CTIT University of Twente
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World Haptics 2017 workshops will take place on Monday, June 6, 2017 during the World Haptics 2017 conference in Fürstenfeldbruck, Germany (near Munich). Please submit the following information for consideration before March 19, 2017 to workshops@worldhaptics2017.org. The information provided will be posted on the website and included in the electronic version of the proceedings.


Haptics interfaces for accessibility



Type of Activity:

Please select:

☐ Panel Workshop

X Open Workshop

☐ Tutorial

Proposed Duration:

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☐ Full day

X Half day

☐ Prefer morning

☐ Prefer afternoon



Dr Luca Brayda, Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, luca.brayda@iit.it

Luca Brayda obtained his MSc in Computer Science Engineering at Politecnico di Torino, Italy, in 2003, with a Master Thesis at the Panasonic Speech Technology lab of Santa Barbara, USA. In 2007 he got his PhD from the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France. His research on microphone arrays for robust speech recognition was hosted by the Eurecom Institute, France and by the Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento, Italy. From 2008 he is Team Leader at the Italian Institute of Technology, in the Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences dept. His current interests are on haptics, acoustics, cognition applied to accessible learning, sensory substitution and assistive technologies for sensory impairment. His research is co-funded by several public international, national and private grants. He is coordinator of the FP7 EU 2014-2016 project BLINDPAD (www.blindpad.eu). He is author of more than 30 international publications (journals and conferences) and he holds 2 patents.

Dr Lamia Elloumi, University of Twente, l.elloumi@utwente.nl

Lamia Elloumi obtained her BSc degree in Applied Computing for Management at the Higher Institute of Management, Tunis, Tunisia. In 2010, she obtained her MSc degree in Web Intelligence at Jean Monnet University, Saint-Etienne, France. She obtained her PhD, supervised by Prof. dr. ir. Hermie Hermens and dr. ir. Bert-Jan van Beijnum in the Remote Monitoring and Treatment group at the University of Twente. Since January 2016, she is Postdoc researcher in the "Living Smart Campus" Project.

Prof. dr. Jan B. F. Van Erp, The Netherlands Organizazion for Applied Scientific Research, jan.vanerp@tno.nl

Jan van Erp is Professor of Tangible User Interaction with a special interest in using discriminative touch in haptic and tactile displays and social touch in mediated communication and interaction with virtual agents and robots. Jan has a part time appointment with HMI and also works at The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research TNO as a senior scientist and program manager. Jan believes that technology should support people in their performance, safety and strive for happiness and that people and technology co-evaluate and add up to more than their sum. His mission is to develop user-system symbiosis: Human Computer Interfaces that are of benefit to both entities.

Prof. Van Erp has a MSc degree in Experimental Psychology and a PhD in Computer Science. His expertise is on advanced Human Computer Interaction including multisensory interaction, remote control interfaces and brain-computer interfaces. Jan has directed large research consortia and chaired and participated in expert groups of amongst others ETSI, NATO and ISO. He is the current president of the Eurohaptics Society, a board member of the i3B foundation (ICT for Brain, Body and behaviour), editor at the Brain-Computer Interfaces journal at the Frontiers in Human-Media Interaction journal, and editor of the ISO standard on tactile and haptic interactions.


Haptic technologies are able to stimulate the sense of touch, which is known to reinforce or substitute percepts coming from other sensory channels. This is an advantage in situations where some channels are weak or missing, as in the case of sensory disabled individuals, such as visually [1,2,10,11] or hearing [3] impaired persons. In addition, haptic feedback can be used for diagnosis and treatment in a variety of settings: modulating haptic feedback has shown improvements in interaction with children with ASD [6,7]. Conversely, when haptic stimulation is associated with pathological responses, quantitative methods can be developed to assess the degrees of such responses, for example in persons with developmental [8] or psychiatric disorders [9].

A specific case of interest is that of accessibility, where the haptic modality serves to perceive, code and understand information that is essential for daily living of persons with special needs. However, solutions are often confined to experimental setups that in few cases translates into widespread accessible solutions. The potential of manipulating digital information dramatically drops when no access to it can be granted.

Given that haptic and tactile feedback is present in embryonal forms in modern portable devices, the workshop will foster discussion on how the haptic modality may penetrate the future generation of interfaces for accessibility, when the main end user has, for example, a sensory or cognitive disability.

