Accessible Urban Public Transport: Still a long way to go?

Communication in Accessible Urban Public Transport

Workshop on standardisation activities concerning interfaces and communicated content, 10 September 2020 14:40~16:00

AAATE’s Special Interest Group on Standardisation and the European project TRIPS organise an online workshop that will be held on 10 September in the framework of the ICCHP 2020 conference 9-11 September 2020.

Accessible environments and assistive technologies (AT) in its widest meaning, allow and facilitate the use of public transportation by persons with disabilities and older citizens.

Communication plays an important role in urban public transport. Many scenarios related to human communication content flowing from the user to the transportation provider and back to the user,are imaginable, based on the use of all kinds of interfaces, codes, systems,and tools. This interaction can require communication modality conversion. These scenarios can be quite different depending on the user’s condition and preferences, the offered solutions, the city’s topography, historical and societal background, the available infrastructure, and other factors.

Taking accessible urban public transport as broad application area, the topic of accessible communication content is multifaceted – nearly always including technology- and content-related aspects:

  • From the user’s viewpoint: interfaces for human-machine interaction and interoperability with AT devices,information security, etc.
  • Regarding the communication content: human communication and its modalities, including language varieties, comprehensive content interoperability, etc.
  • From the transport service provider viewpoint: legal obligations, corporate social responsibility, safety and liability issues, integration with wider services in the city, continuous improvement of services (including the take up of accessible communication), etc.

Further, accessible urban public transport must seamlessly interface with ambient assisted living environments, larger public transport systems and private transport services, different emergency systems, etc. The above also touches upon cyber-physical system design, accessibility by design, Universal Design, robotics applied in AT, translation and interpretation services, sign language and other alternative means of communication, etc.

Involving persons with disabilities and assistive technology experts in the design and implementation of inclusive digital mobility solutions has proven beneficial for all service users, as well as for the sustainable development of entire public transportation systems.

For challenging complex environments, such as public transport, standardisation activities are a key to successful solution design. Standardisation, if done well, is an opportunity for providing solutions that foster social equality. Therefore monitoring standards and engaging in standardisation activities should be high on the agenda of the stakeholder communities, with crucial challenges: AT-related standardisation activities are fragmented over many technical committees, and persons with disabilities are very often not involved in the standardisation process. In the absence of an AT standardisation ecosystem that can impact the standardisation agenda effectively, coordination activities should be increased.

Part of the input for the workshop will come from the outcomes of the EU project TRIPS – TRansport Innovation for disabled People needs Satisfaction. This project, funded by the European Commission, aims to involve citizens to actively participate in the design of innovative solutions based on digital technologies. In addressing this challenge, existing and new standards have their say as social determinants and enablers of technological innovation with big practical and societal influence.


Key note session. Moderator David Banes (AAATE inhouse consultant)

– Laura Alčiauskaitė (TRIPS project coordinator for the European Network of Independent Living):

– Steven Barbosa (Senior Manager- Business, HR & International Social Affairs of the International Association of Public Transport UITP):

-Christian Galinski (Leader of the AAATE Standardisation SIG and project consultant of AAATE for the TRIPS project): Challenging areas of standardisation: Communication and Content interoperability

Panel session. Moderator: Sabine Lobnig (AAATE Communication officer)


-Gregg Vanderheiden (Raising the floor and Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure Project)

-James Thurston (G3ICT) (to be confirmed)

-Astrid Stueckelberger (Scientist and international health expert)

-ShadiAbou-Zahra (W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI))

-Christoph Veigl (Technikum Wien)

Topics that will be addressed in the presentations and the discussions:

  • The contribution of public transport users with disabilities and other stakeholders to solution design and standardisation activities.
  • Human communication (incl. ICT assisted communication) and its content: modalities, modality conversion, content interoperability, etc. and challenges related to standardisation.
  • Strategies/policies for accessible urban transport.
  • Wider legal and social issues: Privacy, data security, intellectual property rights (IPR), accessibility legislation, corporate social responsibility (CSR), free accessible content.

Target audience

Transportation users and providers, AT experts, experts in standardisation as well as members of the diverse AT community are invited to join us actively, exchange ideas and experiences, as well as share knowledge in an online environment.

In case you are interested, please contact:


Christian Galinski, Klaus Miesenberger, Evert-Jan Hoogerwerf

The workshop is organised and sponsored by the AAATE SIG on standards in collaboration with the TRIPS consortium partners. Participation is free of charge, but registration is requested.

To register, please use the ICCHP conference registration facility and choose the free relevant “service”.

Your registration includes free attendance of the presentations in the Special Thematic Session of the ICCHP conference “Implementation and Innovation in the area of independent mobility through digital technologies (STS)” Track B: 11.00-12.20 and 13.00-14.20.

Implementation and innovation in the area of independent mobility through digital technologies

A Special Thematic Session of the ICCHP Conference organised by David Banes and the TRIPS project consortium

Independent mobility is often cited requirement of people with a disability in seeking to increase opportunities to have full access to education, employment and daily living. Recent innovations in both assistive and accessible technologies suggest new ways in which navigation, orientation and wayfinding can be made accessible for people with a wide variety of needs including those with cognitive, sensory, physical impairments and the elderly.

Insight and examples of the impact of emerging technologies including the use of location-based technologies, artificial intelligence, machine learning and augmented, mixed and virtual reality solutions offer opportunities for increasingly personalised, adaptive and natural interfaces for access methods including speech, audio, gestural and haptic approaches.

Such innovation requires appropriate service and training to be implemented across age need and context
This STS aims at discussing recent achievements in the area of independent mobility through digital technologies with a particular focus upon the technologies, forms of access and associated services to support implementation, replication and localisation. This STS is expected to share experiences amongst researchers from diverse perspectives and to consolidate domain-specific knowledge.

The workshop is sponsored by AAATE in collaboration with the TRIPS consortium partners. Participation is for that reason free of charge, but registration is required.

To register, please use the ICCHP conference registration facility and choose the free relevant “service”. You will be requested to create an account but it is free of charge

In case you are only interested in this workshop, you can also register here.