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How Mature Is Technology in Helping People with Disabilities?

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Digital Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 December 2022) | Viewed by 17965

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Computing Technology and Data Processing, University of Alicante, 03690 Alicante, Spain
Interests: artificial intelligence applications (such as artificial neural networks, support vector machines, decision trees, and so on); data mining applications; big data; internet of things; diagnosis and decision support system in medical and cognitive sciences
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Software and Computing Systems, University of Alicante, 03690 Alicante, Spain
Interests: web application development; web accessibility and usability; video game accessibility; e-learning; Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC); Open Educational Resources (OER)
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Computer Science, University of Jaén, 23071 Jaén, Spain
Interests: intelligent systems for Internet of Things, which encompasses knowledge base systems with fuzzy logic, deep learning for temporal processing and fusion of sensor data and advanced architectures for ubiquitous computing and ambient intelligence in e-Health
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Departament of Computer Science, University of Jaén, 23071 Jaén, Spain
Interests: smart environments; e-Health; intelligent systems; soft computing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

According to the WHO, over 1 billion people live with some form of disability, and the number of people with disability are dramatically increasing. This is due to demographic trends and increases in chronic health conditions, among other causes. Furthermore, people with disability are disproportionately affected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this context, it is more important to address issues of inclusion. For this reason, the use of technology in different ways allows not only helping people with disabilities but also the possibility to be tele-assisted by improving aspects of their inclusion and autonomy, which are fundamental in the total development of this wide group of people.
Papers addressing these topics are invited for this Special Issue, especially those combining a high academic standard coupled with a practical focus on providing optimal assisted living solutions.

Prof. Dr. David Gil
Prof. Dr. Sergio Luján-Mora
Prof. Dr. Javi Medina Quero
Dr. Macarena Espinilla-Estevéz

Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Machine learning 
  • Human activity recognition 
  • Ambient assisted living
  • Sensor fusion 
  • Big data 
  • Internet of Things 
  • Non-invasive sensors for sheltered homes 
  • Generation of datasets with sensors related to different disabilities 
  • Mobile applications for people with disabilities 
  • Serious games for people with disabilities