This workshop intends to bring together researchers, technicians, possibly involving clinical and rehabilitation practitioners that have in common the design or the use of haptic technologies to increase accessibility in a variety of populations. Studies may include means of detecting, measuring or treating health issues. Topics include, but are not limited to:

Haptic interfaces for disability, tactile stimulation, force feedback, assistive technologies, sensory impairments, cognitive disorders, developmental issues, motor rehabilitation, autism.


The workshop targets a generalist audience, therefore researchers with various backgrounds in engineering, psychology, cognitive sciences and medicine are welcome to participate. In particular, our goal is to focus on clinical, rehabilitation and health-related aspects in general, therefore we welcome researchers that wish to carry or have carried out activities within a clinical setup. We wish to discuss the implications and the constraints linked to bringing haptics in novel domains, where somatosensory feedback may have been of little concern so far.


The purpose is to encourage the discussion between clinical experts and scientists of the sense of touch: together with 6-8 papers, presented orally in a first session, we will set a second discussion session where the needs of health scientists can meet technological solutions, with the chance for contributors of bringing demos to the workshop. All contributors are encouraged to bring multimedia material (videos) about how haptic technology is being tested in environments where accessibility is a primary goal.

The papers accepted for this workshop will be extended abstracts of max two pages, double-column, with 11 point Times New Roman font.

A total of about 6-8 abstract will be presented at the workshop.

Concerning our publication policy, one of the goals is to set a draft table of contents for a book on the workshop topic. Springer has already expressed interest in publishing such a volume in their series on Haptics. Interested authors will be asked to prepare an extended full chapter version, to be proposed as part of this volume.

The deadline for extended abstract submission is April 15th 2017

Please send your contributions to luca.brayda@iit.it, l.elloumi@utwente.nl, jan.vanerp@tno.nl

Please contact the organizers for additional information.


The workshop requires audio equipment with a stereo set (2 loudspeakers far apart from each other).

Two additional tables approximately 1.5m x 1m (with a power socket) are required to host demos and prototypes brought by the organizers and the participants.


[1] Leo, F., Cocchi, E., & Brayda, L. (2016). The Effect of Programmable Tactile Displays on Spatial Learning Skills in Children and Adolescents of Different Visual Disability. IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering.

[2] Elliott, L. R., van Erp, J., Redden, E. S., & Duistermaat, M. (2010). Field-based validation of a tactile navigation device. IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 3(2), 78-87.

[3] Shibasaki, M., Kamiyama, Y., & Minamizawa, K. (2016, October). Designing a Haptic Feedback System for Hearing-Impaired to Experience Tap Dance. In Proceedings of the 29th Annual Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (pp. 97-99). ACM.

[4] Stockley, R., Donaldson, G., Tetley, J., Georgiou, T., Holland, S., Van Der Linden, J., & Pinzone, O. (2016). Walk to the beat: a single case study investigating a novel haptic device to improve walking after stroke. Cerebrovascular Diseases, 41(Suppl 1)), 89.

[5] Henschke, M., Hobbs, D., & Wilkinson, B. (2012, November). Developing serious games for children with cerebral palsy: case study and pilot trial. In Proceedings of the 24th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference (pp. 212-221). ACM.

[6] Seo, Jinsil Hwaryoung, Annie Sungkajun, and Jinkyo Suh. "Touchology: Towards Interactive Plant Design for Children with Autism and Older Adults in Senior Housing." Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2015.

[7] Changeon, Gwénaël, et al. "Tactile emotions: A vibrotactile tactile gamepad for transmitting emotional messages to children with autism." Haptics: Perception, Devices, Mobility, and Communication. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2012. 79-90.

[8] Chikai, M., & Miyake, H. (2014). Development of a Haptic Performance Diagnostics Device for Children with Developmental Disorder. Iryou kikigaku (The Japanese journal of medical instrumentation), 84(1), 18-22.

[9] Mueller, Stephanie, et al. "Sensory integration capacity is diminished in obsessive compulsive disorder patients with poor insight but not in patients with intact insight." (2014)

[10] Memeo, M., & Brayda, L. (2016, July). How Geometrical Descriptors Help to Build Cognitive Maps of Solid Geometry with a 3DOF Tactile Mouse. In International Conference on Human Haptic Sensing and Touch Enabled Computer Applications (pp. 75-85). Springer International Publishing.

[11] de Jesus Oliveira, V. A., Brayda, L., Nedel, L., & Maciel, A. (2017). Designing a Vibrotactile Head-Mounted Display for Spatial Awareness in 3D Spaces. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 23(4), 1409-1417.