No Cost Extension (NCE) Projects
The Wireless RERC has received an NCE to complete work that was in progress and delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NCE covers the time period from the official end of the RERC grant (Sept. 30th, 2021) and is in effect until Sept. 30th 2022. Project activities under the NCE are detailed below.
- User Experience and Expectations Research (R1) is designed to give consumers with disabilities a mechanism to directly inform research and development efforts.
- Employment and Community Living Research, (T2) – focused on the dissemination of the data collected from the focus groups and surveys regarding knowledge about and use of wireless technologies to support integrated, competitive employment and to enhance community participation for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and relevant stakeholder groups.
- Social and Cultural Design Research (R2) Social and Cultural Design Research examines emerging factors of inclusive design as they impact the range of wireless based technologies and services, including wearable computing devices, robotics, sensors, emergency communications, and the underlying IoT ecosystem.
- Augmented Reality for Design Research, (T3) – investigates the use of augmented reality (AR) as a platform for performing usability evaluations for socially inclusive awareness of wirelessly connected technologies. The project focuses on developing accessible remote control prototyping, and involves user-intensive interaction with participants.
- Inclusive Emergency Lifelines (D1) develops devices to ensure emergency systems are timely and responsive to people with disabilities.
- Emergency Alerts in Many Formats Allow Access for All.
This research brief reports on developing a software app that demonstrates the technical feasibility of providing WEA messages in multiple formats, namely text-based messages, spoken messages, symbology, and ASL video with captions, to improve the accessibility of the messages for all receivers. The results of a usability study examining how people who are Deaf understand emergency messages in multiple formats are also described.
- Emergency Alerts in Many Formats Allow Access for All.
- Signal Notification Optimization project (T1) – focused on optimizing emergency notification and evacuation via wireless communications and alert systems. A quantitative analysis of signal response rates and times, which demonstrated statistically significant results, was conducted based on selected signal types and disability types.
- Battery Optimization Study (T2) – A qualitative analysis of the transcripts of the focus group usability study for people with sensory impairments was completed. Themes and concepts identified by the testing, combined with lessons learned by testing of mobile phones under a variety of operating conditions, will be used to recommend battery capacities and operating system functionality for optimizing wireless devices that most benefit people with disabilities in emergencies.
- Research Brief: Battery Extension Tool: A study of smartphone battery demand and conservation modes. The project surveyed power controls that currently exist within current mobile operating systems and evaluated the battery demand of wireless devices, comparing typical operation with optimal battery operation while various accessibility apps are in use. These data were analyzed to develop recommendations for best practices for battery charge extension of wireless devices. A proof-of-concept, customizable user interface prototype app, the Battery Extension Tool (BET), was developed to allow users with disabilities to implement these best practices while retaining access to their accessibility software.
- First Responder Support about People with Disabilities FirstNet (T3)– First Responder Network.
- Report: A Consideration of the Needs of People with Disabilities in the Development of FirstNet Enabled Technologies for First Responders. This report summarizes the results of a survey conducted to ascertain challenges and unmet needs during interactions between people with disabilities and first responders, focusing on critical information that needs to be shared between the two parties to have a successful interaction. [ https://wirelessrerc.gatech.edu/sites/default/files/documents/first_responders_and_needs_of_pwd_.pdf ]
- How to Minimize the Complexity of Text [ YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/0bPeq7zNLVA ]
- Making Virtual Meetings More Accessible [ YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/5L4CzNB9Rn8 ]
- Capacity Building and Training (T1) Two new videos have been completed: Making Virtual Meetings More Accessible in Emergencies” and “How to Minimize the Complexity of Text in Messaging” and are on the Technology Access, Equity, and Inclusion YouTube channel. [ https://www.youtube.com/user/WIrelessRERC/featured ]
- Policy and Outreach Initiatives to Accelerate Adoption (DS1) addresses three tasks to: 1.) inform regulatory rulemakings and policy activities, 2.) increase outreach and training to consumers with disabilities, and 3.) advance awareness among industry of accessibility solutions to improve access to wireless products and services.
- Assistive Technology Wireless RERC Special Issue [https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/uaty20/34/6]
- Virtual State of Technology (SoT) Forum 2020One Proceedings [ https://wirelessrerc.gatech.edu/sites/default/files/proceedings_of_the_2021_wireless_rerc_state_of_technology_forum.pdf ]
- Research Brief - Evaluating the Impact of WES 2.0 Regulations (Final) [ https://wirelessrerc.gatech.edu/sites/default/files/publications/research_brief_-_evaluating_the_impact_of_wea_2.0_regulations_final.pdf ]
2021 Nationwide WEA Test Survey Results: Evaluating the Likelihood of People with Disabilities taking Protective Action based on Emergency Alert Awareness [https://www.wirelessrerc.gatech.edu/sites/default/files/publications/2021_nationwide_wea_test_survey_results.pdf]