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    An Exploratory Study into the Accessibility of a Multi-User Virtual World for Young People with Aphasia

    HCI2013 - The Internet of Things

    Proceedings of the 27th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2013)

    Brunel University, London, UK, 9 - 13 September 2013


    Julia Galliers & Stephanie Wilson


    This paper describes an exploratory study into the accessibility of the virtual world Second Life for two young people with aphasia. Aphasia is a communicative disorder most commonly caused by a stroke. It affects both written and spoken language, is frequently accompanied by right-sided paralysis and people with aphasia can experience isolation and social exclusion. Multi-user virtual worlds are a potential source of fun and contact with others, but how accessible are such worlds to those with communication issues?

    We report an investigation into the accessibility and potential of Second Life for people with aphasia. This was accomplished through a critique and an empirical study involving two young people: Ann was in her mid twenties and Bob in his early thirties. They were selected because both were comfortable with computer technologies before their strokes and each continues to use them, albeit in a more limited capacity. We discuss implications of the results for people with aphasia interacting with multi-user virtual worlds.


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