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8th European e-Accessibility Forum
User-driven e-Accessibility

31/03/2014, 09:00 - 18:00 - Registration from 8:30
Cité des sciences et de l'industrie - Universcience - Paris

 
  Version française
Printable version

Crowdsourcing: A New Era of Information Accessibility

Mike MAY (USA)
Sendero Group

Speaker's information


Mike May

Mike MAY is co-founder and CEO of Sendero Group, developers of the first accessible GPS for the blind in 1999 and distributors of various adaptive technologies. He has been the principle investigator on several US federal grants as he works with numerous organisations to advance way finding technologies around the world. Mike has been a pioneer in new product development since 1980.

 

Summary


Crowdsourcing is based on an Internet increasingly influenced by intelligent web services that empower the user to contribute to developing, rating, collaborating on and distributing Internet content and customizing Internet applications.  In general, the people who contribute to crowdsourcing application do so without expectation of payment.  So at the end of the day, we have a limitless and customizable source of information produced at little to no cost.  What this means for a person with a disability is that they can collect, enhance and share information tailored to their interests and to their disability.  The boundless scope of this information could include, for example, public transportation schedules, a Braille menu at a restaurant, spatial layouts, locations of public restrooms, and physical accessibility features, such as wheelchair ramps and accessible kiosks.  People with disabilities have already been sharing knowledge about the access opportunities and barriers in their communities on a much smaller scale.   For decades they have been sharing travel anecdotes with others who they happen to know.  Participating in crowdsourcing activities will match the power of communication technology with the deep knowledge base of community members, codifying a hitherto-untapped bonanza of access content.

Crowdsourcing information is abundant, however, without a way to make the information meaningful to the user, all this information is useless.  Sendero Group researchers, funded by various Department of Education grants, have identified another area of high need of information accessibility, Location-Based Information.  The idea behind Location-Based Information is that relevant data in the form of news broadcasts, historical anecdotes, or tour guide information will be linked to the user’s current location giving real-time relevant information. Whereas sighted people have alternative access to print signs, posted transit information, monument plaques, museum descriptions and historical markers, blind people do not. The genius in the crowdsourcing solution is the ability to unite various technologies.

For crowdsourcing to succeed there needs to be collaboration between mainstream players (FourSquare and OSM) and accessibility specialists.

Crowdsourcing is based on an Internet increasingly influenced by intelligent web services that empower the user to contribute to developing, rating, collaborating on and distributing Internet content and customizing Internet applications.  In general, the people who contribute to crowdsourcing application do so without expectation of payment.  So at the end of the day, we have a limitless and customizable source of information produced at little to no cost.  What this means for a person with a disability is that they can collect, enhance and share information tailored to their interests and to their disability.  The boundless scope of this information could include, for example, public transportation schedules, a Braille menu at a restaurant, spatial layouts, locations of public restrooms, and physical accessibility features, such as wheelchair ramps and accessible kiosks.  People with disabilities have already been sharing knowledge about the access opportunities and barriers in their communities on a much smaller scale.   For decades they have been sharing travel anecdotes with others who they happen to know.  Participating in crowdsourcing activities will match the power of communication technology with the deep knowledge base of community members, codifying a hitherto-untapped bonanza of access content.
Crowdsourcing information is abundant, however, without a way to make the information meaningful to the user, all this information is useless.  Sendero Group researchers, funded by various Department of Education grants, have identified another area of high need of information accessibility, Location-Based Information.  The idea behind Location-Based Information is that relevant data in the form of news broadcasts, historical anecdotes, or tour guide information will be linked to the user’s current location giving real-time relevant information. Whereas sighted people have alternative access to print signs, posted transit information, monument plaques, museum descriptions and historical markers, blind people do not. The genius in the crowdsourcing solution is the ability to unite various technologies.
For crowdsourcing to succeed there needs to be collaboration between mainstream players (FourSquare and OSM) and accessibility specialists.Crowdsourcing is based on an Internet increasingly influenced by intelligent web services that empower the user to contribute to developing, rating, collaborating on and distributing Internet content and customizing Internet applications.  In general, the people who contribute to crowdsourcing application do so without expectation of payment.  So at the end of the day, we have a limitless and customizable source of information produced at little to no cost.  What this means for a person with a disability is that they can collect, enhance and share information tailored to their interests and to their disability.  The boundless scope of this information could include, for example, public transportation schedules, a Braille menu at a restaurant, spatial layouts, locations of public restrooms, and physical accessibility features, such as wheelchair ramps and accessible kiosks.  People with disabilities have already been sharing knowledge about the access opportunities and barriers in their communities on a much smaller scale.   For decades they have been sharing travel anecdotes with others who they happen to know.  Participating in crowdsourcing activities will match the power of communication technology with the deep knowledge base of community members, codifying a hitherto-untapped bonanza of access content.

video of the presentation by Mike May


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