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Archive for June, 2010

The ÆGIS project now also has a dedicated user forum available online where people that are interested to comment on various topics, can do so in various categories:

  • Developers: Developers involved in software development for desktop, mobile, internet and rich internet applications can comment here on accessibility aspects related to assistive technologies.
  • End-users: Web applications: What is your view on the accessibility of internet applications and the internet overall?
  • End-users: Mobile applicationsEnd-users: What are your thoughts on the accessibility of mobile applications?
  • End-users: Screen Readers: What are your experiences with screenreaders?
  • End-users: Assistive Technologies: End-users can comment here on their experiences and opinions regarding assistive technologies in general.
  • End-users: Desktop applications: Here is the area where end-users can comment on their experiences and opinions regarding assistive technologies in the area of desktop applications.

You only need to register after which you can share your expertise/experience with others.

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 and play, personalised and configurable, realistic and 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.

Almost one in five of the world’s population lives with some kind of recognized disability. Sooner or later, everyone will develop at least some limitations in vision, hearing, dexterity or learning. To improve usability for those of us with sensory or physical limitations, phones have features for accessibility, which are continually improving and becoming more prevalent as technologies advance. The Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative (GARI) project was developed to provide a central information source to learn about accessibility in mobile devices. On their website you can learn about the various features that a phone may have and link through to manufacturers websites for specific information on particular models.

This report explores Europe’s vision for a society where every individual can make a valuable contribution. Investments in pioneering and commercially focused research will produce information and communication technologies (ICTs) that should help everyone – including the elderly, disabled and marginalised – to fulfil their potential.
Source: e-Inclusion web site on Europa

The VUMS (Virtual User Modeling and Simulation Cluster) cluster website has been launched and can be reached via VUMS is a project cluster that includes the GUIDE, MyUI, VERITAS and VICON projects. The projects collaborate on future joint efforts. All projects work on improving the accessibility of various products and application areas, taking into account various impairments.

VERITAS just released its 1st Newsletter (accessible PDF).

VERITAS aims to develop, validate and assess tools for built-in accessibility support at all stages of ICT and non-ICT product development, including specification, design, development and testing. The goal is to introduce simulationbased and virtual reality testing at all stages of assistive technologies product design and development into the automotive, smart living spaces (buildings & construction, domotics), workplace, ehealth and infotainment applications areas. The goal is to ensure that future products and services are being systematically designed for all people including those with disabilities and functional limitations as well as older people. Furthermore, VERITAS plans to promote its results to the appropriate standards organisations for consideration and potential adoption and also to make them available through an open framework.

Project number: 247765
Project acronym: VERITAS
Project full title: Virtual and Augmented Environments and Realistic User Interactions To achieve Embedded Accessibility DesignS
Starting date: 1 January 2010
Duration: 48 Months
VERITAS is an Integrated Project (IP) within the 7th Framework Programme, Theme FP7-ICT-2009.7.2, Accessible and Assistive ICT

VERITAS is undertaking a survey among designers and developers that will help to better understand the design and development process of products and services for people with disabilities and functional limitations as well as older people.
If you are a designer or developer active in the design and development process in the automotive, smart living spaces, workplace, ehealth and/or infotainment domain, then they kindly invite you to complete the survey:

The questionnaires have been designed to identify the industrial user needs of designers and developers per application sector in terms of procedures followed for the design and development of new products and their potential relation with the older people and people with disabilities in VERITAS project. Its evaluation will be the basis to implement appropriate tools and methodologies in order to increase awareness and need for accessibility.
Data provided by participants will not be distributed outside the project, nor will individual data allow tracking of the respondent’s identity. The data will be considered and analyzed only in an aggregated anonymised format.