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eABILITIES aims at developing a framework for current and future actions in research, education and technology transfer in the field of ICT accessibility in the home, vehicle and working environments in Europe. With this purpose, eABILITIES will enable, organise and promote the share of related knowledge, communication, facilities equipment and personnel resources.

In general, the objectives are to make an extensive and detailed map of current and possible future technological developments in ICT accessibility, to organise contacts and exchanges and to identify needs, breakthroughs and bottlenecks. This requires a focused effort into tracing research and development, transfer of technology, education and training based on cooperation between industry, academic and government institutions and research centres. The information will be spread to the appropriate target groups using the eABILITIES space for resource and knowledge sharing.

eABILITIES will become the platform where excellent, multidisciplinary organisations involved in eAccessibility in Europe, will collaborate to:
* Benchmark commercial products and research activities
* Propose Recommendations and Best Practices in User Experience for eAccessibility products
* Share research resources (personnel, equipment, facilities and expertise)
* Establish fora and workshops
* Disseminate the project results

eAbilities coordination action aims at developing a framework for sharing current and future actions in research, education and technology transfer in the field of ICT accessibility in the home, vehicle and working environments in Europe. With this purpose, eAbilities will enable, organise and promote the share of related knowledge, communication, facilities equipment and personnel resources.

The whole range of the key stakeholders in this field will be involved, namely Users; Social Research Centres; National Centres for Personal Autonomy and Assistive Technologies; Research Centres; Industrial Research Centres and SMEs.

More information you can find on the project website.

The ÆGIS project seeks to determine whether 3rd generation access techniques will provide a more accessible, more exploitable and deeply embeddable approach in mainstream ICT (desktop, rich Internet and mobile applications). This approach is developed and explored with the Open Accessibility Framework (OAF) through which aspects of the design, development and deployment of accessible mainstream ICT are addressed. The OAF provides embedded and built-in accessibility solutions, as well as toolkits for developers, for “engraving” accessibility in existing and emerging mass-market ICT-based products, thus making accessibility open, plug & play, personalised & configurable, realistic & applicable in various contexts; ÆGIS is placing users and their needs at the centre of all ICT developments. Based on a holistic UCD, ÆGIS identifies user needs and interaction models for several user groups, (users with visual, hearing, motion, speech and cognitive impairments as well as application developers) and develops open source-based generalised accessibility support into mainstream ICT devices/applications:

* desktop,
* rich web applications, and
* Java-based mobile devices.

All developments will be iteratively tested with a significant number of end users, developers and experts in 3 phases and 4 Pilot sites Europe wide (in Belgium, Spain, Sweden and the UK).

The project includes strong industrial and end user participation (the participating industries are among the market leaders in the corresponding mainstream ICT markets). The project results’ uptake is promoted by strong standardisation activities, as well as the fact that much of the technology results will be either new open source applications or will be built into existing and already widely adopted open source ICT.
More information can be found on the project website.

Logo of ÆGISÆGIS (Open Source-based Generalised Accessibility Support for Mainstream ICT – http://www.aegis-project.eu/), supported by the 7th Framework Programme on Research and Technological Development of the European Union, aims to develop an Open Accessibility Framework (OAF) through which aspects of the design, development and deployment of accessible mainstream ICT are addressed. The OAF will provide developers with embedded and built-in accessibility solutions, as well as toolkits for “engraving” accessibility in existing and emerging mass-market ICT-based products, thus making accessibility open, plug and play, personalised and configurable, realistic and applicable in various contexts. Simultaneously, the project will provide Open Source Accessible Desktop Applications to the end-users (people with disabilities, older people).

ÆGIS is placing users and their needs at the centre of all its ICT developments. This is why the project is inviting end-users of assistive technology (related to usage on PC, mobiles and the internet) to their first pan-European User Forum on Thursday 4th June 2009 at Research In Motion UK Ltd, Slough, Berkshire, United Kingdom. The project aims at having fruitful discussions between both end-users and application developers, thus better understanding their needs when wanting to use accessible desktop, mobile and internet applications. It will ensure that future technologies and services will meet the needs of the end-users, and both mainstream and assistive technology developers.

The next day, Friday 5th of June, they organize their first Pan-European Workshop at the same premises. This workshop will present the preliminary findings of the project, and will stimulate discussions between both end-users and application developers. Its outcome will be taken into account by the Consortium during the further course of the project. Key stakeholders from relevant areas are expected to participate (such as end users’
representatives and organisations, EC representatives, technologies developers, etc.). This workshop therefore is an excellent chance to meet experts from relevant fields.

To participate, please download the invitation letters and complete the registration form for each event (see below links). Participation is free of any charge.

Invitation letter and agenda User Forum, Thursday 4 June 2009
Invitation letter and agenda Workshop, Friday 5 June 2009

You can equally register online via the ÆGIS project website.

SEN logoThe Social Employers Network (SEN) is a network set up to encourage, consult and support employers in recruitment and retainment of any kind of disadvantaged or disabled workers. SEN is EU wide network with founding members organizations from Bulgaria, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and UK which has been together since September 2007. Membership is open to all kinds of employers who share positive attitude towards people with disabilities and disadvantaged.