Publications

Featured Publications

10
Journal Scientific Papers
11
Conference Papers
2
Book chapters
3
Workshop papers
1
Scientific Posters
1
Datasets
1
Studies

All Publications (2017-2024)

Shaza Khatab, Mohamad Hassan Fadi Hijab, Achraf Othman, Dena Al-Thani

This paper presents a systematic literature review investigating collaborative play for autistic children. Autistic children are often faced with challenges related to social interaction, communication, and interest during play. This underscores the importance of exploring collaborative play as a potential intervention. Collaborative play, where children engage together towards shared goals, offers promising prospects for improving communication abilities in autistic children.

Journal | Entertainment Computing, Volume 50, May 2024, 100653

Khansa Chemnad, Oussama El Ghoul, Achraf Othman, Maryam Yousuf Al-Jabir

The Arab Web Accessibility Study is an initiative by Mada to explore the state of web accessibility in the Arab region. The study will analyze 5,000 websites across various sectors in 22 Arab countries, providing a comprehensive overview of the current state of web accessibility in the region.

Study | 2024

Mohamad Hassan Fadi Hijab, Shaza Khattab, Nahwan Al Aswadi, Joselia Neves, Marwa Qaraqe, Achraf Othman, Noora Alsulaiti, Dena Al-Thani

In educational settings, autistic children often encounter barriers to engaging in collaborative play. Notably, play is an important component of a child’s development, and its pedagogical significance has been rigorously researched. This study endeavored to understand the dynamics of collaborative play among autistic children across various learning contexts, examining usual methodologies, associated challenges, and potential technological constraints influencing the collaborative play among autistic children…

Journal: Frontiers in Education | Impact Factor 2020: 2.3 | 2024

Khansa Chemnad, Achraf Othman

Digital accessibility involves designing digital systems and services to enable access for individuals, including those with disabilities, including visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive impairments. Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to enhance accessibility for people with disabilities and improve their overall quality of life…

Journal: Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence | Impact Factor 2020: 4.0 | 2024

Oussama El Ghoul; Maryam Aziz; Achraf Othman

This paper proposes the first large-scale and annotated Qatari sign language dataset for continuous sign language processing. This dataset focuses on phrases and sentences commonly used in healthcare settings and contains 6300 records of 900 sentences. The dataset collection process involves diverse participants, including both hearing-impaired individuals and sign interpreters, to capture variations in signing styles, speeds, and other linguistic nuances. The data collection setup integrates advanced technology, including true depth cameras, to comprehensively record signing movements from various angles. The collected dataset is rich in content, encompassing different signing variations and linguistic intricacies…

Journal: IEEE Access | (Q1, Impact Factor 2020: 3.476) | 2023

Achraf Othman and Amnah Al Mutawaa

With the increasing reliance on emerging technologies in the context of digital transformation, businesses aim to enhance service quality and adapt to changing customer needs. However, persons with disabilities still face barriers to employment due to negative attitudes, lack of accessibility, and discrimination. Therefore, there is a need to explore the challenges and opportunities associated with learning organization, digital accessibility, and disability in digital transformation, specifically focusing on employment for persons with disabilities in the human resources industry..…

Journal: Journal of Chinese Human Resources Management | 2023

Mohamad Hassan Fadi Hijab, Bilikis Banire, Joselia Neves, Marwa Qaraqe, Achraf Othman, Dena Al-Thani

A co-design process involving autistic children can provide a substantial benefit and optimal utilization of technologies to an off-the-shelf design-based one. Having a voice and making a contribution plays a major role in the co-design process. Yet autistic children exhibit varying communication and social skill and some of them may be minimally verbal or non-verbal. For these reasons, harmonizing the techniques of the co-design process with autistic children with varying characteristics requires detailed and careful consideration.…

Journal: International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction | Impact Factor 2022: 4.7 | 2023

Amina Ben Haj Amor, Oussama El Ghoul, Mohamed Jemni

The analysis and recognition of sign languages are currently active fields of research focused on sign recognition. Various approaches differ in terms of analysis methods and the devices used for sign acquisition. Traditional methods rely on video analysis or spatial positioning data calculated using motion capture tools. In contrast to these conventional recognition and classification approaches, electromyogram (EMG) signals, which measure muscle electrical activity, offer potential technology for detecting gestures…

Journal: MDPI Sensors | (Q1, Impact Factor 2022: 3.9) | 2023

Mohamad Hassan Fadi Hijab, Nahwan Al Aswadi, Shaza Khatab, Dena Al-Thani, Joselia Neves, Marwa Qaraqe, Achraf Othman, and Noora Alsulaiti

