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Mar 17, 2007

CFP: "Online Communities and People with Disabilities" Special Issue of TACCESS


Via Usability News 


Call for papers: Special Issue of ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS) on "Online Communities and People with Disabilities"
Guest Editors: Panayiotis Zaphiris & Ulrike Pfeil
Centre for HCI Design
City University London

The focus of this special issue will be on papers that address the design and study of online communities for people with disabilities and for older people. Theoretical issues and practical challenges in these areas such as analysis of empathic communities, design and evaluation methodologies as well as implementation will be of interest to this issue.

The term 'online community' is generally used to refer to people who meet and communicate in an online environment. Rather than physical proximity, researchers use the nature and strength of relationships among the members to determine the characteristics of an online community. Online communities are formed around similar interests (for example discussions around a disability) of the members. People who have similar needs or experiences meet in online communities in order to exchange valuable resources and/or to engage in social support. An increasing number of people spend time in online communities to make friends, develop relationships, and exchange emotional support. Social interaction online can especially be beneficial for people with special needs (and for older people) as it allows them to stay in contact with family and friends despite the disability or time-constraints.

The emphasis for TACCESS publications is placed on experimental results, although strong papers presenting new theoretical insights or positions are also given consideration. Additional information for prospective authors can be found at: http://www.is.umbc.edu/taccess/authors.html

Contributions from both the academic community and industry are most welcomed. Potential topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

*Design approaches and techniques suitable for empathic online communities
* Usability and accessibility studies regarding online communities for people with disabilities
* Theoretical foundations for analysing empathic online communities
* Social and Cultural Issues of online communities for people with disabilities
* New methods and techniques (eg Social Network Analysis)
* Ethical issues to be considered when studying online communities for people with disabilities
* The potential of 3D Virtual Worlds for such communities

Prospective authors should as soon as possible (but before 15th of May 2007) submit a tentative title and a short abstract (maximum 150 words) to Panayiotis Zaphiris (zaphiri@soi.city.ac.uk). Authors of abstracts that are judged to fit the themes of the special issue will be promptly invited to submit a full paper. Full paper should follow the journal�s suggested writing format viewable at http://www.is.umbc.edu/taccess/authors.html and should be submitted directly to the editors of this special issue (zaphiri@soi.city.ac.uk)

Important dates:

o Abstract submission: By 15th of May 2007
o Full paper submission: 15th July 2007
o Response to authors: 25th September 2007
o Final version of papers: 25th October 2007

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