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Archive for February, 2011

A new report recommends that an innovative organisational model be created to respond more effectively to the needs of senior citizens and other stakeholders focussed on such needs. The report, prepared by Trilateral Research and Consulting, finds that calls to overcome the fragmentation of effort among existing organisations across the European Union could best be addressed through the creation of a new umbrella organisation aimed at fostering greater co-ordination and collaboration and at linking existing organisations, policy-makers and senior citizens themselves.
The “Report on mechanisms for stakeholder co-ordination”, one of the deliverables of the EC-funded BRAID (Bridging Research in Ageing and ICT Development) project, notes various calls for improved co-ordination, including those made by EU Ministers responsible for e-inclusion. It examines the needs of the various stakeholders (policy-makers, industry, civil society organisations, academia, the media as well as senior citizens) and finds that existing organisations do not adequately address all these needs, nor are they meeting the calls for greater partnership in responding to these needs. The report examines 10 different organisational models (each of which is represented by three different examples) and finds that each has advantages and disadvantages, but none appears suitable to meet the calls for improved co-ordination, collaboration and co-operation among all stakeholders.
Some organisations do exist to link industry and potential users; however, these fragmented initiatives are often short-lived and geared towards one type of stakeholder. A new organisation is needed that links industry, users, policy-makers, the media and other relevant stakeholders in order to achieve the maximum benefit for European citizens as they age.
BRAID is currently drawing up recommendations as to how a new approach for an inclusive, open and democratic organisation could support research and development, act as a focal point for e-inclusion, address the market for assistive technologies, help efforts to harmonise legislation, reduce regulatory barriers, implement standards and encourage interoperability of assistive technologies. The recommendations aim at supporting efforts by the European Commission and Member States to improve the lives of older Europeans and optimise national social policies and programmes. The BRAID partners are hosting a series of expert workshops across Europe this year to address these issues and to develop a cohesive vision for senior citizens and ICT over the next decade as well as a roadmap to achieve that vision.
Source: BRAID project

AEGIS project organises its final Workshop and 2nd International Conference entitled “Accessibility Reaching Everywhere” on 28-30 November 2011 in Brussels, bringing together both end-users (people with disabilities) as well as platform and application accessibility developers, representative organisations, the Assistive Technology industry, and policy makers. Since 2008, the AEGIS consortium (comprising companies such as Vodafone Foundation, Research in Motion, Oracle, and research groups from Cambridge University and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, etc.) has been developing an Open Accessibility Framework – comprising open accessibility interfaces, user interface components, developer tools, end-user applications and prototype accessibility solutions for desktops, rich Internet applications and mobile devices.

The workshop on 28 November will focus on the realisations of the AEGIS (Open Accessibility Everywhere: Groundwork, Infrastructure, Standards) project and provide attendees the opportunity to try out all outcomes of the project. The demonstrated products offer barrier-free access to desktop, mobile and web applications, are open source based and will be freely available.

The conference on 29-30 November will gather a wide array of experts and users in the area of Assistive Technology to discuss scientific and policy developments in accessible technology; showcase relevant projects and initiatives in the area of assistive technology.

Access to both events will be free, but places will be limited.

Download the call for papers also as pdf.

We kindly invite you and your colleagues to submit papers in the following categories:

  • Scientific papers
  • Technical papers

Conference topics (non-exhaustive list):

  • Accessible desktop applications (AT, developer tools and accessible applications)
  • Accessible mobile applications (AT, developer tools and accessible applications)
  • Accessible Rich Internet Applications (AT, developer tools and accessible applications)
  • Accessibility and Standardisation (e.g. ISO, eInclusion, Policies, Legislation)
  • Accessibility and Usability (e.g. Design for All)
  • Accessibility research (e.g. Assistive technology usage by end-users and their satisfaction, innovative AT training via accessible e-learning)

Important dates:

  • Abstract submission deadline: 30th April 2011
  • Notification of acceptance abstract submission: 31st of May 2011
  • Paper submission deadline: 30th June 2011
  • Notification of acceptance and outcome of review process: 15th September 2011
  • Final camera ready papers: 31 October 2011
  • Registration by 31st October 2011

Abstracts submission:

Abstracts submitted in the context of one of the above topics should not exceed 500 words. The title, authors and their contact and affiliation details (authors’ email address, telephone and fax number and affiliation name and address) as well as keywords (up to five) should be included.

