Computers Helping People with Special Needs: 8th International Conference, ICCHP 2002, Linz, Austria, July 15-20, Proceedings

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Success and e?ciency are the latest standards and scales of our society. Virtual surroundings and communication rooms, electronic portals and platforms are pushing us into a new world of personal and professional interaction and c- peration. The network to subdue violence is fragile and crumbly, tradition is no longer a power of our community. What of leisure time, dreams, and fantasy? What of education in the family, at school and at university? Travelling round the world to develop yourself –how man becomes man: pleading for a new determination of the idea of education –a mission of past centuries inadequate nowadays? Regarding September 11th last year, the con?icts and confrontations round the globe, and events in our direct surroundings these questions seem to be a cry at least to re?ect upon what is happening around us and where we –all of us –still play an active role. An International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs is like an island –is this a topic at all these days, is it worth disc- sing the area of ICT and the situation of people with disabilities, persons who are segregated from developing their personal and professional careers? Indeed the biennial meeting has never included these actualities, but the basic idea behind ICCHP, starting in 1989, was to focus on these fringe groups and to o?er a platform of exchange on all aspects of Human Computer Interaction and the usage of ICT for people with special needs.

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