This paper introduces a co-design methodology aimed at the development of a multisensory tool to facilitate collaborative play among autistic children, a demographic traditionally underrepresented in the co-design process. Due to challenges in social and communication skills, autistic children may experience difficulties in engaging in collaborative play. Co-design is used to effectively incorporate the perspectives of all stakeholders, including researchers, developers, and end users when developing a new product…

Workshop: Interacting with Assistive Technology (IATech) Workshop @ INTERACT’23 | 2023

Achraf Othman, Ahmed Elsheikh, Amnah Mohammed Al-Mutawaa

The Internet of Things (IoT) is an ever-evolving ecosystem that enables interactions between humans and interconnected objects, including healthcare domains. IoT addresses the lack of access to medical resources, the growing elderly population with chronic conditions, and the rising medical costs. This research analyzes 20 review articles on IoT applications for the well-being and healthcare of the elderly population. IoT can significantly improve well-being and healthcare through remote monitoring, communication, automating tasks, and access to various services and information. However, several limitations and challenges must be considered when employing IoT for the elderly’s well-being and healthcare.

Conference: 2023 IEEE Symposium on Computers and Communications (ISCC) | Tunis, Tunisia | 2023

Achraf Othman, Oussama El Ghoul, Maryam Aziz, Khansa Chemnad, Sammy Sedrati, Amira Dhouib

The use of automated accessibility testing tools remains a common practice for evaluating web accessibility. However, the results obtained from these tools may not always provide a comprehensive and complete view of a site’s accessibility status. The main purpose of this study is to improve web accessibility by automatically remediating non-accessible ones using Large Language Models (LLM), particularly ChatGPT. The effectiveness of the used model in detecting and remediating accessibility issues to ensure compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) is also discussed…

Conference: PETRA’23 (Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments) | Corfu, Greece | 2023

Achraf Othman, Amira Dhouib, Aljazi Nasser Al Jabor

The use of automated accessibility testing tools remains a common practice for evaluating web accessibility. However, the results obtained from these tools may not always provide a comprehensive and complete view of a site’s accessibility status. The main purpose of this study is to improve web accessibility by automatically remediating non-accessible ones using Large Language Models (LLM), particularly ChatGPT. The effectiveness of the used model in detecting and remediating accessibility issues to ensure compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) is also discussed. By using ChatGPT as a remediation tool, this study investigates the potential of LLM in improving web accessibility…

Conference: PETRA’23 (Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments) | Corfu, Greece | 2023

Khansa Chemnad, Achraf Othman

Although there are several speech synthesis models available for different languages tailored to specific domain requirements and applications, there is currently no readily available information on the latest trends in Arabic language speech synthesis. This can make it challenging for beginners to research and develop text-to-speech (TTS) systems for Arabic. To address this issue, this article provides a comprehensive overview of several scholars’ contributions to the field of Arabic TTS, along with an examination of the unique features of the Arabic language and the corresponding challenges in creating TTS systems…

Journal: IEEE Access | (Q1, Impact Factor 2020: 3.476) | 2023

Achraf Othman, Amnah Al Mutawaa, Amani Al Tamimi and Maha Al Mansouri

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has revolutionized the lives of persons with disabilities globally through opportunities for improved social inclusion. Technology enables persons with disabilities to access information, media, education, employment, and ICT-related assistive technologies. Decision makers must clearly understand the current state of available ICT products and services, their compliance with international accessibility standards, and their usage within the country to propose effective inclusive policies and legislations.…

Journal: MDPI Sustainability | (Q1, Impact Factor 2020: 3.889) | 2023

Oussama El Ghoul, Achraf Othman, Maryam Aziz, SammySedrati

Sign languages are the most common mode of communication with and between hearing-impaired individuals. In the Arab world, Arabic sign language is used with different dialects supporting a distinct set of rules for the gestures used. With research on natural language processing advancing, models have been developed to translate sign language to spoken language and vice versa. However, Arabic sign language has rarely been studied due to the lack of availability of datasets dealing with Arabic sign language…

Dataset: IEEE Dataport | 2022

Hajer Chalghoumi, Dena Al-Thani, Asma Hassan, Suzanne Hammad, Achraf Othman

This paper presents the findings of a scoping review that maps exploratory evidence and gaps in research on information and communication technology (ICT) access and use among older persons in the Arab region. This review is part of a larger project that studies ICT access and use and related challenges faced by older adults in Qatar. A search was conducted in eleven scientific databases and search engines covering empirical studies published in English and Arabic between January 2016 and June 2021. Eleven studies were retrieved in the final corpus. A thematic analysis alongside the PRISMA for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR) was used to retrieve the findings…

