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News

Interactive helpdesk benefits the disabled

Delft University Of Technology : 23 November, 2006  (Technical Article)
If helpdesk personnel can view and click on the callers' screens, the callers problems will be solved faster and more efficiently. By helping disabled people and the elderly use their computers in this way, they can lead more independent lives. These are research findings of Joyce Beumer, who on April 25 received her PhD degree based on this research subject.
If helpdesk personnel can view and click on the callers' screens, the callers problems will be solved faster and more efficiently. By helping disabled people and the elderly use their computers in this way, they can lead more independent lives. These are research findings of Joyce Beumer, who on April 25 received her PhD degree based on this research subject.

The method that Beumer researched is called Audio Supported Application Sharing. ASAS not only includes a telephone support (audio support) service, but it also allows helpdesk personnel to view and click on the screen of the caller (application sharing) from a distance.

During her research, Beumer developed and tested two ASAS services. One served to make it possible to rehabilitate visually impaired people from a distance and the other, as an extension of an existing tax information service, helped to answer questions from taxpayers about submitting digital tax forms.

The outcome was that callers to a helpdesk had their problems solved faster and more efficiently using the ASAS-service, than when only a telephone support service was provided. Moreover, the callers and helpdesk personnel were more satisfied with the way in which the problems were solved.

‘ASAS-services can help elderly people, people who are bedridden and people with various types of disabilities to live more independently and feel less isolated,’ says Beumer, who herself is visually impaired. ‘This is because for example they can do their own errands or stay in touch with people who are in the same situations as they are. And companies and (governmental) organisations can provide better services to their customers if they use ASAS-services.’
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