, Geneva. He worked for the German Association for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) in a bilateral German-Chinese project in Beijing and joined ISO in 1994, working for ISO's main technical policy body, the Technical Management Board, as well as in various projects related to supporting ISO's electronic working processes. On behalf of ISO, he is responsible to coordinate a workshop on accessibility ISO will organize in Geneva in November 2010 jointly with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

back to top


Keynote Speaker Tanja Schultz: "Weak and Silent Speech: Technologies to Support People with Speech Impairment"


"Weak and Silent Speech" is a new and emerging field showing potential for the field of AAL. Processing of electromyography (EMG)-based bio-signals of the physical activities of a speaking individual allows the recognition of the intended spoken words. This new approach intends the recognition of speech of speakers who are speaking in a silent manner (e.g. when speaking aloud would be disturbing or inappropriate). This approach shows potential to be adapted to people with disabilities speaking in a weak or silent manner due to physical, sensory or any other problem. In particular for those having the basic muscular speaking capabilities, e.g. for people who have lost speaking capabilities due to laryngo-pharyngeal problems, bio-signal based speech recognition and according presentation of the recognition results by text display or synthetic speech shows potential for new ways of support.

Presentation Videos on "Silent Speech"

Tanja Schultz

Tanja Schultz received her Ph.D. and Masters in Computer Science from Karlsruhe University Karlsruhe, Germany in 2000 and 1995 respectively and got a German Masters in Mathematics, Sports, and Educational Science from University of Heidelberg, Germany in 1990. She joined Carnegie Mellon University in 2000, is a Research Assistant Professor at the Language Technologies Institute and since 2007 is a Full Professor at the Computer Science Department of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany. She is the director of the Cognitive Systems Lab, where her research activities focus on human-human communication and human-machine interfaces with a particular area of expertise in rapid adaptation of speech processing systems to new domains and languages. She co-edited a book on this subject and received several awards for this work. In 2001 she received the FZI price for her outstanding Ph.D. thesis on language independent and language adaptive speech recognition. In 2002 she received the Allen Newell Medal for Research Excellence from Carnegie Mellon for her contribution to Speech-to-Speech Translation and the ISCA best paper award for her publication on language independent acoustic modeling. In 2005 she was awarded the Carnegie Mellon Language Technologies Institute Junior Faculty Chair.
Her recent research focuses on the development of human-centered technologies and intuitive human-machine interfaces based on biosignals, by capturing, processing, and interpreting signals such as muscle and brain activities. Her development of a silent speech interface based on myoelectric signals received the Interspeech 2006 Demo award and was selected into the top-ten list of most important attractions at CeBIT 2010. Tanja Schultz is a guest editor of the Speech Communication Special Issue on Silent Speech Interfaces published in April 2010. She is the author of more than 190 articles published in books, journals, and proceedings. Currently, she is a member of the IEEE Computer Society, the International Speech Communication Association ISCA, the European Language Resource Association, the Society of Computer Science (GI) in Germany, and serves as elected ISCA Board member, on several program committees, and review panels.

back to top

Portrait of Jaqueline Stark Portrait of Jeremy Bradly
Keynote Speakers Jacqueline Stark and Jeremy Bradley: "Electronic Simplification of German Newspaper Texts"


The ability to read – words, sentences, texts, newspapers and books – is essential not only from a professional perspective, but also from the point of view of leisure time. It allows people to maintain or enhance their quality of life. Moreover, the Internet has not diminished the importance of reading; it has simply changed the availability and range of materials to which readers have access. Being able to read a daily newspaper constitutes an important daily routine for many people. This activity can be compromised from one minute to the next by brain damage, i.e. aphasia, alexia or agraphia. To a greater or lesser extent, this brain damage can affect a person’s ability to speak, read, write and/or understand spoken or written language. 
In the case of a reading impairment, assistive technology and software programs are crucial means of alleviating the deficit. With regard to newspaper articles, a basic problem is the complexity of materials. Headlines are presented in a telegraphic or simple syntax, but articles on various topics are often composed using more complex sentence structure, e.g. embedded sentences, relative clauses, use of less frequent subordinate and coordinate conjunctions, adverbs, etc. A program that transforms complex written materials into simpler structures or breaks down embedded sentences into two or more less complex ones is one way of minimizing possible difficulties and giving people with brain damage the opportunity to read texts in which they are interested.
This presentation will describe initial attempts to create such software for the German language, operating primarily on a syntactic level. By means of a number of specific programmed procedures, this software rebuilds long and complex German sentences into short, grammatically simple ones. Subordinate clauses – which are very common in German and are characterized by complicated word order – are extracted from compound sentences and are simplified. Information contained in prepositional and postpositional phrases is extracted as well and is presented in a less complicated manner. Sentences in the passive voice are converted to the active voice, ensuring that the grammatical subject is equal to the agent of action. Grammatical tenses and moods are simplified to the greatest degree possible. The software will always produce subject-verb-object (SVO) word order. This word order is characteristic of the simplest active declarative German sentences, but is by no means universal, as it is in English.
The implications of software of this type go beyond the field of aphasiology: Text simplification is relevant to translation software as well, and could also be an aide for people with limited competence in a language for other reasons. The possible inclusion of this software in the upcoming project at the Vienna University of Technology aimed at making its curricula accessible to people with hearing impairments will also be discussed. This target group encompasses persons who are native speakers of sign language and for whom German is an acquired second language, even if they were born and raised in a German-speaking country.

Jacqueline Stark

Jacqueline Stark, Ph.D. is senior researcher for the Department of Linguistics and Communication Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Head of research for the projects in the area of neurolinguistics and aphasia since 1974. She is President of the Association Internationale Aphasie (AIA) and founder and head of the self help group ‘Aphasia-Club’ in Vienna. She is the developer and producer of the ELA Photo Series and accompanying products.