Under the title of your abstract, please quote the relevant conference topic. We would strongly recommend you to propose more than one conference topics, if applicable, quoting them in priority order.

Authors who are unable to provide an electronic version or have other circumstances that prevent such submission must contact us (info@aegis-project.eu) prior to submission to discuss alternative options.

Abstracts should be submitted to info@aegis-project.eu by 30th April 2011.

Submission declaration:

Submission of a manuscript implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis), that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, without the written consent of the copyright-holder.

Any manuscript not complying with the above requirements will not be accepted.

Publications:

Abstracts and camera-ready papers as well as exhibition applications will be reviewed by the ÆGIS Scientific Committee. The final versions of the accepted camera-ready papers will be published and will be made available during the conference. The authors of each accepted submission are required to give a presentation at the conference and must register by 31 October 2011.

In addition, the authors of the accepted technical papers will be invited to publish their software (where relevant) in the Open Source Community.

Looking forward to meet you and welcome you to our Community!

Guidelines for Final Paper:

Download Guidelines for Final Papers (.doc).

The European Commission is planning to launch the official website for the European Year 2012 for Active Ageing on 29 April 2011 to mark the European Day of Intergenerational Solidarity. The website will seek to present the various commitments and initiatives which will be taken by a wide range of stakeholders (policy makers, the business sector, civil society organisations, service providers, etc.) to promote the objectives of the EU Year 2012, i.e. Active Ageing in employment, Active Ageing in the Community (volunteering and caring) and Healthy ageing at home (support We need to mobilise everyone who can help us achieve our vision of a society for all ages: local, national and European policy makers, companies, urban developers, public transport operators, housing agencies, social services, youth, women’s and families’ organsiations as well as older citizens, researchers and the media. If you are planning to organize an event, or launch an initiatve in support of the active participation of older people in society and wish to share this information with others, please send information at EC-ACTIVEAGEING2012@europa.eu.ec.

As we reported earlier, AEGIS project organises its final Workshop and 2nd International Conference entitled “Accessibility Reaching Everywhere” on 28-30 November 2011 in Brussels, bringing together both end-users (people with disabilities) as well as platform and application accessibility developers, representative organisations, the Assistive Technology industry, and policy makers.
Registration is now open.

The CompanionAble Consortium organises its 5th Workshop, in Brussels at Novotel on 8th March 2011. For this 5th Workshop the CRI Workshops Committee wishes to keep its focus firmly on the synergy of the following important themes; the confluence of which will significantly influence the mainstreaming of the Companion/Social Robotics of the future as realistic options off-the-shelf and an important part of the AAL Solutions Spectrum.
More information can be found on the project website.

Hosted by Spectronics, the Inclusive Learning Technologies® Conference 2012 focuses specifically on “inclusive learning technologies” – technologies designed to advance independent achievement for people with disabilities and/or students with learning difficulties. It includes sessions looking at these technologies in the following three interest streams: Struggling Students*, People with Complex Communication Needs, and People with Disabilities.
(*What do we mean by “struggling students”? Here we are talking about students who are in Regular Ed settings but are struggling to keep up with the reading, writing or organisational tasks required of them. These students may be struggling because of learning difficulties. Alternatively, they could be one of the growing number of ESL (English as a Second Language) students in our schools and post-secondary institutions.)
Announcing the Call for Papers
If you would like to be considered for the exciting Inclusive Learning Technologies Conference 2012 Program you can submit your paper abstract here to gain an overview of the types of sessions the program will be featuring.
Submissions to contribute to the Inclusive Learning Technologies Conference 2012 Program close on Wednesday 31st August 2011. All abstracts must be submitted via the online application form – paper abstracts sent via email or post will not be considered.
Successful applicants will be eligible for one FREE three-day Inclusive Learning Technologies Conference 2012 registration valued at $750, and will be notified at the end of September 2011.
More info at the conference website.