The Home and Electronic Assistive Technology

16-17th March 2004
 Huntingdon Room, King's Manor, University of York
 DIRC log Workshop  
Organised by the Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration in Dependability of Computer-Based Systems (DIRC)

in association with the CUHTec the Centre for Usable Home Technology

Registration is now open

Introduction: What is HEAT 2004?
Programme: What will happen at HEAT 2004?
Costs: How much is it?
Registration: How do I sign up?
Location: Where is it?
Accommodation: Where can I stay?
Further information


Electronic Assistive Technology (EAT) is being more widely deployed to enable people with disabilities and the elderly to increase their independence and quality of life. To do so, however, the EAT must be dependable, performing exactly as expected each time it is called upon. The technology also needs to be designed and installed so that it is actually used, and it must answer the real needs and wishes of its users.

The HEAT workshop is aimed at practitioners, developers, researchers and users of all kinds of EAT in domestic settings, such as:

The intention of the workshop is to encourage dialogue and debate between the various groups of people involved in designing, developing, deploying and using EAT in the home. These will include (but are not limited to):

The workshop programme has been designed to present as broad a range as possible of pertinent issues whilst still allowing plenty of time for open discussions.


A printable version of the programme is available (from here).

Day 1 (16th March)

14:00 Welcome:
            Guy Dewsbury (Dept of Computing, Lancaster University) and Gordon Baxter (Dept. of Psychology, University of York)
14:10 An introduction to DIRC and the relationship between dependability and EAT in the home:
            Cliff Jones (Technical Director, DIRC project)
14:30 Keynote Talk: Dependability Issues in Smart House Design:
             Dr Roger Orpwood (Bath Institute of Medical Engineering)
15:30 Tea break
16:00 Panel session: What are the factors that make an EAT system "good"?
             Chaired by Andrew Monk (CUHTec)
             Kevin Doughty (CUHTec)
             Jenny Jarred (Age Concern York)
             Roger Orpwood (Bath Institute of Medical Engineering)
             Elizabeth Sergeant (Aberdeen City Social Work Department)
             Ian Somerville (Computing Department, Lancaster University)
17:00 Closing comments

19:30  Workshop dinner

Day 2 (17th March)

09:30 Keynote Talk: Dependability and Electronic Assistive Technology: A Service Provider's Perspective:
             Elizabeth Sergeant (Social Work Manager, Aberdeen City Social Work Department)
10:30 Short papers session 1: Making EAT dependable in practice
          Development of a once-off telephone security switch:
            B. Martin (Central Remedial Clinic, Dublin)
          West Midlands regional strategy for Electronic Assistive Technology: Building a dependable service delivery model:
            P. Palmer, L. Elliot, J. Gillies & C. Thursfield (Access to Communication and Technology, West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre)
11:15 Coffee break
11:45 Short papers session 2: Methods and tools
          Easy for everyone: Using components to offer specialised interfaces for software:
            P. Bagnall, G. Dewsbury & I. Sommerville (Dept. of Computing, Lancaster University)

          'Discounted' user research for inclusive design:
            H.Dong, S. Keates, J. Clarkson (Engineering Design Centre, Cambridge University) & J. Cassim (Helen Hamley Research Centre, RCA)
          An evaluation of the Psychosocial Impact of Assistive Devices Scale:
            P. Palmer & A. Negus (Access to Communication and Technology, West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre)
12:45 Lunch
13:45 Long papers session: The future of EAT
          Extending the role of telecare and assistive technologies in supporting vulnerable groups in the community:
            K. Doughty (CUHTec)
          Dependability requirements to aid the design of virtual companions for later life:
            D. Maciuszek, N. Shahmehri & J. Aberg (Dept. of Computer and Information Science, Linkoping University)
          HEAT & SPAM: SMS messaging & supporting community care:
            K. Cheverst, D. Fitton & M. Rouncefield (Dept. of Computing, Lancaster University)
15:15 Tea break
15:45 Short papers session 3:  Automated care
          Using support dogs to inform assistive technology: Towards an artificial seizure alert system:
            S. Lawson (School of Computing, Napier University), D. Wells (School of Psychology, Queen's University, Belfast) &
            V. Strong (Support Dogs, Sheffield)

          Do you want to be looked after by a robot?
            A. Monk, M. Blythe & D. Reed (CUHTec)

16:30 Closing comments
17:00 Close


The cost for the full workshop (one and a half days) is 95. There is also a discounted rate for students and elderly or disabled people of 40 for the full workshop. Those people who register for the full workshop will also be given a ticket for the workshop dinner which will be held on the evening of 16th March.

The daily rates for the workshop are 40 per person for Tuesday 16th March (half day) and 80 per person for Wednesday 17th March (full day).

The workshop fees includes workshop proceedings, tea, coffee and lunch (on Wednesday 17th).

Attendance is strictly limited to 70 people, so places will be assigned on a first come, first served basis.


Registration for the HEAT Workshop is by downloading and completing the form (available here) and returning it by post to the address on the form. Participants with special requirements should contact the workshop organisers (for contact details see under Further Information).


The workshop is being held in the Huntingdon Room at the historical King's Manor site in central York. See http://www.york.ac.uk/admin/presspr/kmanor/ for more details.


Workshop attendees will be responsible for arranging their own accommodation. Details of accommodation that is regularly used by visitors to the University of York can be found at http://www.york.ac.uk/admin/accom/returner/usefullocal.htm.


More information can be obtained from Gordon Baxter (g.baxter@psych.york.ac.uk) or Guy Dewsbury (g.dewsbury@lancaster.ac.uk).

We acknowledge the support of Hometoys for assisting in this workshop.