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  • Trace Center began in 1971 as an undergraduate student group and soon became a leader in the field of augmentative and assistive communication (AAC) technology.

  • The Trace Center is a leader in the development and large-scale pilot implementation of the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII), to simplify access to information and communication technology by people with disability, literacy, digital literacy and aging related barriers.

On December 15, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) amended its rules to allow phone companies to replace support for TTY with support for real-time text (RTT). This caps a 15 year effort led by the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Telecommunications Access at the Trace Center and Gallaudet University. Adoption of RTT will make communication easier and more conversation-friendly for people who are Deaf, hard-of-hearing, or who have speech disabilities.

The Automated Personalization Computing Project (APCP), funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the U.S. Dept. of Education, will be the first large-scale deployment of the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII). The GPII combines cloud computing, web, and platform services to make computers and online information and services available for people facing barriers to accessibility. The project requires development of robust, reliable, scalable and secure client- and cloud-based GPII software.

As of August 2016, the Trace Center is now a part of the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland in College Park. Trace Center Director Gregg Vanderheiden explained: "The Trace Center and the iSchool are a natural fit, with both deeply interested in human-computer interface, with interaction, including a special interest in policy, aging, and disability.

Who Are We?

The Trace Center has been a leader in research and development in the field of technology and disability since 1971.

The current focus of our work is everyday information and communication technologies. Our purpose is to prevent barriers and capitalize on opportunities presented by standard and emerging technology, in order to create a world that is as accessible and usable as possible, for as many people as possible.

Some major accomplishments:

  • Accessibility features built into Windows, Mac, and Linux computer operating systems;
  • Web content accessibility guidelines (first and latest);
  • EZ Access techniques and hardware for cross-disability access to touchscreen kiosks.

Read our Success Stories

Affiliated With

Image of the HCIL Logo

Image of the Trace Center logo.
Trace Research & Development Center
College of Information Studies, University of Maryland
Room 2117 Hornbake Bldg, South Wing
4130 Campus Drive
College Park, MD 20742
Copyright 2016, University of Maryland
Tel: (301) 405.2043
Fax: (301) 314.9145
Trace Center