On behalf of the Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE), the University of Pannonia and the team of local organisers, we are honoured to present the proceedings and the program of the 13th European Conference on the Advancement of Assistive Technology. After Maastricht 1990, Stockholm 1993, Lisbon 1995, Porto 1997, Düsseldorf 1999, Ljubjana 2001, Dublin 2003, Lille 2005, San Sebastian 2007, Florence 2009, Maastricht 2011, Vilamoura 2013, we are proud to host this conference in Budapest with the main patronage of President János Áder, President of the Republic. Zoltán Balog, the Minister of Human Capacities and István Tarlós, the Mayor of Budapest are also our patrons.
The slogan of the AAATE 2015 conference, “Attracting new areas and building bridges” reflects both the intention to reach out to Eastern-Europe and to target a wider audience of professionals interested in the relationship between technology and disability, in particular those involved in partially overlapping fields, such as e.g. Ambient Assisted Living, Universal Design, e-Accessibility, Technology in Social Care and Person-Centred Technology. Colleagues responsible for the training of future specialists in the field are also an important target group we invite to get involved. A particular focus in this year's conference is on connecting with stakeholders from industry to establish a sustainable exchange amongst all stakeholders in the value chain of Assistive Technology and service provision for people with disabilities.
Every two years the AAATE conference provides a unique platform to reflect and review progress and challenges in the implementation of equal opportunities as best expressed in the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. Contributions to the advancement of Assistive Technology, not only in technological areas, but in all the fields closely related to this domain – Education and Training, Service Delivery, Research, Industry, Legislation – are welcome at this conference. The conference covers thematic areas as:
• Assistive Technology
• Aging, disability and technology
• Ambient Assisted Living
• AT and Accessibility for people with dementia and cognitive disabilities
• AT and social/health care
• AT for Blind and low vision people
• AT for people with motor and physical disability
• AT outcome, transfer and policy
• Augmented and Alternative Communication
• Education and training in AT
• Mobility: AT, accessibility and usability
Several Special Thematic Sessions have been organised:
• Universal teaching and learning
• Technology and human assistance for people with cognitive disabilities
• Aging, disability and technology: creating healthy environments to support ageing and disabled persons
• AT service provision, organisation and impact
The conference and the proceedings in your hands cover 138 reviewed papers, grouped into 28 sessions, and contains 28 accepted poster presentations. We expect participation of experts and delegates from 32 countries. Program building and organising the conference requires the dedicated effort of many people. First, we thank all authors for submitting their work and results in research, development and evaluation of practice for presentation and publication in the proceedings. Second, we thank all organisers of session and other program parts for their engagement. Third, we thank all members of the International Programme Committee for their support in the scientific review process. Fourth, our special thanks go to the keynote speakers for their outstanding contributions:
• Sofia L. Kalman: “What makes it tick? Components of the effective use of AAC.
• Penny Standen: Designing dedicated assistive technology or adapting mainstream technology? Examples from intellectual disabilities.
• Mike Paciello: E-Accessibility: Achieving Pervasive Inclusion.
• Laura Evans and Sally Fowler Davis: Assistive technology in rehabilitation; Have we lost the plot?
Finally, special thanks go to the Laboratory of Virtual Environments and Imaging Technologies Research Laboratory at the University of Pannonia, the Diamond Congress Ltd. and John von Neumann Computer Society, the board and the secretariat of AAATE for hosting and organising the conference. Only due to all their joint efforts could the conference be put in place and will contribute to the mission of AAATE: to advance Assistive Technology in Europe and around the globe for better quality of life for people with disabilities.