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A NEW RESEARCH AGENDA FOR OLDER ADULTS
3rd September, 2002
Full day workshop (W3), 9:30 - 5:00 at
BCS HCI 2002, London
The workshop has now taken place and was very successful. We had around 30 attendees from academia, industry and charities. We will be carrying on work in this area and this page will be updated accordingly.
The aim of this workshop is to discuss a research agenda to look at how computing, communications and information technology might be useful for older adults. This is a very important and timely area to discuss because the population of the UK and Western Europe is ageing, but most HCI research has not focused on this important group. We will bring together researchers interested in the area to discuss the topic and to set a research agenda to address the issues identified.
The substantial opportunities presented to the IT industry by the ageing population of the developed world have been identified by the Foresight Programme. Older people currently control a large pro-portion of the wealth of the county, and many have a substantial disposable income. In the future, the proportion of older people in the population will significantly increase. These people will remain economically active longer, but also there will be a significant increase in the numbers needing long term care. There is no evidence that older people are particularly averse to using new technologies, and there are market opportunities, and an economic imperative for the advantages of communication and information technologies to be extended to support this group.
The numbers of people over the age of 65 in the UK are predicted to increase
from 9.25 million in 1996 to 12 million in 2021. Life expectancy is projected
to increase from 74.3 years to 77.9 years for men and 79.5 years to 82.6
years for women in that period, and to 79 years and 84 years respectively
by the middle of the century. The number of people aged over 75 will have
doubled and the number over 90 will have more than tripled. Census data
from the USA shows that the chances of having a disability increases with
age, and more than half those who are 65 or over have a disability (U.S.
Bureau of the Census, 1995). In 1995, people over 65 accounted for 12%
of the US population , but 34% of those with disabilities and 43% of those
with severe disabilities. These figures will be reflected in the United
Our goal is to promote discussion of the issues around designing computer systems for elderly people within the HCI community. There is currently no forum for all of the researchers and industrialists interested in this issue within the UK/EU to meet and discuss ideas. This workshop will fill this gap. If it is successful, we hope to use it to form a continuing workshop series. Here is the timetable for the workshop.
Some of the main questions we hope to address are:
We are interested in discussing a range of applications: mobile devices, making the Web accessible, smart homes to support elderly people staying at home longer, games, etc.
Here is the current attendees list for the workshop
(as a PDF file). We are now over 25 people.
We have accepted 18 submissions for the workshop, some will be presented as papers and some as demos. Here is the full list of accepted papers to download.
You can take part in the workshop only or also register for the full BCS HCI conference. The cost for the workshop is £50. For more information on registration and accommodation see the BCS HCI 2002 conference site. Here are the registration details from the conference organisers:
8:30 AM Registration desk opens.
UTOPIA is a SHEFC funded Scottish research project investigating the design and development of computer-based technology for older people. It is formed from a partnership of research groups at four universities (Dundee, Glasgow, Abertay and Napier). The UTOPIA project will raise awareness of the opportunities for Scotland in the global market of design for older people by
Older Adults and the Web at Oxford Brookes University
The team at the Speech Project, Oxford Brookes University
have developed voice help for BrookesTalk the voice Web browser, for older
users with memory loss, which tells the user where they are now and what
they can do next. We are currently working to develop a low functionality
Web browser for older adults, which reduces the need for long and confusing
Prof Stephen Brewster
Department of Computing Science
University of Glasgow
Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK
Tel: +44 (0)141 330 4966
Fax: +44 (0)141 330 4913
Last Modified: 19 September 2002