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World Wide Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Objective

The project will make several Internet services accessible for persons with language and/or cognitive impairments, including symbol users and a part of the elderly population. An universal coding system will be developed for message encoding which can be used for eMail, eChat or enhancing web-page information. This will be promoted as a public standard. Six national and three symbol languages will be involved. Additional support for handling information and navigation by people with cognitive, motor and/or language disorders will be developed. Software applications will be made with appropriate user interfaces, presenting the message content in multiple ways such as by text, speech or by symbols. For information providers, web-guidelines and an authoring tool will be developed. Educational and rehabilitation centres, organisations for the elderly involved in ICT, several AAC-focused companies, are all involved in the User platform. Representing a wide geographical spread (at least 6 countries) they will ensure optimal user-focused design, qualitative evaluation of the results and a coherent and realistic exploitation planning.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
In order to achieve the key objectives, the balanced consortium of four industrial, two research partners and two service providers have created a well integrated project workplan. The work has been divided into nine distinct workpackages, each being led by the most appropriate partner. The interrelationship between the various components and workpackages will be carefully managed by the project co-ordinator. WP1 - User-involvement and Evaluation, the "market square" where user-involvement is assured throughout the lifetime of the project. A platform to maximise the quality of the developments and to perform initial market studies. WP2 - Universal Concept Sets and Support modules, co-operating with WP3, it focuses on technology development by creating a concept list and software components for language structures. WP3 - Linguistic structures for eMail and eChat, will set up the language material for symbol-users allowing them by message conversion to read & write messages for eMail and eChat conversations. WP4 - User Interface: Design and models for evaluation, will address a sound and effective approach in performing and measuring the user-needs during the project, as being performed in WP1. WP5 - Navigation and data management support, will address the problems encountered by users, such as navigation on the web and information management, e.g. address book maintenance. WP6 - Developing of Internet Access Applications, will create three AAC-Internet access applications, based on the components developed in WP2, WP3 and WP5. WP7 - Guidelines and tools for AAC-enabled Web Pages, will develop both guidelines and a web-authoring tool, to be used by Special-Information Providers. WP8 - Dissemination and Exploitation Planning, dissemination of the project results, contacts with the WWW consortia and/or standardisation bodies, IPR activities and exploitation planning. WP9 - Management. As with all projects spanning different organisations and member states, w
ell-organised management is needed to deal with financial and organisational matters. This project will result in a range of interrelated products and services which offer people with language and/or cognitive impairments access to several Internet services such as the Web, eMail and eChat.

MILESTONES
M1 - A solid foundation for the project has been laid consisting of the User Requirements, the Technology Specification and the IPR Agreement. M2 - The project's viability has been optimised, based on a user-based feasibility study, evaluation of the state-of-the-art Internet technologies and a detailed assessment of the market. M3 - Alpha versions of the software for initial user-centered evaluations, followed by M4 - Beta versions for full evaluations. M5 - Project will be completed with final reports, guidelines, implementation plans and software modules.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

HANDICOM
Address
Oranjelaan 29
3843 AA Harderwijk
Netherlands

Participants (8)

FEMTIO PROCENT DATA AB
Sweden
Address
Godhemsgatan 2C
434 41 Kungsbacka
KUNGLIGA TEKNISKA HOGSKOLAN
Sweden
Address
Valhallavagen 79
100 44 Stockholm
LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY
United Kingdom
Address
Ashby Road
LE11 3TU Loughborough, Leicestershire
PALLE MADSEN
Denmark
Address
Naeraparken 49
5792 Arslev
SKUUTTI KY
Finland
Address
Vattuniemenkatu 18
00210 Helsinki
THE ACE CENTRE ADVISORY TRUST LIMITED
United Kingdom
Address
92 Windmill Road, Headington
OX3 7DR Oxford
THE UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE
United Kingdom
Address
Nethergate
DD1 4HN Dundee
VASTRA GOTALANDS LANS LANDSTING
Sweden
Address
Moderforvaltningen, Regionens Hus
46280 Vanersborg