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      An Exploratory Study into the Accessibility of a Multi-User Virtual World for Young People with Aphasia

      ,

      27th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2013) (HCI)

      Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2013)

      9 - 13 September 2013

      Accessibility, Aphasia, Second Life, Multi-user virtual worlds

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          Abstract

          This paper describes an exploratory study into the accessibility of the virtual world Second Life for two young people with aphasia. Aphasia is a communicative disorder most commonly caused by a stroke. It affects both written and spoken language, is frequently accompanied by right-sided paralysis and people with aphasia can experience isolation and social exclusion. Multi-user virtual worlds are a potential source of fun and contact with others, but how accessible are such worlds to those with communication issues?

          We report an investigation into the accessibility and potential of Second Life for people with aphasia. This was accomplished through a critique and an empirical study involving two young people: Ann was in her mid twenties and Bob in his early thirties. They were selected because both were comfortable with computer technologies before their strokes and each continues to use them, albeit in a more limited capacity. We discuss implications of the results for people with aphasia interacting with multi-user virtual worlds.

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          Most cited references 7

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          Living with severe aphasia: Tracking social exclusion

           Susie Parr (2007)
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            Aphasia rehabilitation and the role of computer technology: can we keep up with modern times?

            Numerous computer applications have been developed specifically for aphasia rehabilitation. In this paper, the role of these computer programs is discussed in relation to three complementary treatment approaches in aphasia rehabilitation: disorder-oriented treatment, functional treatment, and participation-oriented treatment. Most of the programs available focus on disorder-oriented treatment and several studies have reported a beneficial effect on language skills. Nowadays, in the context of disorder-oriented treatment, these applications are indispensible to achieve an adequate treatment frequency of at least 2 hours per week. Computer applications aiming at functional and social participation goals are less well-developed. Several studies show that high-technology AAC can be used to support off-line communication. Moreover, it is reported that the AAC training has a positive effect on overall communicative functioning. In the near future, computer applications for interactive communicative training may become an important tool in aphasia rehabilitation. Theoretically, the internet offers excellent opportunities to improve social participation for people with aphasia, but reading and writing problems limit their access to the internet. So far, only a few initiatives have been reported to support and increase their access.
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              Hemianopia, hemianaesthesia, and hemiplegia after right and left hemisphere damage. A hemispheric difference.

              The incidence of somatosensory, visual half-field and motor deficits contralateral to a hemispheric lesion in a continuous series of 154 left brain damaged and 144 right brain damaged stroke patients were investigated. These contralateral disorders were more frequent after lesions of the right hemisphere. This difference cannot be attributed to a bias in patients' selection. It is suggested that left spatial neglect is the factor underlying this hemispheric difference.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Conference
                September 2013
                September 2013
                : 1-6
                Affiliations
                City University London

                Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB
                Article
                10.14236/ewic/HCI2013.35
                © Julia Galliers et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. 27th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2013), Brunel University, London, UK

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                27th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2013)
                HCI
                27
                Brunel University, London, UK
                9 - 13 September 2013
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2013)
                Product
                Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
                Categories
                Electronic Workshops in Computing

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