Gregg Vanderheiden

Gregg Vanderheiden

301- 405- 2033


BS Electrical Engineering  - University of Wisconsin-Madison
MS Biomedical Engineering - University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ph.D.  Technology in Communication Rehabilitation and Child Development, University of Wisconsin-Madison


2117A HBK


Dr.Vanderheiden has been active in the area of Technology and Disability for over 45 years.  His early work was in Augmentative Communication, a term taken from his writings in the late 70’s.  Starting in 1979, his focus shifted to personal computers and he worked inside Apple, Microsoft and IBM on increasing the accessibility and usability of their products. Apple included features in Apple IIe, gs, and MacOS and iOS.  IBM and Microsoft licensed 9 features from Dr. Vanderheiden’s group for inclusion in DOS, OS/2, and Windows.  Dr. Vanderheiden co-chaired and co-authored the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 1.0 and 2.0), worked with the Access Board on 255 and 508,  and lead the effort to develop the EZ-Access package of cross-disability access features that are now built into Amtrak ticket machines, Automated Postal Stations, Homeland Security Passport Kiosks, and many other ITMs across the country.   His current focus is on the development of a Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII).  

Research Interest

Creating an infrastructure that will lead to digital technologies
Infrastructure that allows products to automatically adapt themselves to meet extremely varied abilities technical, physical, sensory, and cognitive abilities
Interface or that provides evidence that we misunderstood HCI


  • Design and Human Disability and Aging
Research Projects: 

Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure - Automated Personalization Computing Project

Principal Investigator: Gregg Vanderheiden
Investigator: Kate Vanderheiden

A Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII) was made to change any devices’ interfaces for people who cannot use technologies due to barriers caused by their level of disability, literacy, and/or digital literacy.

RERC on Universal Interface and Information Technology Access

Principal Investigator: Gregg Vanderheiden

The Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII) will be tested in libraries with a focus on serving users with disabilities. Also, a tool will be developed to help people find and use assistive technologies and access features in everyday technologies.