Jeremy Bradley

Jeremy Bradley is a doctoral candidate at Vienna University of Technology, specializing in the field of computer linguistics. He holds master's degrees in both computer science and linguistics and is currently employed as a researcher at the Institute for European and Comparative Linguistics and Literature at the University of Vienna. His main endeavours currently are the creation of text simplification software for patients of aphasia and software aiding the revitalization and preservation of endangered languages.

back to top

Keynote Speaker Shawn Lawton Henry: "Usable Web Accessibility"


This keynote is closely related to the keynote panel discussion and the Special Thematic Session on Usable Web Accessibility.

Accessibility is about designing the web so that more people can use it effectively in more situations, specifically people with disabilities. Accessibility is not about passing a checklist. Met accessibility standards are just one way to help ensure that the web is accessible to people; it is not the end goal in and of itself. Accessibility is about people using the web.

In this keynote, Shawn will challenge the way many people think about web accessibility. She'll touch on the technical aspects versus the human aspects of web accessibility, and how changing the approach towards accessibility can make a vast difference all around – from the day-to-day research and development work, to the end result.

With engaging stories and illustrations, Shawn will show how accessibility practitioners can use methodologies and techniques from the human-centered design (or UCD) / user experience field to complement accessibility standards. You’ll get specific guidance on using new resources to improve the accessibility approach and outlook in your organization, starting now.

Shawn Lawton Henry

Shawn Henry leads worldwide education and outreach activities promoting Web accessibility for people with disabilities at the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). Shawn is WAI Outreach Coordinator, and Chair of the WAI Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG). She holds a research <!--scientist-->appointment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).
In these roles, Shawn:

  • promotes awareness of Web accessibility issues;
  • develops online materials to support understanding and implementing Web accessibility guidelines;
  • provides presentations and training on accessible Web design and development;
  • encourages cooperation among industry, researchers, educators, government, and people with disabilities to develop and implement consensus-based accessibility solutions.

Shawn also helps coordinate the WAI Interest Group (WAI IG) and works with the WAI Steering Council. Her primary focus is coordinating W3C outreach efforts in Web accessibility with the WAI Working Groups. She also coordinates with the W3C Communications Team and other W3C Working Groups on W3C-wide outreach.

Shawn focuses her personal passion for accessibility on bringing together the needs of individuals and the goals of organizations in designing human-computer interfaces. She developed uiAccess.com to share information on universal user interface design and "usable accessibility", and particularly enjoys introducing and encouraging accessible user experience, that is, how people with disabilities interact with technology.

Prior to joining W3C in February, 2003, Shawn worked as a consultant with international standards bodies, research centers, government agencies, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and Fortune 500 companies to develop and implement strategies to optimize design for usability and accessibility. In addition to volunteering as an invited expert in the WAI Education and Outreach Working Group, she served as Advisory Committee member for the Trace Research and Development Center, the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Access to Information Technology funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research; member of HFES/HCI 200, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Technical Standards Committee developing software interface standards for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI); and contributor to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) work on accessibility standards.

ATTENTION: "web accessibility get‑together" - an informal meeting with international guests:
Time: Wednesday, July 14, 20.00
Location: Strandbar Hermann

back to top

Portrait of Shadi Abou-Zahra

Keynote Panel Chair Shadi Abou-Zahra: "Usable Web Accessibility ‑ Working Together to Avoid the Silo"


People with disabilities, including older people with accessibility needs, are said to be the most diverse users. Besides a broad range of functional abilities, there are many other aspects such as technical, financial, and educational capabilities that affect the use of the Web by people with accessibility needs.

It is essential to consider this broad diversity while developing web accessibility solutions. It is also essential to work with users to develop accessibility solutions that are usable for everyone.

However, how can we best build on previous work with users and how can we avoid re‑inventing the wheel each time we develop accessibility solutions? Also, how can we best ensure that accessibility solutions meet the needs of the broad diversity of users, that they are technically sound, and that they can be realistically deployed?

This panel of experts discusses these and other questions about working together to avoid researching in silos and about contributing effectively towards usable web accessibility for all.


  • Shawn Henry, W3C/WAI
  • Suzette Keith, Middlesex University, UK
  • Michael Stenitzer, Wienfluss, AT
  • Klaus Miesenberger, JKU, AT

Shadi Abou‑Zahra, W3C/WAI

Shadi Abou-Zahra

Shadi Abou-Zahra coordinates WAI outreach in Europe, and accessibility evaluation techniques. He is the Activity Lead of the WAI International Program Office, which includes groups that are responsible for education and outreach, coordination with research, general discussion on Web accessibility, coordination with the WAI Technical Activity, and WAI liaisons with other organizations including standards organizations and disability groups. Shadi chairs the W3C Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group (ERT WG), is a staff person of the WAI Ageing Education and Harmonisation (WAI-AGE) project, and participates in the W3C Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG).

Prior to joining W3C in 2003, Shadi was a lead Web developer and managed the design and implementation of Web productions, online community platforms, and online games. Shadi also worked as a Web Consultant for the International Data Centre (IDC) of the United Nations Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), as well as for other international organizations. During his computer science studies, Shadi actively participated in the Austrian national student council at the Technical University of Vienna as a representative for students with disabilities, where he advocated for equal opportunities in education and employment.

ATTENTION: "web accessibility get‑together" - an informal meeting with international guests:
Time: Wednesday, July 14, 20.00
Location: Strandbar Hermann

back to top

ICCHP is a series of biannual scientific conferences in the field of ICT/AT for people with disabilities run in co-operation with the Johannes Kepler University, Linz and the Austrian Computer Society

© 2007 - 2013 Institut Integriert Studieren, Johannes Kepler Universität, Linz