Welcome to ICCHP 2020!

Message from our General Chair

ICCHP 2020 will be organised as online event

Dear friends of ICCHP,

First and foremost, we hope that you, your family and friends are staying well and managing through these trying times.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has taken an unprecedented toll in terms of human lives, as well as social and economic disruption worldwide.
While we all hope and wish that it would end soon, we must be realistic and accept the fact that things may not be back to normal on global level by early September, when ICCHP is scheduled to take place in Italy.

For this reason, the ICCHP organizing committee, the ICCHP host and I in my capacity as General Chair for 2020 have decided that ICCHP 2020 will be held as an online event.

The submission and review process will proceed with just a small change in schedule. We were able to negotiate with Springer a later submission deadline.
Science Track paper submissions are now due April 15, while ICCHP Forum paper submissions are due May 15.

All accepted papers will be published with Springers LNCS or in our 1st digital edition of the ICCHP open access compendium “Future Perspectives in AT, eAccessibility and eInclusion” respectively.
Information on the mechanism for online presentation and interaction will be available in the next few weeks.

We also reviewed the service fee rates, and posted the reduced rates on ICCHP site.

We didn't take this decision lightly. We want to thank all of you in advance for your support to ICCHP. We look forward to your submissions, and, with your help, we will send a global sign of (e)Accessibility and make this conference a huge success in spite of the many hurdles we will need to get over.

Find regularly updated information on ICCHP website.

Let's stay in touch, we keep you posted.

Your Chair for 2020,
Roberto Manduchi and the
ICCHP organizing team.

Welcome from the Host

This is an exciting time to be working on accessibility and inclusion, and in particular on such technical aspects as eAccessibility and Assistive Technology. There is increasing awareness of the many unnecessary barriers, physical or otherwise, that impede opportunities for work, education, and participation by people with disabilities. At the same time, efforts are ongoing to remove these barriers through better education, policy, and technology. Many companies are beginning to realize that embracing fully inclusive practices may translate into a more productive workplace.

Transit agencies and airlines are moving to enable safer and more comfortable travel to all passengers, including those with mobility, sensory, or cognitive impairments. The entertainment industry has begun to provide audio description services, in addition to captioning, to make movies and shows accessible to those who cannot see or hear. Important pieces of legislation, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, which turns 30 this year, or the newborn European Accessibility Act, have been put in place to protect against disability-related discrimination, and to ensure that products and services are made accessible to everyone. The U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in 2006, affirms the right of people with disabilities to make independent decisions for their lives and to be active members of society. 

Technology has tremendous potential for removing accessibility barriers. Not surprisingly, in recent years Artificial Intelligence has captured the lion's share of attention for technological trends in accessibility. Smartphone apps now read text and recognize objects, and automatically describe the content of pictures. Ever-improving speech understanding algorithms enable hand-free control of computers, appliances or devices, with research ongoing on the recognition of dysarthric speech.

Autonomous cars may in the near future provide individualized transportation to those who cannot drive, while exoskeleton systems will enable ambulation to people with paraplegia. Intelligent homes offer opportunities for independent living to those with reduced motion control. At the urban scale, mapping and localization systems are being deployed in public spaces to support orientation and wayfinding, or to identify safe paths to traverse for wheelchair users. It is encouraging that all major information technology companies have committed to including accessibility features in their products, and even started their own research labs in access technology. Yet, sometimes innovation comes from the grassroots. Communities of makers have taken on the challenges of designing low-budget assistive technology, often involving people with disabilities in exciting co-design experiments. Crowdsourcing and microvolunteering projects have evolved into accessibility platforms with thousands of contributors and users.

It is in this context that the 17th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs (ICCHP) will take place. Since its inception in 1989, ICCHP has evolved to become the largest European conference on Accessibility Technologies. It offers an inclusive and accessible environment, where participation of researchers with disabilities is particularly encouraged. ICCHP is a venue for showcasing cutting-edge technology, but also a place where to mingle with old and new colleagues for thought-provoking discussions. 

Original contributions submitted to ICCHP undergo a rigorous peer review process, and accepted papers are published as part of the Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS). Technical presentations are organized in Special Thematic Sessions. The conference also features multiple parallel activities, including a Universal Learning Design STS, a Forum on Service and Practice, a Young Researchers’ Consortium, ICC4C Coding Competition, and possibilities to hold workshops, meetings and product presentations at its ICCHP Inclusion Fair.

Come and get involved!

Roberto Manduchi,
UC Santa Cruz, Jack Baskin School of Engineering, CA, USA
General Chair ICCHP 2020