CFP: AAAI FSS-96 on Developing Assistive Technology

        Call for papers -- AAAI Fall Symposium on 
Developing Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities

                To be held 9-11 November 1996 
        at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

              Submissions due on 15 April 1996

There is a growing interest in applying the theory and techniques
developed by AI research to the domain of assistive technology for
people with disabilities and in developing new research within the
assistive technology domain.  Some areas of current work include the
development of new user interfaces for computers to accommodate people
with varying motor, hearing or sight disabilities, robotic
wheelchairs, speech recognition systems for people with hearing
disabilities, text to speech systems for blind people, and automation
of the process of converting textbooks and other written materials
into recordings for the blind.
This application domain is particularly interesting because the
interaction between the person and the system allows researchers to
overcome some of the common stumbling blocks for AI applications.
Normally, AI applications attempt to solve all possible situations in
a domain.  Assistive applications are intended to work in conjunction
with a person with limited vision, hearing or motor capabilities.
Therefore, assistive applications need only solve a portion of the
problem, while leaving unsolved aspects to the user.
While the addition of a person into the cognitive loop allows
researchers in this application domain to avoid some of the usual
difficulties, it adds a new dimension that must be considered:  the
user interface.  Researchers in this domain must consider the needs of
people with disabilities, often including interviews in the research
process.  Assistive applications with ineffective user interfaces are
useless.  Research in this area needs to integrate AI technology with
UI technology to come up with new solutions.

The goals of the symposium are as follows:
1.  Initiate a dialogue between the AI community and other research
communities that will facilitate an exchange of ideas to further
research progress.
2.  Identify areas of AI research that can be used to solve problems
in this domain.
3.  Discuss how research in this domain can further general research
in AI.
4.  Present successfully implemented systems.
5.  Discuss how user interface issues should be addressed when
designing systems.
Submission Information:
Potential participants interested in presenting their work should
submit a short paper (5-8 pages) describing work in progress or
completed work.  Other interested participants should submit a one to
two page description of their work in this area (including a short
list of related publications) or of specific questions and issues that
they feel should be addressed in the symposium.  Please send your
submission via e-mail to holly@ai.mit.edu.  ASCII files are preferred.
(Accepted participants will be asked to submit postscript versions of
their papers for publication in the working notes.)

The submission deadline is 15 April 1996.
People interested in demonstrating their system or showing videotapes
(either in addition to or in lieu of a paper presentation) should
contact Holly Yanco at holly@ai.mit.edu before the submission
Organizing Committee:
Holly Yanco (Chair), Massachusetts Institute of Technology;  John
Aronis, University of Pittsburgh;  David Miller, KISS Institute for
Practical Robotics;  Vibhu Mittal, University of Pittsburgh;  T.V.
Raman, Adobe Systems.