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Tag: Open Framework

ÆGIS (Open Accessibility Everywhere: Groundwork, Infrastructure, Standards) first pan-European User Forum and Workshop ÆGIS is placing users and their needs at the centre of all its ICT developments. This is why we are inviting end-users of assistive technology (related to usage on PC, mobiles and the internet) to our first pan-European User Forum on Thursday 4th June 2009 at Research In Motion UK Ltd, Slough, Berkshire, United Kingdom. We aim at having fruitful discussions between both end-users and application developers, thus better understanding your 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, we organize our first Pan-European Workshop at the same premises. This workshop will present the preliminary findings of the project related to the Use Cases selection and preliminary user requirements, thus stimulating discussions on these issues 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.

Agenda User Forum – 4 June 2009
Time Topic Speaker
14.00 – 14.15 ÆGIS project at a glance Dr. Evangelos Bekiaris (CERTH-HIT)
14.15 – 14.30 ÆGIS technical presentation Mr. Peter Korn (Sun Microsystems)
14.30 – 15.30 Demos Mr. Peter Korn (Sun Microsystems)
15.30 – 18.00 Interactive (via discussion) generic use case user scenario presentation – with breaks Mr. Karel Van Isacker (EPR); Mr. Edward Chandler / Ms. Sally Cain (RNIB)
18.00 – 18.30 Discussion and conclusion Mr. Karel Van Isacker (EPR); Mr. Edward Chandler / Ms. Sally Cain (RNIB)

Agenda Workshop “Accessibility for All: Open Source-based Generalised Accessibility Support for Mainstream ICT Devices/Applications” – 5 June 2009
Time Topic Speaker
8.30 – 9.00 Registration
9.00 – 9.10 Welcome and Aim of the Day Mr. Karel Van Isacker (EPR)
9.10 – 9.35 EU Policies on eINCLUSION Mr. Miguel Gonzalez-Sancho (European Commission, ICT for Inclusion, Information Society & Media Directorate General)
9.35 – 9.50 ÆGIS at a Glance Dr. Evangelos Bekiaris (CERTH-HIT)
9.50 – 10.10 First feedback as collected during user forum Mr. Iván Carmona Rojo (FONCE)
10.10 – 10.40 Demos and Technical Overview Mr. Peter Korn (Sun Microsystems)
10.40 – 11.00 Coffee Break
11.00 – 12.30 ÆGIS Draft Use Cases and discussion Dr. Evangelos Bekiaris (CERTH-HIT)
12.30 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 14.30 Standards for content (and content interoperability) in the field of eInclusion – and beyond Dr. Christian Galinski (Infoterm)
14.30 – 15.00 Accessibility overall Ph.D. Gregg C. Vanderheiden (Trace R&D Center University of Wisconsin – Madison)
15.00 – 15.30 Coffee break
15.30 – 15.45 Kick off of Open Accessibility Everywhere Group (OAEG) Dr. Evangelos Bekiaris (CERTH-HIT)
15.45 – 16.30 Round table Moderated by Dr. Evangelos Bekiaris (CERTH-HIT) and Mr. Peter Korn (Sun Microsystems)
16.30 – 17.00 Conclusions

You can register via http://www.aegis-project.eu/user_forum.html.

The study, “Analysis of the Assistive Technologies Information and Communication Technologies (AT ICT) industry in Europe”, commissioned by the European Commission is now available here.
Source: Information Society Newsroom Update Weekly – 30/04/2009

AccessForAll (not to be confused with this webportal) is a framework designed to define and describe resource accessibility. It currently exists as a number of specifications being developed collaboratively by a group of communities interested in interoperable metadata for describing accessibility characteristics of resources and in some contexts related user profile information.
Dublin Core metadata is designed to be easy-to-use and ubiquitous. A single DC term should convey important information that can be complemented by other metadata where suitable. For people with disabilities who use assistive technologies, very detailed metadata about their needs and the characteristics of a resource may be necessary if they are to have good access to information.
The single term ‘accessibility’ has been designed to perform the duties of a DC term for access: it warns users with limitations on their access facilities of potential problems with a resource. AccessForAll descriptions make a much greater difference and are, of course, recommended. A resource may be inaccessible to a user as it is first published, but subsequently augmented by an accessible alternative, such as a description of an image. In this case, the use of the DC accessibility term supports the addition of another term, such as has-version or has-alternative, that points to the new resource that may be useful in the circumstances.
AccessForAll is a new strategy for matching resources to the needs and preferences of individual users, especially, but not exclusively, for those with permanent disabilities. AccessForAll is a general accessibility strategy and the task for the DC community is to develop application profiles so AccessForAll can be realised across all domains in an interoperable way. The original AccessForAll work is the work of the ATRC at the University of Toronto, who have given free access to their work, and is supported by work in other fora in collaboration with the ATRC. The first version was made by IMS GLC for education, and is currently being updated to match the ISO/IEC version.
ISO JTC1 has adopted AccessForAll and the first three parts of the standard are completed. These include an introductory Part 1 (ISO/IEC 24751-1 2008); Part 2 that describes how to write descriptions of user needs and preferences for digital resources (ISO/IEC 24751-2 2008) and Part 3 describes how to write resource descriptions (ISO/IEC 24751-3 2008) for matching them to the needs and preferences; currently Part 4 & 5 (non-digital resources), Parts 6 & 7 (events and places), and Part 8 (languages) are in preparation. All parts of this ISO/IEC standard are to be available free of charge. The AccessForAll approach to accessibility has been implemented in several places, including at the University of Toronto and in the learning management product of Angel Learning.

