IT Funk - IT for funksjonshemmede

IT Funk has been The Norwegian Research Council's RTD-programme on ICT for people with disability.

Universal design and accessibility for all. The purpose of IT Funk has been to contribute to accessibility for all, including persons with disability, to information and communication technology (ICT) and to society through the use of ICT. ICT-based products and services developed for the general market must be accessible and useful for everyone at reasonable prices. IT Funk has paid special attention to areas where accessibility issues impact on a person's life chances, such as education, employment and basic services to citizens.

IT Funks nyhetsbrev
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Join-In: Senior Citizens Overcoming Barriers by Joining Fun Activities

Project acronym: Join-In

Partners (11): Northern Research Institute, Norut (Norway), National centre for Integrated Care and Telemedicine, NST (Norway), Seniornett Norway, Helmholz Zentrum München – German Research Center for Environmental Health (Germany), Diakonie München-Moosach (Germany), Institute of Technology, Carlow (Ireland), Bull Hungary, Pasife (Germany), Valentia Technologies (Ireland), Happywise OY (Finland), Bethesda Hospital of the Hungarian Reformed Church (Hungary).

Project coordinator - joint project: Helmholz Zentrum München, Germany

Project manager - Norway: Ellen Brox, Norut, Tromsø, Norway

Primary objective: The AAL project aims at providing methodology and technologies for elderly persons to participate in social activities such as games and exer-games and have fun via digital media. Games will enable the elderly to share experiences with other generations as well as friends. Security and data protection will also be important issues. The Internet can also be accessed via TV, an interface the entire target group is well acquainted with. Join-in will also offer set-top boxes that enable online communication with others; today this is not available on a commercial basis. Join-in will use design-based research. This is a systematic but flexible methodology aimed to improve practices through iterative analysis, design, development and implementation and evaluation based on collaboration among researchers and practitioners in real-world settings. The users will be involved in the project development at all stages.

Project summary - Norwegian participation: The Norwegian partners participate in 5 of 7 work packages, and are responsible for two of them. One of the main activities offered by Join-in will be multiplayer gaming and exer-gaming for elderly. Three key barriers to participation are identified for this user group: Access, Motivation and Skills and confidence. We will meet those barriers by:

  1. Facilitating access by providing support and training, barrier free interfaces, technologies taking care of cognitive and mental capacities likely in the elderly; -accessibility by offering low cost access and by enabling the use of a TV in combination with an easy-to-use set-top box.
  2. Increase motivation by giving the elderly an incentive, such as a fun factor, to use the internet, and by providing the necessary technologies for easy and motivating accessibility. Providing skills and confidence by offering easy-to-use interfaces and the necessary support through technologies such as controllers adapted to the special needs of the elderly and through human life support.

Specific tasks for the Norwegian partners:

  • Design and develop an easy-to-use low-cost system using TV or PC as interface. This platform shall allow the use of social tools as well as multiplayer games and exer-games. Enable integration of games from other work packages so that they are accessible from the platform.
  • Develop low-cost and adaptable exer-game(s) aimed at enabling users/patients to exercise together and attend physical activity and exercising programs, with or without instructions or supervision.
  • Investigate the latest research in the areas of human computer interaction and assisted technologies for adapting the exer-games to the needs of the elderly population.

Project period: August 2010 - August 2013

Further information/website:

National grant programme in Norway: IT Funk (ICT for disabled and elderly)

This document was first published 26.08.2010, and updated 01.10.2012.

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