Accessibility Research on the Rise in CS

Smartphone Accessibility Research
Smartphone Accessibility Research

In 2023-2024 academic year, researchers in the Department of Computer Science earned millions of dollars in federal funding enabling them to focus on improving accessibility in varying environments and using different technologies. Whether it is research geared toward people with visual impairments and smartphone use, or training robots to be caregivers for ALS patients, faculty are committed to improving daily life across the globe.

On the Horizon: A Robot to Assist ALS Patients

The debilitating disease of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) leads to loss of mobility and an inability for patients to complete even basic tasks like lifting their arms, eating, or moving their hands. This brings great stress to patients and their caregivers. A team of Stony Brook University researchers is aiming to alleviate the many difficulties that accompany advancing ALS by using computer and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, mechanical engineering, and consultation by medical experts to create a Caregiving Robot Assistant (CART) for ALS patients and their caregivers. This $1.5M project is funded by the U.S. Army. Learn more about our ALS research in this article

NIH Funds Smartphone Accessibility Research

Professors Xiaojun Bi and IV Ramakrishnan from the Department of Computer Science received a $1.3M R01 award from the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute (NEI) for the project, Intelligent Text Input and Editing Methods on Smartphones for Blind Users.

Inspired by studies indicating that blind individuals usually type at a rate of 4-5 words per minute (WPM), which is 90% slower than the average typing speed of 36 WPM for sighted individuals, the  project will significantly improve the text-based communication experience for blind users and is certain to benefit millions of blind smartphone users around the world, according to Bi. Details about the research can be found in this news article.