Cambridge Inclusive Design Toolkit, developed at University of Cambridge is a useful package aimed at making it easier to develop inclusive products. This toolkit aims at improving the understanding of what inclusive design is, why it should be done and how one can proceed in order to produce inclusive products. The kit also includes inclusive design tools and information about different user groups. The design tools provided are:
- Design process checklist
- Integrated design log
- Business case materials
- Exclusion calculator
- Cambridge simulation glasses
- Impairment simulator software
- Example set of personas
These tools are in general made available free of charge, although there is a (limited) cost for ordering physical simulation materials like the simulation glasses.
The VUMS (Virtual User Modelling and Simulation) Cluster is a cluster of the European funded Projects GUIDE , MyUI , VERITAS and VICON . The goal of the cluster “is to align user development research in the projects and to foster common standardisation activities.” Especially the VERITAS project is developing a simulation based virtual reality test suite, with which the developer can simulate how a user with or without reduced abilities can use the device or software currently under development. As they are developing a simulation tool which can be integrated into CAD-Software this solution enables to evaluate the accessibility at the earliest possible design stage, e.g. already the virtual prototype during the CAD development.
Web accessibility check tools
- Web Accessibility Inspector (Fujitsu)
- ColorSelector (Fujitsu)
- SortSite – Web Site Testing Tool (Powermapper)
- Rational Policy Tester Accessibility Edition (IBM)
Software Accessibility Check Tools
- Rule-Based Accessibility Validation Environment (RAVEn) (IBM)
- Java Access Bridge (JavaMonkey, JavaFerret)
- iOS Accessibility Inspector
Age Explorer. The first age simulator was developed in the mid 70s in the gerontology and was intended to demonstrate to medical students and nurses the potential limitations of mobility and perception of elderly people. In 1994 the first commercially available age simulator, the Age Explorer by Meyer-Hentschel, was manufactured and since then various companies have designed their own age simulators. It is a complex system which is comprised of an overall with additional weights in order to simulate reduced strength. Furthermore straps along arm and leg joints can simulate reduced mobility. Additional parts include:
- Ear mufflers which reduce the hearing especially in higher frequencies
- Various glasses in order to simulate different visual medical conditions e.g. presbyopia, limited field of vision, cataract, color ametropia, etc.
- Gloves in order to simulate limited dexterity and/or sensitivity
Visual Impairment Simulation Goggles. To help developers, managers or controllers getting the experience of how a visually impaired user would see their device or software one can buy or handcraft special goggles. There are several instructions on how to build such goggles on the internet.
A quite good source for this is “Make Your Own Vision Impairment Simulators” by Dona Sauerburger, COMS. Using the instructions it is quite easy to create goggles for:
- Macular Degeneration
- Retinitis Pigmentosa or Glaucoma
- Night blindness from Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)
As mentioned above a sighted person wearing such goggles has never learned any compensation techniques, therefore the results have to be used very carefully. Nonetheless they are a very good and cheap way in order to gain a personal insight for the needs of persons with limited vision.