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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.

The Automated Personalization Computing Project, funded by 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 online information and services available for people facing accessibility barriers. 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 is a natural fit for the iSchool, where there are a number of young faculty involved in human-computer interface, with interest in policy, aging, and disability.

Current and former students, staff, clients, colleagues, and friends gathered on July 8, 2016 at the UW Discovery Building and via teleconference to celebrate 45 years of work focused on technology and disability. David Kelso was recognized for his 43 years as the Trace Center's technical director. Center Director Gregg Vanderheiden reviewed many of the Center's accomplishments and thanked the many who contributed to and supported Trace's work.  For a list of key contributions of Trace Center engineers and researchers over the years, see Success Stories.  

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

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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