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    Making software accessible to people with severe memory deficits

    Accessible Design in the Digital World Conference 2005

    Dundee, Scotland, 23 - 25 August 2005


    Norman Alm, Richard Dye, Arlene Astell, Maggie Ellis, Gary Gowans & Jim Campbell


    Good interface design must take into account limits on the users' short-term memory. With conditions such as dementia, the working (short-term) memory can be so impaired as to be virtually non-operative.

    This present a significant challenge in designing interactive systems for people with this condition. If the difficulties can be overcome, however, such systems offer the possibility of improving the communication abilities of people with dementia, and eventually providing them with satisfying activities that can carry out unaided.

    We report on a project that has developed a hypermedia based reminiscence aid for older people with dementia, which been designed to be usable by people with short-term memory deficits. The system has proved remarkably effective in supporting the communication of people with dementia.


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