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Archive for January, 2010

The purpose of this study (Analysis of e-Inclusion impact resulting from advanced R&D based on economic modelling in relation to innovation capacity, capital formation, productivity, and empowerment) is to assess how investments in inclusive information society technologies and services have the potential to deliver sustainable and cohesive growth.
In order to achieve this objective, the study will look at, and improve on, existing macro-economic models and datasets to capture the impact of inclusive ICT on employability, productivity growth and human capital as factors of economic growth.
The study will also assess –within current e-Inclusion policies- which implementation measures have the potential to best deliver economic growth and social cohesion. It will also examine the associated costs for pursuing investments for e-Inclusion at EU and national level and assess their macro-economic outcomes.
The study will be completed in the first half of 2010.
The first report presents a brief summary of the first part of the research (completed by December 2009) which was dedicated to provide a quantitative evaluation of the e-Inclusion in Europe. In order to define and measure e-Inclusion, the study moves beyond the traditional distinction between “haves” and “have-nots” in terms of access only and proposes a multi-focal approach to this complex concept in continual evolution. More specifically, it adopts a multi-perspective (households/individual and enterprises) and multi-dimensional approach (access, usage, impact of quality of life). Throughout this approach, the research is expected to provide a quantitative evaluation, indicators and a dataset to monitor e-Inclusion for all 27 EU Member States.
Download the first report.

The results and major findings of the Exploratory Workshop held on 19 October 2009 are now available.
An initial set of possible common indicators stemming from the ongoing projects and pilots work was analysed; ground-rules for constructing statistically significant impact measurement methodologies in this field were discussed and initial recommendations and guidelines for comparable future impact measurements arose from an interactive brainstorming and discussion amongst the participants.
The results are to be further taken up by a follow-up work in a form of a repository of existing relevant documents to serve as background for further discussions and intensified and structured best practice exchange. The purpose is to develop a common framework for arriving at solid and comparable evidence to facilitate policy decisions and further investment for wide deployment and uptake of solutions.
Read the report of the workshop for the full results.

TOBI is a large European integrated project that will develop practical technology for BCI that will improve the quality of life of disabled people and the effectiveness of rehabilitation. TOBI will design non-invasive BCI prototypes that will be combined with existing ATs and rehabilitation protocols. Users will be able to couple brain interaction with muscle-based interaction or can naturally switch between the different ways of interacting. TOBI will broaden the appropriate use of BCI by incorporating adaptive capabilities that augment other ATs.
TOBI is happy to announce the first workshop on February 3-4, 2010, in Graz, Austria, which will focus on the emerging challenges of integrating BCIs with other ATs and physiological signals. We encourage submissions for posters that describe working systems that ideally combine BCIs and other ATs, present opportunities or concerns, establish guidelines or roadmaps, or otherwise contribute to future possibilities in BCI-AT integration.
Brain-computer interaction (BCI) systems are aimed primarily at providing communication for severely disabled users. Most indications are that the field is booming, with a huge increase in papers, research groups, conferences and workshops, and media attention. However, the number of people that actually need BCIs and rely on them for communication can be counted on two hands. A major reason for this failure to help the main BCI target market is the lack of integration between BCIs and existing assistive technologies (ATs).

RoboBraille is named winner at the BETT Awards in London – the prestigious annual recognition of excellence in educational ICT. The Danish team behind the danish e-mail service RoboBraille won the prize together with the British partner The Royal National College for the Blind (RNBC) who took the prize. Among the nominees were strong combatants such as British BBC.
The RoboBraille service is an email-service capable of translating your documents to and from contracted Braille and to synthetic speech.
You use the RoboBraille email accounts by submitting a document (e.g., a text file, a Word document, a HTML page) as email attachment. The translation is returned to you via email, typically within a matter of minutes. All files are handled confidentially and they are deleted from the server as soon as your translation is done.
The RoboBraille service is available free of charge to all non-commercial users.
The BETT Awards is an annual scheme that highlights exemplar digital products intended for the education marketplace. The event is produced by Emap Connect, the organiser of the largest educational technology show in the world – BETT. The BETT Awards is made possible by working in association with Becta, the Government’s lead agency for ICT in education, and BESA, the trade association representing the educational supply industry.
For more information please visit: http://www.bettawards.com

Some interesting reading:

Assistive technology: from virtuality to reality: AAATE 2005, by Alain Pruski, Harry Knops.

OASIS is an FP7 project which stands for Open architecture for Accessible Services Integration and Standardisation. In this animated video, we are following John and Sue who are using the OASIS services on a daily basis.
The video incorporates following aspects:
– Independent living applications
* Nutritional advisor
* Activity coach
* Brain and skills trainer
* Social communities platform
* Health monitoring
* Environmental control
– Autonomous Mobility and Smart Workplaces Applications
* Transport information services
* Route guidance
* Personal mobility
* Smart workplaces

For more information about the project, please visit our website at: www.oasis-project.eu.