Advertisement

A-Cross: An Accessible Crossword Puzzle for Visually Impaired Users

  • Stavroula Ntoa
  • Ilia Adami
  • Giannis Prokopiou
  • Margherita Antona
  • Constantine Stephanidis
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6766)

Abstract

Crossword puzzles are a very popular word game, with high recreational and educational value, which can also be used as mental work-out tools, assisting in the prevention of age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Despite their high value and although users with visual impairments constitute an important market share, there are only few accessible crossword puzzles. Even these, however, are limited in providing alternative input and output modalities for users with disabilities and do not support equitable use, simplicity and intuitiveness, especially for blind users. This paper presents A-Cross, an accessible crossword puzzle for visually impaired users, aiming to support word solving in a novel and usable way. The evaluation process that was followed in order to assess the usability and accessibility of a functional yet early prototype of the A-Cross puzzle is also described.

Keywords

Accessible crossword visually impaired blind puzzle game evaluation 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    American Printing House for the Blind, Talking Word Puzzles, http://www.aph.org/tech/pz_info.htm (retrieved February 6, 2011)
  2. 2.
    Blindgamers. BG Crossword Puzzle, http://www.omninet.net.au/~irhumph/blindgamers.htm#CROSSWORDSAPI (retrieved February 7, 2011)
  3. 3.
    Childers, C.D.: Using Crossword Puzzles as an Aid to Studying Sociological Concepts. Teaching Sociology 24(3), 231–235 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    European Commission: Report of the Inclusive Communications (INCOM) subgroup of the Communications Committee (COCOM). COCOM04-08 (2004) Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Franklin, S., Peat, M., Lewis, A.: Nontraditional interventions to stimulate discussion: The use of games and puzzles. Journal of Biological Education 37(2), 79–84 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jordan, M.: Strategies for Building Accessible Learning Web Applications and Games with Macromedia Flash MX. In: CSUN 2005 Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference (2005), http://www.csun.edu/cod/conf/2005/proceedings/2330.htm (retrieved February 6, 2011)
  7. 7.
    Nielsen, J.: Mental Models. In Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox 2010 article, http://www.useit.com/alertbox/mental-models.html (retrieved February 8, 2011)
  8. 8.
    Nielsen, J.: Usability Engineering. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco (1993)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Savidis, A., Stephanidis, C.: Developing dual user interfaces for integrating blind and sighted users: the HOMER UIMS. In: Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 1995), pp. 106–113. ACM Press, New York (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Petrie, H., Bevan, N.: The Evaluation of Accessibility, Usability, and User Experience. In: Stephanidis, C. (ed.) The Universal Access Handbook, pp. 10–20. CRP Press Taylor and Francis Group, Abington (2009)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Schafer, J.C., Behymer, J.: Cross Purposes: Computer-Generated Crossword Puzzles Link Popular Pastime with Technical Learning. Vocational Education Journal 67(5), 36–37 (1992)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Schroeder, W.: Scheduling Hard-to-Find Users. User Interface Enginnering (1998), http://www.uie.com/articles/scheduling_users (retrieved February 8, 2011)
  13. 13.
    The Center for Universal Design: The Principles of Universal Design, Version 2.0. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina State University (1997) Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Verghese, J., Lipton, B.R., Katz, J.M., Hall, B.C., Derby, A.C., Kuslansky, G., Ambrose, F.A., Sliwinski, M., Buschke, H.: Leisure Activities and the Risk of Dementia in the Elderly. The New England Journal of Medicine 348(25), 2508–2516 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    USCENSUSBUREAU. Americans with disabilities: 2002 (2006), http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/p70-107.pdf (retrieved February 7, 2011)
  16. 16.
    Weisskireh, R.S.: An analysis of instructorcreated crossword puzzles for student review. College Teaching 54(1), 198–201 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wilson, R., Mendes de Leon, S., Barnes, C.F., Schneider, L.L., Bienias, A.J., Evans, L.J., Bennett, A.D., Participation, A.D.: in Cognitively Stimulating Activities and Risk of Incident Alzheimer Disease. Journal of the American Medical Association 287(6), 742–748 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Wise, A.: Web-based crossword puzzles support revision. Active Learning in Higher Education 2(2), 180–188 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    World Health Organization: Fact Sheet No282: Visual Impairments and blindness (2009), http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs282/en/index.html (retrieved February 7, 2011)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stavroula Ntoa
    • 1
  • Ilia Adami
    • 1
  • Giannis Prokopiou
    • 2
  • Margherita Antona
    • 1
  • Constantine Stephanidis
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Computer ScienceFoundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH)HeraklionGreece
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of CreteGreece

Personalised recommendations