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 1339 KiB  
Article
Virtual Accessible Bilingual Conference Planning: The Parks Accessibility Conference
by Alison Whiting, Yashoda Sharma, Manjit Grewal, Zeyad Ghulam, Waqas Sajid, Neha Dewan, Melanie Peladeau-Pigeon and Tilak Dutta
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2302; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032302 - 28 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1636
Abstract
Virtual events have become more popular recently, and while these events have the potential to be inclusive to a broader range of attendees, there is limited information available on how to plan and deliver a virtual, accessible, and bilingual event. The objective of [...] Read more.
Virtual events have become more popular recently, and while these events have the potential to be inclusive to a broader range of attendees, there is limited information available on how to plan and deliver a virtual, accessible, and bilingual event. The objective of this paper is to share how our team planned and delivered a virtual conference that was fully bilingual and accessible to individuals with disabilities by incorporating closed captions, sign language interpretation, language interpretation (audio), regularly scheduled breaks, and a multi-sensory experience. We describe our approaches to planning the conference, such as including individuals with disabilities in decision-making, selecting virtual conference platforms, captioners, and interpreters, and how we incorporated a multi-sensory experience. The paper also summarizes feedback we received from our attendees using a post-conference evaluation survey and our team’s reflections on positive aspects of the conference and opportunities for improvement. We conclude by providing a set of practical recommendations that we feel may be helpful to others planning virtual accessible bilingual conferences in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Mature Is Technology in Helping People with Disabilities?)
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21 pages, 1123 KiB  
Article
Predictive Model for Human Activity Recognition Based on Machine Learning and Feature Selection Techniques
by Janns Alvaro Patiño-Saucedo, Paola Patricia Ariza-Colpas, Shariq Butt-Aziz, Marlon Alberto Piñeres-Melo, José Luis López-Ruiz, Roberto Cesar Morales-Ortega and Emiro De-la-hoz-Franco
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12272; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912272 - 27 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1810
Abstract
Research into assisted living environments –within the area of Ambient Assisted Living (ALL)—focuses on generating innovative technology, products, and services to provide medical treatment and rehabilitation to the elderly, with the purpose of increasing the time in which these people can live independently, [...] Read more.
Research into assisted living environments –within the area of Ambient Assisted Living (ALL)—focuses on generating innovative technology, products, and services to provide medical treatment and rehabilitation to the elderly, with the purpose of increasing the time in which these people can live independently, whether they suffer from neurodegenerative diseases or disabilities. This key area is responsible for the development of activity recognition systems (ARS) which are a valuable tool to identify the types of activities carried out by the elderly, and to provide them with effective care that allows them to carry out daily activities normally. This article aims to review the literature to outline the evolution of the different data mining techniques applied to this health area, by showing the metrics used by researchers in this area of knowledge in recent experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Mature Is Technology in Helping People with Disabilities?)
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24 pages, 4128 KiB  
Article
Method for the Development of Accessible Mobile Serious Games for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
by Angel Jaramillo-Alcázar, José Arias, Israel Albornoz, Alex Alvarado and Sergio Luján-Mora
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 3844; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19073844 - 24 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4154
Abstract
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) covers a range of neurodevelopmental disorders that begin in early childhood and affects developmental activities. This condition can negatively influence the gaining of knowledge, skills, and abilities, such as communication. Over time, different techniques and methods have been put [...] Read more.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) covers a range of neurodevelopmental disorders that begin in early childhood and affects developmental activities. This condition can negatively influence the gaining of knowledge, skills, and abilities, such as communication. Over time, different techniques and methods have been put into practice to teach and communicate with children with ASD. With the rapid advancement in the field of technology, specifically in smartphones, researchers have generated creative applications, such as mobile serious games, to help children with ASD. However, usability and accessibility have not been often taken into account in the development of this type of applications. For that reason, in this work we considered that both, usability and especially accessibility are a very important differentiators for the quality and efficiency of mobile serious games. Our approach has two important contributions, the incorporation of accessibility as a fundamental requirement in the development of a mobile serious game and the proposal of a method for the development of this type of applications for children with ASD, a method that can be used by other developers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Mature Is Technology in Helping People with Disabilities?)
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22 pages, 10067 KiB  
Article
UJAmI Location: A Fuzzy Indoor Location System for the Elderly
by Antonio-Pedro Albín-Rodríguez, Yolanda-María De-La-Fuente-Robles, José-Luis López-Ruiz, Ángeles Verdejo-Espinosa and Macarena Espinilla Estévez
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8326; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168326 - 6 Aug 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2088
Abstract
Due to the large number of elderly people with physical and cognitive issues, there is a strong need to provide indoor location systems that help caregivers monitor as many people as possible and with the best quality possible. In this paper, a fuzzy [...] Read more.
