The Activity Diamond - Modeling an Enhanced Accessibility

Abstract: The purpose of the research presented in this thesis is to enhance the field of accessibility to include a multitude of perspectives. Based on cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT), it analyzes how human, artifactual and natural factors impact an individual’s possibilities to act in concrete situations that are part of a systemic whole. The thesis presents two main results: An enhanced accessibility encompassing: Epiaccessibility, accessibility’s spirit of the times, stands for how experiences of activities alter accessibility capacities, learning, expectations, attitudes, trust, demands and denials of the individual and her human, artifactual and natural environments. Lived accessibility, which includes the anticipations and the experienced conditions of a person to be able to do what she wants in a concrete situation. Planned accessibility, which consists of all the accessibility factors that can be created beforehand based on plans, guidelines and principles. The Activity Diamond, a model for accessibility: The Activity Diamond portrays a human activity system, where the subject-object relation is mediated and thus influenced by the human, artifactual and natural environments. The model is based on four interrelated sets of factors and is situated in time and place. Different actors with different activity systems may be involved. The model can be also used longitudinally in time. The thesis is based on a series of explorative studies in which the analysis unit is shifted from impairments and discriminatory factors in society to unique individual activity systems where humans, artifacts and nature together influence accessibility. The thesis contains the following four papers: The Activity Diamond: a model for multifaceted I. accessibility. Status: Submitted to The Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, May 5, 2009. An Activity Systemic Approach to Augmentative and II. Alternative Communication. Status: Submitted to the AAC Journal, July 24, 2009. Towards the Era of Mixed Reality: Accessibility Meets III. Three Waves of HCI. Status: Full paper presented at USAB 2009 (Usability & HCI Learning from the Extreme), November 10, 2009, Submitted July 21, 2009. Accepted September 11, 2009. An activity theoretical approach to the International IV. Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Status: Submitted to Disability and Rehabilitation October 30, 2009.