We are happy to share that the Affective & Cognitive Institute had a work-in-progress paper accepted into the prestigious ACM Designing Interactive Systems (DIS 2020, July 6-20) conference proceedings. Our paper titled “Co-Designing Assistive Tools to Support Social Interactions by Individuals with Deafblindness” describes the opportunities and challenges of including individuals with deafblindness in design sessions for creating better assistive tools for people living with combined visual and hearing impairments.

An image of the setup of our participatory design session
Participatory Design Session in the 4th SUITCEYES Project meeting with a blind user

During our co-design workshop, participants shared many issues they often face when trying to engage in social interactions. One of their main issues is regarding personal safety when it comes to interacting in a new environment. Another point raised during our research is that individuals with deafblindness often find it difficult to join group interactions and find the idea of having using assistive tools to support their inclusion in group conversations very attractive.

The research is part of the SUITCEYES project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme (https://suitceyes.eu/). The project focuses on developing assistive technology for supporting individuals with deafblindness in different daily tasks such as navigation, communication and leisure activities.

If you want to know more, please find the paper available at the ACM Digital Library: https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3393914.3395869

Arthur Theil, Lea Buchweitz, Mauricio Fuentes, and Oliver Korn. 2020. Co-Designing Assistive Tools to Support Social Interactions by Individuals Living with Deafblindness. In Companion Publication of the 2020 ACM on Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS’ 20 Companion). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 79–83. https://doi.org/10.1145/3393914.3395869