Due to the large number of elderly people with physical and cognitive issues, there is a strong need to provide indoor location systems that help caregivers monitor as many people as possible and with the best quality possible. In this paper, a fuzzy indoor location methodology is proposed in a smart environment based on mobile devices and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons where a set of Received Signal Strength Indicators (RSSI) is received by mobile devices worn by the inhabitants. The use of fuzzy logic and a fuzzy linguistic approach is proposed to deal with the imprecise nature of the RSSI values, which are influenced by external factors such as radio waves, causing significant fluctuations. A case study carried out at the Smart Lab of the University of Jaén (UJAmI Smart Lab) is presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methodology, where our proposal is compared with a non-fuzzy logic approach, obtaining an accuracy of 91.63%, approximately 10 points higher than the methodology without using fuzzy logic. Finally, our theoretical proposal is accompanied by a description of the UJAmI Location system, which applies the theory to the functionality of locating elderly people in indoor environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Mature Is Technology in Helping People with Disabilities?)
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17 pages, 518 KiB  
Article
ICT, Disability, and Motivation: Validation of a Measurement Scale and Consequence Model for Inclusive Digital Knowledge
by Marta Medina-García, Lina Higueras-Rodríguez, Mª del Mar García-Vita and Luis Doña-Toledo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6770; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136770 - 24 Jun 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3747
Abstract
The use of ICT (information communication technology) as an educational resource is becoming more evident in the education systems of most countries, even more so with the COVID-19 crisis. When it comes to disability and education, ICT becomes a tool for social and [...] Read more.
The use of ICT (information communication technology) as an educational resource is becoming more evident in the education systems of most countries, even more so with the COVID-19 crisis. When it comes to disability and education, ICT becomes a tool for social and educational inclusion. This study presents the validation and evaluation of a measurement scale on ICT literacy for inclusive education. In addition, based on previous literature, a conceptual model is proposed and validated through PLS (partial least squares) using a sample of 142 teachers from all educational stages. The results show that teachers’ ICT knowledge to ensure inclusion consists of five dimensions on specific needs. ICT knowledge has a positive impact on teacher motivation and ICT use. Teachers at primary and early childhood education levels have a lower motivation and use of ICT, although they have a higher knowledge of disability. The results found allow progress to be made in measuring the educational inclusion of schools and the ICT knowledge needed to ensure care and support for all people. A notable implication is the need for training on ICT and disability within educational policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Mature Is Technology in Helping People with Disabilities?)
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20 pages, 1605 KiB  
Article
User-Adapted Web Services by Extending the eIDAS Specification with Functional Attributes
by Lourdes Marco, Alejandro Pozo, Gabriel Huecas, Juan Quemada and Álvaro Alonso
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 3980; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083980 - 9 Apr 2021
Viewed by 2332
Abstract
To provide web services adapted to the users’ functional capabilities, diversity must be considered from the conceptualization and design phases of the services’ development. In previous work, we proposed a model that allows the provisioning of adapted interfaces based on users’ identity and [...] Read more.
To provide web services adapted to the users’ functional capabilities, diversity must be considered from the conceptualization and design phases of the services’ development. In previous work, we proposed a model that allows the provisioning of adapted interfaces based on users’ identity and their functional attributes to facilitate this task for software designers and developers. However, these identities and attributes are self-declared by the users, which may impact reliability and usability. In this work, we propose an extension of our model to resolve these deficiencies by delegating the identity and attributes’ provision to external certified entities. The European electronic Identification, Authentication and Trust Services (eIDAS) regulation established a solution to ensure the cross-border mutual recognition of Electronic Identification (eID) mechanisms among the European Member States. This research aims to provide an extension of this regulation mentioned above (eIDAS) to support functional attributes and connect our previously proposed model to this extended eIDAS network. Thanks to this proposal, web services can guarantee adapted and personalized interfaces while improving the functionalities offered without any previous configuration by users and, in a reliable way, since the functional attributes belong to the users’ official eID. As the attribute set provided by eIDAS nodes only contains citizens’ personal and legal ones, we also propose a mechanism to connect the eIDAS network to external attribute providers that could extend the eIDAS profile of users with their functional attributes. We deployed a pilot to validate the proposed model consisting of an identity provider, an eIDAS node supporting the extended reference code, and an attribute provider supporting functional attributes. We also designed and implemented a simple service that supports eID authentication and serves adapted interfaces based on the retrieved extended eIDAS profile. Finally, we developed an experience for getting feedback from a set of real users with different functional capabilities. According to the results, we concluded that the generalized adoption of the proposed solution in the European digital web services will significantly improve their accessibility in terms of ease of use and adaptability to users’ capacities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Mature Is Technology in Helping People with Disabilities?)
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