More information is available on http://dublincore.org/accessibilitywiki/AccessForAll.

By employing semantic technologies the Access-eGov project supports semantic interoperability among e-government services across organisational, regional and linguistic borders. For service providers (on all levels of public administration – local, regional, national, and European) Access-eGov enables introduction of a (new) e-service to the world of e-government interoperability in an easy way. The government service registered in the Access-eGov may be localised, contracted and used automatically through agents and other IT components.

For citizens and business users the Access-eGov will provide two basic categories of services. Firstly, it provides a meta-service – depending on the needs and context of the user Access-eGov will find/ identify traditional and/or e-government services relevant to the given life event or business episode. Secondly, once the relevant services are found, Access-eGov generates a scenario consisting of elementary government services. Usually these scenarios will be of “hybrid” nature – i.e. combination of elementary traditional and e-services – realisation of which leads to a requested outcome (e.g. to get a new driving license, if you lost both your ID and the old driving license etc.). At the realisation of the scenario a virtual personal assistant guides the user through each step of the scenario.

Access-eGov is built on peer-to-peer and service-oriented architecture, addressing the semantic issues through ontology-guided mark-up of local e-government service interfaces. Component-based security infrastructure provides a complete portfolio of necessary security services (authentication, authorisation, attribute management, access control, data protection, auditing) that are accessible through web service interfaces.

All the Access-eGov components are delivered as open source solutions through the GPL license.

More information can be found on the project website.

The Lifelong Learning paradigm recognises that, in a knowledge based economy, education and work are integrated throughout people’s lives.

All citizens need ongoing access to learning to enable them to work. Technology is playing an increasing role in mediating this learning. However, if this technology is inappropriate and introduced with insufficient support, disabled people will face even further exclusion from the interlinked worlds of education and work.

To address this, EU4ALL (a four year project which started in october 2006) sets forward the concept of Accessible Lifelong Learning (ALL) uniting 3 key strategies:

1. That the technology that mediates lifelong learning does so accommodating the diversity of ways people interact with technology and the content and services it delivers
2. That this technology is used to bring support services to disabled learners
3. Providing support services and technical infrastructure that enable teaching, technical and administrative staff of educational institutions to offer their teaching and services in a way that is accessible to disabled learners

The aim of EU4ALL is to improve the efficiency and efficacy of implementing these strategies by developing an open service architecture for ALL. To achieve a wide impact the approach taken is not to develop a single EU4ALL system but a standards based framework that facilitates the integration of the approach with a wide range of eLearning systems.

More specifically the goals of EU4ALL are to:
* Design an open service-oriented architecture for ALL
* Develop the software infrastructure for ALL services (including content, support and access services)
* Provide technical standards/specifications for ALL applications integrated with current and emerging eLearning standards
* Validate the results in large-scale higher education settings

Two broad user groups benefit from the EU4ALL project:
1. End-users: Adult learners with disabilities, teachers, and tutors
2. System-users: Providers of eLearning systems, content and services

More information can be found on the project website.

The project will develop a personal, user-centered enabling system, with services, for use by an elderly person in or out of the home, to mitigate the effects of any disability and to increase quality of life: independence, autonomy, mobility, communications, care and safety. The system will be based on a distributed open platform, enabling other services to be added by third parties, by “plugging” into defined interfaces. The platform includes a mobile phone, enabling the user to get out and about, for visiting, shopping, recreation, etc, whilst maintaining contact for help and services.

The overall strategic objective of the project is to:
* improve the quality of life for an elderly person wanting to lead, or to continue to lead, an independent life;
* assist in carrying out daily activities;
* monitor health and activity, especially reduce the risk of having a fall or other trauma;
* improve access in emergency, for safely and security, especially in the case of a fall;
* facilitate social contacts;
* increase the length of time that the elderly person can stay at home before moving to an institution;
* improve the quality of life and costs for their carers, especially for friends or relatives that might not be living, or want to live, in the same house, but are anxious about leaving the elderly person by themselves;
* improve the standard of care provided by local social services, and the cost of providing that care;
* reduce the amount of time that the elderly person spends in hospital before they can be safely sent home;
* improve the quality of life for the elderly person recovering from treatment, or with a terminal illness, who wants to stay at home.

More information on the project website.