A global effort to create a new computer ecosystem that is easily accessible to people with disabilities, senior citizens and others with special needs is set to become reality through a $20 million federal grant to the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The five-year project will develop and deploy the first operational version of the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII) in a large-scale pilot test. This new infrastructure will be accessed via the Internet, allowing people who have difficulty using today’s technology to select and configure the assistive features and settings needed to enable their use of the information and communication systems encountered in school, work and the community.
“This project will move research to reality,” says Gregg Vanderheiden, an engineering professor and director of UW-Madison’s Trace Center. “The project will help make it so that whenever a person encounters something with a digital interface — a computer, Web page, TV, themostat — the interface on the device or Web page instantly and automatically changes into a form that the person can understand and use.”