Human-Computer Interaction: Communication, Cooperation, and Application Design

By Hans-Jörg Bullinger; Jürgen Ziegler | Go to book overview

HCI Public Service Information Systems Focused on the Needs of Disabled and Older People

Jim S Sandhu Special Needs Research Unit, University of Northumbria, Newcastle upon
Tyne, GB, Email: jim@snru-unn.demon.co.uk


1 Introduction

Transport is at the very hub of social integration, whether in the context of education, training, leisure or employment. For older and disabled people access to transport and especially public transport becomes crucial as without it they become even more isolated and socially excluded. Critical components that have a direct bearing on transport usage are the quality and method of information provision by service operators and the methods for accessing the information.


2 Demographic Issues

In the HCI context it is crucial to understand the size of the European population who have specific problems in accessing public information services. There are currently about 77 million older people and 43 million people with a disability in the European Union ( Roe, 1995). By way of comparison a Commission- funded study in 1990 came up with the following percentages and figures.


Table 1: Disabled Population of European Member States (Sandhu & Wood, 1990)
Type of Disability % of
Population
N = (106) % of Disabled
Population
Physical
• Lower limb
• Upper limb
5.8
1.9
18.7
6.1
51
17
Visual 2 6.5 17.8
Hearing 2.7 8.7 23.9
Mental 2.3 7.4 20.3
Communication 1.1 3.6 10

-927-

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