Accessibility of Co-Located Meetings

Communication among human beings in co-located meetings (face to face and online) goes beyond verbal communication by employing a large variety of supportive methods and tools, both body-own (non-verbal as e.g. pointing, gesturing, mimics) and external tools (e.g. presentation tools, drawings, objects). Such methods and tools carry a significant amount of content-related information, but is also used for coordinating discussions or expressing personal opinions. Accessibility of these most often mainly/purely visual methods and tools is of vital interest for groups as people with vision, motor or cognitive disabilities. Accessibility and AT should provide more independence, confidence and success when participating in co-located meetings. With addressing these broad aspects of co-located meetings beyond spoken and written verbal language, we can expect a next and higher level of accessibility of co-located meetings for people with disabilities.

Due to the manifold and not well formalised facets of such non-verbal communication aspects in co-located meetings, they are hard to capture and understand by machines, and thus past research in Assistive Technology (AT) and eAcessibility mainly focused on explicit and well formalised information as e.g. speech recognition and access to written text used in meetings. For this, Information and Communication technology (ICT) provides a rich variety of possible solutions to give access to people with disabilities.

In the recent years, sensors and motion capturing systems experienced a significant step forwards, combined with an increasing computational power. This allows also to address this challenging field of reliably capturing, reasoning and thereby providing better accessibility to non-verbal communication elements during co-located meetings for people with disabilities.

This session calls for presentation and discussion of R&D addressing Accessibility and Assistive Technology (AT) of Co-located meetings. It intends to set up a platform for discussion on issues like

  • Importance of co-located meetings and the impact of reduced access; target groups and benefits (e.g. vision impairment, cognitive disabilities, hearing impairment, cultural diversity)
  • Requirements engineering and user centred design for accessible co-located meetings
  • Concepts and methods for describing, structuring, defining and marking-up/notating (formalizing) co-located meetings for computation for Accessibility and AT
  • New and AI-based approaches to reasoning, “to make sense” out of many and multi-layered non-verbal communication cues to allow efficient and usable inclusion in accessible communication settings
  • Concepts and methods for displaying non-verbal information cues in the context of established verbal and other explicit ways of communication for people with disabilities in the frame of co-located meetings
  • Application Scenarios and Prototypes: Accessibility and AT demonstrating the possibility and potential of more accessible co-located meetings for e.g. education, business, therapy and social life

Accessibility of co-located meetings beyond verbal/textual information is a rather new and challenging field. This session aims at bringing together researchers and developers to establish a new domain in the field of Accessibility and AT. Therefore, we call for contributions addressing conceptual ideas, the definition of the domain, as well as first prototyping and experimenting which help to frame this new and challenging domain.


Contributions to a STS have to be submitted using the standard submission procedures of ICCHP24.
When submitting your contribution please make sure to select the right STS from the drop-down list "Special Thematic Session". Contributions to a STS are evaluated by the Programme Committee of ICCHP-AAATE and by the chair(s) of the STS. Please get in contact with the STS chair(s) for discussing your contribution and potential involvement in the session.