Aging by Design Conference Oct 17-18, 2005

At Bentley College, again this week I've enjoyed this opportunity
to share my experiences and learn from the fifty-some attendees
at this conference. It was chaired again by Bill Gribbons.

As I didn't see any other WAI-EO folks there, I hereafter by share some
of the insights I gained.

Monday morning October 17

There were five speakers and 56 attendees .

Monday afternoon there were five more speakers and 45 attendees.

Tuesday morning there were three speakers and 49 attendees.

After lunch there were two "Town Hall" meetings:
     1) on education
     2) Internet -- where I was one of about 30 participants.

An idea I contributed was "role reversal" where kids can teach their elders
about the internet, and what and how the elders can learn there.


About 45 stuck it out to the end at 5:15 pm.


One distressing handout, published by the National Institute on Aging
and the National Library of Medicine,  was the glossy
     "Making Your Web Site Senior Friendly"
A checklist, Rev September 2002. It ignores any WAI work.

Mentioned by IBM:  The aDesigner is a disability simulator that helps 
Web designers ensure that their pages are accessible and usable by 
the visually impaired.

Voice browsers and screen readers read aloud the text on Web pages 
and are used by visually impaired people. However, these devices are 
less effective with certain kinds of content, such as highly 
graphical material. Web developers can use aDesigner to test the 
accessibility and usability of Web pages for low-vision and blind people.

IBM has contributed their open source code to Mozilla Firefox, to 
make it more accessible.

One encouragement for me from Dr. Sara Czaja, U of Miami:
There is little evidence that overall productivity declines with age.

Another attractive concept: The quiet computer:

The MIT Age Lab: Brian Reimer, Ph.D.

Mentioned two ISO specs:
     Usability: ISO 9241-11
     Human Centered Design  ISO 13407

Concern for how older drivers function:
"If you can't get there, you can't do it.

Cars are designed for the 30-year-old adult.
Elders tend to self-regulate their driving.
     search on "accessibility"

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is most interested
in us elders:   provides a variety of resources

Amy Lee, and Janice Redish,
did evaluations of 50 pertinent websites.

They have developed eight personnas designed to represent their members.

They demonstrated this technique  by having each of us role-play by
identifying with one of the two personnas; and then responding
to sample web experiences.

These have been useful to help bring designers back to earth.

I have requested a pointer to their report(s).

Summary: Two enriching days; which I hope I've shared my enthusiasm above.

Best Regards/Harvey Bingham

Received on Thursday, 20 October 2005 06:06:50 UTC