The Trace Center is committed to development of research-based technology strategies and solutions, with the end goal of increasing the accessibility of information and communication technologies (ICT) for people with disabilities. Current work is focused primarily on the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure, building on work begun by the Trace Center in 2009 as part of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.
Projects are described briefly below.
GPII Automated Personalization Computing Project (APCP)
This will be the first large-scale deployment of the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII).
R&D done prior to this project has resulted in prototypes for most of the components of the GPII. The GPII-APCP will move this work from the research/prototype stage into a form that is complete, reliable, and secure enough for deployment with real users in real world environments -- and then pilot test it for 3 years in school-to-school-to-work and American Job Center environments. Approximately 15,000 students and AJC clients, with the full range of ability/disability, literacy, and digital literacy found in these environments, will be provided with access to the GPII auto-personalization. Metrics will be gathered on the reliability, security, privacy, utility, and impact of the GPII, including increased accessibility, reduction in time / effort to configure access, ability to transfer accessibility between environments (home, schools, work), user outlook on self and tech, and impact on education / employment efforts.
Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Universal Interface & Information Technology Access
Focused in three areas:
(1) Continuing development of the GPII concept - evolving it to address the changing technology landscape and our growing understanding of its role based on discussions with the different accessibility and mainstream stakeholders.
(2) Moving the GPII from concept, papers, and laboratory prototypes, through to field implementations where we can test the efficacy and viability of the concept with real-world conditions, users and limitations/realities. This will include:
Development and testing of a package for deployment of the GPII in public libraries of all sizes, with a focus on providing libraries with cost-effective ways of serving users with a wider range of abilities - including those with cognitive, memory, and digital-literacy related barriers such as elders and first-time users.
- Development and testing of a decision support tool based on the GPII Unified Listing that can provide users and clinicians with a new capability for tracking and selecting ever-changing solutions for users - including not only comprehensive information on assistive technologies, but also not-previously-available information on the access features that are built into mainstream technologies.
(3) Continued work to motivate and facilitate access built directly into mainstream products - through our technology transfer program and our research support of industry standards groups and governmental agencies working on accessibility standards. Included in this project is ongoing work related to EZ Access.
Read about past Trace Center work in Success Stories.