This RERC addresses access to inclusive information and communication technologies (ICT) for people with disabilities. ICTs are an integral part of life, impacting education, employment, health, transportation, and social communication; however, as ICTs continue to evolve (e.g., digital technologies) access for individuals with disabilities may become prohibitive. This project takes a two-part approach to addressing ICT accessibility issues by (1) ensuring that existing solutions are known, effective, findable, more affordable, and available on every computer or digital technology platform; and (2) exploring the emerging next-next-generation interface technologies for which there are no effective accessibility guidelines or standards, and problem-solving in advance of these technologies. Project activities include: (1) extending data science methods to include people with disabilities (who may be considered outliers to the developer community) so that data-driven technologies will work for them; (2) identifying interface strategies that work for people with severe and progressive cognitive disabilities (e.g., dementia); (3) creating new tools to easily discover which techniques and aids a person with a particular disability and/or disabilities needs in order to use ICTs, as well as have real-time solution-driven responses on any ICT a person with a disability utilizes; (4) developing a new approach to accessibility that works for next-next-generation interfaces including speech, text, eye-gaze, gesture, virtual reality, AI agents, emotion, and virtual direct-brain interfaces; and (5) ensuring existing proven solutions are within reach and available to those who most need them.
September 2018 - October 2023
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