University of Maryland

About Trace

Our Mission

Our mission at the Trace Research and Development Center is to capitalize on the potential that technologies hold for people experiencing barriers due to disability, aging, or digital literacy, and to prevent emerging technologies from creating new barriers for these individuals. In doing this, we bring together disciplines such as information science, computer science, engineering, disability studies, law, and public policy. We engage in research, development, tech transfer, education, policy, and advocacy.

Our vision is a world that is accessible and usable by people of all ages and all abilities – each experiencing information and technologies in a way that they can understand and use.

More information about the 50-year history of the Trace Center is available.

Trace Center Leadership

Gregg C. Vanderheiden, Ph.D.  –  Principal Investigator
Hernisa Kacorri, Ph.D. –  Principal Investigator
Amanda Lazar, Ph.D. –  Principal Investigator
J. Bern Jordan, Ph.D. –  Asst. Research Scientist

Since 1983, the Trace Center has been the recipient of a series of open competition 5-year Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) grants from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), part of the Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (NIDILRR was formerly part of the U.S. Department of Education).

Current Funding

  • RERC on Inclusive Information & Communication Technology (Grant #90REGE0008, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services / ACL / NIDILRR) (Gregg Vanderheiden, J. Bern Jordan, Hernisa Kacorri, Amanda Lazar)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF CHS #1955568, Amanda Lazar and Hernisa Kacorri; NSF CRI/II-NEW #1823321, Hernisa Kacorri; NSF CHS #1816380, Hernisa Kacorri; NSF CHS #1816145, Amanda Lazar)
  • UMD MCF Strategic Growth Fund (Hernisa Kacorri)
  • AccessComputing and CRA-W REU (Hernisa Kacorri)
  • Google (Gregg Vanderheiden)
  • Meta (Gregg Vanderheiden and J. Bern Jordan)

For more information about the work funded by these grants, see Current Projects.

Past RERC Core Grants

  • RERC on Universal Interface & Information Technology Access, 2013-2018 (Grants #90RE5015 and #90RE5027, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services / ACL / NIDILRR)
  • RERC on Telecommunications Access, 2009-2015 (H133E090001) – a partnership with Gallaudet University and Omnitor AB
  • RERC on Universal Interface & Information Technology Access, 2008-2014 (H133E080022)
  • RERC on Telecommunications Access, 2004-2009 (H133E040013) – in partnership with Gallaudet University
  • RERC on Universal Interface & Information Technology Access, 2003-2008 (H133E030012)
  • RERC on Telecommunications Access, 1999-2004 (H133E990006) –in partnership with Gallaudet University
  • RERC on Information Technology Access, 1998-2003 (H133E980008)
  • RERC on Universal Telecommunications Access, 1995-1999 (H133E950002) – in partnership with Gallaudet University
  • RERC on Adaptive Computers and Information Systems, 1993-1998 (H133E30012)
  • RERC on Access to Computers and Electronic Equipment, 1988-1993 (H133E80021)
  • RERC on Access to Communication, Control, and Information Processing Systems, 1983-1988 (G008300045)

Additional funding has been provided by the National Science Foundation, NIST (U.S. Dept. of Commerce), the State of Wisconsin, and technology companies.