Accessibility of Non-Verbal Communication

Communication among human beings goes beyond verbal communicaton by employing a large variety of non-verbal cues. Such non-verbal communication carries a significant of content-related information, but is also used for coordinating discussions or externalizing personal opinions.

Due to the manifold of non-verbal communication facets, they are hard to capture and understand by machines, and thus past research in Assistive Technology (AT) and eAcessibility mainly focused on explicit information. For this, Information and Communication technology (ICT) provides a rich variety of possible solutions to give access to blind and visually impaired people (BVIP).
In the recent years, sensors and motion capturing systems experienced a significant step forwards, combined with an increasing computational power. This allows to also address this challenging field of reliably capturing and interpreting non-verbal communication elements to make them accessible to BVIP.

This session calls for presentation and discussion of R&D addressing Accessibility and Assistive Technology (AT) of non-verbal communication. It intends to set up a platform for discussion on issues like

  • Importance of non-verbal communication and the impact of reduced access; target groups and benefits of better access to non-verbal communication (e.g. blindness, cognitive disabilities, hearing impairment, cultural diversity)
  • Concepts and methods for describing, structuring, defining marking-up/notating and analyzing non-verbal cues for computation for Accessibility and AT
  • Concepts and methods for displaying non-verbal information cues in the context of established verbal and other explicit ways of communication for people with disabilities
  • Requirements engineering and user centered design for accessible non-verbal communication
  • Reasoning “to make sense” out of many and multi-layered non-verbal communication cues to allow efficient and usable inclusion in accessible communication settings
  • Application Scenarios and Prototypes: AT and accessibilityAccessibility and AT of simple presentations, structured co-located meetings and unstructured social interaction in everyday life

Accessibility of non-verbal communication is a rather new and challenging field. This session aims at bringing together researchers and developers to establish a new domain in the field of Accessibility and AT. Therefore we call for contributions addressing conceptual ideas, the definition of the domain, as well as first prototyping and experimenting which help to frame this new and challenging domain.


Contributions to a STS have to be submitted using the standard submission procedures of ICCHP.
When submitting your contribution please make sure to select the right STS under "Special Thematic Session". Contributions to a STS are evaluated by the Programme Committee of ICCHP and by the chair(s) of the STS. Please get in contact with the STS chairs for discussing your involvement and pre-evaluation of your contribution. Submission Deadline for Contributions to STSs: April 15, 2020