Workshop Themes

We take the approach that next generation of HCI technologies will have a significant role in learning for people with visual impairments (VI) if the technology is designed and applied in a pedagogically appropriate way and rigorously developed and evaluated in the field. The workshop will be an opportunity for HCI researchers and practitioners in the areas of education and accessibility to share insights of methods and tools by discussing questions of interest from a variety of perspectives.

Novel Interaction Techniques

How do we use novel interaction techniques to maximise educational benefits for people with visual impairments? Researchers are developing increasingly novel interaction techniques that have the potential to support more engaging interactions and off-the-shelf technologies offer more advanced multisensory input and output capabilities. But little attention is given to how these existing techniques work for children with VI.

Individual Cognition and Perception

How do we leverage cognition and perception research to maximise educational benefits for people with visual impairments? Sensory substitution and cross-modal studies contribute to our understanding of how the visual parts of the brain process other information in the absence of visual input,  digital interactive tools that introduce novelty and stimulate activity can play a powerful role in creating new neural pathways to support learning processes, and usability studies of cross-modal tools inform us about how to combine multisensory output to improve user experiences.

Collaborative Learning and Inclusion

Learners with VI have been entering mainstream education in growing numbers, but the dearth of education research does not attend to their increasing presence. Likewise, accessibility research still tends to focus on individuals. How should technology-enhanced learning tools and environments be designed in such contexts to address the challenges they face in such settings? How do we design, develop and evaluate collaborative educational tools for learners with mixed abilities? How can we go beyond assistive technology that only focuses on mitigating a functional limitation in the context of collaborative learning?

Design Education and Training

Involving populations with special education needs in design is more complex due to the range of additional support they may have during the design process. At the same time, as with any form of participation in decision-making in society, people with visual impairments have had limited opportunities to influence technology design in the educational context. How can we create more inclusive methods and co-design tools that help facilitate important dialogue both with learners with visual impairments, and relevant stakeholder groups? How can we provide specialised teachers with tools that are easy to adapt to the topic and audience?

Evaluation

Schools, classrooms and learning environments can be challenging contexts for evaluating technology, especially at scale. Thus, new ways need to be explored to assess the value of novel HCI techniques in educational contexts. How can we develop appropriate methods to help evaluate impact on teaching and learning practices? How can we negotiate between different evaluation criteria and perspectives on desired outcomes of multiple stakeholders?

One of the main goals of this workshop is to bridge cross-disciplinary relationships between researchers and practitioners interested in interaction techniques, accessibility, education, collaborative UIs, and design. The aim is to build synergies for further development and advances at the intersection of technologies for visual impairments and education. Participants will thus benefit from networking, exchanging ideas, potential collaborations and discussions with researchers and practitioners doing related research in separate areas.