Journal: MDPI Applied Sciences | Topic: Human–Machine Interaction | (Q2, Impact Factor 2020: 2.679) | 2022

Mohamed Koutheair Khribi, Achraf Othman, Aisha Al-Sinani

Information and Communication Technology ICT is increasingly becoming a cornerstone of both work and daily lives for many people. Everyone should then be able to access and use ICT at the same level as everyone else, including individuals with disabilities and the elderly. Even so, many forms of technologies and services are still not being designed with accessibility in mind. Several factors are yet hindering ICT accessibility including, among others, the scarcity of adequate ICT accessibility learning and training programs, as well as the lack of integration of ICT accessibility courses into curricula, which means that most of graduate students do not acquire knowledge and skills on how to make technology accessible…

Conference: The 22nd IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT 2022) | 2022

Oussama El Ghoul, Achraf Othman

In the United States, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimates that 90% or more deaf children have hearing parents. Communication is one of the first aspects of family life impacted by having a deaf child. The hearing parents of deaf children and teachers often have difficulty communicating with their deaf children and need to interact with them using sign language. Deaf children and hearing parents still face many challenges in learning sign languages despite technological advances such as mobile apps, desktop and web applications, and new instructional materials and methods. In Qatar, 13.7% of the persons with disabilities have some difficulties, many challenges, or cannot hear totally, highlighting the need to include and foster…

Conference: EDUCON 2022 | IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference | March 28-31, 2022 | Online and Tunis, Tunisia [hybrid]

Achraf Othman, Oussama El Ghoul

The present paper describes an ongoing project on designing and creating the First Qatari Sign Language dataset called “Jumla Dataset: The Jumla Qatari Sign Language Corpus” with intra-linguistic and extra-linguistic levels of the written Arabic text. The annotation of videos in Qatari Sign Language (QSL) takes input from signers to identify the Arabic glosses components toward representing the QSL in a written way with high accuracy, furthermore to the use of the annotation output in the development of computational Sign Language tools. The QSL annotation is based on an input of 4 videos recorded by deaf persons or Sign Language interpreters from different angles (front, left side, right side, and facial view)…

Conference: ICTA 2021 | 8th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology and Accessibility | December 8-10, 2021 | [online]

Mohamed Koutheair Khribi, Achraf Othman, Aljazi Nasser Al Jabor

It goes without saying that Information and Communication Technologies ICT -becoming an integral part of our everyday life, are shaping in-depth transformations in our societies. As such, everyone should be able to literally use same technologies as anyone else, which means that ICT should be accessible to all, regardless of their different abilities, needs, and disabilities. To this end, there is a need to developing an ICT accessibility skilled population whose members share common understanding of ICT Accessibility and Inclusive Design ICT-AID and acquire necessary digital accessibility competencies for life and work…

Conference: ICTA 2021 | 8th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology and Accessibility | December 8-10, 2021 | [online]

Aljazi Nasser Al Jabor, Fadi Adnan, Mike Park, Achraf Othman

The paper presents an overview of a tool designed for web accessibility monitoring, auditing, and evaluating of government Qatari websites toward understanding the process of accessibility testing and accreditation. The objective is to detect potential improvements and developments in the field according to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG, then to propose a customized automated accessibility testing tool that makes upholding web accessibility standards less daunting and overwhelming for developers and web masters working on 84 Qatar e-government and e-services. The tool will help software development teams identify and priorities accessibility test findings within the agile development cycle…

Conference: ICTA 2021 | 8th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology and Accessibility | December 8-10, 2021 | [online]

Dena Al Thani, Asma Hassan, Hajer Chalghoumi, Achraf Othman, Suzanne Hammad

The demographics in the Arab world are expected to go through a change in the coming decades. It is projected that the older population in Qatar will increase. Access to and use of information communication technology (ICT) by older persons and their caregivers has rarely been discussed. This study exposes the perspectives of the policy-level stakeholders and non-profit organizations working with older persons regarding the access and use of ICT. Through focus groups, the study investigates existing services and identifies the challenges encountered within the ICT Ecosystem…

Conference: ICTA 2021 | 8th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology and Accessibility | December 8-10, 2021 | [online]

Asma Hassan, Dena Al Thani, Hajer Chalghoumi, Suzanne Hammad, Achraf Othman | 2021

Conference: 2nd Gerontology and Geriatrics International Qatar Virtual Conference. September 30, 2021

Amira Dhouib, Achraf Othman, Oussama El Ghoul, Mohamed Koutheair Khribi, Aisha Al Sinani

Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), also known as Speech-To-Text (STT) or computer speech recognition, has been an active field of research recently. This study aims to chart this field by performing a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) to give insight into the ASR studies proposed, especially for the Arabic language. The purpose is to highlight the trends of research about Arabic ASR and guide researchers with the most significant studies published over ten years from 2011 to 2021. This SLR attempts to tackle seven specific research questions related to the toolkits used for developing and evaluating Arabic ASR, the supported type of the Arabic language…

Journal: MDPI Applied Sciences | Special Issue: Automatic Speech Recognition | (Q2, Impact Factor 2020: 2.679)

Oussama El Ghoul, Ikrami Ahmed, Achraf Othman, Dena A. Al-Thani, Amani Al-Tamimi

Considering the rapid technological development and especially for assistive technology, the six-point Braille system has become insufficient to meet the needs of the blind and enable them to read, write content, and, to publish accessible documents. This system is not sufficient to write and produce scientific contents that contain several symbols. Despite this need, the Arabic language still lacks an eight-point coding system. In this context, this paper aims to present a unified eight-point Braille system and present it to Arab communities to get benefit from it in developing digital content for blind people. The Arabic language differs from the Latin and other languages in the number of letters and diacritics, which makes the coding system different from the one used in these languages…

Conference: International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs (ICCHP 2020) | 2020

Anirban Lahiri, Achraf Othman, Dena A. Al-Thani, Amani Al-Tamimi

The rapid and continuous evolution of developments in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Assistive Technology (AT), and Accessibility has lead to the creation of a vast foundation of specialized knowledge in these areas of work. The lack of centralized resources capturing these evolving concepts, ideas, and terminologies poses a challenge for professionals and relevant stakeholders to keep themselves informed and gain understanding about the latest developments. Being relatively new fields of work, the proliferation of professionals related to ICT, Accessibility and Assistive Technology is growing on a worldwide scale. In this paper, we present a centralized resource to highlight the key terminologies in the field of ICT…

Conference: ICCHP 2020 – Open Access Compendium | International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs | September 07-08, 2020 | Online

Achraf Othman, Aisha Al-Sinani

Since December 2019, we lived in unique times as a result of the COVID-19 virus in the entire world. Effective communication is always essential for everyone including persons with disabilities and in particular persons with communication impairment. Thanks to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), access to information became easier for everyone. Everyone in the world needs to understand what is happening during natural disasters and pandemic in particular. All of them need to be able to express needs, to learn, and, to access important information, in particular, for persons with communication difficulties…

Book chapter in Radical Solutions for Education in a Crisis Context | Springer | 2020

Ahmed Tlili, Natalia Amelina, Daniel Burgos, Achraf Othman, Ronghuai Huang, Mohamed Jemni, Mirjana Lazor, Xiangling Zhang, Ting-Wen Chang

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face teaching was banned, and more than one billion students did not return to school. While both teachers and students found themselves in a very challenging situation as they both need to quickly adapt to remote teaching and learning respectively, students with disabilities found themselves in even more difficult situations. This might be because they lack several assistive technologies at home that facilitate the learning process. The World Health Organization (WHO) pointed out that special attention should be paid to people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic…

Book chapter in Radical Solutions for Education in a Crisis Context | Springer | 2020

Dena Al Thani, Amani Al Tamimi, Achraf Othman, Ahmed Habib, Anirban Lahiri, Shahbaz Ahmed

A thorough look at a unique platform that provides a comprehensive set of services and resources to emerging technologies and innovations in the Arabic speaking world. These services design the sole purpose of improving the lives of people with functional limitations. Based in Qatar, the Mada Innovation Ecosystem sets out to provide access to financing, community resources, policy and best practices, delivery channels, collaborations, data and research, and technical expertise. The goal of the platform is to increase the availability of Arabic language solutions, or tools developed in the Arabic world, hence improving the digital accessibility to people with physical, hearing, visual and learning disabilities…

Conference: ICTA 2019 | 7th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology and Accessibility | December 13-15, 2019 | Hammamet, Tunisia

Achraf Othman, Mohammed Mohsin, Mursi Khaled

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) might lack communication and social capabilities, which are essential for collaboration with other individuals and for the quality of life. The autistic children typically have problems in perceiving and displaying social clues and sentiments, a condition that obscures, even more, their deficiency of interaction abilities. Recent research has shown that robots can be helpful in stimulating social skills in autistic children, encouraging imitation, touch, eye gaze, and communication with persons. This paper aims to understand the theoretical basis of how robots can be helpful in improving the social skills of children with Autism. The paper will also examine empirical literature along with the particular focus on…

Conference: ICTA 2017 | 6th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology and Accessibility | December 19-23, 2017 | Muscat, Oman